Ocala Area Boutique Hotels

Need a break from the stables? Check out OHP’s eight favorite boutique hotels all within a staycations’ drive from Ocala and Marion County.


THE MOST MEMORABLE journeys are the ones that transform us, rejuvenating our souls and sparking ideas that linger well beyond our return home. And while Florida has no shortage of beautiful, award-winning resorts, only a select few stand out by providing unique stays that capture the essence of the cities they call home. So, the next time you need a break from farm life, consider this your insider’s guide to the best destinations just a few hours drive from Marion County.

The Gibson Inn - Apalachicola

See and explore Apalach, as locals like to call it, behind the wheel of Gibson Inn’s all-electric golf cart. Rent by day or choose the cart-included overnight package. Florida resident? Be sure to share that info and save 10% on standard rates.



Steeped in a rich tapestry of history, this boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Apalachicola offers the ideal sanctuary for those seeking the genuine allure of Old Florida. From the moment siblings Steven Etchen and Katharine Etchen Couillard acquired The Gibson Inn in August 2018, their vision was to craft a hideaway that pays homage to the area’s heritage as a historic port city and a renowned oyster-harvesting center. This tribute to its origins commences in the lobby, where original native heart pine walls envelop the space, complemented by double Chesterfield leather sofas and a grand staircase as its centerpiece. One of the most charming features of this Panhandle gem is that each room possesses its own unique character. You can retreat to the Captain’s Room, adorned with maritime-themed decor and a luxurious clawfoot bathtub, or opt for the comfort of a Signature Deluxe room, featuring a king-size bed beneath an expansive mural adorned with roseate spoonbills. The hotel’s draw lies truly in the details, such as the five-star service at the on-site restaurant, Franklin Cafe; and the inn’s Bentley, which is available to chauffeur guests around the Forgotten Coast.



2H Situated in the heart of St. Augustine, the luxury property brings together nine late 18th-century homes encompassing 30 rooms. These homes, once meticulously preserved as part of the Dow Museum of Historic Houses, now offer a captivating journey into the town’s rich history. Many of these structures were constructed using coquina, a distinctive limestone rock sourced from the ocean, adorned with intricate shell imprints that gained fame at St. Augustine’s Fort Matanzas. This exclusive adults-only property exudes the ambiance of a self-contained village, occupying an entire city block. Beyond its confines, you can explore a delightful maze of shops and dining establishments within the historic district. Savor a refreshing beverage from The Well bar and unwind amidst the enclosed gardens, immersing yourself in the enchanting ambiance of Florida’s oldest city.

The Collector Luxury Inn and Gardens

Don’t miss the on-site bar, The Well! The cocktail menu includes classic as well as herb-fueled local elixirs, all paired with small bites. Better yet, choose the Mixology 101 Experience for a private sampling.

Lions Inn and Tavern

Every good-weather Friday night, Lions and Lanterns Inn plays a classic movie on an outdoor screen. The movies begin at dusk and are a unique way for visitors to relax after a long day of sightseeing and before wandering downtown for dinner and music.



Jocelyn Fastner spent two years traversing the country in an RV, three years sailing the Bahamas and most of the pandemic tearing up dirt roads in Minnesota. It wasn’t until she stumbled across the Ancient City that putting down roots sounded better than roaming. So, with the help of her friend, and now co-owner, Adam Schouten, Fastner set out to build a boutique hotel worthy of the city that lured her to stay. Each of the six rooms at Lions and Lanterns Inn has a custom Bohemian design inspired by icons around St. Augustine. One of the most Instagram-worthy rooms is Firme, named after one of the lion statues that stands guard over the Bridge of Lions. Here, an enormous window brimming with flowers frames the king-size bed, making it the perfect spot for a photo op.



If holistic hospitality is what you’re looking for, ette Hotel delivers on its clean-living ethos. The chic hotel’s organic luxury unfolds from the lobby to the guest rooms to the spa, with a neutral palate, elevated by rich textures and luxe materials such as Italian marble, Frette linens and towels, and Le Labo and Salt & Stone products. A Tuscan-inspired courtyard leads to the pool area — the perfect spot to soak in the warm Floridian sun surrounded by swaying palms and lush greenery. Under the guidance of Michelin-starred Chef Akira Back, ette offers a diverse range of dining experiences, including Salt & the Cellar, featuring a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, and LIPA, a rooftop culinary destination that specializes in contemporary Asian haute cuisine, complemented by an array of exceptional zero-proof mocktails.

