A daily $107 membership fee (to be paid on property) grants access to Fisher Island Club amenities (pools, tennis courts, restaurants, spa, fitness center, etc.)
Leave your wallet behind; cash is accepted at only two outlets on the island
All condos are uniquely decorated by owners
Refrigerators can be prestocked (for a fee)
Parking on site
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Upscale condos on swank 216-acre Fisher Island, an exclusive private oasis off Miami Beach
A private island off the southern tip of Miami Beach, Fisher Island was once owned by William Vanderbilt II, and it remains an exclusive retreat (it’s accessible only by private boat or the island’s car ferry, which runs every 10 minutes daily until midnight, and on request after midnight). Tight security draws privacy-seeking celebs such as Oprah Winfrey, Andre Agassi and Russian hockey star Pavel Bure. The residences are spread out in gorgeous multi-unit Mediterranean-style buildings with white stucco façades, traditional red tile roofs and ocean views.
Bed and Bath
Provident Luxury Suites Fisher Island rents condos directly from owners, so every unit is unique in layout and decor. The units range in size from one to three bedrooms, with premium rates for oceanfront ones. In some, black-and-white minimalism reigns, with a sprawl-worthy black leather sofa and a wide terrace that extends from the living room to the master suite, offering unobstructed views of the Atlantic. Ground-floor units tend toward Florida beach house, with crisp white duvets, rattan accents and lawn-edged patios that say vacation home more than hotel. Every unit has a full kitchen with granite countertops, an ocean-facing patio or terrace, daily maid and turn-down service and L’Occitane amenities; some bathrooms have Jacuzzi tubs.
Fisher Island Club grants temporary membership to guests for a $107 daily fee, which covers two adults and four children 24 and under. (Additional memberships are $53.50 per person.) Membership is needed for entry and signing privileges at all restaurants and facilities, including the cash-free Beach Club, an outdoor bar/restaurant that’s the social hub of the island, and the historic Vanderbilt Mansion Pool, part of the original winter retreat. The top dining spot is the oak-paneled Garwood Lounge, part of Vanderbilt’s original digs and open only to guests 21 and up. It’s considered a steakhouse (try the tasty New York strip au poivre or the Colorado lamb chop), but it also offers a wide array of seafood and a signature burrata shipped in from Vermont’s Maplewood Farm. If you don’t want to spring for membership, cash is accepted at gourmet bakery/deli Island Market and the Trattoria Italian restaurant; the latter delivers after 4 p.m. The public beaches have thatched tiki huts but no towel service; same goes for the oceanfront swimming pools, each of which supports guests from four or five buildings.
In the Area
Practice your swing at the nine hole P.B. Dye golf course or one of the 18 tennis courts (grass, clay and Har-Tru), which are hidden from view by high hedges. The multimillion-dollar fitness center and spa has two pools, daily classes in Pilates and yoga, and Techogym and Cybex equipment set in an airy loft overlooking one of two deep-water marinas. Face and body treatments from Pure Fiji, SkinCeuticals and Guinot are on tap at Spa Internazionale. Interact with chatty cockatoos at the on-site aviary, or book the state-of-the-art observatory for some stargazing. For a stupendous sight, hit the jetty most afternoons between 4 and 6 p.m., as massive cruise ships depart Miami through the Fisher Island Channel. If you want to get off the island, take the ferry across to Smith and Wollensky at South Pointe Park for the best views back at Fisher Island.