Florida vacation anyone?
You hear people talk about Florida all the time and how they’re ready to go back as soon as they get back from vacation. (guilty!) Everyone talks about how Florida has the best beaches in the US with soft white sand and clear blue water. Or how they had the best time at a theme park in Orlando, taking a boat ride on the water or partying in Miami. But have you ever been to Key Largo before? You know the Beach Boys song 🎶 “Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go…” 🎶 Yeah, that one. It is on my bucket list to go to every place mentioned in the Kokomo song and Key Largo, Florida happens to be the first. Particularly the Playa Largo Resort. Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas, Montego and Kokomo I’m comin’ for you! Whew what a list!
If you are unfamiliar with Florida, Key Largo is located approximately halfway between Miami and Key West along the Florida Keys strip. Think of the southern right tip of Florida and then go even further south on a tiny strip of islands. That’s where you’ll find Key Largo. On such a narrow strip of land, there is only one main highway to get you around the Keys. Say goodbye to any wishes of shortcuts or alternative routes!
Here is an interactive map with Key Largo outlined in red to give you a visual idea of where it is.
Key Largo is more laid back and slower-paced than most popular Florida cities. The 30A stretch along northern Florida is known for the beautiful white sand beaches and family-friendly beach destination vacations. This includes everything from Pensacola, Destin, Rosemary Beach to Panama City Beach. Orlando is mainly known for Universal and Disney theme parks and one of my favorites, the Gaylord Palms Resort. (I have a guide for that resort too! Check it out here). And of course Miami is known for it’s party scene and the iconic Ocean Drive and South Beach with colorful lifeguard posts. Then you have Key Largo which is known more for being luxurious and relaxing with a bit of adventure.
I went to Key Largo for the first time recently and had a wonderful time. How can you not love Florida beach towns, right?! It was a quick trip for a wedding which was being held at the most popular resort in Key Largo, Florida – the Playa Largo Resort & Spa Autograph Collection. Think soft white sand and turquoise blue waters, drinks along the water, and blissfully swinging in a hammock among the palm trees. We did not stay in a room at the hotel due to the room prices, but we did get to experience the rest of the resort. And now I want to share it all with you.
Let me show you around the dreamy tropical Playa Largo Resort starting with the
Lobby & Outdoor Terrace
As soon as you enter the lobby you are greeted by a central fountain, swinging chairs and an upscale jazzy bar. You immediately feel like you’re in a luxury resort awaiting your relaxing beach vacation because well, you are! The aesthetic is light and natural with a casual/cozy feel. You’ll feel welcomed by the calming neutral cream tones and brown and white accents. In addition, the white woven egg chairs add a fun and beachy vibe and a neat place to chill and relax indoors.
Through the other door of the lobby you enter a beautiful outdoor terrace with seating overlooking the resort pool. Here you will find various seating arrangements and tables for eating or relaxing. This area is very spacious and is perfect for savoring a meal with a view or enjoying the outdoors with a little shade. The views of the pool and the ocean from here are unbeatable. Enjoy the views while being a few steps away from the air conditioned lobby.
Head back inside, down the winding stairs and outside to the entrance to the…
The resort pool was one of my favorite places at Playa Largo. The pool is spacious enough for plenty of people to enjoy but still have their space. Along the edges are ledges where you can sit without getting all the way into the water. The palm trees around the outside add slight cover from the sun along the edge of the pool. Also Cabanas are available at an extra cost which include additional lounge chairs outside the tent. However pool chairs are limited so get to the pool early to save a seat. Seats nearer to the pool are a safer bet. Some people are very particular about their chairs and may ask you to move if you are sitting in seats that they reserved (yes, this happened to us).
To the left of the pool is the Sandbar where you can order cocktails and poolside snacks. In particular, the strawberry daiquiri was to die for! (More on this below). They serve a variety of foods and drinks for munching poolside. On another note, since you are in south Florida you will see a variety of lizards and iguanas around the resort. This includes small lizards running across the ground to large iguanas climbing up the palm trees. Therefore be aware if you are afraid of lizards! One of our friends tried chasing and catching a lizard which he then got called out for. In other words, do not try to catch lizards.
