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Hawks Cay Resort: A Florida Keys Getaway [Detailed Review]

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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The author traveled as an invited guest of Hawks Cay ResortAll opinions are the author’s own, and the hotel had no input in any part of this review.

Hawks Cay Resort, located in Duck Key, Florida, is a family-friendly waterfront resort with both traditional hotel accommodations and vacation rentals. The on-site marina makes this resort a great option for boaters.

This was my second trip to the Florida Keys, and on both of those trips, I noticed the same thing — the Keys have their own distinct style. They don’t feel like the Caribbean, and they don’t even feel like the rest of Florida.

Let’s jump into details about Hawks Cay Resort, including amenities, rooms, dining, and the best ways to book it.

How To Book Hawks Cay Resort

There are multiple ways to book a stay at Hawks Cay Resort to get some extra perks and bonuses.

Lifestyle Collection from Capital One: The Lifestyle Collection is a group of independent and boutique hotels available to book through Capital One Travel for select cardholders. When you make one of these bookings, you’ll get perks like a $50 experience credit, early check-in and late checkout (when available), room upgrades, and free Wi-Fi. You’ll earn 10x points per dollar spent when using your Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card — and don’t forget about this card’s $300 annual Capital One Travel credit!

The Hotel Collection from American Express: Hawks Cay Resort is part of The Hotel Collection from American Express. You’ll get extra perks booking a stay of 2 nights or more through AmexTravel.com, including a $100 experience credit and a room upgrade. Plus, if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, it comes with up to $200 prepaid hotel credit which you can use for stays of 2 nights or more.

Hawks Cay Resort Amex Hotel Collection
Hawks Cay is part of The Hotel Collection from American Express. Image Credit: American Express
Hot Tip:

Booking a 2-night stay at Hawks Cay when prices are low (around $200 per night) using the Amex Platinum card’s $200 prepaid hotel credit could be a good way to get an inexpensive Florida Keys getaway.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts: Hawks Cay Resort is part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and is bookable using Choice Privileges points, in theory. Unfortunately, when I checked availability for the next year, there was absolutely nothing available. Regardless, be sure to join I Prefer Rewards to be eligible for benefits like member rates, free Wi-Fi, early check-in and late check-out, and room upgrades.

Book Direct: If you’d prefer to book direct, be sure to use a credit card that earns extra points on travel. My go-to card for travel expenses is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Not only does it earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all travel purchases, but it also comes with an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit, airport lounge access, and excellent travel protections.

Cost

The cost of staying at Hawks Cay ranges by season. I found rates as low as $210 per night from August through October. However, prices soar to over $600 per night toward the end of December. Unfortunately, there’s also a $55 per night resort fee in addition to the room cost.

Hawks Cay Resort cost per night
Join the I Prefer loyalty program to get lower rates. Image Credit: Hawks Cay Resort

The resort fee includes the following:

  • Bike rentals at Coral Cay
  • Fitness center access
  • Local and toll-free phone calls
  • Kayaks and paddleboards at Tiki Beach
  • Resort-wide Island tram (golf carts)
  • Self-parking
  • Unlimited access to Coral Cay activities and adventures
  • Unlimited use of the putting course, sports field, and tennis courts
  • Wi-Fi

Hawks Cay Resort Location

Hawks Cay Resort main hotel entrance
The entrance to Hawks Cay Resort.

Hawks Cay Resort is located on Duck Key at about the midpoint in the Florida Keys. It’s a 2.5-hour drive (depending on traffic) from Miami International Airport (MIA) and 1.5 hours from Key West. Florida Keys Marathon International Airport (MTH) is just under 20 minutes from the resort.

Because of its location, this resort will appeal more to those who enjoy road trips. It’s along the route of one of the best road trips in the U.S.: the Overseas Highway between Miami and Key West.

If you’d prefer to take a seaplane charter to the resort, Hawks Cay Resort partners with BLADE to offer rides from Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Of course, this service doesn’t come cheap. At $5,750 plus tax, I’m guessing most guests will opt to drive.

