Pros

  • Luxury beachfront resort set on 27 acres of beautiful grounds
  • Elegant rooms have furnished balconies -- some with jetted tubs
  • Large bathrooms with rainfall showers; some add soaking tubs
  • Suites have separate living rooms with pullout sofas; some have full kitchens
  • Three pools, including a heated adults-only one
  • Three on-site restaurants serve seafood, sushi, and Italian fare
  • Beachfront tiki bar, lobby bar, and coffee bar
  • Full-service spa, 24-hour fitness center, and tennis courts
  • Nine-hole, par-three golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus
  • Kids’ club with daily activities for children 5 to 12 years old
  • Private 525-foot fishing pier, and free use of fishing gear
  • Over 4,600 square feet of event space
  • Free use of kayaks, paddleboards, and bikes
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Dog-friendly property (fees apply)
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Cons

  • Steep daily resort fee
  • Reports of seaweed issues at the beach (common in the area)
  • Some find on-site dining overpriced
  • Fee for use of the kids’ club
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Bottom Line

The 214-room Cheeca Lodge and Spa is a luxury resort set on extensive, lush grounds in Islamorada, offering plenty of on-site features, including a nine-hole golf course, a pretty beach with a long fishing pier, a full-service spa, four tennis courts, and three pools (one for adults only). Three restaurants serve seafood, sushi, and Italian fare -- but they're pricey -- and there's a fun tiki bar on the beach. An environmentally-focused kids' club offers all sorts of activities, but it's not free. Spacious guest rooms with elegant tropical decor have private furnished balconies (some with outdoor jetted tubs), while suites add separate living rooms; some have full kitchens. The resort fee is steep but covers a lot, such as use of bikes, kayaks, and fishing gear, plus Wi-Fi and fitness classes. Travelers looking for a more intimate experience might prefer nearby Casa Morada, an upscale, adults-only boutique hotel, but it lacks a full-service restaurant and can be a tad more expensive.

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Oyster Hotel Review

Cheeca Lodge & Spa

What Are the Design and Scene Like at Cheeca Lodge & Spa?

Luxury beachfront resort set on gorgeous, lush grounds with long history and elegant decor

Set on 27 acres of lush grounds, the beachfront Cheeca Lodge and Spa draws mainly vacationing couples and families -- with enough space to cater to both, including a separate adults-only pool -- as well as fishing aficionados here to savor the charms of the "Sportfishing Capital of the World." One of the original luxury properties on Islamorada, the resort dates back to 1946 and has earned plenty of celebrity cachet over the years -- high-profile guests have included George W. Bush. There are some black-and-white photos in the hallways depicting the resort's history and some of its past guests. The resort has gone through several renovations, including being rebuilt after Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage in 2017. The property reopened in 2018 with new rooms, and a new beachfront pool and tiki bar.

Wreathed in lush greenery, the grounds are a picturesque tangle of tall palm trees and tropical plants, with paths meandering past the pretty freeform lagoon pools. Wooden jetties on the interior lagoon area by the spa are particularly charming, lined with padded loungers and umbrellas, and lit up by fiery tiki torches at night. Inside the cream-colored buildings, the style is an elegant sort of tropical-chic, a classic Keys' look that's subtly beachy. Wooden wall paneling and plantation-shutter details are paired with bamboo chairs, while tasteful, tropically-infused paintings add a bit of color to the beige and brown palette. The dining spaces adhere to the same type of style, with the Atlantic's Edge providing a fine-dining experience in an elegant setting complete with crisp white tablecloths and chandeliers, while the other two restaurants have a more casual vibe.

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Where Is Cheeca Lodge & Spa Located in the Florida Keys?

Beachfront location in Islamorada, between Key Largo and Marathon on the Florida Keys

Cheeca Lodge and Spa is located on the Atlantic side of Islamorada, just off of the Overseas Highway, making it a convenient base for exploring the area. There is less to do here than on neighboring islands, but there are still several small restaurants nearby and plenty of attractions within driving distance. A small grocery store is a three-minute walk away, and there are a couple of shops in the area. Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty to keep them occupied: there's kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and windsurfing, not to mention sport fishing -- Islamorada advertises itself as the "sport fishing capital of the world."