Ette Hotel Kissimmee

On the hunt for the best Afternoon Tea this side of London? Step into Ette’s Missoni-lined garden escape and sate your appetite with delightful plates and the extensive list of teas by Mariage Frères.

The most memorable journeys are the ones that transform us, rejuvenating our souls and sparking ideas that linger well beyond our return home.

Hotel Palms Atlantic Beach



Situated in the heart of Atlantic Beach in Northeast Florida, Hotel Palms is a one-of-a-kind, 11-room boutique hotel emanating a laid-back style equally appealing to surfers and skaters as it is to contemporary art collectors. Owned and operated by Greg and Julie Schwartzenberger along with Greg’s sister, Stevan Brown, the property was once a popular motor court motel, built in 1947. After a comprehensive renovation and rebranding, the refreshed hotel effortlessly combines small-town charm with urban chic, establishing itself as a cultural focal point for both the local community and visitors to Atlantic Beach. Hotel Palms transcends the conventional role of a beachside retreat, functioning as an unconventional art gallery. Julie curates the hotel’s interior design, while Greg forges relationships with avant-garde artists whose works grace the hotel’s interior and exterior (think contemporary geometric murals). Throughout the year, this dynamic trio hosts a series of events featuring independent creators and artists, including their annual Art Camp, a week-long residency that accommodates 10 artists hailing from various corners of the nation.



Just as Ybor City was a melting pot for Italian, Spanish and Cuban immigrants in the early 1800s, this modern sanctuary blends these three influences through its cuisine and design, meaning clean lines, decadent gold accents and an abundance of natural light. Each of the 178 rooms, which range from suites overlooking bustling Seventh Avenue to standard rooms with a pool view, shine with Ybor touches such as handblown round lamps by artists from the nearby Morean Glass Studio and custom catchall trays by local ceramicists. The immersive Ybor experience extends beyond aesthetics, with Hotel Haya’s culinary concepts amassing a dedicated following of their own. Kickstart your day at Café Quiquiriquí with a cafe con leche and a pastelito to fuel your explorations of the surrounding neighborhood, or luxuriate in one of Hotel Haya’s cabanas, indulging in an endless array of poolside cocktails. As the sun sets, savor a delectable coastal cuisine at Flor Fina, the hotel’s signature restaurant, complete with a Painkiller cocktail served in a peacock glass (though a chicken glass might be more fitting, considering the abundance of wild roosters and hens roaming Ybor City).

Hotel Haya

Hotel Haya’s Collaborator series brings local Tampa artists and artisans to the hotel for unique partner experiences like Latin Lounge Sunday, Haya Jewelry Making, and Chicken Yoga. Yes, chicken yoga.

The Colony Hotel

Don’t sleep on Swifty’s. New York’s beloved boîte flew south in 2019, finding a fabulous home around The Colony’s lively pool scene. On Monday nights, they do their famous Trivia Night and it is absolutely not to be missed.



On an island where the well-to-do live in homes as big as grand hotels, you’d think visitors would have their pick of suites and guest houses. But it’s The Colony Hotel that serves as the true guest house on the island, a place for visitors to live the life of a Great Gatsby character. At 76 years young, The Colony recently turned to old photos and vintage postcards to help guide a renovation of the 89 rooms, making sure the place keeps its unapologetically pink sense of Palm Beach style. Think highly Instagrammable Flamingo-themed wallpaper, patterned curtains, wicker and bamboo, effortlessly blended to create charming rooms that look like the background of a vintage family photo — if the family’s last name happens to be, say, Rockefeller. That room also comes paired with exceptional service via a beach butler (who can deliver gourmet snacks in a custom YETI cooler), adorable beach cruiser bikes, and on-demand rides around town in a luxury Volvo SUV.



In 1926, the Miami News wrote of the Esmé: “In all the world, no place so quaint.” Nearly a century later, it remains just as true. Built in 1925, the property has kept its art deco charm, including an outdoor bar shaded by a bamboo roof. There are quaint mail slots behind the check-in counter where you can, and should, ask if you have any messages, and second-floor balconies look out onto the pedestrian-only boulevard below. Down that long alleyway cutting through the property, there’s a speakeasy bar that serves as the waiting space for Sushi | Bar, an intimate omakase serving up some of the city’s most original bites of nigiri. The rooms are stylishly designed, each one uniquely themed in dark greens or reds, with wicker furniture, sconces and rich drapery giving them the feel of a guest room for a 1920s seaside getaway. The property includes Casa Matanza, a stand-alone guest house across Drexel Avenue that once served as Al Capone’s underground gambling den.

Esme Miami Beach