Discover Florida’s 12 Best Islands: Explore Fisher Island
The median listing price of a home on Fisher Island is $5 million, according to Realtor.com. But it’s not unusual to see a price tag for a penthouse topping out at $22 million or more. So, unless you’re among the super-rich, living on Miami’s ultra-private island—one of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S.—may not be an option. However, a stay at the Fisher Island Club Hotel & Resort is worth the splurge for an exclusive experience.
No causeway or bridge connects to the triangle-shaped island, separated from the southernmost point of Miami Beach by Government Cut. Residents and guests arrive by private yacht or use the 24-hour car ferry, departing from Terminal Island Road off MacArthur Causeway.
Back in 1935, millionaire William K. Vanderbilt began building his dream mansion, along with guesthouses to entertain high society, on Fisher Island. These historic Mediterranean-style limestone buildings shaded by sprawling banyan trees are now the heart of the club and resort, and the storied Vanderbilt mansion, fresh off a redesign, serves as the island’s epicenter. Interior designer Adriana Hoyos sought out furniture with the stately elegance of the 1930s for the Snooker Room, which remains a gathering spot for a glass of whisky, and the Drawing Room, a social space where tea parties reigned back in the day. Arched doorways, recessed ceilings, crown moldings, stone floors, a fireplace and a chandelier retain the magic of this iconic landmark.
The most celebrated spot to stay is Rosemary’s Cottage, named for the Vanderbilt’s daughter. The old-world charm of this three-bedroom villa is evident in poster beds with fluffy goose-down bedding, French doors and limestone floors. In an adjacent courtyard, you can sip champagne while soaking in a Jacuzzi.
The island’s Atlantic side is dotted with midsize condominiums, and at the Beach Club a sandy stretch invites swimmers. Loll under an umbrella, enjoy cocktail service at the press of a button, and take a dip in the cool waters. You can wrap your day with lunch at the white seaside pavilion where a fashionable social scene is abuzz.
Since every room comes with a golf cart, whizzing around the island is the way to discover views of Miami’s striking skyline and the island’s yacht-filled marina. Unexpected is an aviary filled with macaws and cockatoos, and an observatory for stargazing. fisherislandclub.com
The Links at Fisher Island
P.B. Dye, the architect of Fisher Island’s nine-hole course, likes to describe his work as “18 holes of design features in 9 holes.” The scenic course, framed by slender palms, has perfectly sculpted bunkers and lazy lagoons set against South Beach’s skyscrapers. Not to miss is the 390-yard, par-4 seventh hole that plays along Government Cut where luxury vessels glide by.
An island can be a pampering utopia. Quiet and away from the cacophony of urban life, Spa Internazionale is where you can totally relax and revitalize. Burn off stress in the spin studio or chill in the indoor lap pool. The spa offers advanced skin care treatments by Biologique Recherche and a full menu of salon services.