Charlie Cooksey spends a weekend in the Florida Keys in the pinnacle of luxury, checking into Isla Bella Beach Resort and Oceans Edge Resort.
When in Florida, a trip down to The Keys is a must. The Florida Keys are a long strip of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of the peninsular US state of Florida, running through the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. This long strip of islands running through the middle of the ocean ranks high in being one of the most beautiful and spectacular places I’ve travelled to, and the approximately 4hour drive from Miami down to Key West is a commute you’ll seriously enjoy.
I broke the drive from Miami to Key West into 2 legs stopping over half way in Marathon, a city in the Keys, and checked into Isla Bella – a luxury resort hotel tucked away in one of the most beautiful parts of Florida and just 2 hours from Miami. A windy driveway lined with over a thousand tall palm trees greet you as you drive into the hotel entrance area, whilst the hotel is just off the main A1A road, you feel truly separate and isolated from the rest of the world as you enter the resort.
Isla Bella is set on 24 acres of lush tropical landscaping and nearly one mile of private beach and boasts four dining outlets, five swimming pools, on-site water sports, a fishing pier, marina and stunning Atlantic Ocean views from all 199 rooms.
A smooth, quick check-in process at Isla Bella lobby whilst sipping a cold glass of a refreshing mocktail, and eyeballing the immaculate beach through the big glass windows of the hotel lobby…. It made for great Instagram stories.
My suite had multiple rooms and offered a lot of space yet felt very ‘homely’ and the view from the room was like something from a postcard. I had a relaxing one night stay here, rose early the following morning to watch the sunrise over the ocean with a fresh cup of coffee using the in-room coffee machine. ‘Paradise’ is a cliché word today, but going by pure definition, this was it.
The second leg of my trip in the Keys I took off from Isla Bella Resort and drove about 1.5hrs from Marathon down to Key West and checked into Oceans Edge. Key West is a whole different vibe compared to Marathon – busy with shops, restaurants, bars and all sorts of events happening.
Oceans Edge Resort & Marina is just a few minutes from the entrance into Key West island. An outstanding resort across 20 acres surrounded by tropical palm trees, clear blue sea, swimming pools and sunshine.
I was totally impressed from first arrival – the design and décor of the lobby and hotel property and also the friendly, welcoming and helpful staff and reception gave a warm welcome and told me everything I need to know about Oceans Edge, as well as offering some great ideas on things to do in Key West – including the Sunset Festival in Mallory Square, I really enjoyed that.