TWO OF THE THREE BIG SUMMER holidays — Memorial Day and Independence Day — have come and gone.
But we still have Labor Day, summer’s last hurrah, to celebrate. It’s a perfect time for one last summer getaway, a long weekend at some place beautiful, fun and able to provide the R&R we all crave. Florida is blessed with a plethora of fine hotels and resorts that fit the bill and the folks in the travel business say Labor Day weekend is a good time to check them out. “Labor Day weekend is one of our most popular visitation weeks for Florida residents,” says Nick Parks, vice president of marketing for Discover The Palm Beaches. “The Palm Beaches offers the perfect final escape before the fall transition.”
Palm Beach County, he says, “is world renowned as the warm-weather getaway for discerning travelers. With cleaner sands, less crowded beaches and a collection of Florida’s most renowned resorts, The Palm Beaches offers affordable Labor Day Weekend rates without any compromises. Our collection of welcoming coastal towns offers an abundance of free and discounted outdoor experiences for guests visiting within a short drive.”
Farther south, in Broward County, Tom Mulroy, general manager of Plunge Beach Resort in Lauderdale-By-The- Sea says, “Labor Day is the unspoken/ unofficial end to summer. It’s the holiday where memories culminate what defines the summer of that year just as kids head back to school, young adults to college, and empty nesters rejoice in their newfound freedom. It’s the weekend that brings fun goodbyes to welcome in new beginnings and, a vacation at Plunge in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is just the kind of a sigh of relief everyone seeks.”
Shawn Farrell, general manager of South Seas Island Resort, says this time of a year definitely has its allure and so does Captiva Island.
“Labor Day is a great time to visit South Seas Island Resort and Captiva Island as it signals the last celebration of summer and the beginning of the fall season,” Mr. Farrell says. “We created the annual Yacht Rock weekend a few years ago and it is a huge hit featuring exciting family activities, great music, food and fun. Come enjoy the beautiful weather, great music, spectacular sunsets, and a really good time.”
Some resorts offer special deals to mark the holiday. Here are a few of them.
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
Property description: With a 3-acre lagoon pool (with lazy river), spa, rooms with deluxe bedding, flatscreen TVs, family-friendly activities, and transportation to Disney parks, this resort set on 62-acres offers a sweet setup for families.
The deal: The Summer Getaway package, bookable through Sept. 28 and valid through Sept. 30 gives guest a welcome goodie bag with sodas, chips, candy bars, playing cards, suntan lotion, a social media scavenger hunt list, and drink ticks valid at Bar 1521.Two-night minimum stay.
Reservations: Call 407-390-2300 or visit www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com/?CID=LC:GR::GGL:RIO:National: 45462&iata=00093796.
Discovery Cove, Orlando
Property description: An all-inclusive day resort in Orlando, Discovery Cove provides guests with experiences including, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling among thousands of tropical fish and rays, swimming with sharks, hand-feeding exotic birds, strutting with flamingos and encountering playful otters. Guests also enjoy freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, all-you-can-eat snacks throughout the day. The unlimited drink package offers a full selection of premium alcoholic beverages throughout the day. Parking, lockers, wetsuits and swim gear are included.
The Deal: Florida residents Save 30% and receive a complimentary premium drink package upgrade ($40 value). Need to purchase by Aug. 29 for reservations through March 10, 2022.
Reservations: Visit www.DiscoveryCove.com.
The Marker Key West Harbor Resort, Key West
Property description: A waterfront resort on the Historic Key West Harbor at 200 William St., just steps from Duval Street and Mallory Square, The Marker is a hidden sanctuary. It features lush tropical grounds, three saltwater pools, an open-air restaurant and bar for al fresco dining and a fitness center. Rooms have oversized soaking tubs and private balconies with views of the marina, pools or city.
The deal: Bed & Breakfast package with daily breakfast at only +$1 extra per day. This also includes a special savings of up to 20% off the nightly room rate.
South Seas Island Resort, Captiva
Property description: This 330-acre resort has 18 swimming pools, private restaurants including Doc Ford’s, shops, a full-service spa, a nature center stocked with live animals, a family interactive center and a nine-hole beachfront golf course. Stylish low-rise accommodations are scattered throughout the property. A 2½-mile beach is a big draw. Trolleys take guests around the property and golf carts are available, too.
The deal: The resort is hosting its annual Yacht Rock Weekend Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5. Guests can enjoy this three-day outdoor music festival that will include non-stop live music, games, food and more. The resort is offerings a “Rock Offer” from Sept. 1 to 8 that allows guests to enjoy 25% off regular stay rates. In addition, guests will receive 15% off food and beverage, special Yacht Rock accessories, a coupon book with over $250 in savings to use at the resort outlets and full access to all the fun activities over the weekend.
Reservations: Call 239-472-5111 or visit www.southseas.com.
