Little Palm’s big tug of war

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

From the April issueThe expansion plan of one of the Florida Keys’ most exclusive hotels has stirred up a maelstrom.

Accessible only by ferry or seaplane, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, which lies three miles off the Lower Keys, is especially popular with well-heeled honeymooners and other couples seeking a romantic getaway — discreet or otherwise. On its website, where the hotel’s 30 thatched bungalow suites are typically bookable for more than $1,000 per night, Little Palm coyly promotes itself as a secluded destination for couples that don’t want to be found.

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“Indulge in a blissful affair with island isolation at our Florida Keys resort; where champagne is poured by mid-morning, the sea sparkles in the late-afternoon sun and the only decision of the day is whether to wake up for an early morning snorkel or lounge lazily enjoying a leisurely frolic,” the website reads. “This is your romantic retreat and you never have to admit to anything.”

But the new expansion plan, under which Little Palm would build an adjunct vacation rental resort on the mainland at the marina where it launches its ferries, has residents of the adjacent Jolly Roger neighborhood crying foul. [more]