I recently came here with my mother and my 2 sons, ages 9 and 13 for a 3-night vacation. We drove down from Miami area and the first thing we saw were the lush grounds set back from the highway. The feeling is one of tranquil fun and sophistication.
Room: We stayed in one of the suites farther back from the main hotel and beach area. It's about an 8-minute walk to the beachfront, and hotel staff will gladly drive you from the main lobby to the building -- a real plus at the end of the day when we were loaded down with beach bags, etc. The suite had ample room and included a gorgeous marble bathroom, balcony with small table/chairs, one room with TV and King-Size bed, and the main living/sitting area with a sleeper sofa that opened up into a bed for the boys. We had to call the hotel service for extra pillows and blanket. They provided it, but I wish it were available in the room already.
Beachfront: It is thoughtfully laid out, with fishing dock, small cove, and the nearby swimming pool. Some reviewers knocked the beach, but this is unfair considering that beaches around the Keys are usually small and nondescript. (If you want long stretches of white sand, you don't go to the Keys.) Cove was a bit small and cloudy, but good for smaller kids. Water was calm and great for snorkeling. Cheeca books water sports, and this was a convenient process. My boys and I went on both the snorkeling and parasailing tours and enjoyed both, especially the parasailing. Note: Again, snorkeling is interesting here, but not as impressive as in a place like Grand Cayman. Since we'd been to Cayman the previous year, our standards got set high for marine life viewing.
Pool: Nice temperature, refreshing, with great offerings at the pool bar including smoothies, cocktails, warm sandwiches/burgers and fries. The deck gets crowded during busy holiday times, including while we were there (Spring Break), so deck chairs were often taken during the day. But I loved having the pool so close to the beach.
Spa: Oh, this was heaven. On our first day here, I enjoyed some body treatments with mud and Vichy Shower. My spa provider, Ariel, was amazing. Very professional and attentive. The spa has an adults-only pool that looks tranquil and a nice alternative to the regular hotel pool. And they stock some great Babor skincare products which are hard to find in general.
The only drawback I would give is that, while the roomservice staff were friendly, they often forgot items or brought the wrong order to the room. They usually tried to fix this, but as we were far from the main kitchen it would take them so long, it wasn't worth it. Maybe this is not such an issue if you stay in the main hotel area. We lunched at Atlantic Edge a few times, which did have yummy ceviche and mahi-mahi dishes, along with burgers and fries for the boys. Also we enjoyed the smoothies and casual food offerings at the hotel pool.
The resort does have a $39 daily fee, but that includes beach towels, amenities, and umbrellas/cabanas on the beach. It was worth it to be able to order drinks and food with attentive service and just hang out lazily on the beach for a few days. I plan on returning in July with just my husband for a quick getaway, and look forward to dining more at the restaurants and using the quieter "grown-up" pool then.
All in all a very enjoyable stay, definitely worth a return trip for a relaxing weekend getaway. I probably wouldn't return with the kids, because I think they have seen all they wanted to of this area. I'd take them for a week to a condo with washer/dryer and kitchen on the coast of the mainland. But for a full-service experience of dining, sunsets, water and spa with my hubby, I would definitely recommend Cheeca lodge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The "Queen of the Florida Keys", Cheeca Lodge & Spa, an exclusive hideaway for generations of celebrities, business leaders and U.S. Presidents. Set on 27 private oceanfront acres in Islamorada, Cheeca – reopening Dec. 15 - is has been constructed with its original porte-cochere entrance, traditional Florida Keys architecture, chic West Indies décor, and spirited tradition of “barefoot elegance” -- a term coined at Cheeca – all intact. Along with a new Lobby Bar. Cheeca will boast two distinctive restaurants - Nikai Sushi Bar offering the Florida Keys’ freshest sushi, Asian-inspired fare and a unique selection of Japanese sake and wine, and Atlantic’s Edge with a seasonal fine-dining menu of fresh local seafood, prime steaks and organic local produce. The new Cheeca Lodge & Spa will also feature 2,400 square-feet of new retail shops with a Cheeca Signature store featuring Tommy Bahama products. An expanded roster of activities will include on-property flats boats with seasoned local guides for backcountry fishing, sightseeing, eco-tours, kiteboarding, and a junior angler program for teens.The resort’s signature features – classic 525’ wooden fishing pier, tropical gardens, crossing palms archway, saltwater snorkeling lagoon, nature trails, Tahitian-style Spa Lagoon, spectacular purple sunsets, secluded white sand beaches, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, Camp Cheeca children’s environmental activity program, and access to world-class sportfishing – will remain intact.Located just 90 minutes south of Miami International Airport in the Florida Keys, Cheeca Lodge & Spa is just a few hours by air or drive from major East Coast U.S. and Canadian cities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cheeca Hotel Islamorada
- Cheeca Resort Islamorada
- Cheeca Lodge Florida
- Cheeca Lodge And Spa
- Cheeca Lodge Islamorada
- Cheeca Lodge Spa