This is where unplugging can make you feel more connected.
We hope you’re enjoying our Florida Keys series. Today, we’re bringing you a pretty secret spot for the luxe traveler where you can waste time wisely!
Now, get lost and enjoy a bespoke experience at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, named Travel + Leisure’s “15 Best Beach Resorts in the U.S.” Or, as country music singer Luke Bryan might say, “Sunrise, sunburn, sunset. Repeat.”
A Tree-Filled Sanctuary
Approximately a half hour north of Key West, at Little Torch Key, there is an unassuming check in shore station with a dock where the boat takes guests on a 10-minute boat ride in a beautiful refurbished yacht to Little Palm Island. The island looks like one you might see in the South Pacific, maybe somewhere around Fiji — a tree-filled sanctuary among thatched roof cabins sprinkled throughout the island.
There are 30 cabins on Little Palm Island (adults only, 18+) so the maximum guest load is 60 people at any time, plus staff. And it’s a staff that’s known for their longevity.
Due to the high nightly rate (from $3,000-$5,500), guests are definitely expecting the first-class service along with the bespoke experiences of LPI.
An Unforgettable Experience
The resort prides itself on island isolation which highlights that guests are there for a digital detox and tropical distancing. Four lush acres, no phones, no televisions and no distractions.
I highly recommend making a plan in advance to completely unplug, no streaming on your computer or tapping into your social media networks, just enjoying the peace of the island and a few great books.
In terms of activities, other than my favorite, which is reading a great novel while standing in the coolness of the swimming pool, there are other activities to enjoy. My first suggestion is to take out one of the four skiff (Boston Whaler) boats from the back dock which are complimentary and you don’t have to make a reservation.
Simply check in, grab a cooler filled with cold drinks and the staff will get you on your way. With a map of nearby islands, you might want to just cruise around and hit a few interesting places on the map, including Picnic Island where previous visitors have brought their small hometown wooden plaques and nailed them to the trees.
There are also chaise lounges that face the water on the back dock which provide the perfect setting for a nap or some reading. You can find hammocks in hidden alcoves and there’s also fishing at various places around the island. As you are free to be, you can also choose to enjoy their non-motorized water sports including paddle boards, kayaks and Hobie cats.
Spa & More
Spa Terre is where you can enjoy an Island Wellness massage, an 80-minute CBD treatment that utilizes turmeric and vanilla bean with macadamia oil. You may or may not fall asleep during this treatment.
Check out the Great Room, the second story of the main building, where you’ll find a lending library of books, a real turntable with records, and a big screen TV if you really need your television fix.
Impeccable Service, Inspired Menus, Unparalleled Views
Dining on the island is a real treat! Start your day with bountiful bites and a view of the ocean. A tropical fruit plate popping with color is a great start, followed by a healthy omelette, avocado toast or a favorite, lobster hash.
Lunch should definitely be enjoyed poolside: lettuce wraps, fish tacos, ceviche or just chips and guacamole with a cold, local draft beer.
Sunset is prime time in the Keys so head down to the beach and grab a table on the sand around 30 minutes prior to sunset. If the views are not enough to take your breath away, then the Dining Room menu should. Fresh cuts of meat from both land and sea are available and made-to-order with high quality ingredients – even the macaroni and cheese is high-end. Dig in and enjoy a cocktail while you watch the sun go down.
The pianist that plays his own keys and certainly adds to the sunset beachside ambiance has been there every night for decades!
When it’s time to depart, you’ll have a reservation from the dock where you will once again board the yacht and be shuttled back to the shore station where you can either continue exploring the Keys or have a transfer back to Key West airport. You will have thoroughly enjoyed your tropical distancing and getting lost at LPI.
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Cover photo courtesy Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career with Austin Woman Magazine when it premiered in the fall of 2002. Now, she can be seen on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips, in addition to her long-running “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard.