Playa Largo is a little Caribbean feeling right here in the US. This vacation was a little slice of heaven, submerged in nature, pampered in the most tranquil spa, and relaxing with amazing views. Let me start at the beginning, this resort was amazingly only an hour and a half south of Miami. I checked-in in the late afternoon and was impressed by the beautiful entrance to the resort, and the spacious and beautifully decorated lobby. I was welcomed with a delicious fruit cocktail and introduced to the hotel with a calendar full of fun activities.
The hotel rooms were spacious and clean, came with a large king bed, remarkably high ceilings on the 1st floor, modern bathrooms, with the sweetest detail of real shells in the tile, great lighting, a sofa, desk, and really everything you need to feel comfortable. A nice welcome gift and a handwritten note made me feel extra special and welcome. Soon after arrival, I got to experience the resort’s Eventide, the daily activity of sending your worries out to the water in a bond fire, while enjoying the beautiful sunset views with a fresh cocktail in a pineapple. I was fortunate to be joined by a talented group of writers for my first dinner at the resort at La Marea. The staff and chef were so welcoming, helpful, and accommodating to all our requests. The portions were plentiful, and we left feeling full and satisfied. I recommend the meatballs and the heirloom tomato appetizer.
Playa Largo offers a few eco-adventure tours around the property. It was interesting to learn that some trees are protected and allowed to grow free of trimmings. The tour will come with a little nature booklet highlighting some of the plants and animals you may come across during your tour or visit to the resort. I would recommend this tour if you’re visiting with children. I also loved that the hotel room offers additional Marriott points for skipping a daily room cleaning.
The spa at Playa Largo was truly a special and relaxing experience. The lights are dimmed low throughout the treatment rooms as well as the waiting room, where you have several snacks, tea, and water to choose from while waiting on your treatment to begin. I enjoyed the “fountain of youth” facial, which was an incredible 50-minute experience, which left my skin glowing, and my soul feeling at peace. The surrounding music playing in the treatment rooms was a mix of violin, birds, and nature sounds, which put your mind at complete ease. After the treatment, you will be offered a glass of champagne and time to relax in the relaxation area. I loved it so much, I booked another spa treatment before heading home. This time I went with the “paradise polish” which consisted of getting your body buffed smooth with a sugar scrub, a quick warm shower, and a coconut lotion application, making your skin feel smooth and very hydrated. If you have any events after this treatment, I recommend passing on the head massage, which will get oil into your hair. The spa really sets the mood for a Caribbean vacation.
Playa Largo features a big pool in the middle of the resort, with lounge beds around it, as well as comfy cabanas. On a hot day, the cabanas are a really nice addition, as it comes with a fan and enough shade for a big group. It came with cold wet towels, a refreshing pitcher of fruity water, and towels. As you lounge around the pool, you may spot the iguanas walking around. At one point, I felt like I was in a movie of Jurassic Park, as about ten iguanas all gathered around in one spot. One of them made it into the pool and gave everyone a fun entertaining experience. Being from Florida, I am quite used to them, but if you’re not, do not worry, they are harmless and likely to fear you more than you might fear them.
The view of the sunset from the resort is amazing, but if you want to step it up a notch, I highly recommend booking the Sunset Catamaran Sail on the “Carolina Moon”. It is located conveniently on-site at the Caribbean Watersports. Our captains were Lolly and Stu. They brought a wonderful spread of fruit and cheese for us, along with a couple of bottles of champagne, to enjoy while we watched the sunset over the ocean. Laying over the water on the catamaran net with the sails above us, the red sky and ocean reflection made us all genuinely appreciate our surroundings and enjoy the natural beauty. Caribbean Watersports also offers kayaks, paddle boards, and parasailing. The cool aspect of a resort is that it’s nestled into this large natural swimming pool, where water stays under 7 feet deep for as far as your eye can see, so you can paddle board 30 minutes out into the ocean, and still see the sand beneath you. Parasailing will give you an amazing bird’s eye view of the resort, Key Largo, and the amazing colors of the ocean. Captain Darryl and Chris took us on the parasail, and in addition to making us feel very safe, they shared the history and fun stories with us.
Another fun activity to do while in Key Largo is to go snorkeling. Key Largo is nestled between several natural living coral reefs, with many types of fish and water creatures. We booked Ocean Excursion with Islander Girl Snorkel & Tours, which is a snorkel shop owned and run by a mother/daughter team that grew up in the Florida Keys doing what they do best: diving and snorkeling! Amy and Sara were our hosts, and they were so energetic and helpful throughout the morning. They also have a little go-pro camera that they used to take a video of me surrounded by fish. The little obstacle we faced was jellyfish, but you can quickly learn how to avoid them, and they made the experience more memorable and funnier.
An extra treat at Playa Largo is booking an exclusive catered dinner at the Beach House. The Beach House is a stunning private three-bedroom home located on Playa Largo’s main property, which can be booked for your stay. It also comes with a private pool with views of the ocean. Our 3-course dinner was served on the large round table in the main living room which overlooked the pool and ocean. The staff and chef were so sweet, and you can feel that they put their heart into making our meal delicious and enjoyable. The big hit of the evening was the new pineapple vodka we all got to taste. Playa Largo recently partnered with the local Islamorada Brewery & Distillery to create its very own, private-label pineapple vodka.
Another fun dining experience is to book the water table dining. On-property restaurant Sol by the Sea offers guests the chance to kick off their shoes, dip their toes in the water, and have front-row seats to stunning Key Largo sunsets while enjoying seafood cuisine – otherwise known as Playa Largo’s Water Table Dining Experience.
As a final farewell on the last evening of our trip, we all got to enjoy a private fire pit at one of the resort’s coveted Chimeneas with make-your-own-s’mores kits for dessert and wine pairings. The amazing thing about it is that in the distance we watched lightning over the ocean, and the sky would light up every few minutes for us, while we stayed warm and dry in front of the fire. It felt like it was a scene out of a movie, beautiful.