Eden Roc Miami Beach
South-east Florida’s key city has numerous options for the youthful crowd that flocks to South Beach in search of a party, but much for families, too. Eden Roc Miami Beach is a luxurious retreat in a prime position on the oceanfront. It offers a cluster of swimming pools, has kayaks and paddleboards for hire (£23 an hour), and boasts an Ocean Garden with direct beach access.
Price: Family-sized water-view rooms, sleeping four, cost from £228 per night.
For the ultimate in style, check in to The Setai, which is surprisingly child-friendly in its own subtle way, with cuddly toys, kids’ slippers and bathrobes in the room, cookies and milk, games on the beach during family holiday seasons and bespoke concierge and restaurant services.
Price: Art Deco Building suites for a family of four cost from £434 per night.
Similarly well-located (a block back from the sea on Collins Avenue), but at a decidedly lower price, Circa 39 is one of those chic boltholes Miami does so well. Refurbished in 2013, it has teak lounge beds laid out around a courtyard pool.
Price: Family rooms (sleeping four) cost from £97 per night.
2/7 Fort Lauderdale
The Pillars Hotel
Miami’s near neighbour to the north caters to visitors with hideaways of every star rating. The Pillars Hotel was ranked one of the top three hotels in Florida in 2013 by readers of Condé Nast Traveler, and it maintains this prestigious vibe by facing west, looking over the sheltered currents of the Intracoastal Waterway, where mega-yachts cruise.
Price: A Poolside Suite, which sleeps four, costs from £198 per night.
Birch Patio Motel
Nearby, set two blocks back from the Atlantic, the Birch Patio Motel does three-star affordability with a stylish feel, spreading out around a pool framed by palm trees.
Price: Family-sized Efficiency rooms, which come with a kitchen, cost from £44 a night; kids under 12 stay free.
Find out more about Fort Lauderdale’s fabulous family attractions.
Four Seasons Orlando
You can, of course, book accommodation within the theme parks that make Orlando a child magnet. Four Seasons Orlando is the latest to open at Walt Disney World Resort, with views of the Magic Kingdom.
Price: Seven nights cost from £1,824 for a family of four.
The Hyatt Regency Orlando
If you want to base yourselves slightly away from the theme parks, The Hyatt Regency Orlando is on the main drag of International Drive, and thus convenient for both Disney and Universal, but also fitted with a water park and slides (plus a spa).
Price: Family Club rooms start at £133 a night.
Park Plaza Hotel
Orlando can also do boutique, particularly in Winter Park, its less visited district of art galleries, cool restaurants and fashionable stores. The Park Plaza Hotel has been a fixture on the gilded boulevard of South Park Avenue since 1922.
Price: Family rooms from £105 a night, including breakfast.
4/7 Florida Keys
Idyllic possibilities for a few days’ relaxation are dotted along the archipelago that acts as a full stop to the Florida story. Parmer’s Resort, on Little Torch Key, 30 miles from Key West, is a great base for family breaks and has its own mini-golf course, hammocks hanging from palm trees and kitchens in all rooms.
Price: A two-bed Waterfront Cottage costs from £195 per night, including breakfast.
Ibis Bay Beach Resort
Key West is the island chain’s end of the line, and with it, a holiday mecca. The Ibis Bay Beach Resort has nestled on the north coast since 1956. Children should be enthralled by a place where herons and macaws soar above, fish leap in the water by the dock, and paddleboards, jetskis and bicycles are available for rent.
Price: A Family Vacation Room, which sleeps up to six, costs from £163 per night.
West-coast Florida gazes at the Gulf of Mexico insleepy fashion, and this wooziness is reflected in many of its hotels. Sanibel Inn dovetails neatly with the unhurried ambience on Sanibel island, tucked onto a pale beach where kids can gather seashells. It offers free bikes for guests to explore Sanibel’s many cycle trails.
Price: Two-bedroom family residences for £163 a night.
Sarah’s Seaside, just outside Clearwater on the edge of Indian Rocks Beach, has a similar family focus. Here, spacious cottages eye the Gulf through tropical foliage, and kayaks can be rented for days of bobbing on the waves.
Price: A two-bedroom cottage with a private deck for barbecues (and a flatscreen TV inside) costs from £1,510 for a week’s stay or from £215 per night.
Si Como No Inn
The southern section of Florida’s Atlantic coast delivers loud excitement in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but the northern half revels in something less noisy. Flagler Beach is a slice of traditional American seaside, where Si Como No Inn is gloriously trapped in the Fifties. The ocean is a stone’s throw away, and kayaks can be rented for £36 per day.
Price: A classic motel painted in a rainbow of colours, it has rooms from £74 a night, kids staying free.
Further north, Castillo Real is a more sophisticated option, and a fine spot from which to visit the waterslides and historical theme parks of St Augustine. Bright, modern artworks deck the walls of this 21st-century retreat.
Price: Family-sized suites, which sleep up to five, cost from £64 per night.
Our Happy Place
Those who venture to this less-visited portion of the Gulf shoreline won’t find all-singing, all-dancing mega-resorts, but will encounter discreet options in quiet towns. Our Happy Place is an aptly named condominium in Cedar Key that can host up to six people. Wood beams and a balcony overlooking the sea lend the property a definite charm, and there are board games, puzzles and toys to keep junior guests amused.
Price: Prices are set at £525 for a week or £82 per night.
The House Of Tartts
Elsewhere, don’t be put off by the name of The House Of Tartts in Apalachicola. Perched three blocks from the water, it was built as a family home in 1886, and sings of Old Florida.
Price: It’s Carriage House, a two-bedroom self-catering nest with kitchen, is available from £126 per night.