My inclination is to trash the Island Bay Resort in the upper Keys. That way no one will go there and we can stop in any time and know there will be plenty of accommodations. Much like the Tween Waters Inn in the 70's Sanibel, this little slice of Keys heaven is head and shoulders above any "resort" we have found on the Overseas Highway.
It is small; it is private; it is clean; it is fun; it is family; it is couples; it is retirees; it is honeymooners.....the proprietors apparently only deal in "perfect" and it's ez to see why they have a significant repeat customer base.
The individual cottages are all keys themed...but each differently. For instance we stayed in Sunset and the entire cottage had whimsical, yet appropriate SUN accessories and art. Our cottage had a full kitchen (some do not) and a lovely sitting area with full sized LED digital tv, and a sizable bedroom with plentiful closet space. Cars are parked directly across from each cottage.
There are three elderly cats on the property, each with quite a different personality.....all fit the landscape perfectly at Island Bay
Families intent on diving or couples intent on unwinding....there's plenty of space. Out the front door on the patio are comfy deck chairs under an umbrella, a weber grill, and plenty of places to hang swim suits and towels to dry in the sun.
The private beach is a short walk down the row of cottages. Hammocks are perfectly located under giant Malayan Palms along the shore. Chickee huts with sofas and lounge chairs accommodate those who aren't full time sun worshipers. The lounge chairs facing Florida Bay are easy to move and generally fallasleepable. The dock leads out to accommodate any mid size boats or sloops. The several days we were there, the proprietor, Mike and friends boated into the Bay for fish---which are plentiful in that area. We saw two dive boats come in to drop off Island Bay guests as well. The beach is pristine sand and the water not deep out to the end of the dock.
Island Bay is perfectly located for restaurant options and Florida Upper Keys recreation and sight seeing. Mike and Carol know the area top to bottom and can direct newbies or veterans to their desired food/activity.
There are supermarkets nearby.....movie theaters, and drug stores.
But at the resort you'd never know it. It's a little like Brigadoon in its charm. As you reluctantly drive out to US 1 and return to civilization...when you look back......it might just vanish into the Keys ether. If you go, and find it as wonderful as we did.......please don't tell anyone.....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Island Bay Resort provides you with a total "Florida Keys experience." Our hotel is centrally located between Key Largo and Islamorada and just two hours from Key West. Enjoying your Florida vacation is easy. Swimming, snorkeling, boating and beach sunbathing can all be enjoyed from our resort’s beaches. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Island Bay Hotel Tavernier
- Island Bay Tavernier
- Island Bay Resort Key Largo/Tavernier