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This hotel got hammered by a hurricane. Now it’s gone so upscale, even dogs are pampered

Tourist attractions in the Keys start to reopen after Hurricane Irma

In the Florida Keys, where tourism is the top industry, local attractions and hotels are trying to open as quickly as possible to restart the region's economy. Attractions in the Middle and Lower Keys were impacted the most, while Key West and Key
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In the Florida Keys, where tourism is the top industry, local attractions and hotels are trying to open as quickly as possible to restart the region's economy. Attractions in the Middle and Lower Keys were impacted the most, while Key West and Key

The Hilton Key Largo was one of several Upper Keys hotels and resorts to fall victim to Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Islamorada was hit harder than Key Largo by the Category 4 storm, inflicting so much damage that well-known resorts like Cheeca Lodge and Spa, the Islander and the Post Card Inn and Marina, formerly known as the iconic Holiday Isle, had to sit out last year’s lucrative winter tourist season.

While many Key Largo hotels and motels suffered damage from Irma, for the most part, the damage was repairable. The Hilton Key Largo was the exception. The bayside property at mile marker 96 was almost wiped out.

But, rather than simply repair and rebuild the wind- and wave-damaged hotel, Hilton remade the 13-acre property into one of its luxury Curio Collection resorts. It is known now as Bakers Cay Resort, and it reopened Monday.

“We’ve curated an experience where travelers can find the true, undiluted pleasures of a natural island setting complete with a tropical landscape, white sand beaches, intimate waterside groves, and unparalleled access to nature’s calming, restorative, and rejuvenating power,” Joy Boyd, the hotel’s general manager, said in a statement.

Hilton did not immediately respond to questions about the cost of the renovation.

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The lobby of the newly opened Bakers Cay Resort in Key Largo. www.bakerscay.com

The 200-room resort boasts four waterfront restaurants, two swimming pools, a beach and a spa. Room prices run from $350 a night for the “Two Queen Hammock Room” to $670 a night for the “Deluxe Bakers Cay Suite,” according to the hotel’s website.

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Chairs are lined up on the beach at the newly opened Bakers Cay Resort in Key Largo. www.bakerscay.com

Bakers Cay is also dog-friendly and offers guests’ amenities like beach side tikis, custom life jackets for water sports and a “Paw Happy Hour.”



For the non-four-legged guests, the hotel is expected to offer many outdoor activities, according to the press release. These include sea plane rides to Key West, beach golf played with biodegradable golf balls, parasailing, fishing charters, scuba diving and snorkeling and a children’s “eco-educational” camp.

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