Our Coral Reef is Back in Business

Another stunning day at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo.

And did you know… that John Pennekamp, a former city editor at the Miami Herald, was a leader in the fight to set aside part of the Everglades as a National Park? …Great idea John!

In recognition the USA’s first underwater park was named in his honor.  

Summer Sunsets Are Back

So here are a few sun facts to ponder….

The sun is 109 times wider than the earth and 330,000 times as massive. Meaning 1,300,000 earths would fit, squished inside the sun. Yikes!

And what’s worse – one day the sun will consume the earth. : (

However, given that light from the sun takes eight minutes and twenty seconds to reach us I’d say that’s fair warning – although the fact it will already have gobbled up Mercury and Venus might give us a clue.

Until then we’ll just have to keep watching!

And The Fight Goes On


A world-class fight deserves a world-class finish…. photo finish that is!
So when our guests Anna and Chris from Mississippi landed this 30lb grouper what better way to end the struggle than with a photo. Complete with hair, makeup, sunglasses and high-fashion gloves Anna forgot one small thing – the fish wasn’t ready. And the fight wasn’t over!
Our offshore Captain, Zane Albury, tells us that grouper can weigh-in anywhere up to 600lbs which makes this baby look like chum.
OK, quiet on set, take two…!

Some Things Never Change


In an ever-changing world it’s heartening that some things stay the same…like the migration pattern of these Great Egrets who head south for winter, traveling as far as the West Indies or southern Central America. They migrate by day in small flocks and stop at night. Yesterday our guests Christina and Florin from Germany witnessed the late arrival of this final group at our favorite little island in the Keys. Another spectacular sunset cruise. A bird-watcher’s delight!


Morning Hook Up


Before most people have had their first cup of coffee, fishing guides at Azul del Mar slip their lines and are well on their way to another adventure.

Mike and Erika, guests at the small Key Largo Boutique Hotel, were probably as surprised as this healthy Tarpon at their early morning rendezvous.

Mike’s not fishing for compliments these days but this is one fine specimen weighing in at more than 10lbs and 37 inches long. Of course once the photo shoot is over this catch of the day will be released back into the wilds of Everglades’ National Park.

What a wonderful way to start the day for at least one of the two subjects in this snapshot!

Together with back country, flats and fly fishing excursions you can also head offshore to the Gulf Stream for some deep-sea fishing action. Mahi mahi (so good to eat that you have to say it twice), tarpon or sailfish will likely be your catch of the day there – depending on season.

In this fight you’re guaranteed a ringside seat – so be sure to book ahead through the hotel.


Looking Back…


“Where’s my suite?” It’s the question we’re asked most when booking our beautiful boutique hotel in the Florida Keys.

So looking back from the water there’s the Sea Front Suite, Orchidea, (with it’s peek-a-boo Sea View on the lower left) and Royale, our Super Deluxe Sea View Suite (with six tall, bay view windows directly to the right).

Upstairs are the identical Deluxe Sea View Suites, Celeste (to the left) and Aquamarina (right). Both have picturesque Florida Rooms with elevated water views overlooking Florida Bay and Everglades’ National Park.

Not shown are the Tropical Garden Suites, La Palma (to the right side) and Caribe (adjacent to our butterfly garden (directly behind Orchidea) and just a few steps from the beach.

It’s a pretty blue/green day here on Key Largo – the longest Key!



Quick On The Draw


Graphic designer Nick Feigley can whip these sketches out in about fifteen minutes… making us envious of his creative talents.

If you sit right here, looking out across the downpour blue dock towards Everglades National Park, you’ll understand how perfectly Nick captured this Florida Keys Scene at our all-adult, boutique hotel.

Nick was staying at Azul del Mar in Key Largo – perfect for recharging those creative batteries.  In fact perfect for anyone looking to escape the day to day.

Only one hour from Miami International Airport and yet a world away! Decompress at Azul Del Mar in Key Largo.


Outward Bound


There’s always a surprise in store on our Everglades’ National Park Eco Tours from Azul del Mar in Key Largo.

This time it’s a group of Outward Bound sailors who cut a fine picture as their twin masted, shallow-draft Sharpie slices through the turquoise chop near Whaleback Key in Florida Bay.

Camping is permitted at Nest Key where you can observe Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets, Great White Heron, Flamingo, Anhingas, Eagles and many other birds in abundance.



In Spanish – “Azul” – means blue.

Driving the Florida Keys from Azul del Mar in Key Largo last week this was truly an Azul day. Absolutely stunning!