10 Amazing Historic Hotels in Florida

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8. The Breakers

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, The Breakers stands as a testament to the resilience of great places in beautiful locations. Originally constructed as the Palm Beach Inn in 1896 by Henry Morrison Flagler, the hotel burned down in 1903, rebuilt in 1904 and burned down again in 1925. After $7 million in construction, The Breakers opened in 1926 and today spans 140 acres along Palm Beach. The 540-room, Italian Renaissance-style resort was inspired by Italian villas of the 1400s and features a majestic, 1,040-foot main drive leading to the Florentine Fountain patterned after the Boboli Gardens in Florence. The main lobby’s inspiration was the Great Hall of the Palazzo Carega (circa 1560) in Genoa. Today, it’s better than ever with two golf courses, four swimming pools, eight restaurants, a half-mile of private beach, 20,000-square-foot spa, 11 onsite boutiques and new 6,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor oceanfront fitness center.

The Breakers Florida

7. Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

The Vinoy has stood watch over Tampa Bay since it opened with great fanfare on New Year’s Eve 1925 and after a $93 million restoration in 1992, it ranks among Florida’s most luxurious resorts. The salmon-colored, Mediterranean Revival building hosted everyone from presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover to Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmy Stewart and Babe Ruth during its heyday. It was converted into a training center for the U.S. Army Air Corps and military cooks during WW II. The hotel reopened in 1944, but eventually fell out of favor to the point that it became a boarding house charging just $7 per night. It closed in 1974 but was saved from the wrecking ball by St. Petersburg residents in 1984 due to its cherished place in the city’s history. Today, the 361-room resort boasts a 74-slip marina, golf course, 12 tennis courts and a 5,000-square-foot fitness center.

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