Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Travel: Romancing the Florida Keys: Hawks Cay

Part 2 of a three-part series about romantic travel in the Florida Keys.

Hawk's Cay Resort and Marina
Many roads lead to paradise but this one ends at mile marker 61 on the overseas highway.

I stayed at upscale Hawks Cay Resort in August and wondered what the heck I was doing there when the main pool was full of kids and a table full of folded disposable diapers was set up next to the pool towels. How could this possibly be romantic? Screaming rug rats at the pool? No way!

But after I became familiar with the property, I had an "aha" moment: Hawks Cay is actually very romantic for parents, because the resort offers what I can only describe as a mega babysitting menu. You can keep them busy while you get busy together.

And, if you haven't had babies, you may be inspired to make one here.

One such spot for romantic inspiration may be the adults only pool and jacuzzi. Surrounded by palm trees, lush vegetation and crisp, blue Florida Keys skies, I let my imagination wander as I relaxed in the pool. My lanai room was just behind me with a luxurious bed waiting inside.

Hawk's Cay Resort and Marina
Rambunctious and loud adults should stay out of here, too.

Hawk's Cay Resort and Marina
Next best thing to an infinity pool.

Hawk's Cay Resort and Marina
Each lanai room has its own wooden deck that leads to the pool. Sorry, but no kids allowed on the ground floor.

Hawk's Cay Resort and Marina
Plush pillows, waiting to be tossed off in a moment of heated passion.

But Hawks Cay isn't just about catching up on sex. There's plenty of recreational, water sport and spa activities for adults, too, which is another reason to take advantage of their kid programs. For parents who want a break and more "me" time -- either for intimacy or fun -- the resort offers a Kids Night Out and Teen Night on selected nights. There's also a daytime Toddler Program and a daily Camp Hawk for children ages 5-12.

Offspring even have their own facilities: The Indies Club features a splash park in the form of a pirate ship with ropes and slides. The Cove caters to tweens and teens. All childcare activities are supervised, of course, so leave the nanny at home. (I actually met a 20-something nanny; she was having drinks at the bar while her charge was enjoying popcorn and movies elsewhere.) Hawks Cay was exceptionally busy with families in August as the school year had not yet started, but kid's activities are available year-round.

Hawk's Cay Resort and Marina
Hawks Cay doesn't have a proper beach, but the saltwater tidal lagoon is a great spot for adults to relax, especially with lounge chair drink service. Note a namesake hawk perched on top of the tiki.

Another thing that'll take me back to Hawks Cay, even just to stop for dinner: Alma, a restaurant inside the main resort, had me at first bite with a unique Caribbean influenced menu. Try the classic Caribbean style seafood stew with lobster, shrimp, local fish, ground provision root vegetables, coconut and lemongrass over steamed jasmine rice. Or go all Jamaican with curried lamb stew served with West Indian aromatic rice, plantain tostones, cilantro and scotch bonnet oil. Mix it up with a little Italian: risotto is made with creamy calabaza and Florida lobster. If weather permits, dine outside by candlelight on the veranda.

Hawks Cay Resort and Marina is located right off the overseas highway on 60-acre Duck Key, a quiet, residential area surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water. Accommodations range from lanai rooms to villas located elsewhere on the island. The resort is about one and a half hours away from Miami. Spend at least two nights here; by the second morning you'll have forgotten about your Miami rush hour commute.

For more information visit Hawks Cay. Make sure to check their special offers page for seasonal romance packages.

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