Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key Florida

September 21, 2016

Hawks Cay Resort Duck Key Florida vacation

Hawks Cay is a beautiful resort located in Duck Key, Florida, right near Islamorada. While it was my first time vacationing here, it certainly won’t be my last! It’s a pretty popular place for Floridians to travel to and I totally understand why! It’s honestly the perfect size resort. We walked everywhere, but they do have a shuttle vehicle available. Hawks Cay has five pools, one lagoon, multiple restaurants and bars, a spa, fitness center, and marina.

Casey, Harley, and I stayed for four days and four nights. We traveled with Casey’s brother and three other close friends who were all visiting from New York. From the Fort Lauderdale airport, the drive took about two and a half hours. This place is great for all different types of groups: couples, friends, small families, large families, and it’s definitely kid friendly.

Hawks Cay Resort Sanctuary Villa

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We stayed in the Sanctuary Villa. Two stories. Full kitchen. Four rooms, 2 1/2 baths, although the “fourth room” is an extension of the master bedroom. Perfect for a child, but I’m not sure that a couple would want to sleep in there since the bed is on the small side and there’s no dresser or tv or anything. There was enough space next to the bed to put Harley’s Pack N’ Play and most importantly, there was a door separating this room from the master, so she wasn’t disturbed when the light was turned on. The master bedroom was huge with a king size bed, it’s own balcony facing the backyard, a walk in closet and full bathroom.

The second bedroom upstairs had two full size beds in it, it’s own balcony facing the villas across the street, a small closet and two dressers. In between the two upstairs bedrooms was the second full bath. The bedroom downstairs on the main floor was a good size and either had a full or queen size bed. I can’t remember! Also on the main floor was the kitchen, dining room, living room, and the half bath.

We had our own private pool in the perfect size backyard area which was amazing to have! When Harley would go in for her mid day nap, I was able to lay out and soak up the sun!

Our villa was a quick stroll to the hotel lobby and main pool area where all the action was/is at. It’s also walkable to the Marina. There are lots of different rooming options to choose from. Being this was my first time to Hawks Cay, I don’t have anything to compare the Sanctuary Villa to. Overall, we were really happy with it and would definitely recommend it!

We met other families who frequently vacationed at Hawks Cay and used to always want to be in one of the villas. Now they liked staying in the units right next to the resort pool for several convenience factors. I’m sure there are pros and cons to the different types of housing, and it’s just going to come down to personal preference [or availability].

If you call Hawks Cay, they can give you a breakdown of the different rooming options to help you decide what’s best for you and your party.

Hawks Cay Resort Dolphins

Hawks Cay Resort vacation watching dolphins


BABYSITTING: They don’t have a baby sitting service affiliated with the resort, however, they told me to go on Care.com, type in Hawks Cay, and a lot of employees who work for the resort babysit as a side job. They recommended Rose if she was available. It was annoying to have to create/upgrade my Care.com account to get access to people’s information, but it is what it is! Fortunately Rose was available. She has worked for Hawks Cay for a reallyyyyy long time [15 years I think?!], and lives right nearby. She was great with Harley and I’d be happy to give out her contact information should any of you want it. [Just shoot me an email: jaime@sunflowersandstilettos.com]. I also made contact with another girl in case Rose wasn’t available and she seemed super sweet and great as well, so I don’t think you’ll have any issues finding a sitter should you want one! There is a camp offered for older kids. Times and days are limited, but definitely check it out if your children are in Kindergarten and above.

KIDS CENTER / PIRATE SHIP POOL: Harley had SO MUCH FUN here!!  And Casey and I had just as much fun playing around and watching Har enjoy with the other kids. There’s a basketball court, ping pong tables, volleyball, miniature golf, a soccer field, small playground area, and an awesome pirate ship pool!

