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14 Best Resorts on the Beach in the Florida Keys

Written by Carri Wilbanks
Dec 16, 2019

Many of the beaches in the Florida Keys are man-made and usually attached to a resort. The good news about this feature is unlike natural beaches, which cannot be private, the manmade ones here have no restrictions-so when you lay out, you'll only be competing with other resort guests for the sun lounger in the sand.

And while the Florida Keys aren't known for their miles of white-sand beaches like other parts of Florida around Miami or Fort Lauderdale, they are known for their warm turquoise water, technicolor sunsets, and laid-back island vibe. They're also known for their beach resorts, which come in all shapes and sizes.

There are swanky private island resorts and more down-to-earth family hotels in places like Key Largo; Islamorada; Big Pine Key; Marathon; and, of course, Key West, located at the end of the 126-mile string of islands and atolls.

For the scoop on the best place to stay on the isles that form the barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, see our list of the best beach resorts in the Florida Keys.

1. Islander Resort

Photo Source: Islander Resort

A well-loved favorite, guests often return year after year to the Islander Resort in Islamorada. Set on 24 acres adjacent to a private stretch of beach known for its stunning sunsets, the resort features contemporary rooms and suites decorated with ocean accents in the form of colorful wall art. Best of all, the rooms all come with full-sized fridges and microwaves. There are also larger suites and townhome rentals with full kitchens should you need more space.

Amenities include two ocean-facing, saltwater swimming pools; a splash pad for kids; cabanas; and basketball and volleyball courts. The beach here has a protected and shallow walk-in swim area. Water sports can also be arranged.

Breakfast is included in your rate. There are also two restaurants on the well-maintained resort grounds.

Address: 82100 Overseas Highway Mile Marker 82.1 Oceanside, Islamorada, Florida

Accommodation: Islander Resort

2. Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort

Photo Source: Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort

Best for couples, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa has reopened after a forced renovation following Hurricane Irma's destruction to Little Torch Key. The new look stays true to the resort's original island luxe flavor and adds some modern upgrades as well.

The all-inclusive property is on a private island that can only be reached by boat or seaplane. A favorite with celebrities, the luxury boutique resort features just 30 bungalow suites with thatched roofs and posh individualized decor, like copper outdoor tubs and heirloom rugs in some, and outdoor showers and crystal chandeliers in another.

If you are looking for a digital detox vacation, this is the hotel for you, as cell phones are not allowed in public areas, and there are no TVs in the rooms (although there is Wi-Fi).

Amenities also include a lush spa, a fine-dining restaurant (or you can choose to dine in your room), and a lovely swimming pool surrounded by tropical plants. There are also cushioned sun loungers and umbrellas set up for guests on the beach.

Address: 28500 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, Florida

Accommodation: Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort

3. Pier House Resort & Spa

Photo Source: Pier House Resort & Spa

Right in the heart of Key West, Pier House Resort & Spa is just a minute stroll from Mallory Square. The rooms and suites here feature island casual decor with warm colors and accent pillows and rugs. Local art hangs on the walls, and the bathrooms are oversized. The hotel faces west, so the rooms with oceanfront balconies are where to be at sunset.

Grab a bite at one of the on-site restaurants, like the waterfront One Duval, or indulge in a treatment at the full-service spa, one of the area's best. There is also a private beach with a floating dock you can swim to. If you'd rather not get sandy, the resort swimming pool is nice.

Address: 1 Duval Street, Key West, Florida

Accommodation: Pier House Resort & Spa

4. Isla Bella Beach Resort

Photo Source: Isla Bella Beach Resort

On Marathon, Isla Bella Beach Resort is a new addition to the Florida Keys resort scene. The modern luxe property sits on 24 oceanfront acres with a white-sand beach. And thanks to a clever design, all the rooms and suites have some sort of ocean view from their furnished balconies.

On-site amenities here include five swimming pools and a private marina, where fishing charters or snorkeling adventures can be arranged. Bikes and kayaks are also available for guests to try out.

For meals, there is an Italian restaurant Il Postino on-site. You can dine on the terrace facing the sea. Live music happens on some nights.

Address: 1 Knights Key Blvd Mm 47, Marathon, Florida

Accommodation: Isla Bella Beach Resort

5. Southernmost Beach Resort

Photo Source: Southernmost Beach Resort

On Key West's Atlantic Coast, Southernmost Beach Resort is just a short walk from lively Duval Street, which is packed with shops and restaurants. It's also just a few minutes' walk to the sign designating you've reached the southernmost point of the U.S. The resort features signature Key West colonial architecture, as well as modern coastal design throughout its spacious and comfortable rooms and suites.

Amenities here include three outdoor swimming pools, a private beach and pier area, lawn games like bocce ball and croquet, and a restaurant. There is also a gym and spa services on-site.

Address: 1319 Duval Street, Key West, Florida

Accommodation: Southernmost Beach Resort

6. Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection

Photo Source: Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection

Just an hour's drive from Miami on Key Largo, Playa Largo Resort & Spa has hammocks and sun loungers strewn along its sandy shore, and kayaks and paddleboards are available for guests to use.

The luxury resort, which caters to couples and families alike, is set on 14 acres and features spacious rooms with balconies and beachy accents like lighthouse-shaped lanterns. The rooms are also high-tech, with iPads and Smart TVs so you can stream your favorite shows.

Amenities include a restaurant, kids' club, swimming pool, spa, and gym. There is also a private marina on-site, and the sunset sailing charters are recommended.

