Florida Keys

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Hawks Cay

Address: 61 Hawks Cay Blvd. at MM 61

Neighborhood:

City: Duck Cay

Phone: 305-743-7000

Website: www.hawkscay.com

Expert Review

Family is the focus at this Florida Keys’ island retreat, set on some 60 rambling acres brimming with kid-friendly diversions that far surpass the predictable Florida family resort trimmings. The sprawling resort featuring 402 rooms and villas is located on Duck Key, just 20 miles south of Islamorada, but it is well worth the extra driving time to stay here. Hawks Cay is somewhat isolated from other Keys' attractions, but there is plenty to keep guests attention at bay with lavish spas, a nightly sunset cruise, and specialized programs for kids and teens. The main attractions for families will be the onsite dolphin program (30-minute to 3-hour encounters can be booked and are open to the public) and the giant free-flowing natural lagoon surrounded by pool chairs. For those wanting wildlife beyond the dolphins, the appellation of Hawks Cay is a sure giveaway to the superlative bird-watching it offers, while snorkeling, “snuba,” and scuba diving just offshore promise encounters with any of some 1,200 marine creatures (including sea turtles and the only living coral reef system in the continental U.S.).  Rooms offer simple, yet tasteful earth-tone decor, and villas provide access to private pool areas and cabanas right outside the patios (parents delight in the full-kitchen equipped, multi-bedroom villas). Also expect five swimming pools (one touts a pirate ship theme); a major menu of water sports (from kiteboarding and parasailing to sailing and diving schools); sports facilities (including eight tennis courts and a basketball court); and handful of seafood-centric restaurants.

Tags: luxury | family | expensive | smart splurge | resort

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