Travel Agent Appreciation
Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Oct 15, 2018
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‘New’ Hawks Cay Resort again welcoming guests


(Photo above: Sheldon Suga and Matt Lawrence of Hawks Cay Resort)

If storms like Hurricane Florence or last year’s Hurricane Irma have any kind of silver lining, it’s giving resorts a good reason to renovate or enhance their properties.
Take, for example, Hawks Cay Resort, a landmark Florida Keys destination resort which celebrated its grand reopening at the end of August after being closed for almost a year due to severe damage caused by Hurricane Irma.
The resort, located about a two-hour drive from Miami, debuted as a reimagined hotel offering many new guest experiences.
The reopening marked the completion of nearly US$60 million in renovations focused on the main hotel, including the lobby, 177 guest rooms, two restaurants and public areas.
“It was time,” said Hawks Cay Resort vice-president and managing director Sheldon Suga during a recent visit to Toronto. “The renovations opened up a lot of opportunities. The change is drastic.”
Matt Lawrence, director of marketing at the resort, noted that Irma “turned everything upside down,” but gave officials a chance to make the resort better than ever.
“The response from returning guests has been incredible so far,” he said.
The “new” Hawks Cay experience celebrates its island sensibility with a design that allows its ocean surroundings to become the centrepiece of the refreshed hotel. Influenced by the mid-century design of Morris Lapidus, the architect of Hawks Cay’s main hotel, the new coastal-inspired décor is infused with a colour palette of tropical hues and patterns that reflect the movement of the ocean.
The resort has also taken a fresh approach to its dining experiences with the introduction of two new restaurant concepts. For guests looking for something quick and simple, Hawks Cay Marketplace is a casual eatery with a wide range of menu items from sandwiches and salads to pizzas and pastas, while Sixty-one Prime offers a more sophisticated experience. The modern steakhouse, which is certified “Florida Fresh,” features fine cuts of meat such as the Grass Fed Delmonico and Free Range Mountain River Venison Chop, as well as signature seafood dishes like the Chili Crusted Yellowfin Tuna and Florida Keys Seafood Pepperpot. Guests can also arrange for private dining experiences in-room or seaside around the resort’s Saltwater Lagoon.
Also new to the resort experience is an expansion of the adults-only area guests 21 and older. Formerly limited to the Tranquility Pool, the new Oasis Cay goes beyond the pool and now includes a bar, restaurant, outdoor lounge and fire pit. Serving up a variety of island-inspired dishes from salads and sandwiches to tacos and burgers, the restaurant provides easy lounge chair-style dining with an extensive menu of frozen drinks, beer, wine and signature cocktails.