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Casa Morada 4.0

Islamorada, Florida Keys, Florida

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beautiful waterfront location in quiet, convenient, and walkable location
  • Sixteen upscale rooms with either verdant garden or water views
  • Some rooms have massive whirlpool tubs, separate living rooms, and/or private terrace
  • Small private island with sparkling pool, sun loungers, and cabana bar
  • Free use of snorkeling equipment, bicycles, kayaks, and yoga classes
  • Garden grounds feature relaxation area and bocce ball court
  • In-room massages, sunset cruises, and water sport activities available
  • Guests with boats can dock at hotel for free
  • Free continental breakfast and (paid) snacks and lunch menu 
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Pet-friendly 

Cons

  • No kids allowed under 16 (pro for some)
  • No beach; private island seawall drops directly into the water

Bottom Line

Epitomizing the laid-back Keys lifestyle, Casa Morada is an upscale 16-room boutique ideal for groups of friends or couples looking for a romantic getaway. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene atmosphere, with tropical garden grounds, and a small private island with pool and tons of loungers. Guests have their pick of free activities including yoga classes, bocce, lounging by the small pool, or renting kayaks, push bikes, or snorkel gear. There are also free breakfast and small snacks and booze for purchase. Compared to nearby hotels, this property offers great value, and many of the spacious rooms feature water views.

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Scene

Upscale yet relaxed boutique with romantic vibe, secluded garden grounds, and small, private island 

Originally opened in the 1950s, Casa Morada is an upscale and intimate boutique hotel that was designed to feel like a relaxing retreat from the bustling outside world. The elegant suite-style rooms, gorgeous tropical garden grounds, hammocks hanging between the trees, a waterfront pool deck and bar, and a Zen garden with rock grotto contribute to the serene vibe. Though ownership of the property changed in 2015, the boutique remains a favorite with loyal guests who are one a first-name basis with the staff. The spa-like atmosphere is replete with landscaping designs by architect Raymond Jungles, and clean, contemporary furniture in bold colors and white wood. During our visit, we found the staff to be attentive and welcoming. 

The check-in desk is located in a room that opens to an outdoor entertaining area. Modern furniture and design can be found throughout the public areas, including the waterfront terrace, where free yoga classes are held three times a week. While the 16-room hotel's secluded garden grounds give way for an intimate and romantic feeling for couples, the small, private island pool area (where, thanks to the bar, most guest socializing takes place) can get unavoidably rowdy depending on other guests. 

Location

Located right on the ocean with access to an array of water excursions

Located in the Middle Keys on laidback Islamorada, Casa Morada offers a gateway to guests who wish to explore the calm waters of the Florida Bay. The concierge can arrange guided fishing charters, dive and snorkel trips, boat rides through the Everglades, and sunset sails. There are a few restaurants located within walking distance. Located less than a five-minute walk southwest from the hotel, the waterside Lorelei Restaurant and Bar is famous for its nightly live music, happy hours on the water, and delicious key lime pie. There are several attractions within a 10- to 20-minute drive of the hotel, including swimming with dolphins at Theater of the Sea (for more information about the conditions of wild animals in captivity, read this); seeing native birds at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center; and water sport rentals at A1A Watersports. Just seven minutes south across the bridge, guests can charter fishing trips, hand feed hungry tarpon, shop souvenir stalls, or grab a bite at Robbie's Marina. 

Rooms

Upscale, contemporary rooms decorated elegantly and featuring beautiful water or garden views

There are only 16 rooms on the property separated between the Sea View House and Garden View House. Each suite has it own distinct decor and vibe, and though all are clean and have contemporary island style, they are not all created equal. In the Garden House, the Lower Garden Suite starts you off with a dedicated living room, minibar, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TV, while the the Upper Garden Suite adds a private terrace. Large whirlpools are bonuses in the Terrace Suite and Jungles Suite, the latter of which also has a big outdoor deck with loungers. In the Sea View House, all rooms are directly on the water and feature slightly more upscale decor. 

Unique room extras include yoga mats, plush bathrobes, a flashlight for guests to use while walking the grounds at night, and books to read in one of the hammocks or on the balcony. Snug but comfortable and contemporary bathrooms feature separated sinks to toilets and showers, Malin + Goetz products, and thick towels. For the best rooms, snag a suite upstairs on the second floor, where you can glimpse views of the water across the gardens. Some spaces have bathrooms with more modern features than others (like walk-in showers, instead of tubs with curtains).

Features

Packed with more amenities and freebies than most boutique-style hotels

The crown jewel of the hotel is its own small private island, which is accessed by a white footbridge and features a freshwater pool and secluded cabana with panoramic views of the Florida Bay. Guests at Casa Morada can expect lots of freebies, including bicycle rentals, kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel equipment, Wi-Fi, and free onsite parking for cars or docking for boats. There are free yoga classes three mornings a week in the cabana area from a local instructor. During the late mornings through sunset, guests can grab drinks, beers, cocktails, and light snacks from sandwiches to pizzas at the cabana bar to eat on a lounger or take back to their rooms. In-room and terrace massages are offered as well. The small but sparkling pool area features with lounge chairs and hammocks that overlook the water. Free breakfast with fresh-squeezed orange juice, sliced fruit, croissants, Greek yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs, among other items is served outside on the Sea View House terrace, along with free newspapers. 

This is a pet-friendly hotel and no children under 16 years of age are permitted. 

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Address

136 Madeira Rd, Florida 33036-3615, United States

Phone

(305) 664-0044

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