You don’t need to go to the ends of the earth to find paradise – just the end of Florida.
Namely, to The Moorings Village resort in the Florida Keys, the island chain that stretches to America’s most southern point.
The Moorings Village occupies an 18-acre beachside plot on one of the Keys’ prettiest islands – Islamorada (eye-luh-murr-ah-da) – about a third of the way down. And it’s simply stunning.
The Moorings Village resort, pictured, in the Florida Keys, occupies an 18-acre beachside plot on one of the Keys’ prettiest islands – Islamorada
The perfect spot for watching the sun set, or rise – the hammock-equipped jetty
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.
The plantation-style cottages are beautifully furnished and come with well-equipped kitchens
The Moorings Village plots is an oasis, where you’ll only be disturbed by the occasional swooping pelican
Ted writes of the swimming pool – ‘fringed by tropical vegetation and pleasingly tiled, it’s worthy of a magazine cover’
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.
The Moorings Village comprises 17 cottages altogether – and the grounds are festooned with 800 palm trees
The Moorings Village website describes it as an ‘oasis… tropical, tranquil and untouched’
Ted loved the ‘house rules’ – ‘no horseplay or loud voices anywhere on the property’
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.
Dreamy: Many of the bedrooms at The Moorings Village have ocean views
As well as stunning bedrooms, the Moorings Village cottages have luxury bathrooms and huge terraces
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
The Morada Bay Beach Café & Bar just across the road from Moorings Village is worth lingering in – if you can prise yourself away from the hammocks
Netflix series Bloodline was filmed on location at The Moorings Village. Pictured is a scene from the series shot at the resort’s jetty
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.
Ted’s very smart Hertz hire car at his Moorings Village house
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 www.americafirstcoasttravel.com for more details or call 0800 669 6409 to book.
Rating key: one star – poor; two stars – OK; three stars – good; four stars – very good; five stars – exceptional.
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.