After walking through the pool area, you will come out onto the resort…
Outside the pool area is a span of sandy areas along the water, held back by concrete walls. This is referred to as the beach. While the sand does not flow directly into the water as it would at a normal beach, it is still nice to be able to put your feet in the sand and enjoy the ocean views. Stairs along the edge allow easy access into the water. In addition, The water along the beach is shallow making it perfect for a little walk without getting too wet. You can also swim and snorkel if you go out a bit further into the water. Moreover, watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling are offered at an additional cost at the resort. You’ll find beach chairs lined in the sand along the water for that sand-in-your-toes experience you look forward to at the beach.
My favorite part of the beach would have to be the hammocks. Between the pool and the ocean are these chic round hammock sets underneath the palm trees. Getting into one and getting adjusted was a bit difficult. But once comfortably inside, the relaxation factor was phenomenal. Just close your eyes and relax while listening to the calming ocean breeze and the local birds chirping. Tall palm trees offer just enough shade for comfort. You will also find a few shorter trees along the beach that provide excellent protection from the sun. Because of this you will find small twigs and pieces of bark mixed in the sand when walking on the beach. Be careful not to step on anything and hurt your feet.
Just to the right of the beach is one of Playa Largo Resort’s…
Restaurants & Bars
Whether you want a beachside snack or a classic indoor meal, Playa Largo has a few options for food and drinks. Since our food was provided at the wedding, we did not get to experience the indoor restaurant La Marea. However we had drinks from Sandbar and enjoyed an open bar outside Sol by the Sea, the beachside restaurant shown below. In addition to beachside dining there are also raised chairs and tables out in the water for an elevated dining experience at Sol by the Sea. You can find menus for all of the restaurant at this link.
If outdoor dining isn’t your desire or the Florida heat is too hot to handle head inside to La Marea. Located on the lower level right outside the lobby, La Marea offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Here you’ll be able to order breakfast or dinner while enjoying an inviting contemporary atmosphere. The menu includes traditional Mediterranean foods with a twist – think pizza, pasta and breads. Prices range from approximately $10-30 per menu item. Breakfast is about $15-20, appetizers are around $10 and dinner entrees range from $22-30.
Looking for a more social environment to get food and drinks? Head to Las Olas ceviche lounge right off to the side of the main lobby. This jazzy bar has more warm orange and brown tones. Here you’ll find couches and lounge chairs arranged to encourage socializing and a comfortable posh lounging experience. The Las Olas menu is Peruvian inspired with specialties of fish, citrus flavors and spices. Cocktails run $14-17 a piece and entrees are $16-25 each. Looking for a nightlife setting? Las Olas is a classic upscale bar and lounge. On the other hand Sol by the Sea is a more relaxed outdoor setting with drinks on the beach.
Last but certainly not least, how could I forget about the…
Ok, let’s talk about the drinks at the resort. Since we came for a wedding most of the alcohol was provided (woohoo)! We tried a couple drinks at our own expense as well as the ones we were given. This beautiful bright pink cocktail was a close second to the strawberry daiquiri I mentioned a bit ago. The bride and groom’s specialty drink – a dragonfruit mojito! Because it was so beautiful, I almost didn’t want to drink it. I’m so glad I did though because it was delicious. Since it was a cocktail from the wedding, I am unsure if it is available at the restaurants/bars, but it never hurts to ask!
As mentioned earlier, the strawberry daiquiri from Sandbar was spectacular! You could not even taste the alcohol which is dangerous! The daiquiri was so darn good, I could’ve had a few – I mean just look how happy I was. But I stuck with just one. It’s the kind of drink that tastes like blended fruit juice – you wouldn’t even know there was alcohol in it. Gosh, I’m still thinking about it now. it was that good. If I ever go back, I certainly know what I’ll be getting. 🍹 Here’s the talked-about drink… I can taste it now! Most cocktails run $14 each no matter where you order them from at the resort.
Lastly, Sol by the Sea offers a casual outdoor setting for sipping drinks on the beach. The string lights hanging above give you a serene feeling illuminating the beach for a laid-back yet exciting night of drinks and socializing. This is where we enjoyed an open bar and a reunion with friends the night before the wedding. And off to the side you’ll find steps into the shallow water to dip your feet in the warm water. The open air and open space right along the water is incomparable.
And that completes the tour of the Playa Largo Resort!
What would be your favorite part of the Playa Largo Resort? Let me know in the comments. If you loved this post, please share on Pinterest, Facebook and other social networks.
If you’ve been to Playa Largo before, I would love to hear about your experience as well. Or simply let me know what you think about this post. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my other travel guides.