Driving down the scenic Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys, you’ll see a discreet sign on Little Torch Key pointing to Little Palm Island’s Welcome Center—the gateway to the only private island resort in America.
As you step into the air-conditioned oasis, your first taste of paradise begins. An ice cold Gumby Slumber, a potent mix of rum, fresh fruit juices, and grated coconut, is placed in your hands as your luggage is discreetly whisked away.
Step on to The Truman, the resort’s stunning wooden boat, and you’ll be on Little Palm Island before you can even finish your cocktail.
Nestled on a 4.5-acre private island, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa houses just 30 suites, each of which are hidden behind lush foliage for privacy. There will never be more than 60 guests on the island at a time, creating an exclusive, private enclave that attracts celebrities and others in search of seclusion.
Little Palm Island implores you to “get lost”—but not in an offensive way. String the wooden “get lost” sign across your door to put on a real life “do not disturb” and escape from the world for a little while. The rooms have no televisions (there’s one in the resort’s shared Great Room if you’re really desperate), and although there is WiFi, phone use is discouraged in public spaces.
Editor’s Note: The author of this story was hosted by Little Palm Island.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is a short 10-minute boat ride from Little Torch Key, in the Florida Keys. Most guests choose to enjoy the island for the duration of their stay, but if you want to explore the Keys as well, the complimentary boat shuttle offers rides to the mainland hourly.
The isolated location attracts a vibrant variety of native wildlife. Walking around the property, you may encounter some of the local inhabitants—adorably tiny Key Deer or colorful iguanas. On the water, small sharks, schools of fish, and dolphins are easily spotted.
A collection of kayaks, paddleboards, and Hobie Cats are available for guests who want to get out on the crystal clear blue waters surrounding the island.
If you want to head further afield, a number of tours can be arranged, including backcountry flats fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and more.
SpaTerre, the resort’s spa, offers a wide range of pampering services, such as the Madrugada, a sunrise massage on a table in the ocean.
Complimentary amenities include:
- Welcome cocktail
- Valet parking at the Welcome Center
- Boat transfer
- A 24-hour fitness center
- Non-alcoholic minibar beverages
- Non-motorized water sports
- Nightly turndown service
Accommodations at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa are individual thatched roof bungalows, each of which house outdoor showers, large sundecks, hammocks, and private dockside lounge space.
I stayed in an Island Romance Suite—a secluded oceanfront bungalow framed by lush tropical foliage. A large outdoor verandah featured billowing white curtains for extra privacy, a deep copper soaking tub sized for two, large sunbed, table and chairs, and a luxurious outdoor shower. Other private outdoor spaces, including a small deck, dockside loungers, and quintessential hammock under a palm tree, provided ample opportunity to soak in the sun and embrace the castaway feel.
Inside the Island Romance Suite, the 550 square foot space included a bathroom with double sinks, deep indoor soaking tub, spacious bedroom, and large living area. Vaulted ceilings lend an airy feel, as did floor-to-ceiling windows. The four-poster king bed was so extraordinarily plush, it required a step stool to climb up on, and was outfitted with crisp Noble House signature bedding.
How often does an entire table of diners lose their minds over a salad? As soon as the appetizer of a tomato and feta salad was placed down, the aromas of fresh herbs indicated a treat was in store for dinner.
The Dining Room, Little Palm Island’s sole restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a variety of spaces. Escape the heat indoors, or opt for a romantic meal in the sand—each evening, oceanfront torch-lit tables are scattered across the beach for a toes-in-the-sand dining experience.
The Dining Room’s menu changes daily based upon what’s available and in-season, and the chefs are happy to create custom options to please any dietary restrictions or preferences. With such an enticing atmosphere, you’ll want to sit back, sip a drink from the Dining Room’s impressive drink menu (think: Louis XIII cognac and Clase Azul tequila) and settle in for a long, relaxing evening.
The Dining Room is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—or, you can order room service at any time of day, if you can’t tear yourself away from your suite.
Little Palm Island FAQ
How do you get to Little Palm Island?
Little Palm Island is located a short boat ride from Little Torch Key in the Florida Keys. The resort’s complimentary ferry departs from their Welcome Center (where you can park your car for the duration of your stay) at the bottom of every hour, and is approximately a 10 minute ride from the mainland.
The closest airports are Key West International Airport or Miami International Airport. For the quickest arrival, guests can also opt to take a seaplane directly to the resort.
Is Little Palm Island Adults-Only?
To maintain a serene atmosphere, all guests at Little Palm Island must be 18 or older.
Is Little Palm Island All-Inclusive?
Little Palm Island is not all-inclusive, however, you can book a Culinary Paradise Package that includes daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Can Non-Guests Come to Little Palm Island’s Restaurant?
A limited number of off-island seatings are available for the resort’s dining room, however, this is subject to availability based on occupancy and advance reservations are required.
Price and How to Book
Rates start at around $3,000 per night, and can be booked on SmarterTravel Hotels.
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