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Florida with toddlers and kitchens

Florida with toddlers and kitchens

Old Nov 7, 19, 10:43 am
  #1  
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Florida with toddlers and kitchens

Hey -

Looking at doing Florida the week before Christmas with our 16 month old and nearly-4 year old. Ideally would love to find some place like Sea Island where you can rent a villa which has enough space for you to do breakfast / the odd other meal yourselves. It seems (based on other threads here) that most of the 'good for kids places' just don't have that kind of space- best solutions for kids seemed to be Four seasons orlando or the Breakers at Palm beach but neither has proper spaces for families.

St Regis Bal harbor obviously has space, but doesn't seem so (little) kid friendly. Acqualina definitely has space but also doesn't seem so kid friendly.

Am I missing anything obvious?

Thanks in advance

P.S. It has to be Florida as due to visa issues we can't leave the USA.

Last edited by pauljeff; Nov 7, 19 at 10:56 am Reason: Add Florida constraint
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Old Nov 7, 19, 5:28 pm
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These suites have full kitchens:
https://www.fourseasons.com/surfside...ations/#suites

kids club for your older one:
https://www.fourseasons.com/surfside...e_whole_family

Most kids clubs have a minimum age of 4 years old but they some properties make exceptions (FS Palm Beach certainly did when my daughter was 3 years old).

Here are a couple of other options with kitchens. However, I'm hesitant to even suggest the RC because I avoid properties that impose a resort fee, these two properties offer meager children's amenities, and I find RC properties in the US to be underwhelming.
https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotel...dtn-Residences
https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotel...s#fndtn-Suites
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Old Nov 7, 19, 6:22 pm
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St Regis Bal Harbour is very family friendly even though the kids club is at an additional cost and is in the basement of the property
suites have fridge/microwave/cooktop and dishes etc
easy to walk to Shops for 4 or 5 other dining options which is nice with a stroller in tow
The family pool is not a strong suit, but the beach is wide, lots of chairs and staff at beach are excellent

Acqualina is again very family friendly with full residential kitchens. Kids club is excellent. Lots of space for everyone on pool deck. Sunny Isles has groceries all around but also lots of construction

Ritz Bal Harbour, Four Seasons Surfside, The One South Beach and Ritz Key Biscayne could also come up on your radar.

Unfortunately for the hotel side of things, lots of this comes up on AirBnB, VRBO etc, but as a consumer you might find great values
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Old Nov 8, 19, 8:03 am
  #4  
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pauljeff Often booked families at Four Seasons at the Surfclub in the One Bedroom Oceanfront Suite. Key here is that it's about 1,800sqft. Full kitchen with a media room that can be arranged into a second bedroom and it has a full bath in the media room as well. I book this as a hack for clients as families of 4 or 5. Works really well!

Has kids club, family pool and good food options. Restaurants near by as well. Can stock food in your full fridge to make the odd lunches or snacks.
Service at both Four Seasons Surfclub and FS Palm Beach have been amazing for our own stays and with all clients as well. So, I'm very quick to suggest either of FS properties. But l lean more towards FS Surfclub due to liking the hard product more. But both properties are the same owner and FS Palm Beach just completed a full renovation of the rooms/suites this Spring/Summer.

We were just at FS Surfclub for a last minute return stay in late Sep, made a quick video of the property and can send to you if interested.

Cheers,
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Old Nov 8, 19, 10:42 am
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Thanks!

FS Surfside has been on my radar for a while but just seemed less little-kid friendly to me - in particular a bunch of reviews comment that the kids pool is in the shade in the afternoon (particularly important in Dec). But - if people disagree I'm very open to hearing that as I'd love to have an excuse to visit...

Ritz Key Biscayne - I couldn't tell if there was much for very little kids - but it did seem pretty strong as they get older.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by pauljeff View Post
Thanks!

