Tranquility Bay offers luxury stays on Marathon Key By Kenneth Kiesnoski / January 20, 2006 Share 1 -- Room Key: Tranquility Bay Beach House ResortAddress: 2600 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Fla. 33050 Phone: (305) 289-0888Fax: (305) 289-0667E-mail:email@example.comWeb:www.tranquilitybay.comRates: $299 to $800Commission: 10%Beach Houses: 87 (Two Or Three Bedrooms)Review: Offers high-end homes-away-from-home a few steps from a white-sand beach and a lagoon pool. Well-equipped kitchens. On-site Butterfly Cafe serves top-notch cuisine. Excellent spa services, fitness equipment. Only drawbacks: Resort directly fronts busy U.S. 1, with a few units facing traffic. Also, some bedrooms feel a bit cramped.MARATHON, Florida -- The Florida Keys will become home to one of the states newest luxury resorts when the Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort, a condo-hotel property here, officially opens later this month. Built and managed by Singh Hotels and Resorts, which has three other resorts under development in the Keys, Tranquility Bay comprises 87 two- and three-bedroom luxury beach houses built in whats described as a Key West style on the site of the former Buccaneer Resort Hotel.In soft opening since mid-October, the $62 million resort -- still in the finishing stages of construction because of hurricane damage last year -- officially will open on Jan. 28.Strung along a 1,100-foot beach, the 41 two-bedroom and 46 three-bedroom condo units -- privately owned but available through Singhs rental pool -- offer what managing director Sam Schorr calls the comforts and conveniences of home with resort amenities.For example, while each of the 12-acre resorts two-story houses have fully equipped, gourmet kitchens outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances, servingware and utensils, 24-hour room service is available, as well.With rates starting at $299 in low season and the savings from cooking in, guests can stay within their budgets and still have a very upscale vacation, he said.Each house has two porches offering 180-degree beach views; a living room with 42-inch plasma flat-screen TVs and cable service; two full bathrooms and one half bath; and two or three bedrooms, including a master bedroom with king-size bed, private bath and 27-inch flat-screen TV.Guests enjoy daily maid service and in-house amenities such as washers and dryers, free wireless Internet access and DVD/CD players.Although the units are divided into three categories, based on location -- beachfront, beach lawn and poolside -- none is more than a few strides from the beach and all units are decorated, outfitted and serviced similarly.The beauty is that every house offers beach views, said Nancy Wexler, director of marketing. And what travel agents will like is that every client gets the same type of house, so no one can complain.Developer Pritam Singh, president of parent firm The Singh Co., said seven planned units were removed from original blueprints to ensure beach views for the other 87 houses.Meanwhile, facilities include a white-sand beach, tiki bar, swimming pool and fitness room.Guests enjoy sports and spa services through the resorts adventure concierge. A supervised kids program is also available.The Butterfly Cafe, an on-site restaurant, opened Jan. 10 under the supervision of Executive Chef James Shadow Henahan, who serves up New World tropical cuisine, combining local ingredients and freshly caught seafood.Marathons timeSchorr said Tranquility Bay will put Marathon -- now a pit stop on the way to Key West -- on the map as a luxury destination.Marathon got skipped over. There are high-end properties in Key Largo, Islamorada and Key West, but here weve had modest, mom-and-pop motels, he said.Owner Pritam Singh said he foresees Marathon and the Middle Keys blossoming over the next decade. Were helping to set the stage, and standards, for that.Singhs other developments on Marathon include the 67-unit Indigo Reef Marina Homes Resort, which will open this spring, and the 25-unit Coral Lagoon Marina Homes Resort, to open by next winter. On Key West, Singh will open Parrot Key All-Suite Resort next winter.Tranquility Bay opens with $1 million in advance reservations, mainly through its Web site, according to Schorr, who foresees 60% to 65% average occupancy for 2006. To encourage agent bookings, the resort offers half-price fam rates along with paying 10% commission.To contact Destinations editor Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.