Have you ever dreamed of absconding to a hidden island where you could live in a thatched roof treehouse and be surrounded by wildlife? This fantasy is reality on Little Palm Island, a small, luxurious getaway located in the Florida Keys.
The island is approximately one quarter mile around and has just 15 double bungalows. You are among a maximum of 60 guests that must board the island's own ferry from Little Torch Island to be able to get to your destination that is three miles from the larger island. Little Palm Island has no bridges to it that add to its mystique.
The island boasts amenities like no other including a 24-hour pool and fitness center, dozens of hammocks under the trees and along the beach, a library with many books and board games, and lots of comfy beach furniture that beckons you to take it easy. Each room is so gorgeous that you may not want to leave to enjoy the rest of the island. The ceilings soar above head, especially in the bedroom where white mosquito nets hang from the thatched roof to the floor. Not only do you have a soaking tub and a two-head shower, you also have an outdoor shower just outside the bathroom hidden by bamboo slats. The sinks were also very unique. Your room, however, doesn't include a television. Little Palm Island's slogan is "Get Lost," and feel that a television may be too distracting for you to accomplish that. There is one television located in the Great Room Library for those who must catch up on their shows. For news, the USA Today is delivered to your door each morning.
Spa Terre has a variety of services ranging from perfumed baths to massages to the ultimate in pampering. I had the Javanese Royal Treatment which included a therapeutic Balinese massage with Jasmine oil, followed by a ground rice and turmeric scrub. A patio door was opened to reveal a beautiful, rose-petal strewn shower and Japanese soaking tub. For your inner enjoyment, pot of hot tea awaits just next to the large wooded bath. Although located on the patio of the building, I was hidden from sight by billowing curtains that blew in the soft island wind. After the bath, I was led back inside the massage room for a final application of Jasmine oil that moisturized my skin until the next day.
Little Palm's dining room does have indoor seating, but many guests prefer to sit outside on the wide covered decks or directly on the beach to enjoy the incomparable views of the Gulf and enjoy a passing breeze. The sunset views are stellar. The island's guests began to fill the restaurant to have dinner during the sunset and prepare for the evening's entertainment. But the menu items came close to taking the show. I had a tasting menu of five courses including shrimp from each side of North America, scallops, lobster, and so much more. Each course was a mixture of flavors that combined into one amazing tasting dish. I decided to have my desert, a sample of Chocolate Brule with a Caramelized Banana, Cheesecake, and Key Lime Pie, on the beach in a chair that was located in the front row for the stage. Just three feet of soft sand separated me from the stage that was just a few feet off the beach.
Little Palm's concert series, The Sandbar Sessions, is aptly named; the concert series takes place on the tip of the island, and the stage is constructed that is surrounded on three sides by the crystal clear waters of the Gulf.
Our night's entertainment was native New Orleanian Dr. John who two nights before played to a sold out audience at the Saenger Theatre. In his violet suit, he took the stage and immediately began performing. He played songs that span his career, from his latest album to his biggest hits like "Right Place Wrong Time." He switched from the piano (with his star-bangled decor and skull adorning it) to the organ, singing throughout without missing a beat. For one instrument jam, he stood up and shook his shell covered maraca, looking like a true Voodoo priest performing a ritual. Dr. John's trombonist, backing vocalist, hype woman, and band manager Sarah Morrow was truly the captain of the ship. She kept the energy flowing and played the hell out of her instrument. A soft tropical breeze blew the fragrant night air, whipping her print dress around. This was truly one of the best performances I've ever seen. It was so intimate and fun. And, I must say, there's nothing like seeing Dr. John sing the line "Sweet confusion under the moonlight" under the moonlight. The good doctor played for a full hour and a half, but left the stage even though the audience was clamoring for more.
The surprises of Little Palm Island never cease. For instance, you may have a little surprise when you arrive back at your bungalow. In my room, a little stone frog sat on a card with a beautiful quote written on it under a book light on my bed after this particular night.It's not just a tropical resort, it's a place where you can truly get lost.