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Little Palm Island
by Paris Permenter and John Bigley, Editors of

Gilligan never had it this good.

Scenes from Gilligan's Island, Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson were flying through our minds as we pulled up to the dock of Little Palm Island aboard the Truman, a replica of an historic vessel named for one of Little Palm Island's most famous visitors: President Harry S. Truman.

But Harry, a house guest on the island when it was a private retreat, never had it so easy either. Neither did John F. Kennedy, who came to the island to watch the filming of PT-109, the story of his war adventures.

Today's visitors to this exclusive getaway, located in the Lower Keys about 28 miles east of Key West, are greeted by ultra-elegance tucked on a quiet, palm shaded island. Here nature and luxury join hand in hand to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Every convenience of a world-class hotel is available, all in a setting filled with tropical flora and fauna. The island still manages to hang onto its rustic ambiance (one of the island's few telephones is located in a former outhouse!) and unspoiled beauty.

We were prepared for an elegant getaway as we approached Little Palm Island, located three miles offshore. What we weren't prepared for was the quiet. Except for the slap of a shallow wave or the call of a distant heron, the island was silent. Blissfully silent.

Imagine your own tropical island. A hideaway where you forget your cares beneath the thatched roof of your own private bungalow. You spend your days lazing about in a hammock or strolling beneath towering palms. A special treat is the sighting of a Key deer, small, wild deer that swim across from neighboring islands and freely roam across the resort grounds.

After a day of activities ranging from a seaplane excursion to Key West to deep sea fishing to a relaxing spa treatment (or just doing nothing at all!), guests enjoy the highlight of a stay at Little Palm Island: dining. Lauded in Gourmet, Travel and Leisure, Condé Nast and Bon Appetit, dining at Little Palm Island is reason enough for a stay. Chef Adam Votaw serves up delicacies such as yellow tailed snapper filet with fire-roasted bell pepper, pan fried-cornmeal crusted grouper with sweet pickle Chardonnay sauce or rack of lamb. Two meal plans are available for guests.

Here's a sample of the elegant cuisine served during our stay:

Tropical Fruit Granité of Mango, Passion Fruit, Guava, and Champagne

4 fresh passion fruit
2 mangos
3 guava
1/2 cup of champagne
4 mint sprigs for garnish
4 small orchids for garnish

Open the passion fruit, spoon out the seeds and flesh in a bowl, reserve the shell. Peel and clean the mango, guava, cut and purée, mix with passion fruit, strain. Mix with champagne and pour in a shallow pan, place in the freezer. Freeze 4 Margarita glasses, check after two hours if the fruit mixture is frozen. If frozen, break with a strong whisk and keep frozen.

Before serving fill the glasses with crushed ice, spoon the granité into the passion fruit shells, garnish with some passion fruit seeds and a mint sprig and garnish with an orchid.

Yields: four servings.

For more information on this special resort, contact Little Palm Island,

Husband and wife team Paris Permenter and John Bigley have authored over 20 guidebooks and also edit the FREE Romantic Travel Magazine, an online publication featuring worldwide destinations.
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