My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at Hawks Cay and had a wonderful time! The resort has SO many restaurant and activities options that you really don't have to go off-property unless you just want to explore the other islands.
Food: I will say that the menus at each of the restaurants don't have a TON of options (Tom's has the most variety, I'd say), but everything we ate was yummy, and there are different styles of restaurants to choose from, so we didn't mind. Tom's Harbor House is a fun casual dining restaurant on the marina with a great happy hour (35 cent conch fritters, 65 cent wings, $2 Bud Lights) from 4-6 every day. Also on the marina is Emack and Bolio's, a little ice cream shop that's so good, we went there three times during our stay. For breakfast at the resort, I'd skip the coffee bar and recommend dining at the Terrace - it's your standard breakfast fare, but it's yummy and you can eat on the patio. The hotel also has an order-ahead, in-room breakfast option that we took advantage of on our final day - all of the room service dining is delicious. And if you're in the mood for fine dining, Alma is fabulous. I had the freshest, yummiest scallops there for dinner, and my husband had the wagyu steak. Can you tell we enjoyed the food? My husband and I love and appreciate good food, and we were not disappointed at Hawks Cay.
Activities: The highlight of our trip was definitely the Dolphin Connection. We considered it a splurge to sign up for the Dolphin Discovery program ($165/person), but it was well worth it for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with the dolphins! The trainers were so nice, patient and knowledgeable. All five dolphins were either born at the facility or retired from other places. They were so playful and fun. We didn't want our time with them to end!
Beach/Pools: I guess this is probably our fault for not realizing this ahead of time, but we were surprised that the Keys doesn't really have any beaches. Yes, you're on an island, and there's water all around, but the "beach" is just rocks and trees - definitely not a Caribbean-style beach. But at the resort, we still enjoyed laying out by the saltwater lagoon (although in January, the water was a bit too cold to swim in) and the Tranquility Pool (the adults-only pool). We never made it to the Sunset Pool in Sunset Village, but there is one other pool, the main family pool. Since we didn't have kids with us, we preferred the adult pool and had a great time laying out and swimming there.
Honeymoon: I mentioned when booking the hotel that we were going to be on our honeymoon, and they must have made a note of it in the computer because everywhere we went, someone on staff was saying, "Oh, you're on your honeymoon! Congratulations!" It made us feel really special. Everyone on staff was so nice and helpful, and the front desk team even sent us a bottle of wine to our room!
Downside: Slow service in the restaurants. Although everyone was extremely nice, my husband and I joked that everyone there was on "island time" because the service wasn't as fast and attentive as we were used to. Sometimes we would sit down at a restaurant and it would take 5-10 minutes before anyone would come up to take our order. The waiters at Beach Grill also service the family and adult pools and the saltwater lagoon, and while some of the older guests were ordering drinks and having them delivered to them by the pool, we didn't have anyone at the pool come to take our order until the second-to-last day. We thought that maybe because we were younger (the majority of the guests are either families or older couples), they didn't pay as much attention to us. It was a small flaw in an otherwise wonderful week, though.
Overall, we had an extremely relaxing and enjoyable trip, and we would like to visit again when we have kids. There are seemingly endless options of activities for children and families that I could tell this was a very family-friendly place. We would like to take a sunset cruise or charter a boat from the marina next time, too - I think that is probably the best way to enjoy the Keys.
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- Also Known As:
- Hawks Cay Hotel Duck Key
- Hawks Cay Duck Key
- Duck Key
- Hawk Cay Resort
- Hawks Key
- Hawks Cay Resort Duck Key, Florida