Check-In and Lobby

Hawks Cay Resort lobby
The check-in desk and lobby during my December 2023 stay.

The bright and airy lobby was a welcome sight after a long drive from the Miami airport. I was looking forward to relaxing in my room a bit, but unfortunately, check-in wasn’t until 4 p.m., so my room wasn’t ready.

Once I was able to check in, I was given a wristband that acted as my key, which was very convenient.

Hawks Cay Resort key wrist band
This key wristband was very handy.
Hot Tip:

Looking for a Florida Keys vacation? Check out the best Florida Keys boutique hotels and these Key West hotels that have been reviewed by our contributors: Hyatt Centric Key West, Casa Marina Key West, and The Reach Key West.

Amenities

Pools and Water Features

There were 6 pools and water areas at Hawks Cay Resort — some for families and some just for adults. The main Resort Pool was located near the hotel building, with easy access to the grab-and-go market and the pool bar.

Hawks Cay Resort main swimming pool
The family pool at Hawks Cay Resort.

It’s also right next to the resort’s small lagoon, called Tiki Beach, that’s just the right size for kids.

Hawks Cay Resort lagoon
There was a small lagoon at the resort.

The Coral Cay Pool was another option for families near the kids’ club. It was practically empty during my visit in early December.

Pool by kids club at Hawks Cay Resort
The Coral Cay Pool.

Located next to the Coral Cay Pool was the Pirate Ship Pool. This shallow splash area was perfect for young children who may not be great swimmers yet.

Pirate Ship pool at Hawks Cay Resort
This pirate ship play area is a great spot for younger kids.

Oasis Cay, the adults-only pool (for guests ages 21 and up), was located on the opposite side of the main hotel building from the main pool.

Hawks Cay Resort Oasis Cay adults pool
Oasis Cay was the pool area for adults 21 and up.

In addition to lounge chairs, the Oasis Cay pool had 5 cabanas available for rent. Prices ranged from $100 to $225 per day.

Cabanas at Oasis Cay pool at Hawks Cay Resort
Cabanas at Oasis Cay. Image Credit: Hawks Cay Resort

In front of the pool was a lovely lawn area with cornhole, a fire pit, and lounge chairs for enjoying the day.

Hawks Cay Resort adults area
This was a nice spot to enjoy a game of cornhole or to relax with a nice water view.

Lastly, the Sunset Pool was located within Hawks Cay Sunset Village, the vacation rental section of the resort.

Calm Waters Spa

I love a good spa, and Calm Waters Spa at Hawks Cay didn’t disappoint. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, this spa not only has fantastic treatments but a calm area for pre- and post-treatment relaxation.

Spa at Hawks Cay Resort in Florida
These loungers were great for pre and post-massage relaxation.

Fitness Center

The fitness center was open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. While not an enormous space, it had everything necessary for a good workout, including cardio equipment, strength training machines, free weights, yoga mats, and exercise balls.

Fitness center at Hawks Cay Resort
The gym at Hawks Cay Resort.

Tennis and Pickleball

Hawks Cay Resort has both tennis and pickleball courts on-site. Group clinics and private lessons are available. I took a pickleball lesson during my stay and had a great time.

If you don’t have your own pickleball paddles or tennis racquets, they can be rented in 2-hour increments for $7.

Pickleball at Hawks Cay Resort
I enjoyed my first pickleball lesson.

Hawks Cay Marina

Angler and Ale at Hawks Cay Resort in Florida
The marina is next to one of the resort’s restaurants, Angler and Ale.

The Hawks Cay Marina offers guests easy access to popular water sports, including fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunset cruises.

Hot Tip:

This resort will especially appeal to boaters — there are 85 boat slips with accommodations for boats up to 110 feet long.

Bike, Kayak, and Paddleboard Rentals

The resort fee included a 1-hour bike rental.

Bike rentals at Hawks Cay Resort
Bike rentals were included in the resort fee.

