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Florida


US Open Championship, with live games in the swanky surroundings every Sunday from January to April.


Far flung Florida But the Palm Beaches area – all 47 coastal miles of it – is not alone in providing a rich array of extravagance. Florida offers 14 hotels that have the prestigious Five Diamond award and they are not just to be found in the obvious high-profile areas. Travel to the north-east – Flagler’s original


stomping ground – and you discover the grand style of the Ritz-Carlton Fernandina Beach on secluded Amelia Island (just north of Jacksonville), where old-world Florida mixes with the latest mod cons for shopping and dining. Just a few miles south, the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is equally stylish, with world-class golf, horse-riding and a spa. Over on the Gulf Coast, in the millionaires’ retreat of Naples, clients can choose from the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, with two championship-quality golf courses and an idyllic seaside location, and the more dramatic neighbouring Ritz-Carlton (featuring 450 rooms to the golf resort’s 290). Another blissful Ritz-Carlton can be found in Sarasota, 110 miles north, where the stunning Ringling Estate is one of Florida’s most outstanding attractions with its portrayal of the life and times of millionaire circus impresario John Ringling. Of course, it is hard to escape


the extravagant gravitational pull of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The state’s two most well-known resort destinations have 58 miles of white-sand beaches which are only the precursor to adventures in lavish resort hotels, such as the Four Seasons, St Regis, Acqualina Resort & Spa and Mandarin Oriental in Miami, or the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale. This is the area to come to for outstanding shopping (don’t miss the fashionista mecca of Bar Harbour in Miami), indulgent spas and epic dining, much of it with a high-class Latin flavour. For that “something


different” factor, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in the elegant suburb of Coconut Grove is another five-star gem as it


DESTINATIONS  SUMMER 2015  TTGLUXURY.COM  67


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