Little Palm Island, Little Torch Key, FL ***

Q: What is it? A: The former fishing destination of Harry S. Truman has been revamped into a so-called romantic retreat. It is secluded. It is for couples. It is pretty expensive.

A small island, 24 miles from Key West.

Its most likely claim to fame is as a fishing destination for U.S. President Harry S. Truman. In, 2009, it was named as one of the “Top 10 most romantic retreats”.

M/Y Miss Margaret, luxury wooden tender boat replica

This wooden tender boat, Miss Margret, is the means of transportation that most guests use to get to the island. And sorry, vintage fans – she’s a replica.

Woa, just like if Donald Trump popped by...

As the name suggests, this is an island. Guests may get to the island using their own boats, ahem… their own yachts. There’s also a separate port for seaplanes.

”Ole chap, if you're en route to Sri Lanka, I do recommend stopping by in at Azza Fahmy's in Cairo... smashing jewelry!”

The interior design of the bungalow suites is something like… ”romantic world-traveller of the 20s”. A rather colonial look, that is. Was the Champagne well chilled? You bet!

Sounds like an ultimatum. Not enforced as such.

There’s a no-cellphone policy on the island. Although few phones are visible, there’s a lot of chatting going on. They should have thought of banning Bluetooth-headsets at the same time.

Well, check mate, mate!

The idea: Guests sit in elevated chairs on each side of the game. The staff will move the pieces according to your instructions – yes, you will remain seated, sipping on a gimlet, (or similar). Don’t forget to tip your runner.

There are no problems. Everything is amazing.
Everything is amazing. All the time. That’s the feeling you get when stepping ashore on the Little Torch Key, marketed under the name Little Palm Island. And the brand name isn’t just a brand name. Oh, no. This is an island alright. It’s supposed to be “floating like a brilliant mirage, in the Florida Straits”. You will arrive on the m/y “Miss Margaret”, or on your own yacht or by your own seaplane. When you disembark, the staff is lined up for inspection. Weird. It’s like letting out the crew from a man-of-war in Saint Tropez.

When personal gets impersonal.
When you arrive to your suite you will find a bottle of Champagne on the table. Ricky Martin’s younger brother says “Good morning Mr. Nyberg”, and I know that I haven’t met him before. The whole staff is greeting you by name. It’s supposed to be personal but everything seems to be so rehearsed and so professionally executed, that the effect is the opposite.

An island that says no to mobiles.
You are instructed to throw your mobile phone in a special trash can. The sign above it has a rather clear message: “Use it – lose it”. Next to the trash can there’s a special phone booth where you can make phone calls to the world out there. The phones in your suite will only get you in touch with the front desk. This is a brilliant concept, but in reality it fails. At least half a dozen guests are walking around with their Bluetooth headsets, having lengthy conversations with their traders.

Everything is premium at the Little Palm Island resort.
The target group is demanding premium. And the target group is affecting the whole place. The balding, tanned golfers that surround you aren’t exactly the people you want to get stuck with in an elevator. If you’re a plastic surgeon, you may find some new business, though.
To meet the demands of this clientele, the resort is really pushing the envelope. But the aftertaste is something different. It feels like when you’ve had a conversation with a salesman who is too smooth trying to get way too personal with you. Instead of feeling that everything is amazing, you’re constantly reminded that things are just amazing, which makes this place a little less of just that.


Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
28500 Overseas Hwy
Little Torch Key, FL 33042
United States

+1 800-343-8567

Click here to book the Little Palm Island through TabletHotels.com

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