The nearly-a-century-old Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort made its debut in Key West on New Year’s Eve 1920. Since then, the opulent resort has done nothing but dazzle across its six-and-a-half beachfront acres on the southern side of the island.
A glamorous destination for the well-to-do set from the start, the European–inspired hotel from oil tycoon Henry Flagler was originally for travelers using the Overseas Railroad. Over the years, the 311-room hot spot has hosted the likes of presidents (Warren G. Harding) and Hollywood celebrities (Gregory Peck, Rita Hayworth). A $43-million renovation in 2009 gave the storied property a renewed sense of modern luxury while maintaining its historic beauty.
Here is your itinerary for enjoying all of it over your summer getaway.
Jet set right into the resort
As of May 2016, you can fly directly to Casa Marina’s beach aboard Key West Seaplanes. (It’s currently the only Key West hotel offering the air service.) If you’re planning to head there this season, ask about a special package with airfare and a two-night stay for two, plus VIP amenities like beach butler service.
Wake up to breathtaking ocean views
Definitely request one of the rooms or suites with furnished spacious ocean terraces or lanai patios with easy access to the hotel’s pools and private beach. All of the units are well appointed with contemporary tropical furnishings with wood accents, crisp linens and all-white bathrooms. Families will want to stay in the 900-square-foot, two-story, two-bedroom loft suite with balcony. Pets are welcome to join in on the fun, too.
Sunbathe on your own private beach
Essential to any Keys vacation is — what else? — the beach. Step out onto a 1,200-square-foot blanket of glistening white sand, Key West’s largest stretch, and bask in the sun undisturbed. Or, take a dip in one of the hotel’s two glistening oceanfront pools. Beachside butlers cater to guests, serving mid-morning fresh fruit, drink-of-the-day samples at noon and afternoon popsicles and chilled eucalyptus towels.
Sip top-notch rums
Earlier this year, Casa Marina opened RUMba, a rum-centric cocktail bar adorned with dark mahogany and rum barrels. Situated in the hotel’s exquisite lobby, the bar features the most expensive rum collection in Key West. From Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old to Pyrat Cask 1623, you’ll find it here. You can also sample from a solid cocktail list. Try the Ti’ Punch, a classic drink from the French West Indies made with rhum agricole, lime and sugar cane, topped with a chocolate cigar.
Relax at Spa al Mare
Casa Marina shares its 1,300-square-foot Spa al Mare with its Recommended sister hotel, The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, next door. Spa al Mare offers an array of services, including massages, body masks, facials and plenty of add-ons for customization. The new Signature Oxygen Facial, using Swiss Alps skincare line Luzern Laboratories, is the treatment du jour. The Sun Soother Lily Mask provides the perfect remedy for calming sunburned skin. If you like aromatherapy, inquire about the essential oil-powered Raindrop Technique. You can also take your massage beachside to one of the spa’s private cabanas.