By Joanna Citarella
I’ve lived in Naples, Florida for the past nine years. It’s become an annual tradition for us to take a short vacation in our own backyard every summer. Why? Quite simply, some of the best values are found during the summertime in southwest Florida. Traveling off-peak, I can experience all the wonderful things that my home has to offer with amazing savings at luxury hotels.
Below are my top 5 picks for a luxurious southwest Florida summer getaway:
1. Naples Grande Beach Resort
This resort is chic, edgy and entirely different from anywhere else in Southwest Florida. I particularly like the sleek décor in the lobby a great substitute for expensive Miami hotels. The Golden Door Spa offers the best in relaxation — possibly one of the most restful afternoons of my life was spent here. After a 60 minute massage I had the opportunity to relax poolside at the Spa before taking a walk down the mangrove lined boardwalk down to Clam Pass Beach. I found rates as low as $97 over select August and September dates and rates from $109 over several other dates June – September.
2. Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club
Offering every 4th night free this summer, the Naples Beach Hotel is a great choice for a slightly longer stay with rates averaging as low as $104 per night for a 4 night stay. Golf and Spa services are available on property and take a tip from a local – every Sunday night the hotel hosts a poolside sunset celebration with live music and dancing, this is well worth a visit and is my favorite place in Naples to take in the Sunset.
3. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort
This property is situated directly on Tiburon Golf Course and is the epitome of luxury. Not being much of a Golfer myself, I appreciated the complimentary shuttle over to the Ritz Carlton Beach Resort where we spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach and strolling the impressive grounds after eating lunch at Gumbo Limbo . Rates at the The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort are as low as $129 over several dates through the summer (an incredible value when you consider wintertime rates are upwards of $300!)
4. Naples Bay Resort
This property is off the beach and enjoys a great location overlooking Naples Bay. We found that the hotel is easy walking distance to Downtown Naples and the shops and restaurants of Fifth Avenue and Third Street South. The Naples Bay Resort offers guestrooms, one and two bedroom suites and this summer has rates starting from under $115 for a guestroom and under $130 for a two bedroom suite!
5. Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort
One of the best beachfront values on Marco Island, I found summer rates here starting at $119. One of my favorite things about Marco Island is its close proximity to the Florida Everglades; after a day trip spent taking in the Florida wildlife, we were back at the Hilton in plenty of time to take a stroll along the beach at Sunset. I also enjoyed touring the 10,000 islands on a wave runner — this is just one of the many options available at the hotel – tours leave from right from the hotel beach, other activities include parasailing, shelling excursions and jet ski rentals.
Insider tip: I generally find that having some flexibility is key in finding the most competitive rates. Sunday – Thursday you’ll find some of the best values available. And if you’re able to travel after the summer break is over, you’ll often find even better rates from late August through the month of September.
Joanna Citarella is a market manager for Orbitz Worldwide. She grew up in England and moved to Naples, Florida 9 years ago, favoring perpetual sunshine over unpredictable British weather.