The Daily Mail asked America First Coast Travel to help discover hidden gems in The Florida Keys. Using our knowledge and connections in the area, we ended up exploring Islamorada at the stunning Moorings Village resort. Read on to find out what they had to say…
Written by Ted Thornhill, Daily Mail Travel Editor, first published here.
The Keys to happiness: Inside the palm-fringed Florida resort where Netflix series Bloodline was filmed that’s paradise on earth
- The Moorings Village occupies an 18-acre beachside plot on one of the Keys’ prettiest islands – Islamorada
- It comprises 17 self-catered cottages, 800 palm trees, a private beach and a simply stunning swimming pool
- The list of ‘house rules’ stated that there should be ‘no horseplay or loud voices anywhere on the property
Its website describes it as an ‘oasis… tropical, tranquil and untouched’. Sounds good, right?
That’s underselling it.
During my three-night stay there I experienced a holiday morning that’s among my favourite ever.
We’d arrived in darkness the day before, so obviously couldn’t get a proper measure of the place.
Sunrise ushered in a realisation that we were somewhere extraordinary.
We wandered forth from our cottage – there are 17 altogether – and sauntered through some of the 800 palm trees in the beautifully kept grounds to the resort’s pièce de résistance – a huge private white sand beach peppered with hammocks.
One hangs on the end of a jetty. We swung back and forth on it with cups of coffee and just gawped in disbelief at the oasis-ness of it all.
The tranquillity was broken only by the occasional swooping pelican and the odd excitable shoal of fish disturbing the jade-green water’s surface.
At that moment I mused whether I should request to have my ashes scattered there.
I’m sure the cast and crew of Netflix series Bloodline, which was filmed on location there, had the same thoughts.
If you’re not sold on booking a stay already, you will be when you hear about the accommodation. And the swimming pool.
Our cottage – called Pinder – was just delightful. A charming, plantation-style two-floor abode with an open kitchen (The Moorings Village is self-catering), living room, a huge wooden dining table, two cosy double bedrooms, two big terraces (one ocean-facing upstairs, and one that wrapped around the back and side of the house downstairs), a very smart upstairs bathroom with a standalone tub and separate rain shower, and a downstairs loo.
We also loved the list of ‘house rules’ we found in the kitchen, which stated that there should be ‘no horseplay or loud voices anywhere on the property’.
The huge outdoor communal swimming pool was the other most tasty cherry on the cake. Fringed by tropical vegetation and pleasingly tiled, it’s worthy of a magazine cover.
We were tempted to remain in the grounds for the duration of our three-night stay and turn the lolling up to 11.
However, a day trip 80 miles south to Key West couldn’t be resisted. The drive there is super – and includes rumbling over a seven-mile bridge – and Key West is a brilliantly quirky jumble of wacky personalities and beautiful properties, including Hemingway’s former home. Plus, it’s the southernmost point of the continental USA, so it’s worth going to tick that geographic box.
The Morada Bay Beach Café & Bar just across the road from Moorings Village was also worth lingering in. Principally because, as the name suggests, you can dine on the beach – and watch the sunset with a mojito.
Moorings Village life – heavenly.
A seven-night stay at The Moorings Village on Islamorada, Florida, with America First Coast Travel including flights from London with British Airways starts from £2,990 per person on a room-only basis. Visit florida-first.com for more details or call 0800 669 6409 to book.
Car hire in Miami with hertz.co.uk costs from £26 per day (www.hertz.co.uk/p/car-hire/usa/florida/miami).
Ted was a guest of America First Coast Travel.
Image courtest of Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitor Bureau