Cheeca to reopen March 30

One of Islamorada’s most well-known high-end hotel and resorts, Cheeca Lodge & Spa, was a casualty of September’s Hurricane Irma, which knocked it out for most of the winter tourist season.

Cheeca management said Friday the resort will reopen March 30 with new amenities and services.

“We are proud to now offer an even better experience for our guests while keeping the same heartfelt, authentic service that everyone has come to know and love over the past 72 years,” General Manager Bob LaCasse said in a prepared statement. “We truly appreciate the patience, understanding, kindness and support from our amazing guests, local community, and beyond while the team has worked tirelessly to restore our iconic Islamorada resort.”

Among the most notable changes to the resort will be a new oceanfront pool and tiki bar scheduled to open in May.

The guestrooms and lobby have been redesigned, the 525-foot wooden fishing pier has been rebuilt and the Jack Nicklaus-designed nine-hole, par-3 golf course is getting an overhaul, according to the announcement.

Also, the resort’s Italian restaurant, Lemoncello “has been reimagined and will reopen as Mia Cucina — a fun, family-friendly pizza and pasta bistro,” the press release states.

“Our ‘new look’ will honor Cheeca’s historic fishing lodge aesthetic, while introducing fresh new colors that reflect our natural surroundings — the beautiful sea, sand, sky and tropical foliage,” LaCasse said.

Several Islamorada resorts took a serious hit from Irma’s ocean surge but either have reopened already or are scheduled to.

The Moorings Village reopened Jan. 15. Islamorada Resort Co.’s Pelican Cove Resort is expected to reopen early next month. Its sister property Amara Cay Resort reopened Dec. 15, according to the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.

La Siesta Resort & Marina is also scheduled to open in March. The Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina has planned a phased reopening, according to the TDC. In the first phase, two buildings, 14 new cottages and the Ciao Hound Italian Kitchen & Bar and Tiki Bar are scheduled to reopen in March.

Islander Resort’s Bayside Townhomes are open, but the oceanside resort is closed until fall.

This report was supplemented with information from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.

David Goodhue: 305-440-3204