For lovers of sun, sea, and sand, the Florida Keys are exceptional. This unique archipelago of over 800 islands stretches over 180 miles off the southern tip of Florida. Together, they offer a little slice of Caribbean-style heaven in the continental United States.
The Florida Keys are a fantastic place to live and a perfect place to vacation. Best of all – to access them, you don’t even have to get on a plane if you don’t want to. You can drive to all 30 inhabited Florida Keys from the mainland United States thanks to a series of bridges that will take you to Key West.
There are countless places to stay when visiting the Florida Keys, but the best option for most visitors is one of the islands’ many resorts. The resorts in this area cater to people seeking the ultimate beach vacation in the United States.
There are dozens of Florida Keys resorts worth considering. Whatever your preference or budget, the Keys have the place you’re looking for. Each has its style and personality, but all aim to please the wide variety of guests from all over the nation and the world who visit this area.
From Key Largo to Key West, resorts in the Florida Keys are all similar in some ways but are very different in others, and you may find it challenging to choose. We’re here to help.
Below, we profile the best resorts in the Florida Keys so you can spend less time comparing and contrasting properties and making your choice and more time packing your bags and daydreaming about your arrival. Read on to learn all about the best resorts in the Florida Keys, and start planning your trip today!
What We Cover
- Best Resorts in the Florida Keys
- 1. Playa Largo Resort and Spa
- 2. Amara Cay Resort
- 3. Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort
- 4. Islander Resort
- 5. Reefhouse Resort and Marina
- 6. Little Palm Island Resort
- 7. Pier House Resort
- What are the top activities to do while staying at a resort in the Florida Keys?
- How do I choose the best resort for my vacation in the Florida Keys?
- What’s the best time of year to visit the Florida Keys?
|Rating (Out of 5)
|Playa Largo Resort and Spa
|Amara Cay Resort
|Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort
|Reefhouse Resort and Marina
|Little Palm Island Resort
|Little Torch Key
|Pier House Resort
Best Resorts in the Florida Keys
1. Playa Largo Resort and Spa
Address: 97450 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037
Playa Largo Resort and Spa in Key Largo is a popular choice for people who don’t wish to venture too deeply into the Florida Keys. Key Largo is the northernmost island in the Florida Keys, and this resort is less than 90 minutes from Miami. It’s on 14 acres on the northern side of the Overseas Highway and offers luxurious accommodations that you’ll love.
This is a Marriott Autograph Collection property so you can expect comfortable rooms and great service. There is an outdoor pool, a hot tub, fire pits, and water sports rentals onsite. There’s also a private beach area with steps that descend into calm blue waters.
Rooms have smart TVs, and family rooms are available if you’re traveling with kids. Guests will enjoy dining at any of the three onsite restaurants, La Marea, Las Olas, and Sol by the Sea, and the full-service spa, Ocean Spa, offers massages, skin and nail treatments, and a salon. Service at this property is great overall, and there’s often live music in the evenings.
Things to Do Nearby:
- Take a guided kayak tour through the mangrove forest
- Enjoy a private scenic flight over the Keys
- Visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- Easy to get to from Miami
- Great spa and restaurants
- Lovely beach with calm waters
- The pool can get crowded/not enough chairs
- Restaurants don’t accept reservations
- Internet is free but slow
2. Amara Cay Resort
Address: 80001 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036
Islamorada is about halfway between Key West and Miami which puts guests right in the middle of everything. If you stay here, you’ll want a car so you can easily access other islands in the Keys, and free parking is available on-site.
This resort has several amenities, including a private, man-made sand beach with hammocks and lounge chairs, picnic tables, and a playground for the kids. Guests and visitors can borrow kayaks, paddle boards, and bikes for free, and can enjoy yoga and massages on the beach as well.
Further, this resort has a fitness center, a business center with computers for guest use, an outdoor hot tub, and a pool that overlooks the ocean with an adjacent tiki bar. Visitors love the free Wi-Fi and daily free continental breakfast as well.
The onsite restaurant, ReelCatch, also overlooks the ocean and often has live music and drink specials. Coastal Cup & Lounge offers coffee and cocktails all day.
Things to Do Nearby:
- Visit the History of Diving Museum
- Check out the Alligator Reef Lighthouse
- Hike in the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
- Go on a snorkeling excursion
- Charter a boat and visit a sandbar with your group
- Located right on the water with a private beach
- Free WiFi and parking
- Lots of water sports opportunities
- Great views from outside
- Water off the beach is often rough
- Many rooms have views of the parking lot or roof
3. Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort
Address: 2600 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050
Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort is another resort that is on the water, kid-friendly, and romantic. This resort is spread across 12 acres and has a 1,000-foot-long private beach. It’s a beautiful property and it has lots of on-site amenities that all travelers love including a private marina where tours are offered, three swimming pools (including one that is adults-only), water sports rentals, free Wi-Fi, and free parking.
