by Stephen Jermanok
Showcasing two Raymond Floyd-designed golf courses and celebrity chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak restaurant, Turnberry Isle Miami might be mistakenly categorized as a retreat solely for adult getaways. Yet, the families who pack this resort during winter vacations are in on the coveted secret that Turnberry Isle could very well be the best family escape in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area. In fact, Turnberry Isle goes overboard to ensure that children are happy during their stay.
The Laguna Pool features a 35-foot high waterslide, a lazy river, and toddler wading pool. There’s a free, five-minute shuttle to Turnberry Isle’s private beach club on the ocean, where you can play volleyball, swim in the warm waters of the Atlantic or rent wave runners. The Laguna Grille offers a carefree kids-friendly menu of pastas and pizzas, coupled with fresh greens and fruit found in the large chef’s garden. Then there’s the Turnberry Kids, half-day and full-day programs that keep Junior occupied with a slew of activities, from animal shows to making tie-dyed T-shirts to teaching swimming lessons.
That’s not to say mom and dad will be bored. Those two golf courses are world class. There are also four clay courts, a 2.9-mile jogging track that borders the perimeter of the property, the quiet Cascata Pool, or the Aventura Mall, a short stroll away. The fitness center is one of the best you’ll ever find in a resort, where Pete Bommarito, one of Miami’s top performance coaches is on hand to train professional athletes next to hotel guests. There’s also a 25,000-square-foot spa with 26 treatment rooms, a yoga and Pilates studio, and, yes, dining on tantalizing fare at the swanky Bourbon Steak. All it takes is one weekend at the Turnberry Isle to realize this resort caters to all, golfers and non-golfers, old and young.
Our Editor Loves
- Relaxed atmosphere, enhanced by exceptional service
- Private beach club and family-friendly pool
- Spacious rooms, all with balconies
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The four buildings of the Mediterranean-style resort offer 392 guestrooms and suites. The deluxe golf view room in the Magnolia section overlooks one of the greens on the course. The room had two comfortable queen beds, French doors that opened onto a large balcony, and 20-foot high ceilings that lend itself well to the necessary breathing room you need for a family of four. There was also a cozy sitting area with sofa, desk, and in-room Wi-Fi access. There is ample closet and drawer space for clothes, a flat-screen television offering movies and HBO, a mini-bar, coffee maker, hairdryer, and safe. The bathrooms feature a sunken tub, separate rainforest shower, bidet, small television, and Miller Harris shampoo and conditioner. If you don't want to splurge for the deluxe room, the Fairmont Golf View Room is 200 square-feet less, reducing the size of the sitting area. All rooms have balconies.
I wanted to write a review to mention how awesome the staff us at this resort. No matter if it was a bellman, water park attendant, room service, front desk or maids, everyone was soooooo nice!!!! These people have been taught customer service! I felt very spoiled when I was at the pool! We also loved the water park and found everyone spoke to us and smiled. Very impress by the staff at this hotel! The hotel is also gorgeous and very spacious !
Great location. Good food and beautiful golf course. The water park is also great. Friendly staff. Clean rooms. Will definitely visit again. Room service food was amazing and very fast delivery a full menu at any time.
Turnberry Kids is available daily for children ages 4 to 12. Half-day programs run from 9 a.m. to noon, or choose a full-day schedule that includes lunch from 9 to 3 p.m. Activities include arts and crafts, drama, pool and beach activities, swim lessons and other special classes like Zumba, gymnastics, animal shows, Lego robotics, and more. Many parents combine a morning in the kids' club with an afternoon golf or tennis clinic for the children taught by instructors on property.
Pool & Beach
Afterwards, grab a single or double inner-tube and slowly cruise down the lazy river at the Laguna Pool. If your kids crave adventure, they'll be spending most of their time on the waterslide. Parents can rent a private cabana poolside, furnished with a flat-screen television, refrigerator, ceiling fan, and changing room. When the kids are grabbing burgers and chicken quesadillas at the poolside Laguna Grill, book a spa treatment and the masseuse will come to your private cabana to soothe those weary muscles.
Don't miss the opportunity to venture to Turnberry Isle's slice of beach, a short shuttle drive away. The recently renovated club has cushy chaise lounge chairs close to the surf, a staff that will set up umbrellas and supply you with beach towels and cold drinks, a restaurant for lunch, bar, and pool. It's like being at your own private country club on the beach.
The two golf courses are nestled in a tropical paradise where anhingas and egrets dry their wings on the shores of ponds under the tall palms and greens are often overlooking a man-made waterfall. You forget this property was once a marsh before Turnberry Isle was created to be a country club. Then you spot the century-old banyan tree that rises high above the walls near the Cascata Pool and you realize, that yes, this resort resides in the tropics.
James Beard-award winning chef, Michael Mina, has designed a glamorous dining room and lounge for his only Florida offering, Bourbon Steak. Don't fill up on the addictive duckfat fries, dipped in barbecue sauce or spicy ketchup. You'll want to save room for the ahi tuna, prepared tableside, and served with fresh bread to scoop up the tender pieces of fish. This being a steak house order the filet mignon, prime rib or tender braised short rib as an entree, paired with potatoes and pearl onions. Mina, owner of the renowned Aqua in San Francisco and Las Vegas, certainly knows his way around seafood. One bite of the juicy scallops, perfectly prepared, will convince you of his talents. Bourbon Steak offers half-price drinks during happy hour Monday through Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Corsair Kitchen & Bar
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on the Friday and Saturdays, Corsair features garden to plate cuisine with an open-kitchen concept.
Casual fare for sun worshippers can also be found at the Laguna Pool at the Laguna Grill and the Ocean Club Grill and Bar at the private beach club. Expect sandwiches, salads, and drinks including smoothies. For a drink before dinner, consider relaxing under the chandeliers of the lobby lounge while listening to the sounds of a piano player. There's also 24-hour in-room dining if the little ones fall asleep early.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The service here is exceptional. All of the waitstaff at the restaurants and bars were incredibly sociable, telling us about the countries they grew up in like Colombia, Cuba, and Nicaragua. We never had to wait longer than five minutes to catch the shuttle to and from the beach. The man helping us with our luggage refused to take any additional money when he loaded our car before we left. "You've already given me enough," he said.
The Art of Smart Timing
December, February and April vacation weeks are typically the most crowded times of the year. If you can avoid these popular vacation times, the resort feels a lot more relaxed. Prices are reduced once the calendar hits May 1. This is an ideal time to visit.
The Miami International Airport is located about 40 minutes away from the hotel.
A rental car would be needed to explore much of Miami.
For Mom and Dad
Turnberry Isle was built with mom and dad in mind. Drop the children off at the kids' club and golf a round or indulge in a spa treatment. At night, get one of the qualified staff at Turnberry Kids to babysit so you can have a romantic dinner for two at Bourbon Steak. There's also an opportunity to dine on the 18th green next to the 64-foot waterfall.