Sumptuous Suites with Private Views of Purple Isle
Since its 1940s inception as the Olney Inn, Cheeca Lodge & Spa has played host to presidents, performers, athletes, and other luminaries drawn to its expansive opulence and sparkling island waters. Twenty-seven acres on Upper Matecumbe Key accommodate the holidays of active sportsmen and lolling loungers alike—from the on-site nine-hole golf course to the private, palm-hedged beach dotted with shade cabanas to facilitate hours of gazing at Atlantic surf.
Private patios seamlessly bring the tranquil outdoors to suites blessed with an embarrassment of rich ocean views or sweeping vistas of islet landscape. The relaxing atmosphere of the private balconies or lanais extends to each suite’s living room, where casual lounge chairs, warm hues, and worldly ornamentation create the vibe of a sumptuously appointed yet cozy bungalow. Marble accents in the bathroom, meanwhile, ensure every move made at Cheeca feels luxe.
The lodge teems with activities and facilities suited for romantic escapes as well as family excursions. Anglers cast a line off Cheeca's 525-foot dock or trawl in a lagoon brimming with local fish. Parents can dip into the adults-only pool, and kids can explore Sunshine State activities and the finer points of tax law at Camp Cheeca ($45/child for a half-day, $75 for a full day). A tucked-away spa pampers guests with pay-per-service treatments, and visitors can make use of the fitness center free of charge with the package's included resort fee or attend fitness lessons for an additional fee.
The Florida Keys: Maritime Escape on the Overseas Highway
Islamorada, deemed one of the Best Honeymoon Spots by the Knot, rests quietly in the upper portion of the Florida Keys, southwest of Key Largo. Visitors living the laid-back Keys lifestyle can bask in the sun, feed green and silver tarpon by hand from a dock, or saunter from snorkeling with dolphins at one marina to kayaking with paddle-wielding manatees at the next. Most eateries extend beach or patio seating to diners to offer a better view of the sunset and its reflection in the ocean while guests sip cool beers.
The historic Overseas Highway, once a railroad connecting the Keys until Mother Nature repurposed it with a hurricane in 1935, now ushers motorists up and down the Keys to experience each bit of blue and green beauty Florida has to offer. At Bahia Honda State Park, travelers can tip their swim caps to a bridge standing as a reminder of the old railway as they wade to ultimate relaxation in warm Gulf water.
What You Get
For $309, you get your choice of a one-night stay in a luxury one-bedroom suite or a Premier Island View suite
Or, for $369, you get a one-night stay in a Premier Oceanfront suite
Shuttle: Private car services or shared shuttles are available to and from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and Miami International Airport. Rates vary based on airport; shuttle charge varies additionally based on the number of passengers.
Additional occupants: Up to two additional adults may stay in rooms for $10 per night per person.
Rollaway: Not available
Smoking policy: No smoking indoors; designated outdoor smoking areas available
Pet policy: No pets
Accessibility: Some Premier Island View and Oceanfront suites are handicap-accessible, but they are subject to availability.
What It's Worth
For $309, a one-night stay in a luxury one-bedroom suite (up to $489 value)
Or, for $309, a one-night stay in a Premier Island View suite (up to $489 value)
Or, for $369, a one-night stay in a Premier Oceanfront suite (up to $619 value)
Included in all options:
Resort fee ($39 value)
Club access for two ($98 value)
By shuttle: Private car service from Miami International Airport and Ft. Lauderdale International Airport is available by reservation through Emerald Transportation at 305-852-1468. Keys Shuttle, a shared airport shuttle service, can be booked in advance by calling 1-888-765-9997. Shuttle rates vary based on number of passengers, and rates for both services vary based on origin of departure.
By car: About 90 minutes from Miami International Airport and about two hours from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. Valet parking is included in the resort stay.
Consider renting a car—historic U.S. Route 1 connects many of the Florida Keys.