Amara Cay, a boutique resort in the Florida Keys town of Islamorada, began welcoming guests in early March.

Occupying a former Hampton Inn, Amara Cay is still working on a renovation of more than $10 million that will include all 110 guestrooms, including 22 suites, as well as all the hotel's public spaces. The new resort is designed to feel upscale yet unpretentious, according to General Manager Kara Lundgren.

The first 44 Amara Cay guestrooms opened last month, and an additional 21 rooms are scheduled to open this week. All guestroom renovations are scheduled to be completed by the end of May.

Already finished is the expansive lobby lounge. The lounge features a rustic look fashioned in reclaimed wood and is adorned with swinging chairs. The lobby's open design flows into the new Oltremare Ristorante, where the coastal-Italian menu features freshly made pasta and Florida Keys seafood.

Guestrooms are conceived as a contemporary reimagination of a classic seaside cottage and feature simple designs incorporating natural elements. Every room has a balcony with views of the Atlantic Ocean.

A new swimming pool featuring seven private-entry cabanas is also part of the renovation plans.

Rooms start at $349 per night.  To book, visit

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI