In the lush and luxurious North Miami Beach Aventura neighborhood sits the award-winning, AAA Four Diamond-rated Turnberry Isle Miami. This quiet beach, golf, tennis and spa retreat sprawls over 300 perfectly manicured tropical acres replete with 100 varieties of plants and 50 bird species. Immediately upon setting foot here, I was overwhelmed with the desire to relax, recharge and revel in downtime fun under the South Florida sun.
According to Paige Koerbel, Managing Director of Turnberry Isle Miami, the resort has hosted a litany of A-listers over four decades, including the likes of Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Jack Nicholson, President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few.
Conveniently situated between Fort Lauderdale International Airport and downtown Miami, Turnberry Isle is a Mediterranean-style marvel that is sophisticated and chic but not ostentatious. The resort’s spacious 408 guest rooms and suites exude interiors and features that feel like a well-appointed home: wood-floor entries, carpeted bedrooms, plush linens, fine art, elegant furniture and French doors that open onto private terraces that face gardens, pools or world-renowned golf courses.
For those who prefer more space, the property’s splendidly appointed suite options include the One Bedroom Suite, Apartment Suite, Tower Suites, Presidential Suite and Grand Presidential Suite. Spanning more than 1,700 square feet, the Presidential Suite is highlighted by a dramatic foyer, exquisite wood floors, multiple marble-accented bedrooms, a large living room with a fireplace, fully appointed kitchen, a separate dining area that comfortably seats eight, a bar space, and a sweeping terrace. The Grand Presidential Suite also offers an adjoining room options that expand the interior space to fully 2,400 square feet or 4,400 square feet when accounting for the balcony space and expansive terrace overlooking the driving range and gorgeous greens.
Speaking of the greens, Turnberry Isle offers an unrivaled golf experience with its two recently renovated Raymond Floyd-designed championship 18-hole golf courses; their hallmarks are natural wildlife, impeccable landscaping and challenging play. Golf is, in fact, Koerbel’s personal favorite feature of the resort, citing the two perennially green courses with their contoured fairways, doglegs and water features strategically placed throughout the 36 holes.
Beyond world-class golf, this venerable property also partners with the exclusive Cañas Tennis Academy, directed by Guillermo Cañas. The resort’s state-of-the-art tennis center has four clay HydroCourts for day and evening tennis, eight courts at the Turnberry Marina and a tennis shop. Daily clinics, private lessons and corporate packages, along with fantasy tennis camps and golf lessons, keep more active guests happily occupied.
For those who desire to spend their time poolside, Turnberry Isle’s family-friendly Laguna Pool is the only one of its kind at a South Florida resort. This 7,500-square-foot water paradise includes a 180-foot-long, 35-foot-high water slide, a splash pool supervised by a water safety attendant, an 800-linear-foot lazy river with single and double inner-tubes, a separate Jacuzzi, and a toddler wading pool. The lagoon-style heated zero-entry swimming pool is surrounded by lounges and round, cushioned beds as well as 18 private cabanas that come with comfy furnishings, a 32-inch LCD flat screen television, a refrigerator, ceiling fan, locker, changing room and premier service with your own personal attendant. If you require ocean-side exclusivity, try the private Beach Club. Accessed by complimentary shuttle, this locale offers its own stunning pool, plush loungers, VIP cabana and special accommodations at the Atlantic beach located just a few steps away.
At Turnberry Isle, it’s easy to maintain—or start—a fitness regime with nearly three miles of jogging trails as well as an impressive 25,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style spa and fitness center: three floors designed with pleasure in mind, accented by a grand spiral staircase with ornamental iron, a fountain and massive glass dome skylight. The spa has 21 treatment rooms where you can take your pick from an extensive treatment menu. The newly renovated fitness center is impressive even by resort standards, with an aerobics and spin cycle studio, weight and cardio rooms, and tailored wellness programs with available personal fitness instruction. There’s also a spa café to enjoy smoothies, protein shakes, juice blends and more.
Property-wide, Turnberry Isle’s team of dedicated, multilingual staff aims to please with services designed to make each guest’s stay as comfortable as possible, including babysitting service, concierge, a dock master for charters and sea cruises and all other services expected at a Four Diamond resort. According to Koerbel, “Turnberry Isle Miami is legendary for its service. Our team of dedicated service professionals is committed to providing our guests with enriching experiences that are inspiring and memorable.”
Turnberry Isle guests benefit from having one of the city’s most revered steakhouses on site: Bourbon Steak. This contemporary American steakhouse from famed Chef Michael Mina is situated just off the main lobby, offering a menu reminiscent of Mina’s Las Vegas hot spot, Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay. The elegant though unpretentious eatery, where a sophisticated décor is juxtaposed with rock and pop music, focuses on fine meat, including Waygu rib-eye and filet entrées, and fresh and compelling seafood dishes such as the Maine lobster pot pie in a rich bourbon cream. Of course, Chef Mina’s famous beef tartar appetizer, assembled table-side, is the star of the menu.
The property’s Cascata Grill is a Mediterranean-style restaurant with ingredients from the chef’s on-site kitchen garden of fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees. The Harry Soffer Room is a richly appointed private club area and dining room for members that overlooks the golf course and offers a full menu and place to play cards. The Laguna Grill is situated on an outdoor tropical terrace next to the lagoon pool. And the Beach Club Grill, a seaside restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining at the private beach club, has fare for grownups and kids. When in the mood for a libation, you can choose from five bars and lounges—the Lobby Lounge, the Bourbon Steak Bar, the Cascata Grill Bar, the Cascata Pool Bar and the Beach Club Bar—each featuring their own eats and drinks.
Extraordinary kid friendly, Turnberry Isle offers an array of family-oriented amenities, including Kids’ Connection—a nicely executed kids’ club designed to keep the young ones entertained with games, sports and fitness, pool activities, special exercise classes, and arts and crafts. The club is offered as a half-day and full-day option. “We must not forget our heritage,” says Koerbel. “We have guests who fondly remember visiting Turnberry Isle Miami as kids over 30 years ago and now bring their own children to the resort. Our guests return time and again for the personal, authentic experiences, which are all part of the Turnberry spirit and legacy.”
For those seeking an ideal spot for a meeting, conference, private party or wedding, Turnberry Isle has with award-winning meeting and event facilities that can cater to any and all occasions with multiple venues and a seasoned staff of planners.
Turnberry Isle Miami isn’t for everybody. If you’re looking for a cookie-cutter resort experience, it’s not for you. If you’re a more discerning guest who prefers a service-driven property with a distinct personality and a boutique sensibility, check in at Turnberry Isle Miami.
“The Luxe List” Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
***Previously published on www.LuxeListReviews.com and related publishing partners.