Amara Cay Resort

By: Dana Rozansky

We all need a change of scenery and a change of pace every now and then. And that doesn’t necessarily mean jetting off on some fabulous international vacation - because oftentimes we find ourselves needing a vacation after the vacation. Sometimes all it really takes is a quick getaway to recharge our batteries and make sure we come back refreshed (and tan). 

I recently jumped in the car and drove just a few hours south to the Keys, for one of those much-needed weekends…and let me tell you - it did the trick.

I had stayed at a number of different hotels in the Keys on previous trips, but this time I opted to stay at Amara Cay Resort, which had come highly recommended by several friends. The short drive to Islamorada is a breeze, especially if you have a solid playlist, lots of snacks and a travel companion who you won’t get sick of after a few hours.

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Upon arriving at Amara Cay, I immediately fell for its laid-back charm, chic decor, friendly staff and killer views. All it took was a quick tour of the property to immediately feel right at home and eager to post up for the next few days. This resort has the impressive ability to transport you lightyears away from the fast-paced vibe of Miami.

Once settled in, it was time to hit the beach, which is serene, secluded and picture-perfect. The beach is dotted with palm trees, hammocks and lounge chairs, making it all too inviting and easy to kill a few hours in the sun. Or if you’re more of a pool person, there’s a nice pool equipped with a giant Connect Four game to entertain the kids - and the big kids, too. 

In this hot Miami sun, it’s important to stay hydrated…and no, I’m not talking about H20. The team at Amara Cay knows how to make a mean drink, and I highly recommend you get one with a floater on top- it is vacation, after all!

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After an afternoon spent working on your tan and working on your buzz, you’re going to need some sustenance. That’s where Amara Cay’s poolside restaurant, Reelburger, comes in handy. Pro tip: start with the fish tacos to kick things off, followed by the locals’ favorite item, “The Hot Chick,” which is cilantro-lime marinated grilled chicken breast, sharp provolone, roasted tomatoes, artisan field greens, avocado, red onion and sriracha mayo on a toasted brioche bun.  

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After dinner, it’s time to check out Islamorada’s nightlife. If you happen to be in town during the Full Moon party (which is definitely worth it) Amara Cay offers a free shuttle to the event, which is just a few minutes up the road. Have a few drinks there, check out the fireworks, dance to the live music, then retreat back to your comfortable bed at Amara Cay to sleep it off.

Wake up the next day, have a mimosa or a Bloody Mary if you need the hair of the dog, and soak up last night’s booze with some of the indulgent breakfast items on property. Whether you opt for the cheesy egg sandwich or banana French toast, you truly can’t go wrong.

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So next time you need a break from the action, there’s no better place to hit the reset button than Amara Cay.