FS Surfside has been on my radar for a while but just seemed less little-kid friendly to me - in particular a bunch of reviews comment that the kids pool is in the shade in the afternoon (particularly important in Dec). But - if people disagree I'm very open to hearing that as I'd love to have an excuse to visit...

Ritz Key Biscayne - I couldn't tell if there was much for very little kids - but it did seem pretty strong as they get older.
My pleasure!

I would agree that FS Surfside isn't as kid friendly as the FS Palm Beach but the accommodation setup is better.
And haven't looked at your dates but there are times where the FS Palm Beach's rates are much higher than FS Surfside for comparable rooms/suites.

RC Key Biscayne is very much a family resort but it's beyond dated in my opinion. Even after their recent re-fresh (last year) it still feels old and they are always under staffed during peak. Even in their club. And food quality isn't nearly as good as either FS property.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 9:25 pm
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I highly recommend Acqualina. We went a few years ago with our then 8 month old and loved it. We’re going back in a few weeks with our now 5 year old and 1 year old. Here are the reasons why it’s so perfect for people with young kids:

1. Beachfront is truly beachfront. It’s the closest to the beachfront hotel of any I’ve been in US. The lawn is right on the water and has good cafe close to water so you truly feel like you’re in a tropical location. Their Instagram gives you a good sense of that.

2. Room setups are great. The one bedroom suite has a separate daybed room that’s perfect for young kids. Full awesome kitchen, etc. they have all of the kid stuff you need.

3. Room service and dining options. You can get the Il Mulino dishes via room service after kids go to bed. The cafe is good and the breakfast is awesome.

4. Access to spa. The daily access to spa is complimentary and they have great facilities. You can take turns while the kids are napping. You can also swing in the hammocks near the water.

5. Pools are excellent! And they’re so close to the beach that you still feel like you’re at the beach. They have a good sandcastle area with lots of sand toys under umbrella setup for kids.

6. Service is high caliber. The service level is tops for a US hotel. Frankly I think it’s a function of having a fairly robust foreign staff and international management.

This is totally off topic but a noteworthy feature of the hotel and the area it’s in, Sunny Isles beach, is the very large Russian population. When we were there it seemed like there were some Russian mob types staying at the hotel (they supposedly own places next door at Trump condos...Russian connection not surprising there but I digress. I later read a NYT article about the area and it’s huge Russian contingency.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 11:37 pm
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This is a great thread. Thank you for all the replies. Are any of these hotels walking distance to ‘town’? I am always on the lookout for these types of hotels now (easy access to beach, pool, spa and hotel amenities) but also can do room service and breakfast in the room. Often have to turn to AirBnB, but great to find hotels that fit the bill as well.
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Old Nov 9, 19, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by benfolds5 View Post
I highly recommend Acqualina. We went a few years ago with our then 8 month old and loved it. We’re going back in a few weeks with our now 5 year old and 1 year old. Here are the reasons why it’s so perfect for people with young kids:

1. Beachfront is truly beachfront. It’s the closest to the beachfront hotel of any I’ve been in US. The lawn is right on the water and has good cafe close to water so you truly feel like you’re in a tropical location. Their Instagram gives you a good sense of that.
....
Gosh - this is super helpful- thanks. This convinced us that we should go. (Though might try the breakers too.)

I had a google and a momentary heart stopping moment when it said the hotel was owned by the Trump group but apparently nothing to do with potus...
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Old Nov 9, 19, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Lebron2323 View Post
This is a great thread. Thank you for all the replies. Are any of these hotels walking distance to ‘town’? I am always on the lookout for these types of hotels now (easy access to beach, pool, spa and hotel amenities) but also can do room service and breakfast in the room. Often have to turn to AirBnB, but great to find hotels that fit the bill as well.
In case I've not emphasized enough, you should go to Sea Island. Was amazing.
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Old Nov 10, 19, 8:44 pm
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Quick bump on this - any more recent views on Gasparilla inn?
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