As part of our trip to Florida, we simply had to go back to a little place on Tavernier we'd stayed at 5 years before. We loved it then, and it had just been acquired by the current owners, and forgiving them a little then for the happy go lucky standards, the location and conviviality had us drawn back to sample some more.
We travelled independently, found the resort on the internet (it was still going!) and emailed them with our dates. The next day we had a full reply, with rates, and so on. We reserved over the internet, and called our credit card through (note their site is not secure for payment over the internet). And we were all set.
I can recall our excitement driving down US 1 from Miami, looking for this little place we'd been before and we simply honed in on it as if on autopilot.
Island Bay is just a peach of a place. Just under 10 villas form the property, so it is cosy. Each villa has its own decorative theme, we were in the 'birds and boats' villa. The accommodation is compact. The main room of the villa is mostly taken by the bedroom, and there is a small alcove with a bijou kitchenette where we managed to cook some very acceptable dinners. The bathroom is small too, no bath, only a very decent shower. Don't expect oppulent space, you'll be disappointed. The decor is homely, rather than smart. It is like staying at your favourite aunt's, albeit a modern aunt, by the most amazing sunset scenes definitely not available at your favourite aunt's. One drawback is the lack of closet space for hanging your clothes. It's very limited.
Outsite your villa, there is a nice deck, with table and chairs, and a charcoal BBQ, surrounded by gardens. Very pretty, very relaxing.
The whoaaa factor is the sunsets. The property is located bayside, and has a small beach on the bay. We actually saw a large stingray cruise past the beach a couple of times, and baby barracuda hiding in the sea grass. The property has a boat jetty, and several seating areas on the jetty which are the favourite haunt of the residents at around dusk, 'for the sunset'. Take your glass of wine or your can of beer, or indeed any drink you like and go and sit and watch. It's fabulous, Key West, eat your heart out.
Tarvernier is the quieter neighbour of Key Largo and Isla Morada, but in no time, you are there. The diving in this area is plentyful and easily accessible, and Carol and Mike, the owners, are a wealth of information on local events and activities.
We had a real chill out here. And the little kitten we met on our first trip 5 years ago, sadly burdened with a deformed tail, came to greet us every day, now a big cat, tail not looking any better, but still rocking!
Well done Island Bay, don't change a thing, we love you as you are!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Island Bay Resort provides you with a complete "Florida Keys experience." Our hotel is centrally located between Key Largo and Islamorada and just two hours from Key West and Miami. Enjoying your Florida vacation is easy. Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, boating and sunbathing can all be enjoyed from our resort's beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Island Bay Hotel Tavernier
- Island Bay Tavernier
- Island Bay Resort Key Largo/Tavernier