Coral Cay Activities and Adventures Kids’ Club

Coral Cay Activities and Adventure is the resort’s kids’ club. In addition to the Coral Cay and Pirate Ship Pools, this area has a game room, a putting course, basketball and volleyball courts, and organized activities for kids ages 5 to 12 (registration required and additional fees apply).

Coral Cay Activities and Adventures
Coral Cay Activities and Adventures.

Dolphin Connection

Hawks Cay Resort offers on-site dolphin viewing and interactive programs through Dolphin Connection.

Hot Tip:

Hawks Cay made our list of the best resorts and hotel packages in Florida!

My Room: Captain Suite

When I first walked into room 3102, a Captain Suite on the ground floor, the first thing that struck me was how spacious it was. The bed was on one side of the room, with a sitting area on the other.

Hawks Cay Resort Captain Suite Room 3102
Room 3102.

The king-sized bed was flanked by nightstands on each side, and there was a TV across from the bed.

Hawks Cay Resort guest room first floor
My room at Hawks Cay Resort.

There was a small desk next to the sliding doors to the patio. It was a little tight on space, as this is where the coffee maker was located, but it was fine to get some work done during the day.

Hawks Cay Resort guest room desk
The desk had a nice view.

The closet was located in the entryway and included a luggage rack and an iron and ironing board.

Hawks Cay Resort guest room closet
The closet was in the entryway.

My room had a large sitting area with a second sliding door to the patio. I was traveling alone so I only used this area to store my backpack, but it would be great for families needing extra space.

Hawks Cay Resort Captain Suite ground floor
My room had a sitting area with a second door to the patio.

Patio

The best part of my room was the huge deck and patio area. My ground-floor room had a covered patio area with a small dining table and 2 sets of sliding doors. The patio stepped down to the enormous deck with 4 loungers, though it probably could have fit 8. This would be a great spot to gather with friends and family who were staying in different rooms.

Hawks Cay Resort Captain Suite deck
My deck and patio area was enormous.

From my deck, 2 walkways went out to the main pool area. It was super convenient to access the pool or snack bar from my room. Even though I was close to the action, my deck was surrounded by lush greenery, so it still felt fairly private.

Outside view of Captain Suite at Hawks Cay Resort
I loved having 2 private walkways from the main pool area to my room.

My favorite thing about this deck that opened up to the pool area was having quick access to the hot tub, which was tucked away right next to my deck. It was great not having to walk far to get back to my room.

View from the hot tub at Hawks Cay Resort
I loved this “hidden” hot tub right next to my room.

Bathroom

The bathroom felt like it had 2 personalities. Parts of it felt modern and updated, while some of it was dark and dated.

Let’s start with the positives. The sink and vanity were modern, and there was plenty of counter space.

Hawks Cay Resort guest bathroom

Across from the sink was a lovely beadboard wall detail with plenty of hooks. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate hooks in hotel rooms, because there never seems to be enough. I would be thrilled if every hotel bathroom had a wall of hooks like this.

Plus, the toilet was in a separate room, another hotel room feature I love.

Hawks Cay Resort bathroom wall with hooks
This wall of hooks was so convenient for hanging my toiletry bag, towels, and clothes.

On the other hand, the floor and shower tile didn’t fit in. It was dated and made the bathroom feel like it was stuck mid-renovation. The good news was that the shower was large and had a glass door —thankfully, not the dreaded shower curtain!

Hawks Cay Resort guest room shower
The shower was large but had dated tile.

Vacation Rentals

Hawks Cay Resort villas
These charming villas were available to rent.

I think one of the best aspects of Hawks Cay Resort is the ability to stay in a villa. This townhouse-type of accommodation would work for families who like vacation rentals but also appreciate the benefits of staying on a hotel property. I was able to tour one of the 2-bedroom units (2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom options are available), and loved the water view and private plunge pool.

private patio and plunge pool
A private patio in a 2-bedroom villa.

Many of the resort’s vacation rentals also come with direct access to a boat slip.

Hawks Cay Villas with boat access
Some rental units come with a spot to leave your boat.
Hot Tip:

In addition to traditional hotel rooms, there are 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom vacation rentals available at Hawks Cay.

