Recommend April 2014 - (Page 44)

3 northamerica KEYS, WAYS Room with a view at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. Embracing the essence of a classic American road trip, the 120-mile-long chain of islands forming the Florida Keys offers plenty of ways to take an island getaway without ever having to leave the U.S. lane nieset WHERE TO GO: Made up of six islands, Islamorada, 1 nicknamed the "sportfishing capital of the world," offers great diving, dining and shopping. WHERE TO STAY: The 214-room Cheeca Lodge has it all-a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a saltwater lagoon perfect for swimming and snorkeling, three onsite restaurants, and a luxurious spa. Anglers aren't left out, either, since guests can fish right off of the resort's 525-ft. pier (no need to bring your fishing rods- the resort can provide them). Guests can choose from West Indies-inspired rooms, suites or beachside bungalows, which boast private balconies with views of the ocean, gardens, lagoon and golf course. While the resort is perfect for families with its 1-bedroom suites, Camp Cheeca day camp, family fishing trips and other activities, couples also have privacy in adults-only Superior Beach Bungalows. Guests staying in bungalows can quickly reach the beach via a spiral staircase leading off the balcony. Rates start at $299 midweek during high season; bungalows start at $649. ON THE WATER: Cheeca Lodge is right on the water and has an onsite full-service watersports facility, so your clients can hit the ocean any way they like. Anglers can go on a half- or full-day charter offshore, at the reef or backcountry in the bay. Those interested in getting deeper into backcountry fishing can take a kayak fishing trip in the Everglades National Park through the protected no-motor zones. The resort can also arrange specialty cruises, snorkeling trips and parasailing. TOP ATTRACTION: Scuba divers will love exploring beneath the sea in Islamorada. The key features shallow coral reefs, tropical marine life, shipwrecks and the Aquarius, an underwater habitat for scientific research. Highlights include The Eagle, a ship that was ● 44 april 2014 44-45 NA FlaKeys.indd 44 sunk just for divers with sponge, coral and schools of fish, and Alligator Reef, the site of the USS Alligator (travelers will know the location by a lighthouse that doubles as a marker). WHERE TO GO: Driving through the Lower Keys past 2 the Seven Mile Bridge, travelers will come across a quieter area that's home to beautiful beaches and state parks. One of these islands, Little Torch Key, is the jumping-off point for the exclusive private island resort, Little Palm Island. WHERE TO STAY: While the Keys are a string of islands themselves connected by the Overseas Highway, Little Palm Island provides travelers an offshore escape to a private island of their own. The island vibe here is more in tune with the South Pacific than South Florida. VIP treatment starts when guests arrive at the Welcome Station on Little Torch Key for a motor yacht shuttle to the 5.5-acre island. Home to only 15 thatched-roof, air-conditioned bungalows with 30 oceanfront suites in total, Little Palm never has more than 60 guests at a time. Each bungalow has two 1-bedroom suites sporting private sundecks and outdoor showers with personal touches like a nameplate on the bungalow door. Don't expect digital distractions, either. These sanctuaries are free of telephones, TVs and alarm clocks. While all of the suites are luxurious (there's no bad room in the house), the top-tier rooms are the 1,000-sq.-ft. Island Grand Suites, outfitted with a beach area, two full baths (one of which has a claw-foot tub and glass doors opening up to ocean views), an outdoor hot tub, and iron and crystal chandeliers. The Island Romance Suite is just as dreamy, with a personal fire pit, private deck and jacuzzi tub. Rates range from $899 to $3,200 per night. WHERE TO DINE: While guests can dine at The Dining Room, a candle-lit restaurant with a terrace overlooking the beach, or on the beach itself, those looking to get off the island can do so in style with an Ultimate Picnic. This dining perk takes on a new meaning on board The Lilyanna, for a private, 3-hour catamaran cruise with snorkel gear and a selection of breads, spreads, artisanal cheeses, Key Lime cookies and a bottle of Pinot Noir. Travelers can also jet off to another private island on board a seaplane for a 3-hour picnic ● 3/25/14 8:28 AM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend April 2014

The Islands of Tahiti Travel Planner
Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: Commune Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Collette
What's New In Mexico
Fiji: Fantasy Islands
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
RCI’s Vision of the Seas
Florida Keys
Oahu, Aston-Style
3 Isles: The Azores, Canary Islands & Gotland, Sweden
Sun-Kissed Islands: Belize & Peru
Afloat on the Indian Ocean: Zanzibar & Madagascar

Recommend April 2014