North America

Take the Road to Recovery in the Florida Keys

written by | Posted on January 1st, 2009

Singh Resorts There’s also a resort group in the Florida Keys and Key West—the Singh Resorts—that will offer your clients that very respite they might be seeking. They have four waterfront resort properties in total throughout the Keys—Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort, Indigo Reef Marina Homes Resort and Coral Lagoon Marina resort in Marathon and Parrot Key Resort in Key West—all of which combine the charm of ‘Conch’-style architecture with extensive modern amenities and service, with an emphasis on what Singh Resorts calls “…a genuine expression of 19th century Florida Keys living.”

On a recent visit to Parrot Key Resort in Key West and Tranquility Bay in Marathon, we had the opportunity to savor that charm and experience the distinct differences between the two.

Parrot Key offers 74 spacious, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom, 3-story and 3.5-bath luxury “Conch”-style houses. Except the old “Conchs” never had the opportunity to enjoy the luxury amenities these vacation homes offer and make no mistake, these are homes. We’re talking gourmet kitchens, first- and second-level private porches with waterfront views, 42-inch plasma TVs in the living rooms, premium cable service and DVD/stereo systems. The furnishings are lush, but beachy and filled with original art inspired by the Florida Keys.

In addition to daily housekeeping services, 24-hour security and concierge services, the property boasts four pools, a spa, and a private white sand sunbathing terrace. The property’s Key West Restaurant offers casual fare poolside and there’s plenty of libations available at the Tiki Bar. For groups, there’s 1,512 sq. ft. of full-service meeting and event space and for everybody, there’s an adventure concierge who will arrange fishing trips, watersports, and many other recreational activities, including jet ski rentals.

The property is also just an inexpensive cab ride away from party central in downtown Key West and in addition to the legendary bars like Sloppy Joe’s located there, clients will find a host of shopping venues that range from upscale clothing and beach wear stores, to souvenir shops selling all manner of Keys kitsch.

The Singh properties lend themselves perfectly to both group sales and family clientele. In fact, the Parrot Key property has a third-floor room dedicated to video game playing, an attraction the kids love. “We can certainly entertain both. They’re both popular and they’re very set up to cater to families,” explains Bob Bauersachs, Singh Resorts’ general manager. “It’s just amazing what we see here—unlike any other resort I’ve worked at—where the families come in and mom and dad are sitting on the porch and the kids are playing in the sand. It almost looks like a domestic setting.”

Tranquility Bay in Marathon is a world apart from Parrot Key. Nestled on a 12-acre private enclave fronting the Gulf of Mexico, 41 2-bedroom and 46 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom beach homes enjoy 1,100 ft. of shoreline and 2.5 acres of sandy, butterscotch beaches. It shares pretty much the same amenities as Parrot Key with the exception of the video game room and spa, but in-room spa services are available.

There’s award-winning dining at the elegant Butterfly Cafe, lush tropical gardens, world-class fishing, diving, and snorkeling, two swimming pools, a Jack Nicklaus-designed, 18-hole putting green and the waterfront TJ’s Tiki Bar. There’s also a state-of-the-art fitness center, and watersports activities are provided by Turtle Island Watersports, featuring diving and snorkeling adventures, kayaking, jet skis, Hobie cats, small boat rentals and guided eco tours. But the best feature here is in the name itself—tranquility—it’s about as laid-back a place as you’ll find anywhere and there’s all the time in the world to do absolutely nothing except take in the serene panorama of the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s that very tranquility that makes it great for both families and groups—there’s 2,800 sq. ft. of meeting space here as well—and, in all fairness, so are the rest of the Singh properties. “The other beauty of it is from a group setting—assuming it’s the right group and we’re very selective about the type of groups we have—we do a lot of weddings and this is a beautiful setting for that, as is Parrot Key,” Bauersachs points out. “Both resorts are also perfect for reunions. Coral Lagoon fits into a little specialty niche there because we can tie in the boating community into that—the boating reunions, the Miami getaway group that travels down in three to five boats and just need to stop at a couple of places between Miami and Key West. So that works perfect at Coral Lagoon. In fact, Coral Lagoon fills a gap between Parrot Key and Tranquility Bay and allows us to get a broader spectrum of the market.”