There’s a tiki bar on the shore where guests can sip cocktails with an ocean view, and the on-site Butterfly Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. There’s no spa here, but massage appointments are available.
This resort is unique in offering private two and three-bedroom suites, some of which have full kitchens. All rooms have big balconies or patios, and most offer ocean views. Many guests find these townhouse-style rooms more comfortable and pleasing than the regular rooms at many other resorts in the Keys.
People love Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort because it differs slightly from other Florida Keys resorts. Marathon is quite a distance down into the Keys, though, and you’ll probably want to get a rental car if you plan to explore places outside of the resort itself.
Things to Do Nearby:
- Go aloft on a parasailing adventure
- Visit The Turtle Hospital and learn about sea turtles
- Spend a day at Curry Hammock State Park
- Resort has an eco-friendly seagrass net offshore to help keep the beach clean and free of seaweed
- Huge beach and three pools
- Large multi-bedroom units, some with kitchens
- Marathon is quite a distance from major airports
- No spa
- Car needed
4. Islander Resort
Address: 82100 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036
The Islander Resort in Islamorada is a lovely option right in the middle of the Florida Keys. This property is on 22 acres and has 114 rooms.
It’s quite popular with its guests and most people who stay here once return again in the future. It has everything that most people seek in a beachfront property in the Florida Keys.
The man-made beach and fishing pier here are both big draws, as are the two swimming pools (including a freshwater pool AND a saltwater pool), beach volleyball courts, water sports equipment and fishing poles for rent, a nice fitness center and gift shop, free parking, bike rentals, and free Wi-Fi. There are grills, hammocks, and picnic tables for guests to use on the property, and there’s an excellent sea-front restaurant and bar, plus a separate breakfast restaurant, too.
Rooms at the Islander Resort are cottage-style, and they come with patios and kitchenettes; some even have whirlpool tubs, and some are pet friendly, too! They were all renovated recently. The overall vibe at this resort is laid-back and friendly. You’ll certainly have a wonderful time here with your friends or family.
Things to Do Nearby:
- Check out some local breweries
- Shop at local gift shops and galleries
- Visit the Indian Key State Historic Site
- Go on an organized snorkeling and beach tour of the area
- Fishing pier and lovely beach
- A relaxed, laid-back vibe
- Rooms have kitchenettes
- Lots of amenities
- The beach is pretty, but not very swimmable due to rocks
- Food at restaurants is expensive
5. Reefhouse Resort and Marina
Address: 103800 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037
Another excellent property in Key Largo is the Reefhouse Resort and Marina. Like Playa Largo Resort and Spa mentioned above, this resort is under an hour and a half from Miami, which makes it easily accessible by plane from anywhere in the world.
Reefhouse Resort and Marina is on 17 acres of waterfront and has lots of amenities, including a full-service spa, volleyball, a large outdoor pool and hot tub, a tiki bar, a poolside bar, and a restaurant that serves locally-sourced fish. You can depart on snorkeling and sport fishing excursions right from the hotel, too.
Spacious rooms include small refrigerators and balconies, plus comfortable furniture and stylish decor. Suites have kitchenettes with coffee makers and dishwashers, too. Couples love this spot and find it to be quite romantic, but it’s great for families, too.
It’s big without being too big; it’s easy to find other members of your party, but it’s also large enough that you can spread out a bit and enjoy private time as well. The food and drinks are great, and the service is friendly, and you’ll find this resort to be a lovely place for your vacation.
Things to Do Nearby:
- Go snorkeling at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- Visit the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
- Watch wildlife at the Key Largo Undersea Park
- Take a sunset boat tour in a floating tiki bar
- Nice beach and a big pool
- Marina for easy access to ocean-based activities
- Large rooms
- The onsite restaurant is a bit expensive
- Some rooms have street views
- Pricey resort fee
6. Little Palm Island Resort
Address: 28500 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, FL 33042
Little Palm Island Resort is the most secluded and most luxurious resort on our list, but due to those two factors, you also shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s also the most expensive. If you like beach resorts in the Florida Keys in general, then you’re going to love this one because it’s a step above all the rest. This private island resort is something special, and it’s easy to see why vacationers come back to it time and time again.
