What to Expect at Fisher Island Hotel & Resort:
Private Fisher Island is just a seven-minute ferry ride from the Miami shore and accessible only by boat. Yet guests feel a million miles away at this elegant 45-room property within the exclusive 216-acre community. Suites are spread throughout the palm-filled historic property where guests tool around in golf carts. The dramatic Miami skyline in the distance reminds guests that South Beach is there when needed. But with private beaches, 18 tennis courts, golf, a stately mansion to lounge in, and many restaurant options, remaining island-bound seems a smart decision.
Guest Rooms at Fisher Island Hotel & Resort:
Choose from an assortment of large-sized guest room options, including suites, cottages, and villas. All offer garden or ocean views, complimentary wi-fi, plenty of storage space, goose down and non-allergenic pillows, hardwood floors, outdoor seating areas and unfussy dark wood furnishings, couches with muted-colored fabrics and queen size or king beds with white duvets. Brides like the Courtyard Villas containing a vast backyard filled with lush outdoor landscaping, a Jacuzzi, and plenty of mod outdoor furniture (ideal for throwing pre-wedding cocktail parties). Each unit furnishes a golf cart that seats four.
Dining at Fisher Island Hotel & Resort:
Guests' restaurant options range from casual oceanfront dining beside the beach to views of the links at the Golf Grill to more formal dinners inside the mansion. The alfresco Beach Club restaurant serves scrumptious crab cakes and Cuban sandwiches. The menu at Garwood Lounge in the property’s historic 1925 Vanderbilt mansion includes a fourteen-ounce prime New York steak and braised beef short ribs. Café Porto Cervo offers Italian and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Portions are plentiful in dishes such as a six-ounce lobster tail with shrimp sautéed in oil, garlic, and tomato sauce.
Destination Weddings at Fisher Island Hotel & Resort:
Weddings can range from a quiet affair for two under a towering banyan tree to a reception for ten on a balcony overlooking the water to a blowout for 150 at the grand ballroom in the Vanderbilt Manson. The resort closely works with out-of-the box event planning firm Divine Design by Guerdy. For one recent reception, the candle-lit ballroom was bathed in sheer organza and shimmering crystal beads and washed in white orchids and white roses. A Bahamian marching band was flown in. Menus can include iced caviar stands, pasta and carving stations and plated dinners.
Honeymoons at Fisher Island Hotel & Resort:
Couples can idyll in the Mediterranean-style, jaw droppingly ornate, marbled-floored mansion that William Kissam Vanderbilt II built in the 1920s for $1.5 million. They can sip martinis in the stately drawing room or hear live music in the wood-paneled Garwood Lounge. There’s also the simple pleasure of a moonlit stroll on the waterfront path that meanders along most of the island. The resort can help arrange a yacht and crew for a champagne dinner sunset cruise. Indulge in a couple’s massage at Spa Internazionale or take dance classes together (including salsa) at the fitness center.
Nearby Fisher Island Hotel & Resort:
Island activities are abundant. Golf aficionados as well as first-timers can tee off at the lush and newly restored nine-hole, par 35 championship golf course, complete with lakes and well-placed bunkers. Tennis Magazine ranked the Grand Slam Tennis Center as a topnotch facility. Just ask legends such as Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, and Steffi Graf, who have practiced on the Har-Tru clay and grass courts before big tournaments. For those with island fever, a seven-minute boat ride and quick taxi transports guests to South Beach.
What Could be Better at Fisher Island Hotel & Resort:
Although there are 26 ocean-view rooms, the rest have garden views. These garden-view rooms can be disappointing (and a little dark), especially when you’re in the middle of an island and longing to see the water from your room. (The water is usually about a four minute walk away). While there are two soft sand beaches including one that stretches about one mile, they don’t quite compare to the one on the mainland, which seems to go on forever. Also, while the staff is genuinely friendly, caring, and warm, service at the Beach Club restaurant is sometimes on the slow side.
Is Fisher Island Hotel & Resort Right for You?:
Guests seeking a truly exclusive, clubby waterfront refuge will be very satisfied. Little touches add to the specialness of the stay. Upon arrival, guests are greeted at the ornate porte-cochere entryway and chilled Champagne is freely dispensed. Also, since most restaurants don’t accept money (transactions are charged to rooms), it’s liberating not to carry a wallet. And there’s an inherent feeling of safety on this private island.
Fisher Island Hotel & Resort Info & Reservations:
Fisher Island Hotel & Resort
One Fisher Island Drive
Fisher Island, Florida
305-535-6000 or 800-537-3708
Official Hotel Web Site
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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.