Address: 97450 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, Florida

Accommodation: Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection

7. Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Photo Source: Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Over the years, Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada has hosted everyone from celebrities to U.S. presidents. The luxury resort sits on beautifully manicured, lush green grounds and is home to a white, sandy beach; nine-hole golf course; fishing pier; and a full-service spa among other swank amenities.

The 214 rooms and suites are spacious and feature tropical decor and furnished balconies. The best rooms here have jetted tubs outside on the balcony. There are also suites. Families should ask about the ones with full kitchens.

There are also three restaurants, a kids' club, three swimming pools, and four tennis courts among the other on-site perks.

Address: 81801 Overseas Highway Mile Marker 82, Islamorada, Florida

Accommodation: Cheeca Lodge & Spa

8. Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort

Photo Source: Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort

On a 1,000-foot-long stretch of private beach, Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort on Marathon spreads across 12 acres right on the water.

The resort is made up of a number of luxe Victorian-style homes done up with tropical decor and divided into two- and three-bedroom suites. It is a great choice for families or anyone looking to save some money by cooking for themselves, as each suite has a full kitchen. If you just need a room, there are a few basic rooms without ocean views.

Amenities here include three swimming pools (one is reserved just for adults), a host of water sports rentals available on the beach, and even a private marina where boat tours can be booked. There is also an on-site restaurant.

Address: 2600 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Florida

Accommodation: Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort

9. Baker's Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton

Photo Source: Baker's Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton

On Key Largo, which is the key closest to Miami, Baker's Cay Resort is a good value, mid-range property on a small beach. The rooms are spacious and work for families, with pullout sofas for the kids in a separate sitting area. It isn't quite a suite, but it works.

Amenities include two swimming pools, one of which is a free-form affair with a waterfall surrounded by tropical foliage and sun loungers. There are also lighted tennis courts on the grounds and a restaurant serving Mediterranean fare. The resort is also pet-friendly.

Address: 97000 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida

Accommodation: Baker's Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton

10. Amara Cay Resort

Photo Source: Amara Cay Resort

Amara Cay Resort on Islamorada is a luxe resort on a gorgeous stretch of private beach with thatched huts and sun loungers plus hammocks. There are 110 rooms and suites with modern decor and furnished balconies facing the sea.

Activities here include all sorts of water-based activities, from scuba diving to kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. You can even arrange PADI certification through their on-site dive shop. The pet-friendly property also has a swimming pool, hot tub, gym, and Italian restaurant known for its porterhouse steak.

Address: 80001 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Florida

Accommodation: Amara Cay Resort

11. Hyatt Centric Key West Resort and Spa

Photo Source: Hyatt Centric Key West Resort and Spa

Right on the water in Key West, the Hyatt Centric Resort & Spa is a fun place to stay. The hotel offers some great extras, like access to a private Gulf of Mexico beach and electric scooter and bike rentals.

Water sports, from parasailing to jet skiing, can be arranged at the resort's marina and there is also an outdoor pool with a waterfall and a floating dock area off the small beach.

The 118 rooms are spacious and comfortable and come with private balconies. The bathrooms have rainfall showers. There are also two restaurants on the grounds.

Address: 601 Front Street, Key West, Florida

Accommodation: Hyatt Centric Key West Resort and Spa

12. The Galleon Resort and Marina

Photo Source: The Galleon Resort and Marina

In the heart of Old Town Key West, Galleon Resort and Marina is a contemporary resort with its own marina from which you can rent Jet Skis or charter fishing boats or sunset yachts.

There are a mix of rooms, suites, and penthouses on offer. The suites have full kitchens and Jacuzzis. Penthouses come in up to three-bedroom configurations.

Amenities at the Galleon include a private beach with chairs and umbrellas, as well as a swimming pool facing the ocean. There is a gym and sauna plus an observation deck with panoramic views that is a romantic spot. The restaurant by the marina offers three meals a day, and there is often live music by the pool.

Address: 617 Front Street, Key West, Florida

Accommodation: The Galleon Resort and Marina

13. Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort

Photo Source: Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort

On Key Colony Beach, the Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort is a family-friendly choice that provides good value in the mid-range price bracket. It is a boutique resort with just 46 rooms and suites, which come with kitchenettes or full kitchens. These are spacious and clean if a little dated. For larger families, check out the three-bedroom villas fronting the sea.

There is a private man-made beach along with two fishing piers. There are also two heated swimming pools with sun loungers and a small gym. Yoga classes on the beach can be arranged for a fee.

Note, there is no restaurant affiliated with the resort, but there is a restaurant next door that serves food and ocean views.

Address: 351 East Ocean Drive, Key Colony Beach, Florida

Accommodation: Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort

14. Seafarer Resort and Beach

Photo Source: Seafarer Resort and Beach

The Seafarer Resort and Beach on Key Largo is set on a private beach with hammocks, beach huts, and sun loungers. It has a vintage, motel-style vibe with funky tropical-patterned comforters, tile floors, and sea-foam green walls among the motifs in the rooms.

It is definitely kitschy, but makes for a fun Instagram photo. It's also more affordable than other area resorts and lets you experience this area on a budget if you don't care much about amenities-you'll have to drive to find a restaurant, and there is no gym or swimming pool. But there is a beach! And a basic breakfast is free.

Address: 97684 Overseas Hwy MM 97.8 Bayside, Key Largo, Florida

Accommodation: Seafarer Resort and Beach

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