Amara Cay Resort, Islamorada, Florida – Hotel Review
The Florida Keys. Just the name sounds tropical, yet the archipelago that stretches about 120 miles (193 kilometers) off the southernmost tip of Florida is easily reachable by car on a causeway that connects the islands to the mainland and to each other.
Islamorada (which translates to “purple island”) is located between Miami (a 1.5-hour drive north without traffic) and Key West (a two-hour drive south) and it was here that my first visit to the Keys since childhood would take place.
After a two-hour flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Miami, it took almost three hours on a Friday afternoon to reach my destination, the new Amara Cay Resort.
Located along the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel was celebrating its grand opening and I arrived at a very busy main entrance just as the party was getting underway. Despite the chaos of dozens of cars arriving at the same time, a bellman warmly welcomed me to the hotel, helped with luggage, and escorted me to the reception desk, where check-in formalities were brief.
Somewhat tired from the drive, I first went to my room to relax and change and then headed out to the beach to join the festivities. While Florida is known for its sandy beaches, the ones at the Keys are largely manmade, although that doesn’t detract from their attractiveness.
The party mood was already taking hold in the lobby, with guests taking pictures at the designated “selfie spot,” admiring a large hotel key art installation, (after all, we’re in the Keys), or trying out one of the six wicker chairs suspended from the ceiling that looked as if they were attached to a ski lift and about to begin their climb.