Why the Florida Keys for Your Next Meeting or Event?
This 125-mile-long strand of islands offers groups a balmy sub-tropical climate and accommodations ranging from laid-back boutique hotels to luxury resorts.
Only in the Florida Keys
While it didn't have an Oval Office, the Harry S. Truman Little White House on Key West served as the 33rd President's southern headquarters and now hosts events for up to 94 people.
Transportation in & Around the Area
Key West International Airport, 4 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, about $25. Miami International Airport, about 60 miles from
Key Largo. Transfer cost by shuttle, from $20.
Good to Know
Taxes: Room tax, 5%; sales tax, 7.5%; total tax on rooms,12.5%
CVB: Monroe County Tourism Development Council.
New & Coming Soon to the Florida Keys
- This fall, the 184-room Barbary Beach House Key West will be rebranded as the Margaritaville Beach House Key West. A $3 million renovation is planned, with enhancements to the property’s design, amenities, and food-and-beverage outlets. The hotel, which offers 4,000 square feet of meetings space, is across from the popular Smathers Beach.
- Opal Key Resort & Marina opened in January along the waterfront and just steps away from the Key West Aquarium. The hotel features 178 guest rooms, as well as 16,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Its meeting rooms can accommodate groups ranging from 10 to 300 people.
- New nonstop service is being added to Key West International Airport. JetBlue now flies from New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport. In June, Allegiant Air will add new nonstop flights from Nashville, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
- The 85-room Winslow's Bungalows, the first property in the new five-hotel Kimpton Key West collection, debuted last March.
The full resort, a reimagining of the Historic Inns of Key West, will offer a total of 219 guest rooms in five structures in historic Old Town.
- The 216-room Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel has added an outdoor events patio
for 140 attendees, bringing the property's total meeting space to 10,000 square feet.
- The 150-room Reach Key West, a Curio Collection by Hilton property, has unveiled
its new eatery, the Four Marlins Restaurant. The hotel offers 4,000 square feet of indoor event space and an additional 18,000 square feet of outdoor event space, including a gazebo over the Atlantic.
- Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, part of Noble House Hotels & Resorts, added 15 redesigned thatched-roof bungalows (the property has a total of 30). Other upgrades include
the refurbishment of the Monkey Hut lounge and Palapa Bar, as well as the addition of cabanas at the oceanfront pool. The resort has 2,480 square feet of event space, such as the 1,080-squarefoot Sunset Terrace and 950-square-foot Great Room.
- The 114-room Islander Resort on Islamorada, has installed 1,948 solar panels — the largest solar installation
in the Keys. The property's cottage-style units feature sleek, contemporary decor with screened lanais. Meeting spaces include the Islander Conference Center and the ocean-front Great Lawn.
- Key West International Airport is undergoing a $28 million upgrade. The enhancements include additional seating, new family restrooms, a new pet-relief station, updated baggage conveyors and renovated restrooms. For takeoffs and landings, the runway
and taxiway will be extended to 5,075 feet. The project is scheduled to be completed this coming summer.
- Marathon Key has a new property, the 24-acre, 199-room Isla Bella Beach Resort. Among the amenities
are a 4,000-square-foot spa, a fitness center, five pools and, on the oceanfront, a restaurant, a bar, a burger spot and a café with shopping. The resort offers 24,000 square feet of meeting space.
- The Hemingway Rum Co. Distillery in Key West will unveil a 2,400-square-foot event center later this year. Housed in an old tobacco warehouse, the distillery also produces Papa's Pilar Rum and
offers an experience center, a tasting room and a trading post. Events for up to 275 people are accommodated.
- This sweet spot is perfect for small groups of 22. Key Largo Chocolates & Ice Cream, known for its 9-inch "chocodiles," hosts chocolate-making classes and soirees. Participants can tour the
kitchen, make some sweets and enjoy a private meal. The best part: They get to take their delicious confections home with them.
More Event Venues
Among the Florida Keys' largest meetings and incentive properties are the 311-room Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort,
on Key West, and the 275-room Ocean Reef Club on Key Largo.
- Best Hotel/Resort, Southeast: Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Silver winner
- Best Boutique Property, Southeast: The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton, Gold winner
- Best On-Site Support Staff, Southeast: Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Bronze winner
- Best Décor/Design, Southeast: The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton, Silver winner
- Best Boutique Property, Southeast: The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton, Finalist
- Best Renovation (Within the Past Year), Southeast: The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton, Gold winner
- Best Hotel/Resort, Southeast: Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Bronze winner
- Best Hotel/Resort Event Space (On-Site), Southeast: Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Silver winner
- Best Food & Beverage, Southeast: Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Bronze winner
- Best On-Site Support Staff, Southeast: Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Gold winner