Cheeca Lodge & Spa
What We Love
- A rich history: Served as a vacation spot for everyone from Paul Newman to President George H.W. Bush
- Excellent stargazing and the glow of tiki torches around the lagoons
- Camp Cheeca environmental program for kids (full days of fishing, scavenger hunts, lagoon swimming and snorkeling, for a fee)
What To Know
- A per-day activities resort fee provides unlimited use of bikes, rods, golf course, kayaks, WiFi and more
- The property was renovated in 2010
- Very family-oriented, so expect lots of kids and teens
- The adults-only pool is open only from dawn to dusk — no late-night skinny-dipping
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
The Florida Keys’ come-as-you-are ideology and tropical simplicity have attracted travelers for many decades. In the heart of these iconoclastic islands, the historic Cheeca Lodge & Spa has evolved into a serene barefoot-luxe destination since its 1940s inception as an exclusive hideaway for the Washington elite, bringing a new level of sophistication to the sport-fishing capital of the world while remaining true to the Keys’ renowned casual vibe. Beyond the cascading waterfalls and tranquil lagoons, the inland Luxury Rooms and Suites have private screened balconies, rich mahogany furnishings and West Indies–style accessories. Closer to the ocean, Cheeca’s main building is composed exclusively of Premier Suites, with extraordinary window-side spa tubs, glassed-in rain showers and floor-to-ceiling glass walls that look out over the ocean or the island foliage. Behind the resort’s soaring palm trees, a Jack Nicklaus–designed nine-hole golf course dominates the northern half of the property. Along the south you’ll find six lighted tennis courts, a state-of-the-art fitness facility and the sumptuous spa island. But the resort’s appeal rests on its 1,100 dazzling feet of private sandy beach, a rarity in the rocky Keys. The pier juts 525 feet into the sea, so it’s ideal for a romantic amble or fantastic fishing by day, spectacular stargazing and moonlit conversation by night.
In the Area
Halfway between Key West and Miami, Islamorada shines as Florida’s oceanic playground — the sport-fishing capital of the world, home of the best snorkeling and diving in the state and a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Save your appetite and camera batteries for lunch at the original Islamorada Fish Company. It’s mildly touristy, but the resident sharks, tarpons and pelicans are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. If you’re an avid snorkeler or diver, charter a boat and find underwater rapture aboard the sunken Eagle ship or at Davis Reef with its resident moray eels. Visit the Dolphin Research Center and have a personal encounter with rehabilitated dolphins in a safe, welcoming and healthy environment.
How to Get There
I'm sure the fishing is great, if it isn't, or that isn't why you are thinking of staying, I'd think hard before staying at the Cheeca Lodge.
The resort in itself is nice and the rooms a good size, if a little dark, dated and well, if our 2 were anything to go by a bit shabby. The toilet roll holder was broken, the shower head was missing a boss so there was just a bare pipe sticking out of a rough hole in the plasterboard and the air-conditioning was of the very noisy variety.
While we had some great fun jumping off the dock in to the Ocean the beach itself wasn't super enticing for paddling or swimming. Our server at breakfast was warm and friendly and we enjoyed a nice conversation with a waitress at dinner one evening but other than that the staff seemed to be a little standoffish.
To be honest though, the worst aspect of the whole stay was the food. It was frankly pretty appalling, especially the Japanese restaurant which was just disgusting and the "fresh fruit" served at breakfast was dry, indicating that it had been cut up long before it was being served.
On a position note, there are some good places to eat in the immediate vicinity that if you've done your homework will ensure you don't have to suffer the food at the Checca Lodge.
Overall then, one to miss, at least until they updated the rooms, fixed all the little issues (toilet roll holders, shower ceiling rose etc), got some attentive staff and some folks who can cook.
Stayed here with 3 kids ages 15 and 13. The pool was full of kids having fun, The Tiki Bar was in a great spot overlooking the pool and ocean. My son loved fishing from the pier. Fishing rods, SUP, kayaks, golf at the 9 hole small course, tennis - all included in stay, including equipment. Just buy shrimp from the beach kiosk for $10+ or get it at a local bait shop for $4. My son loved fishing from the pier. Also have a sports company - to go snorkeling, parasailing, jetskiing for extra $. Service was terrific. The jungle like feel of the rooms was great. Love that there are screens on the balcony. Room was a good size for the 4 of us. Loved the spa area with tiki torches lit at night! Great resort for families with kids and young teens! Kids' club if you want it for younger kids. Suggest eating across the street at Morada Bay one night for sunset views! Bobs Bunz great for breakfast! Mangrove Mikes also delicious, fun atmosphere for breakfast! (and less expensive than hotel)
Just checked in to beach bungalow. Website implied these were redone in 2018. Clearly not. I’ve stayed in nicer rooms at Hilton garden inn. Garage sale furniture, cheap shower head (which is installed at head level and I’m 5’6”!), paint peeling on stairs to beach, etc. Look elsewhere if you want a luxury beach resort. Cheap uncomfortable beach chairs. Whatever is next door has nice wood beach chairs. Find that and stay there. Lodge rooms are supposed to be nice but sold out so can’t comment. I feel scammed.
My girlfriend and I we're passing through and wanted to do a snorkeling tour. We were greeted and the staff was exceptional. But I did want to point out how awesome the trip was. Bobby was the boat mate and he was hilarious. After everyone was settled in with flipper and goggles the ship was underway. Bobby cracked jokes the whole time. He should've been a comedian. The experience was more then we expected. Definitely coming back.
My wife and I visited the spa for a couples massage.
I was apprehensive as it was my first but it was a great and relaxing experience.
The property was very nice and you can tell there’s an emphasis on quality and customer service. Will definitely stay here next time we visit Islamorada.