Resort Facts

Everything You Need to Know About Palm Island!

Palm Island, Florida

The world-famous Useppa Island Club, Palm Island Resort’s sister property, was purchased and re-developed in 1976 by Gar Beckstead. Useppa’s history includes tales of Spanish pirates.  It served as a base for planning the Bay of Pigs invasion, and has hosted wealthy individuals such as Barron Collier, the area’s land baron, plus Shirley Temple, Zane Grey, the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and many more.

Brothers Dean and Gar Beckstead sought to open Palm Island Resort as a place that would appeal to families, business meetings and anyone in search of relaxation. It follows the same traditions started by the Useppa Island Club.

Old Florida’s Finest Resort

1976:  Dean and Gar Beckstead had a vision to build an island resort.  Together they purchased the land that is now Palm Island Resort.

1980 – 1985: Developing Palm Island Resort

  • From 1980 through 1982 the planning, permitting and engineering took place and the infrastructure was put in place.
  • In late 1982 construction began on the buildings in the Palm Island Village I area.
  • In May of 1983 two buildings were completely destroyed by a fire.
  • This delayed the first rentals until December 1983.  At that time, owners and guests came to the island by a boat that docked at the south end of the property.
  • In 1984 and 1985 development continued on the island as well as on the mainland.
  • Harbortown Inn and Marina, an all-suite inn on the Intracoastal waterway, was built during this time and Garfield’s Restaurant (now Leverock’s), overlooking the marina, was completed in November 1984.
  • The Landing (currently the Clubhouse building) was opened and housed a bar and deli, the General Store and a meeting/conference room all opened in 1985.  The bar and deli served sandwiches, salads, soups and chili for lunch.  The Landing had become the center of activity for rentals and the arrival and departure point for our resort launch.

1988-1990: Expanding Offerings at Palm Island

Unlike a typical hotel, the resort was built in stages beginning at the south end of the resort and finishing at the north end.  The Beach Villas were completed in 1988 and the Land’s End Cottages were completed in 1990.  The Rum Bay Restaurant and General Store opened in May 1988 and the launch landing was relocated to its current location.  In the fall of 1988, Garfield’s Restaurant closed and became the reception center and reservations office.

1998: Additional Luxuries for Guests

  • In 1998 we moved our reception center and reservations office to the island and began using the car ferry to transport our owners and guests to the island.

Today we have grown to 160 condominiums/villas villas and 21 homes.  A number of additional homes and villas can be expected in the next few years

  • The island features 160 vacation villas with either one-, two- or three-bedrooms.  The low-rise two-story buildings each feature four or eight villas per building and are set in semi-circles around one of island pools.
  • The villas offer fully equipped kitchens, living and dining rooms, laundry facilities, and a screened porch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The villas’ decor focuses on island-style charm and casual elegance.  King beds are in each master bedroom and the second and third bedrooms have twin beds.
  • A six-minute car ferry ride transports guests and their cars to the resort parking area. Bellmen take luggage to the guests’ villas after check-in at the front desk.
  • Guests who arrive by boat moor at a special arrival dock and proceed to the front desk for check-in.
  • Regularly scheduled resort launches are available to take guests to and from the mainland. On the island, an open air tram provides transportation throughout the resort.
  • 5 Heated Pools & Hydro Spa’s at each villa cluster on the island
  • Gas barbecue grills are located near each pool area for guests’ convenience
  • On-site basketball and tennis!
  • Fitness Center located within the Clubhouse
  • 2 playgrounds are available for kids’ use
  • Rental Equipment: Rental items include: bikes, kayaks, umbrellas and four-passenger golf carts. Per-day and per-week rates available.