  • 12-minute walk to the Keys History and Discovery Center
  • Five-minute drive to the Whale Harbor Marina
  • 10-minute drive to the Theater of the Sea marine life observatory
  • 30 minutes to snorkeling at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and to swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center
  • 35-minute drive to sandy Key Colony Beach
  • 90-minute drive to Miami International Airport
  • 100-minute drive to Key West
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What Are Rooms Like at Cheeca Lodge & Spa?

Spacious rooms and suites with elegant West Indies-inspired decor, furnished balconies, and upscale bathrooms

The hotel’s 214 rooms are spacious and feature elegant decor that mixes stylish dark-wood furniture, beige carpets, and chocolate-brown accent walls with a hint of sophisticated West Indies style, including plantation shutters, wide-blade wooden ceiling fans, and splashes of beachy blues on throw pillows and bed runners. Floor-to-ceiling windows slide open to balconies furnished with a couple of chairs and a small table, while some add outdoor soaking tubs with curtains for privacy. Rooms are divided into several categories based on the type of view they have, with options of resort, lagoon, oceanfront, Lodge Island, and golf course vistas.

Standard amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers (suites have espresso machines), mini-fridges, electronic safes, and free Wi-Fi. Suites have separate living rooms with pullout sofas, and some also have full kitchens equipped with full-size fridges, microwaves, stoves, and dishwashers. The Beach Bungalow has a staircase that leads directly to a private beach area. Elegant bathrooms feature beige marble-like counters and floors, wooden vanities, and large walk-in rainfall showers. Many also feature separate soaking tubs.

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What Features Are Available at Cheeca Lodge & Spa?

Beach, three pools, golf course, tennis courts, gym, full-service spa, and kids’ club

The resort's lush, garden-filled grounds offer plenty of relaxing areas to lounge, be it on the beautiful stretch of palm-dotted beach where loungers line the sandy shore, or around one of the three outdoor pools. The adults-only lap pool is part of the spa and includes butler service, as well as cabanas available for rent. The two family pools have views of the beach and a tiki bar each.

Islamorada is a prime spot for fishermen, and the resort caters to those wishing to fish with a 525-foot (160-meter) wooden pier on the beach, as well as unlimited use of fishing equipment. Guests can also book various fishing excursions and charter boats. Other water activities include snorkeling, sea kayaking, and scuba diving. The snorkeling tour to the reef, available for a fee, is a popular excursion.

Grounds are also home to a Jack Nicklaus-designed nine-hole, par-three golf course and two running trails, and there are four tennis courts that guest can use free of charge. The 24-hour fitness center offers a handful of cardio machines, a strength-training machine, and free weights. Additionally, other fitness activities such as yoga, body toning, tennis clinics, and swimming are available free of charge as part of the entertainment program.

The full-service spa offers an extensive menu of treatments with seven treatment rooms, as well as a wet room with a Vichy shower, a steam room, and showers.

The hotel offers over 4,600 square feet of event space and is often host to weddings and other functions. Families traveling with children are catered to with Camp Cheeca, an environmental kids' club that offers all sorts of activities, though it costs a fee. Other amenities include a game room, an Xbox arcade, a DVD rental library, free Wi-Fi throughout, and free rentals of bikes, paddleboards, and kayaks. Note that there is a steep daily resort fee that doesn’t cover some water sports and activities.

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What Restaurants and Bars Are at Cheeca Lodge & Spa?

Three restaurants with sea views and tasty yet overpriced food

Three on-site restaurants offer varied dining options, including fresh seafood at the Atlantic’s Edge, Italian fare at family-friendly Mia Cucina, and sushi at Nikai Sushi Bar. All three restaurants have both indoor and outdoor seating. There are also two tiki bars that serve up cocktails, beers, and burgers right on the beach. The resort also has a coffee bar that's open in the mornings, as well as an elegant lobby bar serving drinks and light plates. Live music is available a few times per week at one of the beachfront tiki bars.

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Babysitting Services

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beach

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Children's Pool

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Full Kitchen

  • Golf Course

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Kids Club

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pets Allowed

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.