Miami Beach – Florida’s Number One Beach Resort
- 22. September 2020
- Cities & Destinations
What comes to mind when people hear the word Miami Beach? Soft, powdery sand, turquoise water, the tanned bodies of…Read More
The best hotels, condos, sights, shopping opportunities, restaurants and more – learn what makes Fisher Island the ideal place for your next vacation.
Miami is widely known as a playground for Florida’s super-rich. Those who can afford it like to flaunt their mansions, sports cars and yachts. Just 3 miles off shore, however, lies an even more exclusive place: Fisher Island. Only 467 people live there, most of them millionaires. 200 of them are permanent residents. For the rest this island serves as a second or third home. Despite its tiny population, Fisher Island has its own zip code, as well as a private school.
Before 1906 Fisher Island was little more than an extension of the Miami Beach Peninsula covered with palm trees and mangroves. Then, a manmade shipping channel was dug, cutting Fisher Island off from the mainland. 247 acres of undeveloped land, just a stone’s throw away from Miami, yet separated by water? For some wealthy Americans this seemed too good to be true. First, the island was owned by Dana Dorsey, Florida’s first Afro-American billionaire. Then, the entrepreneur Carl Graham Fisher bought the island and planned to turn it into a luxury resort with its own deepwater port. Although the island was named after the automotive pioneer, it would change hands multiple times in the following years. In 1925 Fisher traded his island for the 262 feet yacht of William K. Vanderbilt II. Today guests can rent his luxury mansion – for 1.400 USD a night, that is.
After construction projects were halted for 15 years, serious development of the island began in the 1980s. Posh villas were built on its southern and eastern coast, each of them costing at least a million Dollars. This should come as no surprise, as Fisher Island has the highest per capita income in the US. Property prices might be astronomical, but at least you can save money on a car: At its longest part the island measures only 0.87 miles. Living here provides the highest level of privacy and security money can buy. Only residents have access to the island. If outsiders want to visit, they need an official invitation. Students at the island’s private school are also allowed, as are guests at the only hotel. Infrared systems and satellite surveillance make Fisher Island a virtual fortress.
Guests who make it to Fisher Island – either by daily ferry, private boat or helicopter – become part of a select circle of visitors, among them Boris and Barbara Becker, Ricky Martin, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey. This privilege, however, does not come cheap: One night at Fisher Island Club, the only hotel, can cost 1.300 USD or more. Staying at “Rosemary´s Cottage”, once the vacation home of Vanderbilt’s stepdaughter, will even set you back 3.800 USD per night.
Its prices might seem astronomical. But keep in mind that this 5 star hotel offers all the amenities you could wish for, including unparalleled ocean views, an extensive pool area and a fitness center complete with personal trainers. Of course, there are also beaches on Fisher Island. The sugary-white sand comes straight from the Bahamas and is regularly replaced. The island also features spas, a beauty salon and a beach club serving cocktails and sushi. Hungry visitors enjoy world-class dining at the island’s restaurants: The Porto Cervo and La Trattoria are known for their Italian specialties, high-quality steaks are served at the Garwood Lounge, and the City View amazes guests with a stunning vista of Miami’s skyline.
Of course, guests can also have the delicacies brought directly to their room. Other facilities include a synagogue and a Western Union branch. When it comes to shopping, Fisher Island caters specifically to the needs of its super-rich guests: There are stores selling golf, tennis and boating equipment, as well as a deli that is open from 7 am to 10 pm. For all these amenities guests are required to pay a yearly member fee of 22.000 USD – in addition to the 250.000 USD admission fee. And of course, the 5.000 USD fee for the golf course is not included.
To sum up: For most people visiting Fisher Island will always be a distant dream. If you can afford it, however, you will enjoy the most exclusive holiday experience ever. All others can at least wave at the celebrities from Miami’s South Point Pier at South Pointe Park – and who knows, maybe someone will wave back.
Fisher Island attracts visitors with its tropical climate and sunny weather. Between October and March temperatures can drop to 16 degrees Celsius, but it rarely gets colder than that. Thanks to pleasantly warm temperatures, the dry season running from March to May is considered the best travel time. However, even during rainy season the showers rarely last long and guests can still enjoy plenty of sunshine at virtually empty beaches.