Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cheeka Lodge & Spa

Between Miami and Key West, there are only a few places worth stopping if you're in the market for luxurious accommodations. The Cheeca Lodge and Spa on Islamorada certainly qualify based on their understated and casual, but sophisticated elegance. Although the Cheeca Lodge is over 60 years old and photographs in the bar show past Presidents and Hollywood stars deep-sea fishing off the coast, never does Cheeca feel pretentious. Having gone through a renovation that left the large rooms with a West Indies theme, the lodge feels open, spacious, and elegant without feeling fancy and overdone. The food is divine, whether dining in the elegant dining room, the open-air informal dining, or at the beachside bar. Service is impeccable and seamless.

Too often resorts get one end or the other right: either the decor and food and service are great, or the activities are terrific, but often one end or the other falls apart. Not at the Cheeca Lodge. After waking up in the peaceful, large rooms and having an elaborate fresh breakfast buffet outside by the ocean, there are a multitude of options to determine what to do on any day. Watersports abound: parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing are just a few of the water related activities. With several pools and tennis courts and a nine-hole par 3 golf course, there are still more activities. If you like to go to the coast, but spend your day inside at a spa, the Cheeca Lodge and Spa offers incredible services both in the spa or by the pool in a cabana.

After a day lounging in your hammock by the ocean or working up an appetite on the water, dinner will not disappoint you. Every meal is fresh and delicious. And after a delicious dessert, you can fall asleep in your luxurious room and wake up and do it all over again.

Going to the Cheeca Lodge and Spa feels like you have taken yourself far, far away. It is as relaxing and delightful as most Carribbean and Hawaiian resorts, but with a very easy commute from Miami.

Whether for a quick weekend getaway, or a weeklong reprieve, the Cheeca Lodge and Spa on Islamorada offers a fabulous retreat from the busy world outside the Florida Keys.

St. Andrews from the Cathedral