Resorts & Lodges in the Florida Keys

by Alison Merfeld

The Florida Keys is a cluster of islands that offers accommodations where the ocean can be your backyard and snorkeling adventures are mere steps from your room. Whether you're looking for an adults-only resort or an oceanfront room with a private veranda with panoramic views, you can find them throughout the Keys. Many of these accommodations can arrange for kayaking tours at local state parks and private boat rentals during the day.

Beachfront Resorts

The Pier House Resort in Key West offers suite-style guest rooms decorated with tile floors and earth tones. Rooms include furnished balconies, free Internet and sitting areas. Two-bedroom suites also offer a wet bar, separate living rooms and views of the Gulf of Mexico. The on-site Key West Caribbean Spa provides body treatments, massages and facials. Four restaurants are located on the property. The Harbour View Cafe offers a casual dining experience with strawberry shrimp salad, coconut shrimp and chicken tenderloin. Located in Islamorada, the Days Inn Oceanfront Resort includes outdoor activities ranging from boat rentals to snorkeling tours and jet ski rentals. Room amenities include kitchenettes and private balconies; some rooms offer living rooms, king-size beds and full-kitchens. A complimentary breakfast is served daily.

Green Lodging Resorts

The Banyan Resort in Key West is on Whitehead Street and only an eight-minute walk from the Ernest Hemingway Museum. In 2007, the Banyan Resort became the first accommodation in the Keys to become certified as a Green Lodging Resort. Rooms range from studios to two-bedroom suites and offer iPod docks, full kitchens and private balconies with garden views. An outdoor swimming pool is on-site. Also a recipient of Green Lodging, the Parmer's Resort in Little Torch Key is 6 miles from the Key Deer National Wildlife Refugee and 12 miles from the Great White Heron National Refugee. Rooms range from studios to three bedrooms, and amenities range from full kitchens to sitting areas and private balconies. The largest room on the property, the presidential suite offers a hot tub, CD player and a hammock on the balcony. Four boat slips and an outdoor pool add to the amenities.

Adults-Only Resorts

Situated in Key Largo and overlooking the Florida Bay, the smoke-free Azul del Mar is hidden from view by the surrounding tropical foliage and palm trees. This boutique-style hotel offer rooms with king-size beds, kitchenettes, barbecue areas and DVD players. Rooms are decorated in soft earth tones with wood-paneled French doors leading to private terraces. The hotel provides a small private beach, a dock with loungers and a covered patio on the lawn with views of the bay. Sunset cruises, snorkeling tours and kayaking trips can be arranged by the hotel. The tri-level Azul Key West is a boutique hotel with 11 suites with queen or king beds, Internet access, private furnished porches and garden views. This Queen Anne Mansion provides an outdoor swimming pool lined by tropical plants and loungers. Its downtown location allows the hotel to be within walking distance to attractions such as the Keeper's Quarter's Museum on Whitehead Street, a nine-minute walk away. Both hotels are adults-only: Guests must be at least 16.

Resorts Near Golf Courses

The Key Largo Bay Beach Resort is 14 miles from the 18-hole, par 71 Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. The resort provides an outdoor pool with panoramic ocean views, an on-site spa and a fitness facility. The 153 rooms boasts balconies overlooking the water, Internet access and sitting areas. Rooms provide a welcoming feel with their warm yellow and brown tones. The resort is within a mile of the sunken and reef-covered USS Spiegel Grove and the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Three miles from the 18-hole Key West Golf Club, the Parrot Key Resort provides a beach-style setting with the backyard consisting entirely of sand. Surrounded by palm trees and plants, the hidden resort offers 97 rooms with separate living rooms, free Internet access and private patios or balconies. Furniture throughout the guest rooms are handmade. Resort amenities include four outdoor pools, a sundeck and concierge services. The casual Cafe Blue is located poolside and prepares sandwiches, wraps and salads daily. (See comment box)

About the Author

Alison Merfeld has been a freelance writer since 2008. Her published articles can be found on various websites, covering golf, the outdoors and other topics. She is currently working on her first fiction novel. Merfeld earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Iowa.