Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne
Hands down, the Ritz-Carlton is Miami's best full-service resort, with tropical gardens, a tennis center, a 20,000-square-foot spa, kids' programs, and a pristine beach. The lobby area and rooms have marble floors and an English country-house look that are designed to suit the corporate imperative. Key Biscayne itself is a one-stop wonderland for kids, with two fantastic wading and play areas—Crandon Park and Bill Baggs State Park—both less than a five-minute stroll away from the hotel, making this an ideal place for families. But the hotel also has great amenities, such as the Cantina Beach restaurant, a sleek affair with a fire pit in the sand and more than 80 kinds of tequila, making it a good choice for romantic getaways. Be warned: the world-unto-itself atmosphere makes it difficult to leave the island and explore the rest of the city.
Tip: Make sure your room is on the fourth floor or higher, above tree line, for optimum views of the ocean.
Room to Book: One of the 900-square-foot, one-bedroom residence suites. With full kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, commodious balconies, and a door to the bedroom that ensures privacy, they are just slightly more expensive than regular suites and perfect for families.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.