Our Florida Keys vacation was everything we wanted and more, and we couldn't have imagined a better place to call home than Hawks Cay Resort.
Located on its very own island, Hawks Cay Resort is located on Duck Key between Islamorada and Marathon in the Florida Keys. The resort is a sprawling 60-acre resort that occupies about 90% of the island. Everything may be walkable but we found it very convenient to see an open air tram circling the resort stopping at certain points throughout the resort. We definitely wanted to take a ride on the tram, but the one time we wanted to, we were waiting for 20 minutes for it to come around. Our kids were getting antsy so we had decided to walk instead.
One of the nice perks within the resort was the ability to use our room card as our ticket to everything - dining, borrowing towels, and shopping, so we didn't have to worry about carrying our wallets.
Close by our villa at the marina is a convenience store where guests can buy groceries, sundries, and other necessities. There’s also little ice cream shop, and even an area to go feed a tarpon. One of the neat things we learned was that two times a day fisherman proudly display their catches for all to see. If we timed it right, it would have been cool to see the fishermen showcase their catch at around 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For those that need a coffee fix, there is a Starbucks located by their gift shop.
Magnificent doesn't even begin to describe the Marina Villa that we stayed at. With a full size kitchen, a dining room, two bedrooms, a washer/dryer, a living room, and two full bathrooms, it was a home away from home. Having a home cooked meal from the full size kitchen gave us a much needed break from having to buy food, and a real treat away from eating out! We loved walking out onto our wraparound screened in lanai to watch the activity at the marina. My only small quip was that the two twin beds in the second bedroom were really high for my toddlers, but the sofa sleeper bed in the living room was a nice alternative for them.
If the kids were a little older we would have liked to try one of the many water activities offered including: boat rentals, fishing charters, sunset cruises, kayak excursions, kiteboarding, parasailing, scuba diving and scuba, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding. Don’t forget about the “dry” activities as well including bicycle rentals and tennis.
But since we were toting two toddlers, we were perfect satisfied time exploring 4 of their 5 pools (one of them was for adults only)! While the resort doesn’t have direct beach access to the ocean, we never felt too far away from it since there was an enclosed lagoon with salt water being fed from the ocean. Think ocean without the tide!
One of the highlights of the resort is that they boast their very own dolphin programs on-site. We were lucky enough to take advantage of this. Read all about our encounter here: http://www.trekaroo.com/activities/dolphin-connection-duck-key-florida
Tip: People do not need to be a resort guest to enjoy the dolphin viewing every 90 minutes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s open to the public!
Kids looking for fun will need to look no further than the Indies Club. There are tons of activities for them including a new sports field, an arcade, put put, basketball, life size chess and checkers, ping pong table, or scheduled resort activities. One thing is for sure - there is never a dull moment. The highlight for my kids was the zero depth splash area complete with sprinklers, a pirate ship and water cannons. Those families looking for a quieter pool than the resort’s main pool will enjoy this better.
Though we didn't necessarily need it, it was great to have an option for a daycare facility or even in room babysitting can also be arranged. Older children also have the option to join a day camp or kids night out activities.
There are a few places to dine on the resort including a Latin restaurant and a few grills. My husband and I couldn't stop ourselves from ordering drinks while we were swimming. We did happen to sit down at their restaurant Ocean for a very nice breakfast buffet. Read all about our visit here: http://www.trekaroo.com/restaurants/ocean-duck-key-florida
Our stay at Hawks Cay was one of our favorites of the year! Gorgeous pools, a saltwater lagoon, outstanding accommodations, and an area just for kids made it the ideal family friendly vacation.
Disclosure: This review is based on a complimentary stay at the Hawks Cay Resort. I received no other compensation besides the hotel stay. The resort did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view. All opinions are my own.
My husband and I had a TERRIBLE experience at this hotel for our honeymoon in September. To start we had NO idea it was a slow season during the first week of September and everything including their restaurant closed at 9pm with no room service or food service after that! We also had a terrible experience with the maid staff where they did not leave towels in the room after cleaning it or soap, shampoo, ect, when we walked into our room that day our bed was not fixed and the pillows that were so beautifully on the bed the day we arrived were thrown on the floor. We had to call to get towels to be able to shower. We had booked through the hotel a sunset cruise that last minute while on the dock we were told, along with many other couples that it was cancelled because they did not realize a private party was booked that day. All in all we did NOT have a pleasant time at Hawks Cay Resort, and before we left we spoke to a manager who offered us 3 days free to try to make up for our bad experience, yet after 3 months of waiting and consistently calling and speaking to person after person we have still not received any voucher and not even an apology for the terrible experience we had, they have NO customer service! And no follow up procedures to ensure things get done. Only stay here if you want to be stressed and not even have one person try to make it better.
This resort has it all, plenty of activities for the whole family. Private beaches, dining, clean and spacious rooms, need I say more. The resort is a bit pricey for some, but a great splurge for a big family vacation. There's so much to do, you forget that the rest of the Florida Keys is right there waiting to be seen.