Bellwether Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach
Property description: This new resort (opened on St. Pete Beach on Aug. 13) has 156 guest rooms and suites, including six penthouses. Four food and drink venues provide options that include upscale dining at the revolving Spinners Rooftop Grille; cocktails and small bites at the open-air Level 11 Rooftop Bar & Lounge; casual fare at the beachside Bongo’s Beach Bar & Grille; and the morning-to-late-in-the-day barista bar, St. Pete Social. Amenities include beachfront swimming pool, Beach Butler service for an elevated beach experience, non-motorized watersports and classic board games.
The deal: 30% off guest rooms at Bellwether Beach Resort with rates from $279/night over Labor Day weekend. Promo Code: OPEN.
Reservations: Call 800-448-0901 or visit www.bellwetherbeachresort.com.
Crane’s Beach House, Delray Beach
Property description: This tropical oasis a block from the beach can be found in a hidden jungle of lush exotic and tropical plants and has two pools and a waterfall. The thatched Tiki Bar features live music and is known for house-made sangrias and frozen concoctions.
The deal: “Stretch the Summer at Crane’s,” a post-summer/early fall promotion, offers 10% off three- and four-night stays, and 15% off five nights or more for guests who vacation here after the summer peak months, for stays through Oct. 7. This nonrefundable offer is available for booking through Aug. 31.
Reservations: Call 866-372-7263 or visit www.cranesbeachhouse.com.
Plunge Beach Resort, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Property description: The beach resort in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea has 163 rooms and one- and two-bedroom suites, three onsite dining restaurants, a pool, a fitness center and modern-day amenities.
The deal: Plunge’s limited time offer in honor of this upcoming Labor Day weekend. The offer is a 30% discount on their best flexible rate. The special cannot be combined, is available for new reservations only, and blackout dates apply. The offer is valid for Resort View King, Resort View two-bed queens, and bungalow king room types with a minimum three-night stay. Reservations must be booked online by Aug. 31 and are available for travel through Oct. 31.
Reservations: Call 754-312-5775 or visit www.plungebeachresort.com.
W Fort Lauderdale
Property description: With its rooftop see-through swimming pool, contemporary rooms and suites, the W boasts a party-all-the-time ambience reminiscent of South Beach. The hotel, which resembles a large luxury ship, rises 23 stories over the Atlantic. Rooms have dramatic ocean and Intracoastal views.
The deal: Book a room over the Labor Day holiday and upgrade to an exclusive dining deal called Brunch with the Jellyfish with a $50 breakfast credit to Steak 954, home to a mesmerizing 15-foot aquarium of jellyfish. Snap some Insta-worthy pics after brunch featuring omelets, creative platters served Benedict-style, crafted cocktails and more. Post-brunch, soak in the sun at WET East, the hotel’s iconic rooftop pool, unwind at AWAY spa and sip colorful libations in Living Room lounge.
Reservations: Call 954-414-8200 or visit www.wfortlauderdale.com. Use code S4B to book.
AC Hotel, Orlando Downtown
Property description: Towering over Garland Avenue and spread across eight floors, the 180-room property offers guests a true high-rise experience in the heart of Orlando. Guest rooms are modern with a sleek European-inspired design. SkyBar Rooftop Terrace offers 360-degree city views and creative mixology.
The deal: Called Romance in the Sky, this deal is aimed at couples looking to turn up the heat during the Labor Day weekend. The package includes overnight accommodations, breakfast for two at the chic rooftop terrace and champagne upon arrival.
Reservations: Call 407-635-2300 or visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ MCOAD-ac-hotel-orlando-downtown. Book online at www.acorlandodowntown.com. Click on the deals and packages tab, then select Romance Package. Available for king rooms only.
The Balfour Hotel, Miami Beach
Property description: Located in a 1940 landmark building, The Balfour Hotel is just steps from the Atlantic Ocean on the corner of Ocean Drive and Fourth Street in South Beach. The historic property, formerly known as The Lord Balfour Hotel, has 82 guest rooms and suites spread out over two Art-Deco style buildings connected by a courtyard. An elevated, plunge pool with an underwater window provides the good Instagram shots of swimmers behind the glass wall. Terracotta mosaic tiles, chaise lounges and rattan lounge seating invite guests to sunbathe and enjoy the seasonal rotations of refreshers including frozen grapes and fruit smoothies.
The deal: Labor Day weekend rates starting at $209.
Reservations: Call 833-951-2808 or visit www.thebalfourmiamibeach.com.
The Shelborne South Beach
Property description: Built in 1940 and designed by famed Art Deco architects Igor Polevitsky and Thomas Triplett Russel, The Shelborne was the epitome of classic South Beach glamour and opulence throughout the 1960s and is famous for spirited pool parties, celebrity guests and vibrant nightlife. Recently renovated, the property is known for The Drawing Room speakeasy-inspired bar, popular for house-made herbal elixirs and botanical essences in cocktails that change quarterly to reflect the seasons. The hotel has an Art Deco pool, David’s Cafe (for authentic Cuban coffee) and Sweet Beach, with cuisine by James Beard winner Michelle Bernstein.
The deal: Starting rate for Labor Day weekend is $349.