SUNSET CRUISE: The adults took a sunset cruise one evening before dinner. It’s a quick 2 hour boat ride to yup! watch the sunset! It happened to be super cloudy so I’m not that sure we even got to see the actual sun set, but it was fun. It’s definitely not something I’d tell you you need to do. Like it wasn’t so O.M.G. amazing, but again, it was fun and something different we did to kill time before eating. It’s $49 per person and they provide wine, beer, and champagne. I should also mention that this isn’t a private boat ride. It’s a massive boat! There was maybe 3 other couples besides us, so it did feel like we had the boat to ourselves in a way. I also felt like I was at a bar-mitzvah with the 80’s music they were blasting!

DOLPHIN CONNECTION: We didn’t sign up for any of the dolphin excursions, but we were able to watch them from a near distance. Harley was so excited to see Flipper 1, Flipper 2, and Flipper 3! 😉

Check out here for a full list of experiences, including kayaking, paddle boarding and more!

Hawks Cay Resort Pool

Best vacation spot in the Florida Keys


Beach Grill: FISH TACOS! FISH TACOS! FISH TACOS! Did I mention fish tacos?!! You guys, I’ve literally had hundreds of fish tacos in my day and can honestly say that besides the ones I ate in Hawaii, these were probably the best I’ve ever had. No joke. Two come per portion. They’re meaty and delicious! You can order them poolside from one of the servers.

Ocean: An all you can eat breakfast buffet. We made breakfast at the villa every day since we brought our own groceries. On the very last morning however, after checking out, we figured we’d go out with a bang and fill our bellies before the drive home. It was really good! Fresh. Lots of options. In general, breakfast buffets are kind of a waste for me…they’re usually overpriced [$25 per person in this case] for the amount of food I consume. I know it’s expected at a resort like this and when you’re on vacation, you gotta just go with the flow. Again, it was really good so if you are in the mood to eat a big breakfast, then definitely go here!

Anglers & Ale: This is a sports bar on the marina. We went here to watch the NY Giants game. It was pretty quiet during the day, but as the sun started to set, it got busy real quick. It’s a very clean and modern space. The outside is super cute with different seating areas and small fire pits. The bartender was friendly. Food and drinks were yum! Casey and I split the Mahi BLT. I really liked it. He thought it was “too much bread. Not enough bacon.” Story of my life.

Alma: This was our Saturday evening, parents night out meal! There was a lot of food and drinks ordered that night. Everything was deeeelish! We got grilled octopus and ceviche to start for the table. Casey and I split the seafood paella and grilled skirt steak which was more than enough food. In fact, we had steak left over that I idiotically left on the kitchen table instead of putting it in the fridge! If you’re into espresso martinis, they were quite excellent here! And so was the dirty martini! It was so nice and convenient having a restaurant like this on the property where we were able to stroll on home on our own two feet!

hawks Cay Pool Bar Fish Tacos

Best places to travel to in south Florida, Hawks Cay Resort

Hawks Cay Anglers and Ale

Casey and Jaime Cittadino at Hawks Cay resort

Travel blogger, Jaime Cittadino sharing a review on Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key Florida

A review of Hawks Cay resort, Florida Keys vacation by travel blogger, Jaime Cittadino of Sunflowers and Stilettos

Casey and Harley Cittadino at Hawks Cay Resort

Hawks Cay Florida Keys Sanctuary Villa review by travel blogger Jaime Cittadino of Sunflowers and Stilettos

In general, the Hawks Cay staff was helpful and friendly. Room service was extremely responsive when we requested more garbage bags, clean towels, and other household items. The resort along with our villa was clean and kept up very nicely. The grounds and views are absolutely beautiful. It really is a wonderful resort!

I’m not too familiar with the surrounding area, but we did venture out one night to the Island Fish Co. in Marathon for a quick dinner. We really liked this place! Food was delicious and the staff was really cool. To share with you how mature my husband and company are… Casey’s brother and friend bet Case $200 to walk off the pier into the water fully clothed. You can see the video here, but to all of our surprises, my thirty almost four year old husband and father to my child walked off the freakin’ pier! The commentary of the video is pretty hilarious because truly, none of us believed he’d do it. But hey! He showed us he had some chutzpah [as we Jews like to say] and the Cittadinos walked out $200 richer! Score for me!

