In the coming year nine new Florida Keys properties, accounting for more than 1,000 new rooms, and a number of renovated lodgings are to welcome visitors.
Like current accommodation options, each will showcase aspects of the island chain’s attractions and appeal.
They begin at the head of the Keys in Key Largo with the elegant Playa Largo Resort and Spa, the newest hotel to join Marriott’s Autograph Collection, set to open in summer 2015. The 14-acre waterfront resort features 144 luxury rooms and suites.
Amenities include a private marina, multiple bars and restaurants, full-service spa and fitness offerings, a beach house for private or corporate functions, wedding and conference facilities including a ballroom, a secluded white sand beach and much more. www.playalargoresort.com
In Islamorada, four leading properties — Postcard Inn Beach Resort at Holiday Isle, La Siesta Resort, Pelican Cove Resort & Marina and the Islamorada Resort — now compose the Islamorada Hotel Company and are to see significant enhancements.
Particularly notable is the late 2014 relaunch of the Islamorada Resort as Amara Cay Resort, an upscale boutique hotel. Property renovations include increasing the number of rooms and suites to 105, updating outdoor amenities and creating an Italian-style eatery. Guests can anticipate daily food and beverage experiences and a Mercedes shuttle to Islamorada’s most popular locales. www.amaracayresort.com
Also in Islamorada, after a year-long multimillion-dollar renovation, the Islander Resort has joined the expanding collection of Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts. Renovations include upgrades throughout both the main 114-unit oceanside property and the 25-unit bayside marina townhouse compound. The small collection of Guy Harvey Outpost resorts and lodges showcases Harvey’s marine wildlife art, scientific research and conservation advocacy. www.guyharveyoutpostislamorada.com
Holidaymakers should be able to spot one of Marathon’s new properties with ease: its focal point has been a Middle Keys landmark since the 1950s. Earlier this year construction began on the Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club, which incorporates the famed Faro Blanco lighthouse and is set to open in December 2014.
With the original lighthouse as its “beacon” the new property features an upscale 125-room Hyatt Place hotel with two pools, a fitness centre, meeting space and a waterfront restaurant and outdoor bar called Lighthouse Grill. Boaters can anticipate a 74-slip state-of-the art marina capable of handling vessels up to 100 feet long. www.faroblancoresort.com/hotel
At the southernmost tip of the Keys island chain lies eclectic, artistic Key West — and travellers will soon be welcomed at the island’s entrance by The Gates Hotel Key West. Projected to open on February 1, 2015, the new 100-room boutique hotel blends refined luxury, minimalist design, artwork, food and music into a chic and comfortable lodging experience. Guest rooms feature whitewashed beams, custom cypress platform beds and photography from an exclusive local gallery.
Other highlights include the Rum Row bar and small-plates café, a large swimming pool with cabanas and daybeds, and a distinctive atmosphere reminiscent of “old Key West.” www.gateshotelkeywest.com
The southernmost city’s Historic Seaport, one of the most popular gathering places for visitors and residents alike, houses a lively diversity of restaurants, shops and attractions. The district’s newest gem is The Marker Waterfront Resort, a two-acre luxury property debuting in late 2014.
The 96-room resort combines a modern and timeless aesthetic with the free spirit and tropical nature of the Key West community. Four room categories are available, offering marina, pool, garden and Old Town views.
Surrounded by lush landscaping, guests can relax and swim at multiple swimming pools, complete with poolside cocktail service, savour Cali-Mex–inspired cuisine at the on-site Cero Bodega or enjoy the ocean view. www.themarkerkeywest.com/home
On legendary Duval Street, the classic 160-unit Crowne Plaza Key West La Concha has recently undergone significant renovations. The hotel lobby has been upgraded with stylish parquet flooring and shades of ivory, white and mahogany adorn all interiors from the seating area to the bar lounge.
La Concha guests can sample enticing restaurant offerings at the new 430 Duval and a vast selection of fine wines from around the world at the Wine-O wine bar. Improvements are continuing with the transformation of the former rooftop bar into a spa and outdoor pool. www.laconchakeywest.com
Other Keys properties debuting enhancements or scheduled to open in the coming months include Marathon’s new Courtyard by Marriott, the renovated Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort and Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway, and the recently purchased Banana Bay Resort & Marina. Key West is set to see several other new properties including the Fairfield Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn — debuting in 2015 — as well as renovations to the recently purchased Doubletree Grand Key Resort, Spindrift Hotel, Southwinds Motel, Ocean Breeze Inn, Olivia by Duval, La Te Da Hotel and Southern Cross Hotel — the latter to become the Saint Hotel Key West.
The 125-mile Florida Keys island chain is characterised by a rich natural environment, flourishing creative community, balmy subtropical climate, and a friendly laidback vibe that seems worlds away from everyday cares. These new and revitalised properties — with their diverse designs, amenities, prices and location — will add their own unique flavours to the intriguing mix as they welcome visitors eager to experience and explore the Keys.
For further information on the Florida Keys & Key West, visit www.fla-keys.co.uk