A secluded island retreat in the Florida Keys, winner of Condé Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2015
Beach | Relaxation | Sports & activities
Halfway along the chain of islands you’ll find Duck Key. Despite its relative proximity to the glamour of Miami and the bohemia of Key West, the resort island maintains an intimate atmosphere with sheltered fire pits and the only living coral reef in the continental USA. The resort’s central focus is the bright blue of its freshwater lagoon although many look to its waters where you can paddle out to your own tropical island or swim with the resort’s pod of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
An extension of the island’s relaxed charm, Hawks Cay guestrooms and villas feature classic Caribbean style with bright prints and seashell-white walls. All rooms are set among swaying palm trees, only a few steps from the bright blue and green waters. For families, large villas host between four and eight people with fully equipped kitchens and large living and dining rooms. Choose between staying closer to the amenities at Harbor Village, the docks at Marina Village or the quiet gardens of Sanctuary Village. Our favourite is the raking evening red of the appropriately named Sunset Village.
You’ll be equally spoilt for choice between the resort’s multiple restaurants. There are the bold Latin dishes prepared using classic European techniques at the resort’s signature Alma Restaurant or the more casual affair of the Beach Grill, serving Caribbean seafood and American favourites. For breakfast, Ocean puts on an ‘endless buffet’ of traditional classics or you can grab a freshly-baked pastry or artisanal coffee at Island Time.
Watersports take centre stage here as you can snorkel, paddle board, kayak, scuba dive, fish and swim with dolphins. There are also six swimming pools including an adults only and children’s areas along with the freshwater centrepiece. Hawks Cay Marina offers boat docking and trips out to exclusive dive sites while the Calm Waters Spa was voted by readers of Travel + Leisure as the Best Hotel Spa for its fantastic range of treatments, Jacuzzis and dry sauna.
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