Florida Travel: 12 of the best hotels and resorts for a staycation

As we navigate our new, socially distant normal, sometimes a no-passport-required staycation is just the refresher needed. And where better than Florida, where sugary white sands, golf courses, theme parks, and beachfront resorts reign supreme.

Here are 12 places in the Sunshine to steal away to, and the protocols they have adopted to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, the disease that causes COVID-19.

Reunion Grande, The Legacy Course Arnold Palmer Design
Hole 18

7593 Gathering Drive, Kissimmee

Boasting three golf courses designed by legends of the game—Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson—Reunion Resort features 360 accommodations that include private villas and vacation homes. The resort also offers casual and fine dining, an 18-hole miniature golf course, multiple pools, slides, water playgrounds, and a 1,000-foot lazy river. It is also conveniently located near Orlando’s theme parks—six miles from Walt Disney World. 

To limit guests and potential staff exposure to the coronavirus, trash, and tidy cleaning services in guest occupied units have been suspended, EPA-approved cleaning is instituted, and a 24-hour hold between occupants for all vacation rentals

TradeWinds Island Grand

Island Grand

5500 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach

RumFish Beach Resort

6000 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach

Grab the kids and your pup and head to TradeWinds Island Grand Resort for your ultimate family beach getaway. Let loose on the High Tide Slide, Surf WipeOut ride, or drop the kids off at KONK Care while you mellow out on a beachside hammock; your furry friend gets to as well.

RumFish Beach Resort TradeWinds Island Resorts

If romance is on the agenda, then book at the sister property, RumFish Beach Resort. While in-room dining is a nice treat, RumFish Grill restaurant offers a unique opportunity to nosh next to a  33,500-gallon aquarium featured on Animal Planet’s Tanked. You may get lucky and see southern stingrays, snook, grouper and southern stingrays.

The brand’s instituted sanitation procedures for both properties include screening questionnaires for all guests, employees, and vendors, physical distancing, rigorous protocols utilizing the highest CDC recommended cleaning products, and contactless check-in.

Dolphin Lagoon


Discovery Cove

6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando


For an activity-filled family trip, then head to the all-inclusive day resort Discovery Cove. Swim with dolphins and snorkel with thousands of tropical fish and rays or relax and check out rocky lagoons, tropical reefs, winding rivers, and white, sandy beaches. There's no need to carry cash because breakfast, lunch, and all-day snacks are included. 

In addition to other safety measures to protect guests and employees upon arrival on-property, guests must undergo and pass temperature screening using the CDC's temperature recommendation of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In designated areas, face coverings will be required for guests 2 and older, plus social distancing

Exterior of the Fenway Hotel

453 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin

 Dunedin is a small slice of paradise located by the Gulf, and it's where you find the vintage-inspired Fenway Hotel. Built in 1924, it once served as Pinellas County’s first radio station. Though its original speakeasy was located in the basement, you can now enjoy your favorite cocktail at its HI-FI rooftop bar. If you're feeling feisty, pair the Tropical Heatwave (Corralejo Tequila, Ancho Reyes Verde, cucumber, jalapeño and Hellfire Shrub) with the Chophouse Meatballs (Ribeye, Strip, Tenderloin, Arrabiata, Parsley Pistou, Asiago). 

Safety is in mind at the Fenway, where initiatives in place include housekeeping services per request, reduced hours at the restaurant and bar, and maximum pool capacity of 50%. F

Luminary Hotel Model Rooms King

2200 Edwards Dr, Fort Myers

The newly-built 243-room waterfront Luminary Hotel & Co. now features food and beverage outlets, Ella Mae’s Diner, Dean Street Coffee, and a lobby bar, with plans to open its signature Silver King Ocean Brasserie and Beacon Social Drinkery rooftop lounge. There is also a culinary laboratory, an indoor and outdoor fitness facility, and a pool with an event deck overlooking the Caloosahatchee River. 

In addition to typical cleaning protocols, there will be electrostatic spraying in all public areas, guest rooms and common area cleaning procedures, daily temperature checks for all staff, and face-covering requirements for guests and staff in all indoor public areas

Exterior the Inn on Fifth in downtown Naples

699 5th Ave S, Naples

The Inn on Fifth & Club is a modern boutique hotel puts you right in the heart of award-winning shops and restaurants on Fifth Avenue. You can walk to the Emerald Gulf coast or arrive in style via the hotel's Bentley SUV. In addition to regular offerings, there are also packages available through Oct. 19, for remote workers who need to change their scenery from their makeshift work from home office during the ongoing pandemic. 

To accommodate guests and reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19, the staff has been doubled; cleaning crews are paying extra attention to common and high touch areas and “back of house” operations.

Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel

1 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach

Inspired by 1950s art deco, the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach has recently undergone a massive renovation of its 376 rooms and suites. Reflecting the city’s culture, history, and views of the Atlantic Ocean and South Beach, guests can sample a fusion of Latin American and Caribbean flavors at its restaurant Fuego Y Mar. 

To deal with the current pandemic, the Ritz has instituted more frequent cleanings of all spaces, expanded mobile technology use, replaced buffets with grab and go, installed protective barriers, and social distancing.

Lennox Hotel Miami Beach


1900 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

The eco-inspired Lennox Hotel Miami Beach, which specializes in personal comfort, uses green and upcycled materials to add to your stay's luxury. The Mediterranean architectural style exterior plays well with its South Beach location. 

Though the hotel boasts intimacy and seclusion, safety measures have been set in place. Sun loungers by the pool and beach are placed farther apart, there are fewer tables inside the restaurant, and no more than four guests are allowed in elevators. Room service and in-room offerings can be requested through the hotel's app. In addition to enhanced cleaning, hand sanitizer will be placed in high traffic areas, and guests will be notified if there is a presumptive case of COVID-19 on property.