Love, Jaime signature

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  • Meryl September 21, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Great Blog about the resort. Looking forward to making reservations

  • Nicole Leffew September 21, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Jaime you’re such a doll! What a fun vaca! And your daughter is the cutest! Looks like you guys had a great time 🙂

  • Nataly September 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Great post! Looks like such a fun vacation!

  • Lee Anne September 21, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    This looks like an amazing vacation! And I’m with you…I LOVE fish tacos too! This place is definitely on my list for our next vacation.

    Lee Anne

  • Emily September 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    looks like it was an amazing trip! definitely will have to add this to the list.
    xo Emily

  • Dylan September 21, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Looks like you had an amazing time, great photos.


  • Ruthie September 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Oh gosh. Fish tacos are the. Best! Also you always give the best reviews and I always want to visit wherever you go!!! This is so good! Loved all of these imagesss

  • Shelby Back September 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Looks like such a fun vacation! Hawks Cay looks gorgeous!


  • Mndy Thompson September 21, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    What a fun visit! The warm weather looks so relaxing!

  • Jacqueline September 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    This sounds like such an amazing vacation! Love the photos

  • Steph September 21, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    This resort looks amazing! So glad you had a great time!!

    xO – Steph

  • Morgan Klein September 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Your vacation looks beautiful!!!!! I love all of your pictures and it looks like you guys all had a blast!! Xo

  • Stella C. September 21, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks for the awesome resort insights! Traveling with a young family can be hit or miss, but looks like you had a hit at Hawk’s Cay — what a great vacation! …and yes, there is nothing quite like a delicious fish taco! 🙂


  • Shelby September 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Duck Key looks GORGEOUS! I’m trying to decide on a potential FL spot for a bachelorette/girls weekend and I know nothing about FL so this was super helpful!

    xo, Shelby

  • Lauren September 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I loved seeing this Jaime! It looks like you had the most gorgeous vacation! I still missed you at NYFW though, hopefully next year!

    Lauren Xx

  • Stesha September 21, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Such a fun visit, looks amazingly beautiful!


  • Lauren September 21, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    What a beautiful place to vacation and a great writeup. Look like a lot of fun!


  • Linda Quinones September 21, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    So fun babe! Florida is one of my favorite places to visit so I have to check this out. I love that you gave such a detailed review!!


  • Jessica September 21, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    This looks amazing! I love how beautiful the ocean color is. Now I know where to go when I go to Florida!! Thanks for the tip.

  • Stephani September 22, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Omg looks like you guys had a fabulous vacay!!! This place looks ahhhhhmazing!!! And your daughter is so cute!!

  • Anna Cobbs September 22, 2016 at 9:38 am

    This resort looks absolutely beautiful!!!

    xx – anna

  • Angelle Marix September 22, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Looks like an amazinggg resort!! Beautiful pictures!!

  • Carolyna Bauer September 23, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    OMG what a beautiful place!! I want to go!! XOXO, Carolyna

  • Kristina September 23, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    That resort looks beautiful & glad you were able to find some childcare when you were down there too. I went to Marathon/Key West one year in college for spring break and I’m dying to go back!

    xo, Kristina
    Medicine & Manicures

    • jaime_cittadino September 24, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Yes, thank you! It’s such a beautiful resort. For the most part we were with Harley, but it was nice to have a dinner after the early bird specials which is what we usually do with her, haha!!

  • Candace September 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Sounds like you guys had a lovely time!



  • Kristin Leahy September 26, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Hawks Cay is such a beautiful resort! We went a couple years ago and I’m dying to go back!! So glad you had a great trip! xo