KEY LARGO, FLORIDA Dolphin Points Villa
The laid back pastel feel of The Florida Keys makes if feel like it is springtime there all year. After a challenging summer in 2017, watching the patented ease of the Keys get tussled by Hurricane Irma, I was left wondering if the experience had somehow dampened or changed the character of the place.
It has not.
Dolphin Points Villa is a romantic quiet luxury getaway nestled right off Overseas Highway. It is elegance Key’s style, which means you’re just as welcome in your flip-flops and jean shorts as you are in your Sunday’s best.
The magic of the Keys is as much about what you get to do as it is about all you don’t have to do. Everything is only minutes away - just take a left or a right on the highway. That is, if you want to leave the property at all. On impact, the villa looks like an inviting plantation style home in on the area’s signature pale blues. There are six such villas, and while the property feels tight nit and intimate, you feel miles away from each other too. Perhaps it’s because what you don’t have in horizontal distance is made up for in height. My family and I were in a spacious two story, three-bedroom villa with a wrap-around balcony. The vaulted ceiling went up another story. The open layout gave you a view of the kitchen, dining room, family room and seating area in one glance. Each room had its own TV, spacious closet and bathroom.
A quick walk down the gravel driveway brought us to the dock. To the right was a gorgeous sandy lot that lends itself to picturesque wedding ceremonies, quiet sunset views or a play area for large colorful iguanas who dip in and out of the water with abandon. To the left is a small strip of beach from where we kayaked, paddle boarded and tossed sandbags during rounds of corn hole, all before noon. In the background we could hear the dolphins from Dolphin Plus chirping in the background.
Dolphin Plus is a marine mammal home and research and education center adjacent to Dolphin Point Villas. Our guest relations’ manager, Sharon, made appointments for us to swim with dolphins on our first day. They provided us with wet suits, a short education session and then we were off. We got to pet, train, kiss and ride the dolphins. While the chill of the water took our breath away, we were quickly enthralled by the beauty of the animals and the bond they have with their trainers.
When it was time to eat, dining options are cleverly curated right offshore. Many restaurants along the strip offer all manner of lobster, scallop and shrimp dishes. Some locations even offer to cook your BYO catch. And of course, the key lime pie is a must. We had more than a little of each at the Lazy Lobster, which offers fine dining options, indoor or out, in T-shirt or buttoned down. We also took advantage of the fully stocked
and comfortable villa kitchen. We had both a Publix and a Winn Dixie just minutes from us to procure items for pancakes, sandwiches and sangrias.
The next morning after drinking our coffee on the veranda and looking for manatees on the dock, we drove six minutes to the African Queen. This is a canal cruise on the actual African Queen from the Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart movie of the same name. This is an hour and half canal cruise aboard a seaworthy historical landmark. The ride takes you through waterfront mansions into open water and back again. You learn about the history of the boat and little bit about its most famous passengers.
Guests of Dolphin Point Villas can count on the staff as both experts and locals for getting insider advice on living the easy life in Key Largo even if it’s just for a few days.
For more information about Dolphin Point Villas, visit dolphinpointvillas.com.