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Turnberry Isle Miami
19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, Florida | Tel: 1-855-201-8027
A veritable oasis nestled in the middle of a major metropolitan centre, the Turnberry Isle Miami is the closest I’ve come to experiencing an actual magic act. Situated on 750 acres of former beach and swamp, the Turnberry Isle Miami is now an oasis unto itself; a paradise that will trick you into thinking you’re on some small Caribbean island instead of halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Nestled in a residential area of Aventura, Florida, just off Biscayne Boulevard and a quick hop from the Atlantic Ocean, the Turnberry Isle was designed around a 100 year-old banyan tree and consists of four separate buildings linked together by a series of interconnected pools, restaraunts, lounges and bars, all of which help to give the Turnberry that “island resort” feel.
Traffic noise ceases the moment you step on the property. In fact, the only inkling that you may have that you’re still within Miami-Dade county is the odd airplane passing overhead on approach to Miami International.
What can you do here? As it turns out, nearly anything. In fact, as I discovered, there’s almost no reason to pull yourself away!
In 1967, a real estate developer named Donald Soffer let his imagination run wild, dreaming up most of his plan for an ultra-luxury residential area and resort onto a cocktail napkin. Nearly 50 years later, the city of Aventura closely resembles Soffer’s initial sketch, with the Turnberry Isle Resort arguably anchoring it as the crown jewel of the city.
But the Turnberry Isle didn’t gain a slew of awards that continue to keep rolling in by merely being nice, or luxurious. It was awarded them because of the jaw-dropping amenities on-site. Two full-size, PGA Golf Courses surround the property. If, like me, your game is miserable, not to worry: you can get on-site training. There are also proper, regulation-size Tennis courts on-site, all available with the same expert lessons should you need them.
What is fascinating about the Turnberry Isle is how well they cater to families. Gone are the days when “luxury” meant stuffy dinner jackets and harrumphing about the weather. Instead, the Turnberry Isle has facilities and programs that any kid would love, from pottery-making classes to special spa treatments or even just the chance to feed the on-site Koi fish.
For adults – well, there’s a good reason the Turnberry Isle was named one of the World’s Best Hotels by Travel + Leisure.
During my stay, I had a Turnberry Golf View Room that overlooked the beautiful greens of the on-site golf courses. It’s not classified as a suite, though it certainly felt like one, with hardwood flooring at the entrance, separate living and sleeping areas, and a walk-in bathroom clad in marble and featuring a separate soaker tub, glass-enclosed shower, and a separate water closet area. Big points also for the luxuriant Molton Brown toiletries included with every room.
For those who crave more space, there are also Deluxe Golf View Rooms that are 200 square feet larger than the Turnberry Golf View rooms, along with five categories of full suites that range from the spacious One Bedroom Suite to the sprawling, massive, every-dream-has-come-true Presidential Suite located in the resort’s Hibiscus wing. With over 1,700 square feet of living space to play with, you could lose yourself here forever.
Regardless of which room you choose, all accommodations at the Turnberry Isle include three dual-line telephones with voicemail; a 42-inch plasma television with video on-demand; an iHome AM/FM clock radio and iPod docking station; Wi-Fi internet access (that is remarkably speedy); nightly turndown service upon request; mini-bar with refreshments; two robes and slippers; a Keurig coffee maker and electric kettle; marble bathrooms with separate shower, soaker tub and flat-panel television; and French doors that open up to a balcony or terrace.
- Cascata Grill is one of many on-site dining venues at the Turnberry Isle. Open daily from 7am until 10pm, Cascata is the place to go for a full buffet breakfast (or something off the menu), or a fulfilling lunch or dinner. During my stay, I had the opportunity to take both breakfast and lunch at the Cascata Grill, and came away happy each time. Service is friendly and attentive (even when dining solo), and the breakfast buffet spread – while a touch expensive – certainly offers everything you could want, and then some.
- The Lobby Lounge, just off the main entrance foyer, is a wonderfully soothing watering hole. It is supposed to be open from 5pm until 11pm, but during my stay the bar – and the live music – continued to stay open well past midnight; a welcome sight for those returning from late meetings or events in town.
- Laguna Grill offers casual fare and drinks within sight of the Turnberry Isle’s massive pool complex. My personal recommendation: get the Turnberry Mojito; you’ll never taste one as good.
- Two PGA Golf Courses are enough to quench even the thirstiest golfer. Not a pro? Not a problem – head out on your own, or take lessons (highly recommended) from the Turnberry’s on-site resident golf expert.
- Pools are a big feature at the Turnberry Isle. One of the only examples of its kind in Florida, the 7,500-square-foot Laguna Pool features its own 180-foot long waterslide cleverly hidden amongst the foliage, flanked by a lazy river running for more than 800 feet. The Cascata Pool is smaller, but no less attractive, nestled in amongst the resort’s inner courtyard and surrounded by flowers and beautifully-designed stone fountains.
- Golf and Tennis Lessons are on offer, and are worth every penny. In one short morning, I went from playing golf very, very poorly to playing golf well enough to not embarrass myself. Now that I know how to play properly, I want to go back. The Turnberry’s resident pros teach you in a way that is inviting and geared to your skill level.
- The Beach Club is one of the best-kept secrets at the Turnberry Isle. Reserved exclusively for use by resort guests, the Beach Club features a seaside grill, freshwater pool, private cabanas, beach chairs and towels, and enclosed dressing rooms.
- Kids Connection: for a luxurious property, the Turnberry Isle does a fantastic job of catering to families with their Kids Connection programmes. Designed for guests aged four to 12, kids can take part in teambuilding games, arts and crafts, sports and fitness, drama, pool activities, a character’s club, and special fitness classes like zumba and gymnastics, as well as participating in a safari animal show, Lego Robotics, and more. Each Kid’s Connection counsellor is fully trained and certified for swimming instruction and cardio resuscitation – which is always good to know.
WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE…
- Aventura Mall: literally across the street, this upscale shopping centre is the largest conventional shopping mall in the entire state, with an estimated 2,700,000 square feet of retail space and over 300 individual retailers. There are also upscale restaraunts, casual eateries and fast-food establishments here. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the Aventura Mall, you should put in a call to the people at Ripley’s.
- The Beach: Can you walk to the beach? Yes. It took us about a half-hour to do so, but it is possible. You can also take the free shuttle, though – but if you’re up for a pleasant stroll, head east!
AIRPORTS AND CRUISE PORTS
- From Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport: Approximately 30 minutes.
- From Miami International Airport: allow for 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
- To Fort Lauderdale Cruise Piers: approximately 40 minutes.
- To Port of Miami: allow at 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
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