These new luxury Florida Keys villas are primed for dreamy self-contained stays in 2021

Dreaming about your future vacay in the USA sun? We’ve found just the ticket: the latest luxury openings in the Florida Keys are safely self-contained, sleekly designed and suitably sun-drenched. 

With the promising news of Covid-19 vaccines, it’s time to start getting excited about the prospect of borders reopening – and when they do, self-contained stays are going to be one of the biggest travel trends of the near-future.

And of the transatlantic destinations on our future travel list, it’s the Florida Keys which are quickly emerging as the best option for socially distanced and family group travel options. Though we can’t travel to the US just yet, these new boutique resorts have us counting down the days.

Combining luxury villa offerings, with personal space to the tune of a 125-mile tropical island chain, the Florida Keys make for one of the coolest, quirkiest places to relax in the States

The subtropical destination, which includes Key West, is actually closer to Cuba than mainland Florida, and has a range of new and upgraded resorts on offer right now. Combining luxury villa offerings, with personal space to the tune of a 125-mile tropical island chain and one of the coolest, quirkiest places to relax in the States, these new luxury openings are enough to make the Florida Keys a must-visit post-Covid trip….

The Casitas at Cheeca Lodge

An oceanfront porch at The Casitas / Credit: Cheeca Lodge

Oh how we’ve longed to hear those three little words: Personalised Butler Service. That’s on offer at the 27-acre oceanfront Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, which has recently acquired 10 private villas, The Casitas at Cheeca Lodge – each with said butler, one or two bedroom options, the choice of an ocean view, as well as large furnished porches, full kitchens and bathrooms with rain showers and large soaking tubs. Guests have access a private beach, pool and tennis courts. Cheeca Lodge recently added a third pool — a zero-entry, 1,100-square-foot pool accessible to all guests — in addition to its nearby family pool and adults-only pool at The Spa. Prices at The Casitas start from $1,099 (approximately £815) per night.

Learn more about Cheeca Lodge’s ‘Safety and Well-Being Promise’ here.

Islands of Islamorada

The stunning private beach at the Islands of Islamorada / Credit: Nickolas Sargent Photography

22 three-story waterfront villas, plus an Ocean House offering eight one-bedroom suites, make up the new luxury boutique resort, Islands of Islamorada. Set amidst 7.1 acres on Upper Matecumbe Key, each villa has four bedrooms, full kitchens and outdoor recreation space, accommodating eight to 10 guests – perfect for a secluded family or multi-generational getaway. The Ocean House’s suites directly front the Atlantic Ocean, with each sleeping up to three guests. Minimum three-night stays are required, priced from $1,700 per night (approx. £1,260) for villas and from $600 per night (approx. £445) for suites, plus taxes. Guests can arrive by car, boat or, for maximum fun, seaplane. 

Islands of Islamorada has implemented strict Covid-19 guidelines. Information is provided upon reservation and again at check-in, or by contacting the property at +1 786 233-8572 or

Kimpton Key West

Beautiful private porches at Ridley House / Credit: Kimpton Key West

Kimpton always offers a stylish stay and its latest boutique-style resorts might be the most stylish yet. In fact, the high-end hotels are so renowned, that the hotelier boasts four boutique resorts across Old Town Key West  – with a fifth set to follow in early 2021. 

The pool at Ella’s Cottages / Credit: Kimpton Key West

Ella’s Cottages on Simonton Street is set on historic grounds, with its buildings formerly home to a beauty salon and a gambling house amongst other businesses. Open now and featuring just 22 exclusive guestrooms and cottages, including five suites, the super cool accommodation incorporates elegant summer cane beds and pops of colour on a fresh white palette. Ella’s is the ideal base for groups and extended stays and prices start from $295 (approximately £220) per room per night. 

The stylish library room at Ridley House / Credit: Kimpton Key West

Ridley House on Caroline Street is built on the site of an estate once owned by a wealthy industrialist and celebrated naturalist. Blending 1800s Carpenter Victorian and Bahamian eyebrow architecture, it features classic picket fences which create an enclave for low-hanging-trees, a sparkling pool and dining vignettes. The property’s 23 guestrooms are spread across three historic homes with several boasting private porches. Set to open in the first quarter of 2021, it is an enticing boutique getaway choice for honeymooners. Stays are priced from $335 (approximately £250) per room per night.

Learn more about ‘So Fresh, So Clean,’ Kimpton’s Approach to Clean here.

Demand for Florida Keys travel is increasing as we start to look forward to a post-Covid world, say the experts. Emma Cashmore, the UK destination director for the Florida Keys tourism council, says that new luxury villa offerings will allow returning international visitors plenty of personal space. “Bookings are picking up and we expect the Keys to benefit with more upscale self-contained accommodation, which travel experts believe will be a big trend in 2021 and beyond,” Cashmore added.

For more information on the Florida Keys & Key West and current COVID-19 safety protocols, visit:

NCL heralds the rise of art tourism, previews interactive art for Norwegian Viva cruise ship

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Boutique London townhouse hotel: St James’s Hotel & Club Mayfair review

A stay at the five-star St James’s Hotel & Club Mayfair is a vacation in the very heart of London. This iconic boutique townhouse hotel is just a short walk from New Bond Street, Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly and the West End theatre scene. The red carpeted entrance implies exclusivity, and that’s certainly what you’ll experience…

Bex April May is an experienced entertainment, travel and lifestyle journalist based in London, writing for The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, MTV, Shortlist and more. Follow her adventures on Twitter @bexlectric and on Instagram @bexaprilmay

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