Don’t have kids and prefer not be around any when on vacation? (I can almost hear the chorus of yeses on the other side!)
Key Largo’s Azul del Mar is a slice of tropical heaven made for couples looking for a quick weekend getaway or a longer stay to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. The best part? All guests are required to be 16 or older.
Just over a 30-minute drive from Everglades National Park and a stone’s throw from John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the Azul del Mar is one of two small lodging options owned by the same hotel group. The other is a restored Queen Anne mansion in Key West, which is every bit as nice and well-appointed as the del Mar. (We’ve stayed at both over the years.)
For the money, you will not find better accommodations in Key Largo, the uppermost of the Florida Keys. Overlooking Blackwater Sound on the Gulf side of U.S. 1, Azul del Mar is nestled in a lush canopied garden with majestic mahoganies and gumbo limbos.
Six guest suites with contemporary furnishings are housed inside an art deco villa. Each suite comes with a kitchenette, lounge area with flat-screen television, and plush bath/beach towels. A barbecue is available outside for those nights you want to stay on-property and grill a steak or your afternoon catch.
The green lawn gently slopes down to the turquoise water where you’ll find a beautifully-manicured little beach, covered sitting areas and a long boat dock, all perfect for escaping with a good book or watching the golden sunsets. There’s also a couple of hammocks draped between the large trees if you’re looking to relax in the shade.
Members of the staff are friendly and eager to provide recommendations on everything from restaurants and shopping to outdoor activities and adventures. They can also book snorkeling trips, offshore fishing excursions, wilderness kayaking adventures and Everglades eco tours, all of which leave from Azul del Mar’s docks.
This is one of those hidden gem resorts that you’ll be sad to leave and have you checking your calendar for the next available date when you can come back for an even longer stay.