With a travel blog named "Island Runaways," is it any surprise that on the first leg of our tropical getaway to the beautiful Florida Keys we've been staying at Islander Resort? This stunning resort is a Guy Harvey Outpost, so not only do Dr. Harvey's exuberant paintings of fish and sealife adorn rooms and buildings, the property also takes a special interest in conservation of the oceans and sustainable tourism development. You will find Islander Resort at Mile Marker 81.2, Oceanside and you will find its sister property Islander Townhomes on the Bayside, just slightly further south.
(Hooray! You've arrived! Photo by Island Runaways/Z.A.)
Having two locations give guests a fabulous set of options: the larger Islander Resort with its expansive grounds and amenities, or the more intimate bayside townhouses with their view of the breathtaking Islamorada sunsets. In fact, it can be difficult to choose, but Zickie and I decided to make our base at the townhomes, since guests there also have access to the full Islander property on the ocean. When we arrived, we were immediately charmed by the adorable island-y decor and colors.
(A view of the townhomes on Florida Bay. Photo by Island Runaways/Z.A.)
The boat basin allows boat owners to dock their craft steps away from where they are staying, while an attractive pool area gives guests an awesome place to relax, swim, grill, and watch those fabled twilight colors illuminate the horizon. Across from the boat basin you'll see a petite beach, typical of bayside properties in the Keys. The townhome we stayed in had two stories, with two bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths. Having space like that on a family vacation is heaven! Downstairs in the home is a handsome sitting area with chic island furnishings, seaside artwork, a well-equiped kitchen with quite nice appliances, and a dining area. Perfect! Upstairs we were thrilled to find adorable bedrooms painted in cheerful colors and decorated with Guy Harvey prints.
(The happy Guy Harvey decor. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
We made full use of the kitchen, and if we'd stayed longer, I can absolutely see using the convenient washer/dryer located upstairs. Speaking of upstairs, Zickie and I enjoyed sitting on the upstairs balcony and watching as pelicans and ibises soared over the water. Staying here was utterly relaxing. We did go the short distance to the oceanside property, and there we were equally impressed. For travelers wanting a resort experience, Islander Resort seems ideal. First of all, it has a wide, long stretch of sand just in front of the ocean, with graceful palms and plenty of lounge chairs for sunning yourself.
(The beautiful beach at Islander Resort. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
Here guests stay in a variety of accomodation, from suites to ocean-view villas. You can rent watersports equipment on the beach, or eat a bite at Guy's Beachside Bar & Grill. Bonefish Flats is their breakfast restaurant with an expansive daily buffet. Feel like fishing, an activity that's hugely popular in Islamorada? Of course, you can arrange for a fishing charter, but you can also walk over to the Islander's 200 foot fishing pier. There are two pools and a jacuzzi, too. With so much space, you don't feel cramped or crowded. And at this time of year (late June) the ocean feels like a bathtub, just warm and delicious. It's actually hard to leave the water. Having seen both properties, I can see "pros" for both -- but no cons.
(The pleasant pool area. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
As those of you who regularly follow our island travel blog know, we love "running away" to the Keys and get down to these graceful isles every chance that we get. I've stayed in a wide range of properties, from historic bed and breakfasts in Key West's Old Town to chain resorts in Key Largo. But I've never stayed any place quite like this, and I have to confess that the amenities, design, and friendly staff -- combined with access to Islander Resort's generous oceanfront -- made a convert out of me.
(The serene pool area, bayside. Photo by Island Runaways/Z.A.)
If you're in search of an Islamorada hotel or Upper Keys resort for your Florida Keys getaway, this Guy Harvey Outpost provides a simply idyllic experience.
Our thanks to Islander Resort/A Guy Harvey Outpost for arranging an island getaway to one of our favorite places in the world, the Florida Keys. For more posts on the Keys, just click here!