Looking for a hotel before your cruise out of Port Miami or Fort Lauderdale?

Our trip to The Turnberry Isle, a North Miami landmark, was wonderful and we ‘highly recommend’

If you are looking for a hotel stay in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale either before or after your cruise – this hotel has it all.  It is really in the middle of both airports and both piers.

As we arrived from a short ride from airport by taxi, we noticed the parking lot was flooded with shiny Mercedes, Porsches and Ferraris.

We were promptly greeted and directed to the front desk to check in.

Right away, Rachel and I were taken back by the peaceful koi ponds surrounding the entry way, including many koi fish, turtles and waterfalls. The lush plants and flowers were a delightful addition and added a sense of “tropical” to our first impression.

The clerks at the front desk were very friendly and advised us thoroughly of our accommodations. Walking to our room resembled some sort of tropical jungle and along the way we encountered interesting chameleons, playful birds and greenery plants of all kind.

The trip to the room alone was unbelievable, but then our room was amazing. A more than ample king-size bed was lined with linens sparing no expense or thread count, luxurious marble in a large bathroom with Scottish shower and Jacuzzi tub. Our great view over looked the chef’s personal garden where he grew and hand-picked fruits and vegetables used in the delicious dishes made in The Cascata Grille – onsite with beautiful views, overlooks  magnificent golf courses and water features, and offers a fusion of American and Italian flavors from a creative culinary team.

After unpacking and getting refreshed, we proceeded to dinner at The Cascata Grille, which was excellent. We shared an appetizer dish comprised of oysters, bruscetta, calamari and gulf shrimp the size of sand dollars. As our main course we split the crusty margherita pizza, finishing the meal with a cup of hot espresso.

We then went to the pool, which included a lazy river, fun waterslide and cozy hot tub. The pool also included The Laguna Grille, featuring tropical island casual fare on an outdoor open terrace with views of a lagoon-style pool, which serves sandwiches and drinks poolside. We enjoyed the tranquility of the pool area and rested in the sun to the mesmerizing sounds of waterfalls and tropical parrots before retiring to our suite for the night.

The next morning we ‘enjoyed’ the gym’s many amenities including numerous treadmills and weights. Afterwards we took the personal shuttle to the Ocean Club on the Atlantic for some time in the hot sun and got very hungry for lunch. The Ocean Club Grill is a seaside eatery with indoor and outdoor patio dining at the private club. The menu mirrored that of The Laguna Grille at the pool — a pleasant surprise because of the large selection of “beach food.” We then enjoyed some time on the soft sandy beach and gazing at beautiful blue ocean until the sun went down for the night, beautifully.

That night we went to a restaurant in South Beach called Big Pink. The menu here is huge just like the portions while the prices are very reasonable. I ordered the steak wrap sandwich and Rachel had the Philly cheese steak sandwich. Both were extremely large and hearty so we ended up taking half of each back to the Turnberry Isle. We then enjoyed a couple of after-dinner drinks at Big Pink before going to Nocturnal Night Club. The club was very fun and we danced the night away until we finally had a cab take us back to the Turnberry Isle. The next day we spent playing between the Ocean Club and pool after having a delectable breakfast at The Cascata Grille. The huevos rancheros were excellent and Rachel’s blueberry waffles made me want to order seconds.

That night we went to Big Pink again for dinner and enjoyed the nightlife at the popular club, Nikki Beach, dancing the night away again and drinking exotic beverages. On our last full day at the Turnberry Isle, we did some resting & relaxation at the Ocean Club before going to the Aventura Mall and having dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. The food there is just amazing and the shops — Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s — were great. We shared a gelato from a vendor in the mall while shopping in the elegant stores before, alas, catching a taxi to the Ft. Lauderdale airport to go home.

Overall the experience at The Turnberry was excellent. The service was impeccable along with the excellent service, food and extracurricular activities including the amazing pool, waterslide, lazy river and Ocean Club. I would definitely ‘highly recommend’ the Turnberry Isle to anyone looking to for a short or long stay in Florida without all the hustle and bustle of South Beach. That is, of course, if you don’t want the hustle and bustle. If you do, just take a cab 20 minutes down Collins Avenue and Miami is yours!!

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