Playa Largo Resort in the Florida Keys


October 6, 2022
Words by Megan Padilla
Photos courtesy of Playa Largo Resort & Spa

So Close Yet So Far Away

One of the greatest draws to a destination wedding in Key Largo, the northernmost island of the Florida Keys, is its one-hour proximity to the Miami International Airport. Don’t want to rent a car? You can Uber there for around $100. The transition from travel day to remote getaway is nearly instantaneous when the front desk representative at Playa Largo Resort Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection places a tropical cocktail in your hand and you catch the first view overlooking the zero-entry pool and the intense blue bands of the Florida Bay – an easy stand-in for the Caribbean.

It’s effortless to shed your luggage and clingy city clothes for a bathing suit and then climb on to the Carolina Moon, a 24-passenger catamaran, for a laid-back snorkel outing in the Bay or a zen-like sunset cruise with your loved ones.

Captain Darrel of Caribbean Watersports – Playa Largo Resort’s onsite watersports partner – has shared this shallow “backyard” slice of the Florida Bay for 37 years. His crew knows exactly how to craft a memorable, bonding experience.. Toss out some pool noodles to snorkelers for easy investigation of juvenile critters around the mangrove roots? Check. Float a couple of stand-up paddleboards for guests who’d rather watch for birds and manatees? Check. Attract dolphins to the wake off the bow while flying across the bay on wind power at sunset? Check.

After an evening cruise, stroll off the dock and into the high-beamed, open-air Sol by the Sea for a fresh catch dinner, where live music from the pool deck carries in on the island breeze. The bar has a distinct rum-focused Caribbean cocktail repertoire, distinguishing it from the South American influence (think pisco sours) of the Peruvian ceviche bar, Las Olas, off the lobby. Plan ahead for a romantic Water Table (set-up fee is extra) to be served at a high-top, candlelit table set right in the water.

What really makes Playa Largo well-suited for a destination wedding is the variety of accommodations:

  • 177 rooms and suites in low-slung towers in a garden setting.
  • The Beach House is a waterfront three-bedroom, four-bath, fully ADA-compliant house built for entertaining and includes a private pool and is ideal for use by the host couple or family as a hospitality suite.
  • The Hammocks are two-story bungalows tucked into a jungle landscape – secluded by close to all the hotel amenities.
  • The nearby Ocean Residences are three- and four-bedroom luxury vacation rentals that come with full guest privileges at Playa Largo Resort.

Eventide is Playa Largo’s daily celebration of the transition from day to night. Resort staff create the experience for all guests and many wedding parties weave it into their scheduled events. There’s a pop-up bar for the signature Eventide cocktail served in a pineapple, an area to write one’s wishes (or regrets) and then burn the paper in a floating fire pit that is finally towed by kayak out onto the water to complete the ritual.

After dinner, guests drift to the fire tables and lit chimeneas on the beach, where servers from the poolside bar tend to guests long past the hour when the sky is awash in stars.

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