Reservations: Call 844-591-5558. Booking link: www.shelborne.com/offers/.
The Gabriel Miami
Property description: A129-key lifestyle hotel in downtown Miami with spacious rooms and suites, a Dermanova Med Spa & Salon, 10,000 square feet of meeting space and views of Biscayne Bay. Adjacent to the hotel’s palm-tree-lined sun deck on the 14th floor is a rectangular pool with views of the Intracoastal waterway, the Miami Beach skyline, Port- Miami and Biscayne Bay. The hotel offers guests a residential-style layout with plush bedding and expansive living spaces up to 800 square feet featuring calming earth tones of butterscotch, blond and oak. Bathrooms have oversized soaking tubs and rainfall standing showers. Some rooms have balconies.
The deal: Rates starting from $209. Stay two days and save 20%. Stay days and save 30%.
Reservations: Call 786-577-9700 or www.thegabrielmiami.com.
THesis Hotel Miami
Property description: Conceived to be a modern-day town square and a communal gathering space at the intersection of three historic neighborhoods: Coral Gables, South Miami and Coconut Grove, THesis Hotel Miami has 245 guest rooms and suites. Amenities include a rooftop pool with tropical views and a poolside bar; two on-site restaurants, Mamey and Orno (coming this year), led by Food + Wine Best Chef of 2020 winner and James Beard nominee Niven Patel; and 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space.
The deal: Labor Day weekend rates start at $239. Book three or more days in advance and save up to 15% off of best available rates.
Reservations: Call 305-667-5611 or visit www.thesishotelmiami.com. Booking link: www.reservations.thesishotelmiami.com/112938#/guestsandrooms.
Captiva Island Inn, Captiva
Property description: Nostalgia reigns at this oldest of inns on Captiva Island. The 16 one or two-bedroom cottages and suites have been remodeled, revamped and brought into the 21st century with new flooring, flat-screen TVs, and modern bathrooms. The pool is being renovated but the beach is 360 steps away. Continental breakfast is complimentary and there are no resort fees.
The deal: Special rates are available Sunday through Thursday.
Reservations: Call 239-395-0882 or visit www.captivaislandinn.com.
The Lani Kai, Fort Myers Beach
Property description: This oceanfront hotel features free Wi-Fi in public areas and an outdoor swimming pool. Paradise Parasail Inc. is a two-minute walk away. Rooms are equipped with a refrigerator and coffeemakers. Private balconies with ocean views are also included. Two rooftop restaurants and five bars are available. A playground area for children and laundry facilities are also available. The resort provides a trolley service to Lovers Key State Park, a 12-minute drive away.
The deal: On weekdays between Aug. 23 and October (excluding Oct. 8-11) beachside rooms are being upgraded and rates on other rooms will be reduced.
Reservations: Call 239-463-3111 or visit www.lanikaiislandresort.com.
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
Property description: With marble statues and antique furnishings blended with artistic modernity in the 450 rooms and public spaces, this posh beach side resort has seven restaurants, a spa, a Nature’s Wonder center with aquariums and colorful environmental exhibits geared toward kids and an electronics gaming room.
The deal: The Sea Escape promotion, valid through Dec. 30, starts at $529 a night and includes deluxe accommodations, a $200 per day spa credit and valet parking.
Reservations: Call 239-598-3300 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/naples/naples-beach.
Hotel Effie, Miramar Beach
Property description: Located on the Emerald Coast in Florida’s Panhandle, this hotel has 250 guest rooms and suites, four culinary concepts by acclaimed Chef Hugh Acheson, a spa, fitness center and the only rooftop pool on Florida’s Emerald Coast. Guests have access to the full complement of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort amenities including more than seven miles of pristine beaches and bayfront, four championship golf courses, 15 tennis courts and a 123-slip marina.
The deal: Rates for Labor Day weekend start at $489.
Reservations: Call 1-833-873-3343 or visit www.HotelEffie.com.
Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, Miramar Beach
Property description: Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort on northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast between the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay is a 2,400-acre destination resort in Miramar Beach. Sandestin has 30 neighborhoods with 1,600 condominiums, houses, villas, town homes and hotel accommodations. The accommodations are grouped into four resort areas: Beachside, Village, Bayside and Lakeside. The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin is the resort’s central dining and retail venue, with shops and boutiques, restaurants and eateries, and nightlife.
The deal: Rates starting at $279 during Labor Day weekend.
Reservations: Visit www.sandestin.com.
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Property description: The Mediterranean revival oceanfront resort has 262 rooms in 10 traditional buildings — most with ocean views. Offers a championship golf course, 15 Har-Tru tennis courts and a fitness center. Many activities for all ages and an array of dining options.
The deal: Labor Day and end of summer traditions like build-a-boat regatta, beach dj, dive-in movie, sno-cones and more will keep the children busy while mom and dad enjoy world-class dining and luxury accommodations just steps from the beach. Space is limited. Rates start at $499 a night.
Reservations: Call 888-839-9145 or visit www.pontevedra.com. ¦