Review: Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida, USA
As the spring travel season settles down from its peak, many travelers are looking ahead at what the summer holds for them. Families, friends, and solo travelers alike tend to gravitate towards a unified summer vision – basking in the warm sun with a fresh drink in hand, a soft breeze against their face, and endless leisurely possibilities to choose from. For anyone seeking to experience these moments in paradise, they need not look further than Hawks Cay Resort, located in the middle of the Florida Keys.
A member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection and an AAA Four-Diamond Award-winner, Hawks Cay Resort is a luxury oasis located on the secluded isle of Duck Key. Hailed as the largest resort in the Keys, this property spans across 60 acres with an array of accommodations, including a one-bedroom presidential suite, two-bedroom penthouse suite, and on-site luxurious villas with private pools– ideal for larger gatherings such as family reunions and wedding parties.
As guests make their way through the secluded driveway, they’ll have the option of complimentary parking or valet parking for an additional cost. The quality of service in staff was made apparent the moment we stepped on property, as the bellmen greeted us and collected our luggage. Upon entrance, we were treated to a first glimpse at the alluring design and decor all throughout the resort lobby, with soft color palettes and fresh scents subtly suggesting our minds to ease into relaxation. Swift yet informative, I found the check-in process to be near effortless, as the front desk agents guided me through an overview of the resort.
Re-imagined and modernized, Hawks Cay Resort offers a diverse selection of guest rooms to choose from. The Lanai Adult Guest Room is the ideal for those looking to maximize their relaxation and seclusion. This room category is in the adults-only side of the offers plenty of space to call home for the next few days. This 396 sq-ft. room designed with soft color tones includes top-of-the-line appliances, amenities, and a private lanai that leads directly to the adults-only Oasis Pool.
Designed in soft white tones and tanned tiles, the bathroom includes a spacious counter top and a wide vanity mirror bordered by illuminating light. The walk-in shower behind a glass door provides for plenty of space and the perfect amount of water pressure. Luxury towels can be found on the shower door handle as well as below the sink cabinets. Hygienic amenities include travel-size luxury soaps, lotions, make-up wipes, and shower caps, which can be found on the counter near the water basin. Plush robes are located in the closet space.
The “main course” of Hawks Cay’s decedent options can be found in the several indulgent culinary experiences. No vacation is complete without delighting the senses with the tropical tastes and delicacies of the resort’s dining choices. The resort’s food and beverage team left no stone unturned, as we were taken on an immersive culinary journey with each of the resort’s offerings while still considering and servicing our dietary preferences and restrictions.
Enjoy an array of a-la-carte options such as the Banana Walnut French toast or my personal favorite, the Buttermilk Belgian Waffle. Grab-and-go options are available at the Hawks Cay Marketplace, where guests will find plenty of pre-made items as well as snacks and an on-site Starbucks.
Enjoy fresh seafood specialties at Angler & Ale for lunch, while enjoying an ice-cold draft beer on their patio overlooking the sparkling waters of the Keys. More casual options can be found at the Tiki Grill, a great poolside option for those spending their sunny afternoon at the resort’s main pool.
For dinner, we headed back to the resort’s signature restaurant Sixty-One Prime to enjoy fine-dining options curated with craft, presentation, and passion. Local seafood options are available as well as an immense list of worldly wines to pair entrees with. Menu highlights include Petite Cut Tenderloin of Beef, Key West Pink Shrimp, and Lion’s Mane Crab Cake. My dessert suggestion will have to be the creamy Key Lime Pie.
The resort’s saltwater lagoon invites guests to enjoy a round of paddle boarding and kayaking. Additional water sport activities include fishing, diving, snorkeling, and plenty of swimming around the resort’s several pools.
The structural and geographical design of the resort is crafted with intention and convenience. For parents looking to enjoy a world-class relaxing spa treatment without the kids in tow, they may drop their children off just steps away at the resort’s kids’ club, Coral Cay Activities & Adventures. While the parents indulge in the wellness offerings of the award-winning Calm Waters Spa, their children can enjoy an array of daytime activities such as scavenger hunts, adventures in the pirate-themed pool, and arts and crafts. Named the #1 Family Resort by USA Today 10Best, parents will find that their kids will want for nothing.
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Hawks Cay Resort is located in Duck Key, about mid-way down the famed Florida Keys. Residents enjoy the carefree, relaxing environment with plenty of outdoor activities along the coast.
Other nice touches
The staff will go above and beyond to make sure each guest feels at home. While many luxury resorts pride their staff on professionalism, most miss the mark to incorporate warm, personable service in their interaction with guests. Hawks Cay Resort provided us with an array of memorable moments from the staff. Angler & Ale staff member Basil left our hearts touched, as he effortlessly connected with us through his warm humor and charisma.
A standard Hawks Cay Guest Room will range from about $330 a night. The Lanai Adult Guest Room I stayed in ranges from about $450 a night.
The best bit
The resort’s focus to cater to adults truly sets this resort apart from all other surrounding options in the surrounding Keys. For an immersive and themed adults-only experience, guests will be delighted to find Pilar Bar at the adults-only area, Oasis Cay. This themed bar is inspired by the worldly and legendary novelist Ernest Hemingway, whose fishing boat named Pilar served as the muse behind the classic American literature, “The Old Man and the Sea”. Enjoy Papa’s Pilar-infused cocktails while indulging in snack bites such as my personal favorite, the Fried Pickle Chips. Time seems to stand still in this small, serene corner of the resort, and guests may come to realize as their afternoon hours have slipped away, they may as well stay for one more drink and a spectacular view of the sunset.
The final verdict
Hawks Cay Resort undoubtedly redefines tropical luxury. This resort welcomes visitors year-round, and while guests may not have enough time to enjoy all the amenities the resort has to offer, the warm and personable staff will always be around to welcome them back for their next visit. I can certainly say I’ll be back to enjoy my time again in this oasis of paradise.
Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by Hawks Cay Resort.