AVENTURA, Fla. -- Close enough if you want Miami, far enough away to avoid it -- the Turnberry Isle Miami provides the best of both worlds in south Florida.
Turnberry Isle feels hidden from civilization on 300 tropical acres between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, even though it is just minutes from a sea of major sports stadiums, including Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins; Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins; American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat; BankAtlantic Center, home of the Florida Panthers; and the Crandon Park Tennis Center at Key Biscayne, home of the Sony Open.
Spirited service and enriching experiences are the hallmark of the resort. Every facility is first class, many recently renovated such as the two golf courses and some of the 408 guestrooms and suites. The Mediterranean-themed resort caters to so many lifestyles that anybody can find what they're looking for -- from families with children to golfers, corporate travelers and couples.
Raymond Floyd completely revitalized the newly named Soffer and Miller Courses, which were originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in the early 1970s. The $45 million renovation, finished in 2006-07, included more than $100,000 in landscaping on every hole, creating a picturesque setting of flora, fauna and man-made waterfalls.
Turnberry Isle Miami's Soffer Course is generally considered the headliner. It's slightly longer than the Miller Course and finishes spectacularly with a 64-foot waterfall next to the island green at no. 18. Both layouts are carpeted with Paspalum Sea Dwarf grass, which allows for perfect conditions and firm, pure rolls on the fairways and greens.
Trees, mounding, bunkers and plenty of water hazards protect par. Both courses are open only to members and guests of the hotel. Forecaddies are included in each group.
Many species of birds call Turnberry home. Special nesting areas have been positioned throughout the layouts. "Flamingo Island" was built within Lake Julius, the largest and deepest body of water at the resort named after Golf Hall of Famer and former Golf Director Julius Boros. The Island ensures resident Flamingoes are able to nest and nurture their young without disturbances.
A double-sided driving range and golf school complete the amenities.
A Twilight Golf package through March includes a round of golf after 3 p.m., overnight valet parking and a buffet breakfast for two with rates starting from $235 per person. Check www.turnberryislemiami.com/golfadvisor for future offers or to create a custom package with the resort's own "golf advisor."
Turnberry Isle Miami's 25,000-square-foot Spa and Fitness Center is touted as the resort's "shining jewel." A grand staircase connects the spa's three floors and showcases a soothing fountain, all accented by a glass-dome skylight. A comprehensive wellness program offers classes and custom-tailored workouts in the fitness studios and weight and cardio rooms.
Those looking for more recreation can play tennis, run a 2.9-mile trail that circles the resort or swim in any of the resort's three pools. The Laguna Pool will be the source of fun and games for children with its 180-foot-long, 35-foot-high waterslide, a lazy river with single and double inner tubes and a separate hot tub. The Kid's Connection runs children's activities such as arts and crafts. Private charters and sport-fishing adventures are available at the nearby Turnberry Isle Marina Yacht Club, located on the Intracoastal Waterway in North Miami.
For meeting planners, Turnberry Isle features 40,000 square feet of banquet space. The best spot is outside on the Magnolia Courtyard, an outdoor terrace overlooking the island green and cascading waterfall.
Foodies are well fed at Bourbon Steak, a Michael Mina restaurant, and at Corsair by Scott Conant. Menus at Corsair are seasonal, reflecting the harvest of local farmers and purveyors. The Laguna Grill is a more casual spot near the lagoon pool. The Lobby Lounge offers mini-bites and specialty drinks.
The resort's Hibiscus Building debuted 119 updated rooms and suites in 2014, although all of the resort's accommodations are comfortable and luxurious. The brighter contemporary decor will keep guests in a cheerful mood during the day and the new deluxe mattresses will keep them comfortably asleep at night. That's the resort's aim -- to meet the needs of guests all day, every day.