In the July/August issue of Sport Fishing, we reported that Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada (Florida Keys), which closed after a New Year's Eve fire, was expected to reopen around December 15. Resort officials confirmed that date this month and provided fresh details about Cheeca's new look.
"Cheeca's new four-story main lodge is being constructed with its original porte-cochere entrance, traditional Florida Keys architecture, chic West Indies décor, and spirited tradition of 'barefoot elegance' - a term coined at Cheeca - all intact," according to a press release from KWE Group, representing the 63-year-old landmark.
However, as important as the past is to the resort, designers have also added a 2009 twist: The main lodge will adhere to specifications set by the U.S. Green Building Council. Included among the 212 guest rooms, suites and bungalows throughout the 27-acre property, the lodge's 62 premier oceanfront and island view suites will measure 840 square feet and include a 24-foot wide balcony plus open-air round tubs and marble/glass rain showers.
The new lodge also features a lobby bar, retail shops and two restaurants: the Nikai Sushi Bar and Atlantic's Edge. Cheeca's renowned beachfront Tiki Bar will reopen with enhancements. The remaining buildings and grounds, including the fishing pier, snorkeling lagoon, golf course and beaches remain unchanged.
An expanded roster of activities includes on-property flats boats with seasoned local guides for backcountry fishing, sightseeing, eco-tours, kiteboarding, and a junior angler program for teens. The Spa at Cheeca Lodge will expand to include 11 treatment rooms, which join the poolside cabanas, adult-only spa lap pool and an oceanfront tiki hut for al fresco treatments. Call 800-327-2888, or visit www.cheeca.com.