Florida Hotels are Stepping It Up

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The Inn on Fifth in Naples, Florida.

The good news is the economy seems to be picking up in the travel industry; the better news is that it’s happening all around Florida in the form of hotel renovations. Indeed, lots of hotels have been announcing facelifts, and below are some of our favorite places for your clients to bask in a newly refreshed lap of luxury.

Starting New Located just blocks away from the Gulf of Mexico, the Inn on Fifth in downtown Naples, Florida has grand plans for expansion, with construction beginning on a new three-story building directly across the street from its main location. The building will not only contain 32 Club Level Suites, but also 12,000 sq. ft. of retail space on the ground floor for super-easy shopping and dining access.

The 87 rooms under the inn’s roof already provide a comfortable space for travelers, with access to complimentary WiFi, valet parking, the award-winning Spa on Fifth and onsite restaurants including McCabe’s Irish Pub & Grill and Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House.

Additionally, the future Club Level building will provide enhanced accommodations with added luxuries, such as a private rooftop hot tub and sunbathing area, buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and snacks, and evening cocktails and appetizers. Each suite will feature a private balcony, complimentary newspapers, laundry service, pillow-top mattresses and more.

Standard rates start at $153 dbl. For more information, visit innonfifth.com.

Just north of Jacksonville, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation has begun an $85 million redevelopment, focusing on the lobby and reception areas, more food and beverage offerings, an expanded Beach Club poolscape, and an additional 155 guestrooms including 27 suites, bringing the total room count to 404 oceanfront guestrooms.

After its re-imagination, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation will feature a welcome center for both hotel and villa guests, as well as the new Beach Club, which will offer 50 percent more space for sun-seekers to lounge as well as additional dining services and expanded changing facilities. The adult infinity pool will cascade down into a larger splash-friendly family pool, and two hot tubs will be located near a new bar area.

Added dining options will include a new steak house, pizza eatery, sushi/tapas restaurant and more, and parking will be improved with a new three-story structure, providing 420 extra spaces.

In addition, the beachside resort also features 36 holes of championship golf, 23 tennis courts, a nature-inspired spa with yoga treehouse, nine on-property restaurants, shopping village, recreational activities, kids’ camp and fitness center. Standard rates start at $139 per night. For more information, call (800) 843-6664 or visit omniameliaislandplantation.com.

Down in Miami, the Lord Balfour has announced its plans to open for the winter of 2012. The boutique hotel’s address on Ocean Drive, south of Fifth Street in Miami, is within close proximity to the area’s arts and culture scene, and oversized windows overlook the city views of Ocean Drive, the “SoFi” neighborhood or interior palmed courtyards. Guestrooms feature natural and sustainable bamboo hardwood floors and contain custom-designed furniture, 40-inch TVs, complimentary WiFi and docking stations.

Rates start at $199 during low season and $299 during high season. For more information, call (800) 501-0401 or visit lordbalfourmiami.com.

Ready To Go Having recently finished its renovation is the Surfcomber Miami, South Beach, now officially open under the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand.

“Kimpton’s new Surfcomber brings to South Beach what visitors to the area desire most—a hotel that is dynamic and fun, yet inviting and authentic,” says Sean McKeen, general manager at the Surfcomber.

The top-to-bottom renovation of the hotel’s two towers and public spaces leaves it with an expanded outdoor deck, featuring cabanas and heated pool; a variety of dining and lounge options including Lantao Kitchen + Bar and Lantao Social Club; and 186 guestrooms, each with linens and bath products by European fashion designer, Etro.

As part of the Kimpton brand, Surfcomber will also offer such guest amenities as creative mini bars with healthy and organic options, morning coffee and tea service in the living room, a daily hosted evening wine hour, and wellness options, including complimentary on-demand yoga, pilates and meditation TV channels and a yoga bag with accessories for use during a guest’s stay.