From clear waters for adventure enthusiasts to the lively culture of Key West, and the natural romance of the tropical paradise in between, the Florida Keys have attractions and accommodation options for virtually every visitor. Beginning in October 2014 and continuing through mid-2015, a number of properties are scheduled to open or debut renovations in the Keys. With diverse designs, amenities, price and location, these new and enhanced properties will further complement the wide range of accommodations available to travellers.
The Overseas Highway’s 42 bridges connect the 125-mile island chain over the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The region is divided into five unique districts, beginning with the northernmost island of Key Largo, known for its unparalleled diving and snorkelling. Farther down lie the sport-fishing paradise of Islamorada, boaters’ retreat and historic Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon, unspoiled nature preserves of Big Pine and the Lower Keys and, finally, quirky and charming Key West.
Together, the Keys are characterized by a rich natural environment, flourishing creative community, balmy subtropical climate, and a friendly laidback vibe that seems worlds away from everyday cares. Outlined here is a sampling of the hotels and resorts scheduled to open or complete renovations from now until mid-2015. Visit www.fla-keys.com for more information.
‘MARKING’ THE START OF A BUSY SEASON
The first hotel anticipated to open in Key West is The Marker Waterfront Resort, a two-acre independent luxury waterfront property. Located at 200 William St., the resort is in Key West’s Historic Seaport, which houses an appealing diversity of dining and attractions.
The 96-room resort combines a modern and timeless aesthetic with the free spirit and tropical nature of the Key West community. Surrounded by lush tropical landscaping, guests will have the choice of relaxing and swimming at the property’s multiple swimming pools, complete with poolside cocktail service, on-site dining or enjoying the ocean view. Guests can choose from four room categories with marina, pool, garden and Old Town views. Additional amenities include complimentary WIFI, soaking tubs, on-site parking and a state-of-the art fitness centre.
LUXURY WATERFRONT RESORT TO DEBUT IN KEY LARGO
Set to open in the summer of 2015, Playa Largo Resort and Spa Autograph Collection will add 144 luxury rooms and suites to Key Largo’s range of accommodations. Located at 97450 Overseas Highway, the resort is a short drive from the Miami International Airport, making it an ideal place to stay while exploring the unique environment of the Florida Keys. The 14-acre waterfront luxury resort will feature a number of activities for families and couples to enjoy outdoors and in the surrounding waters. Amenities are to include a private marina, multiple bars and restaurants, full-service spa and fitness offerings, a beach house for private or corporate functions, wedding facilities, a secluded white sand beach, swimming pools, fire pits, water sports options, and much more. Visit
OPENING THE GATES OF KEY WEST
Projected to open in fall 2014, The Gates of Key West is to be a new 100-room boutique hotel that blends design, artwork, food and music to deliver a comfortable and unique hotel experience. The property is located at the entrance to the island city at 3824 N. Roosevelt Blvd. Each room is to feature whitewashed beams, custom cypress platform beds, hand-selected Moroccan rugs and art from a local gallery. Rum Row, the hotel’s Cuban-themed restaurant, will serve tapas and cocktails and an assortment of breakfast items. Located adjacent to the hotel pool deck, Rum Row will be a scene all its own celebrating the rum-running romance of the Prohibition era with top-shelf liquors, craft beers, and wines.
NEW HYATT PLACE MEETS HISTORIC LIGHTHOUSE AND MARINA
Construction is well underway at the historic Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club located at 1996 Overseas Highway. All features of the property are being redeveloped and the lighthouse, which has been a landmark in Marathon since 1950, will remain. When reopened December 16, the property is to feature 125 Hyatt Place hotel rooms and suites, as well as an elegant waterfront bar and restaurant to be called the Lighthouse Grill. The property’s existing 74- slip marina will be a state-of-the art facility for captains and boat owners to use.
CLASSIC ENHANCEMENTS ENRICH HISTORIC LA CONCHA
The classic Crowne Plaza Key West La Concha, a 160-unit hotel at 430 Duval St., has recently undergone significant renovations. The hotel lobby has been upgraded with stylish parquet flooring and a sleek bar and restaurant named 430 Duval. Shades of ivory, white and mahogany adorn all interiors from the seating area to the bar lounge. To further highlight the lobby’s sophisticated style, recessed ceiling lights illuminate all surfaces with a soft glow. On the culinary front, La Concha guests can enjoy enhanced restaurant offerings at 430 Duval and a vast selection of fine wines from around the world at the new Wine-O wine bar. The former replaces the property’s renowned Jack’s Crab Shack, whereas 430 Duval is the new addition to the hotel
lobby with a dedicated menu by Executive Chef Edward Nguyen. A spa is currently being constructed to replace The Top lounge.
For further information on the Florida Keys & Key West, visit www.fla-keys.co.uk