Food and Beverage

There were 5 bars and restaurants, plus a grab-and-go market at Hawks Cay Resort. While I’m including each location’s hours, keep in mind these can vary by season.

Angler and Ale

Angler and Ale restaurant
Angler and Ale.

Angler and Ale is located next to the marina. Not only does it serve a full menu of Florida Keys favorites, but the chefs can cook your fresh catch, too. It’s open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner daily from 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bar is open from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Coral Grill

Coral Grill at Hawks Cay Resort
Coral Grill was closed when I was there.

Coral Grill is a poolside snack bar located within Coral Cay, the resort’s kids’ club area. It was open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hawks Cay Marketplace

Hawks Cay Marketplace had the potential to be a great spot, but it just wasn’t quite up to par when I was there. Located right off of the main pool and lobby, this is the resort’s coffee shop and grab-and-go marketplace.

Hawks Cay Marketplace
Inside Hawks Cay Marketplace.

I loved that this spot had lots of local snacks, goodies, and gifts, but the grab-and-go food selections were lacking. The good news is that Starbucks coffee was available, so you know I happily ordered a latte to enjoy during a quiet early morning by the pool.

Starbucks coffee in front of the pool
Early morning coffee by the pool.

Hawks Cay Marketplace was open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Pilar Bar

Pilar Bar
Pilar Bar.

Pilar Bar is an adults-only bar next to the Oasis Cay pool with waterfront views. It served food and drinks Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sixty-One Prime

Sixty-One Prime, located in the lobby, serves breakfast and dinner. It was open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday. Dinner was served Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m., and the bar was open daily from 5 to 11 p.m.

We stopped in for some pre-dinner drinks before dinner on my second night at the resort. Our fantastic bartender, Terry, whipped up the most delicious Key Lime Martinis, including an excellent non-alcoholic version for me.

Terry the bartender making Key Lime Martinis
Key Lime Martini time!

I loved having breakfast at Sixty-One Prime. The patio seating was perfectly shady and cool when I was there, and the avocado toast (my recent go-to hotel breakfast) didn’t disappoint.

Avocado toast at Sixty One Prime at Hawks Cay Resort
This avocado toast was delicious.

Tiki Grill

Tiki Grill at Hawks Cay Resort
Tiki Grill.

Tiki Grill is the resort’s poolside bar and restaurant. Lunch, snacks, and drinks were served daily — from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

I ordered lunch to go to take back to my room. I enjoyed my kale and quinoa salad on my private deck overlooking the pool — not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Kale and quinoa salad from Tiki Grill
I enjoyed lunch on my deck.

Final Thoughts

Hawks Cay Resort is a family-friendly hotel located on Duck Key, right in the middle of the Florida Keys. With an on-site marina and villas with direct boat slip access, this resort will especially appeal to boaters and those who want to enjoy the area’s best water activities.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get to Hawks Cay Resort from Miami?

The drive from the Miami airport to Hawks Cay Resort takes about 2.5 hours, depending on traffic.

Can you swim in the lagoon at Hawks Cay Resort?

Yes, there is a small man-made lagoon next to the main pool that is swimmable.

What's included in Hawks Cay Resort?

A stay at Hawks Cay Resort includes self parking, Wi-Fi, resort-wide golf cart transportation, use of the putting course and sports courts, access to Coral Cay, kayaks, paddleboards, and bike rentals.

Is Hawks Cay Resort a Hilton property?

No, Hawks Cay Resort isn’t part of Hilton.

Do you need a car at Hawks Cay Resort?

It’s best to have access to a car when staying at Hawks Cay Resort. It’s quite a long drive from the airport and you’ll need a car if you want to leave the resort for activities or dining.

What is the closest airport to Hawks Cay Resort?

Marathon International Airport (MTH) is the closest airport to Hawks Cay Resort at about 10 miles (about a 16-minute drive) away. Key West International Airport (EYW) is just under 1.5 hours away and Miami International Airport (MIA) is about 2.5 hours away.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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