“In the Florida Keys and Key West, it’s all about simply finding the right fit for your group,” said Jack Meier, group sales manager for the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. “The Keys offer an experience that’s a world away from a typical meeting experience at a mega-metro convention center.”
The private Ocean Reef Club, at Key Largo’s northernmost tip, has 30,000 total square feet of meeting space, including a 7,500-square-foot ballroom for up to 500 attendees. Ocean Reef includes Carysfort Kitchen for culinary events, two 18-hole golf courses, a 175-slip marina and Buccaneer Island to accommodate up to 400. Visit meetingsatoceanreef.com.
In Key Largo, the 13-acre Baker’s Cay Resort, a Curio Collection by Hilton, is scheduled to open in early 2019 as a 200-room resort with 17,000 square feet for meetings, a 4,000-square-foot Baker’s Ballroom and more than 20,000 square feet of additional multifunction spaces. Visit bakerscayresort.com.
The all-new 12-acre “luxury inclusive” adults-only 135-unit Bungalows Key Largo, with a “Florida chic” design, is to open in late 2018. Bungalows average 800 square feet, with private outdoor plunge pools or tubs. Amenities include Zen Garden Spa, two pools, three restaurants, Tiki-style boats, 1,000 feet of shoreline and lush, palm-lined grounds. Visit BungalowsKeyLargo.com.
The 14-acre, 178-room Playa Largo Resort & Spa has an 8,600-square-foot event lawn, wedding gazebo and 4,760-square-foot ballroom for up to 360.The Autograph Collection Hotel opened in fall 2016 with 10 bungalows, a three-bedroom beach house, full-service spa, Kosher meals and 6,000-square-foot beach. Visit playalargoresort.com.
In Islamorada, the 27-acre, 214-room oceanfront Cheeca Lodge & Spa, built in 1946, has more than 4,600 square feet of versatile space and luxury spa. Its Bougainvillea Ballroom has 12-foot ceilings and 2,100 square feet for parties hosting 120 guests. Its 1,870-square-foot Sunrise Ballroom, with Atlantic views and an open-air terrace, has capacity for 100. Visit cheeca.com.
The 25-acre Islander Resort, scheduled to reopen in late 2018, offers contemporary cottage-style accommodations with screened-in lanais. The resort has a 6,000-square-foot Great Lawn with oceanfront event space, a 2,760-square-foot Blue Marlin Ballroom and Tarpon Terrace with expanded outdoor space and 114 oceanside villas. The nearby Islander Bayside Townhomes offers 25 two-story two-bedroom units. Visit islanderfloridakeys.com.
On Duck Key in the Middle Keys, the 60-acre Hawks Cay Resort showcases a $50 million renovation of its 177-room main hotel as a AAA Four Diamond Award and Preferred Hotel Group Lifestyle Collection member. The property also has 250 two- and three-bedroom villas, full-service marina, saltwater lagoon, spa and 20,000 square feet of oceanfront meeting space. New amenities include Sixty-One Prime restaurant, an adults-only Oasis Cay area and expansion of the Tranquility Pool area with bar and grill. Characters Captain Hawk, Priscilla the Pirate Queen and Koral the Mermaid mingle with guests. The Dolphin Ballroom hosts 480 attendees banquet-style. The Overseas Ballroom can accommodate 450; each room hosts 400 classroom-style. The 208-seat Angler and Ale restaurant has private group space for 88. Visit hawkscay.com.
The new 24-acre, 199-unit Isla Bella Beach Resort, at mile marker 47 at Marathon’s Seven Mile Bridge, is scheduled to open in early 2019 with more than 20,000 square feet of function space, including a 3,800-square-foot Hibiscus Event Center and 16,000 square feet of outdoor space. Nearly a mile of shoreline includes The Dunes oceanfront event area. There’s also a Town Square, marina and pool deck, a 4,000-square-foot spa, five pools and four food and beverage venues. Visit islabellabeachresort.com.
The 125-room Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club, a Hyatt Place resort and site of the historic Faro Blanco Lighthouse in Marathon, offers “dock-tail” parties. Flexible event space offers 1,820 square feet with three meeting rooms, plush lawns, marina walkway and Lighthouse Grill. There’s fishing, watersports and sunset cruises. Visit faroblancoresort.com.
Oceans Edge Resort & Marina opened in December 2016 just outside Key West with 175 water-view suites and rooms of 382 to 575 square feet, six swimming pools and an open-air restaurant. Its marina has 111 wet and 52 dry slips for dockside access to islands, channels, sand bars and wildlife. Visit oceansedgekeywest.com.
The 100-room The Perry Hotel Key West opened in May 2017 at Stock Island Marina Village. It accommodates small events at the 1,300-square-foot Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar, with capacity for 65. A 700-square-foot Grand Suite balcony overlooks the pool and the Keys’ largest deep-water marina. The Captain’s Lounge hosts 25. Visit perrykeywest.com.
In Key West, two Waldorf Astoria Resorts, Casa Marina Key West and The Reach Key West, have scenic beaches on the island’s quiet Atlantic Ocean side. Casa Marina, with 311 rooms and suites, offers the island’s largest meeting facility with 11,000 square feet of indoor event space and private beach. The Reach, with 150 rooms and suites, has a beach billed as Key West’s only natural beach. An assigned group attendant oversees itineraries, meals and and custom group activities. Visit casamarinaresort.com or reachresort.com.
The Marriott Key West Beachside, with 129 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and 93 king standard rooms, offers a 5,673-square-foot ballroom, Key West’s largest, and nearly 10,000 square feet of meeting space with 2,500 square feet of beach and pool deck space and 16 boat slips. Up to 440 guests can enjoy a sit-down dinner. Visit keywestmarriott.com.
Key West’s 216-room DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort features 7,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space. Its ballroom can seat 200 or accommodate up to 300 at a reception. It completed a $7.5 million renovation in 2016. Visit keywestdoubletree.com.
In Key West, the 262-room Southernmost Beach Resort has 1,400 total square feet of meeting space, including a 565-square-foot boardroom and 900-square-foot conference room, three pools, two beaches, spa, fitness center, oceanfront restaurant, three bars, daily activities and poolside entertainment. Visit southernmostresorts.com.
Key West’s 24 North Hotel offers 1,080 square feet of flexible indoor meeting space to accommodate 45 attendees. A 12,105-square-foot Sunset Green, located between 24 North and The Gates hotels, has outdoor concert and event space for 1,200. The 145-room boutique hotel has a Latitude Supply & Co. convenience store, pool and two food and beverage venues. Visit 24northhotels.com.
Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
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