As anyone who follows this blog knows, as a rule, I like my fun to cost as little as possible. When picking a hotel for my Islamorada trip, I wanted something on the water, small, quaint, and inexpensive. I found several hotels that were a perfect match for what I was looking for. Unfortunately, due to the short lead time I allowed for this trip, they were booked so I stayed at the Pines & Palms Resort in one of their ocean front cottages. Not inexpensive, but in a world of “You get what you pay for” I would say I got much more than the price of admission.
Shopping hotels on the internet can be hit and miss but this one was truly as beautiful as the brochure. Right from the moment I checked in, I knew I was in the right place. Situated at the bottom end of Islamorada on the ocean side, the view was endless sea and in the distance, the Alligator Reef Light House three miles off shore. The entire property is sand with a beautiful beach sand deck right on the ocean and ten steps from the door of my cottage. Every morning the sand is raked like a Zen Garden. There are a lot of cottages on the property but only a very few at the waters edge. I spent my time kayaking, bike riding, on the beach chairs, in the pool, or at the bar right next to the pool. There is a boat launch and dock for at least six boats as that was the number I counted while sipping my morning coffee on the porch. The Pines & Palms Resort does not have food on the property but they provide a very nice list of the fifteen or so eateries within a few miles. I chose two so close, I actually walked to them.
Staying with the theme of spending a few bucks this trip, I chose Uncle's and The Green Turtle Inn. Neither had a view and both made up for it with excellent food. Uncle's is very deceiving from the street. It did not look all that fancy or big from the outside but once inside it was a different story. I had the frog legs appetizer and lamb chops with shrimp while my friend had something called Lobster Schnitzel. Sharing our meals back and forth, we could not agree on who had made out better.
The Green Turtle Inn is a renovated historic building and looks as impressive on the outside as it does on the inside. They also have a collection of unique dishes. I went for the Five Spice Tuna while my friend had a scallop dish that was out of this world.
Taking sunrise photos on the last morning of my stay, I knew this place would hold special memories. Not only was the hotel itself a pleasure, we made a few friends around the pool deck as well. Just part of the magic of the Florida Keys.