All-inclusive resorts are rare in the United States, but the Little Palm Island Resort is all-inclusive – due to the fact it’s on an island all by itself, it’s necessary. Fortunately, it does the all-inclusive thing quite well – the food and drinks at this resort are quite good, and the staff is very attentive, too. There are 30 suites at this resort, and many have private oceanfront verandas; due to its small size and privacy, this resort is popular with celebrities.
This resort isn’t adults-only, but it might as well be – kids under 16 are not allowed. It’s also unique in that it is mostly tech-free – cell phones aren’t allowed in public spaces, and the rooms don’t have televisions.
Also, because this resort is on a private island, you’ll need to get there by boat or seaplane. However, all this hassle will be worth it when you see the gorgeous pool, relax on the beach, dine at the fine dining restaurant, get a treatment at the spa, and get to watch the wild key deer roaming around the property. You’ll love it.
Things to Do Nearby:
- Charter a boat and go deep-sea fishing
- Spend a day at Bahia Honda State Park
- Visit the National Key Deer Refuge
- Enjoy a boat tour of the area departing from nearby Big Pine Key
- Check out Grimal Grove, a fruit orchard with a great story
- Very private and secluded
- All-inclusive property
- Great food, drinks, and staff
- Isolated – no outside stores or restaurants on the island
- A boat is needed to visit other islands
- Small for a resort – on just 5.5 acres
7. Pier House Resort
Address: 1 Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include at least one resort in Key West; Key West is perhaps the most popular and action-packed destination in the Florida Keys, and the Pier House Resort & Spa is one of the best beach resorts in town.
In contrast to the many smaller accommodation options in Key West, Pier House Resort stands out as a larger property with 142 guest units. Plus, it’s in a great location; it’s right on the edge of the historic district, so guests can easily walk to bars, restaurants, attractions, and shops.
Pier House Resort has direct beach access, a very nice swimming pool and hot tub, a full-service spa with a steam room, and a great fitness center. You’ll love the little slice of white sand beach the resort has for its guests, and the property is lush with vegetation and turtle and koi ponds.
Rooms are somewhat minimalistic in decor but are very comfortable. All have rain-style showers, mini-fridges, coffee makers, and free WiFi, and some have lovely furnished balconies.
Guests can enjoy dining at two on-site restaurants – one serves casual fare, and the other one offers more fine dining-style dishes. Pier House Resort also has two bars. One is a standard beach bar offering drink specials and poolside snacks, but the other one – The Chart Room – is the oldest bar in Key West, and it’s certainly worth a visit.
Things to Do Nearby:
- Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
- Tour The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
- Enjoy local cuisine on a Key West food and cultural walking tour
- Get your photo taken at the Southernmost Point in the continental United States
- Take a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park from Key West
- Go on a Florida Keys nature and history tour and learn more about this unique area
- Great location
- Lovely beach
- Comfortable spacious room
- Super cool old bar on the property
- Can be noisy
- Very popular so it can be crowded at times
What are the top activities to do while staying at a resort in the Florida Keys?
When you visit the Florida Keys, you’re probably going to want to spend most of your time relaxing on a lounge chair on the beach or by a pool. That’s why most people visit this area. However, there are also a lot of other fun things to do in this area if you’re a bit more active.
This part of Florida is great for snorkeling, boating, fishing charters, scuba diving, bike riding, kayaking, parasailing, paddle boarding, and more, and that’s only the beginning. If you love shopping and fine dining, there’s plenty of that. There are even preserved natural areas to explore if you’re interested in hiking and wildlife.
This area also has an interesting history and there’s a lot to discover there as well. You’ll never run out of things to do in the Florida Keys, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to do nothing at all. Enjoy!
How do I choose the best resort for my vacation in the Florida Keys?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of resorts in the Florida Keys, and so many of them are wonderful! You can’t go wrong choosing from our list above. However, if you’re trying to narrow the field, do some research on the islands themselves.
Some – like Key Largo and Key West – are active and happening, while others are more remote and low-key. Think about the type of vacation you want and how far you want to travel from the airport, and then it’ll be a lot easier to decide from there.
What’s the best time of year to visit the Florida Keys?
Any time of year is a fantastic time to visit the Florida Keys! As you might imagine, the Keys can be very hot in the summer and very crowded during the high season during the winter, but you can always spend most of your time swimming and you can always find a place that is tranquil and serene if that’s what you seek.
The off-season is quieter and cheaper than peak season, of course – so if you’re budget minded, you’ll want to plan your trip when fewer people are likely to go. Safe travels – you’ll love the Florida Keys at any time of the year.