It’s time to dream again. Imagine yourself traveling by boat to your own private island. The turquoise waters are calm, the 2 dolphins on the port side of The Truman, playfully zig zag around the wake . The sun has warmed your skin and is so bright you have to squint to see the approaching white sand beach and thatched huts that await you on Little Palm Island.
In a short 20 minute boat ride, you are transported from Key West to this exclusive private island. The escape for the rich and famous is finally open after the damage of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and a multi- million dollar renovation. Grab your S.O. and let’s go ashore.
We are greeted by one of the friendly staff members and ushered into the Welcome Station. A tropical looking drink is placed in our hands- the island signature cocktail- known as the Gumby Slumber. Julie, the helpful concierge, shares all the possible activities and pampering we can enjoy during our stay. There will be some tough decisions to be made; snorkeling, deep sea fishing, or shall we take some sailing lessons? Of course, the spa, which we must schedule a massage and facial before we leave. It might be the rum, or the calypso music, not sure which but there is a huge smile on your face and I think you are humming along.
On the way to our bungalows, we stroll through the resort, pausing to stop by the pool. There are a few other couples there, laughing and enjoying the light breeze coming off the ocean. One of them looks like a little like George Clooney….and could that be Matt Damon that he is enjoying a drink and cigar with at the Palapa Bar? It wouldn’t be the first time that a Hollywood celebrity was spotted here. Famous past guests includes Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and even a past President and VP.
I have reserved the Island Romance Suite (bungalow). There is a view of the ocean from the the private verandah covered in bright pink bougainvillea, reminding me of the time I spent in Barbados. The white sheer curtains wrapped around the deck, add a bit privacy for the outdoor shower ( there is an indoor one too!). On the beach below, there is a fire pit for a quiet evening on this secluded part of the beach. The bungalow is tastefully decorated with a British colonial feel. A bottle of champagne is on ice with a fresh fruit plate to tide me over until dinner.
Your bungalow, is one of the Island Grand Suites- over 1000 square feet of luxury with beautiful tile floors, French doors, his and her bathrooms, and the casual elegance of the Caribbean. The large bedroom with its giant four posted king-size bed has magnificent views pf the beach. The private deck with your own little hot tub to enjoy has a day bed perfect for relaxing or meditating. For an even more memorable experience, arrangements can be made to enjoy a private dinner prepared by the Executive Chef Alex Rosados in your large dining room. There is no TV in the living room but who needs TV when you have your own little piece of paradise?!
Reservations for dinner are all set for 7pm. The Dining Room, once described as “extraordinary to perfection” in every category – food, decor, and service is lively tonight. A table in the center of the room is the perfect place to observe the festive atmosphere. If you are hungry for some seafood, The Dining Room offers an excellent Yellow Tail Snapper or Lobster Stracci. The patio doors remain open giving the feel of outdoor dining and a great view of the sunset. As the night plays on, the music and laughter grows. Conversations between tables ignite new friendships. Time passes quickly and soon dessert is being offered. The Key Lime pie is the specialty of course , although the Chocolate Frangelico Mousse sounds delicious as well. It is with great satisfaction that we leave the dining room for a stroll on the beach.
Has morning come already? A good night rest for an eventful day ahead. A little deep sea fishing brings success with the snagging of a large Marlin like a scene out of Hemingway’s , The Old Man & the Sea. We are exhausted after the outing so a visit to the spa is needed. After a relaxing spa treatment, some time by the pool to read and nap. Tonight is dinner at the Chef’s table.
The dinner is prepared and hosted by Chef Luis Pous. We are dining in a busy resort kitchen but somehow the experience is elegant and undistrubed. The Chef’s menu has our taste buds bursting with pleasure from course 1 to the final 7th course. Each course is carefully paired by a wine chosen by him to perfectly compliment the flavor. I think this is what dining must be like in heaven.
It is close to midnight but I am not ready for bed. A walk along the beach is a great way to wrap up a fabulous day and night on Little Palm Island. The night sky lit with the bright constellations fill in the darkness. The moonlight offers a path back to our bungalows. The soothing sound of the ocean is the perfect lullaby as you sink into a deep sleep.
Eventually we must leave and head back to the mainland. This will be an experience that we will never forget. We bid farewell to new friends and with much gratitude we leave a note of thanks behind to all the wonderful people at Little Palm Island that made our stay so delightful.