Bakers Cay Resort Review: 4 Blissful Ingredients for the Ideal Florida Keys Vacation

Estimated read time 8 min read

Why the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys were calling my name, and atop my list was the enchanting Bakers Cay Resort. The question wasn’t just about its reopening but about the experience it could offer in these times. With a mix of excitement and a hint of caution as this was our first trip after COVID shutdown, I was ready to dive into what Bakers Cay had to unveil.

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The approach to safety and guest well-being was evident throughout Monroe County. Each visit, whether to hotels, tourist attractions, or restaurants, shared a unified commitment to ensuring a welcoming and secure environment. This dedication to safety made the Keys stand out even more, especially considering the varying levels of precautions elsewhere.

Coming from a part of Florida with different norms, the Keys offered not just a change of scenery but a refreshing embrace of care and mindfulness. It was clear: my adventure in the Keys, starting with Bakers Cay Resort, was about to be as serene as it was safe.

bakers cay resort golden sunset

A Reason to Stop in Miami.

To make our journey from central Florida more enjoyable, we decided to break up the drive with a one-night stay in Miami, both on our way down and on our return trip.

Residence Inn Doral

While it has great reviews, I thought the stay didn’t quite meet my expectations for cleanliness.  I found several spots in our room where they failed to be attentive to what seemed apparent – spots on the sofa, spots on the chair, a cup ring on a side table, stuck on food on the center table which all wiped up much too easily for me to believe it was clean in the first place.  I freaked out a little, but I knew that might happen, so I was prepared, sanitized the whole place, doorknobs and light switches included.  I don’t mess around.

If you order food delivery, they leave it in the lobby, it doesn’t come to your room.  I wouldn’t leave my little people in the room by themselves, so, I told them to put their masks on and let’s go.  As soon as the door shut (with no key in my hand), I realized they were standing in the hall with masks on and no shoes. 

This doesn’t bother most people but it drives me insane.  We had to swiftly march down the hall to get our food and get a new key only to return with keys that didn’t work! (My OCD brain was ready to explode) Back down the hall again, finally back in our room with a working key. But like I said, there are 2 types of people in this world, those who go barefoot and those who cringe at the thought of bare feet. Now, you know which one I am.

Eat Something:

If you’re not familiar with Doral, it is where you will find a plethora of Arepas! There’s a large Venezuelan and Columbian influence in the area with incredible food options. 

Add these to your must try list because I promise, they are worth it!  I usually get Arepas from Amaize when I’m in the area but this time I had to try some new places. Create your own Bowl is my favorite way to go, great vegetarian options. (Update: Sadly, Amaize has closed its doors, time to explore new culinary treasures!)

arepa with spinach

Macondo Coffee Roasters gave me the best coffee ever.  I’m not sure I’m even drinking coffee anymore since it’s not from there.  I tried 3 different coffees (all iced, of course!) and the passionfruit tea.  The pastries, arepas, and empanadas were all good too. (Update – It is my go to when I’m in the area!)

Diced is great if you’re looking for fresh! Lots of veggies, vegan chick’n options, even forbidden rice as an option?! Don’t worry, there’s plenty of meat choices too. (Another go to favorite!)

Get Outside – Tropical Gardens:

Make sure to check each website or call for updated information on visiting procedures and hours.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – a 1916 waterfront estate home turned into a museum and gardens, This National Historical Landmark invites visitors to step back in time and explore the opulent world of a bygone era, all while nestled in the heart of Miami’s scenic coastline.

The Kampong – a National Tropical Garden on Biscayne Bay. This paradise invites visitors into a world of exotic beauty, offering a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens – an 83 acre tropical garden.

We chose Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens for this visit, a sprawling 83-acre haven of tropical flora. The highlight? The Rainforest section. It was an absolute marvel, brimming with lush beauty that seemed to transport us to another world. My tip? Head there early to sidestep the midday heat and the crowds, making your experience as serene as the gardens themselves.

On to Key Largo and Bakers Cay Resort!

Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo

Baker’s Cay is a Curio Collection Hilton property.  The Curio Collection properties are typically 4- or 5-star hotels that offer unique settings and authentic experiences.  I picked this property for 3 reasons:

  • The balcony – Offering the perfect spot for al fresco dining amidst the backdrop of nature.
  • The beach – The resort’s beachfront location makes it an ideal family getaway spot.
  • The loyalty – The assurance of high standards, including a CleanStay commitment, was a significant draw. Plus, the added perk of booking a standard reward night starting at 60,000 points.

When you turn in at the entrance, the outside world fades away a bit and your tropical escape has begun.  While you may not be greeted at the gate with a welcome bag (depending on if the gatekeeper ran out), you can pick up one in the lobby.  If you check-in on the app, prior to your arrival, you can use your digital key or get card keys and start enjoying your island destination.

Despite a few minor setbacks, the stay was thoroughly enjoyable, and I’m happy to have a return visit.

What setbacks, you ask? An unexpected delivery of birthday decorations in our room, intended for another guest, was quickly resolved by the staff, although it did cause a brief moment of confusion. It’s really not something you want kids to see and then have taken away.

balloon surprise at bakers cay

While there were some challenges with accessing information on activities due to technical issues, it didn’t dampen our spirits. Enhancing the use of technology for a more intuitive guest experience, such as ordering room service via the app, would be a welcome improvement.

Nonetheless, having breakfast delivered to my room was a treat, with prompt service and delicious offerings that started each day on a high note.

Get Outside – Key Largo Beaches

If you’re just passing by on your way through the Florida keys – try a day pass at Baker’s Cay Resort.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – for scuba diving, boat rentals, fishing, swimming, nature trails, and more.

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park – walk along 8-foot high quarry walls and view fossilized coral in the Key Largo limestone.

Dolphin Research Center – visit and interact with dolphins and sea lions.

Bahai Honda State Park – palm lined beaches, clear waters, and striking sunsets. *Keep in mind that pollution can put a damper on your visit.  I checked before we arrived and knew the warning that swimming was not recommended because both beaches had poor water quality at the time.  Some people like to live dangerously though so, you may still see swimmers. *  Check the swim guide or call when in doubt but they will remind you at the gate, as well.

Blue Hole Observation Platform – Ever seen a key deer in the Key Deer Refuge area? Neither did I, but I tried.  Stop by the observation platform for some quiet time and maybe you’ll at least spot an alligator.

Enjoy Some Key Largo Sunsets

Wrapping up a vacation with the mesmerizing sunsets of Key Largo is the epitome of a perfect getaway, leaving you with memories painted in hues of gold and crimson.

The ideal road trip to the Keys is composed of four essential ingredients: a strategic pause in vibrant Miami to soak in its lively culture, indulging in the serene beauty of parks and gardens that offer a refreshing embrace of nature, chasing the unparalleled sunsets that blanket the sky with a spectacle of colors, and choosing Baker’s Cay as your sanctuary, a place where each stay is as comforting as it is memorable.

Nestled between the adventures and the tranquil moments, Baker’s Cay Resort stands as a testament to the beauty of finding a perfect balance, making it the quintessential haven for those traversing the scenic route to the Keys.

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    • 4
      Portia O'Laughlin

      Yes, Florida has so many great areas to visit, it can be hard to choose! I say try a different part every chance you get to visit.

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