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Hawk's Cay Resort On Duck Key

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

When it comes to the U.S. of A, there's only one place which feels more like a Caribbean island than a state, the Florida Keys. The Keys are a narrow string of islands, beginning south of Miami and continuing in a gentle curve to the ending in Key West. They're connected by a single highway and forty-three bridges. The ambience of the Keys is much like the Caribbean.

Hawk's Cay Resort, located mid-way down the chain on Duck Key, offers a Caribbean style honeymoon location. The resort has all the amenities you could desire and an added plus, the opportunity to interact with dolphins.

It's a snap to fly to Miami, rent a vehicle and two hours later, you'll be at Hawk's, where sun, relaxation and topnotch service await. Or, leave the driving to others and take a limo or Lincoln Town car to the resort. If you plan to stay on the property during your visit, a vehicle isn't necessary.

Lodging Choices

The resort has a variety of lodging options, including Inn rooms, Inn suites and Villas. For this most special time, why not splurge on a two-bedroom, two-bath villa with your very own heated splash pool?

Each villa has a complete kitchen, convenient for between meal snacks. The villas are individually decorated, many with island and nautical themes. The romantic splash pool, in the rear porch area is ideal for a last dip before bed or the first plunge in the morning. These villas are so comfortable, you'll want to return again and again.

Hawk's has three, five and seven night honeymoon packages, which include some meals and on-site activities. Be sure to compare prices when you phone for information, since these packages may provide the best deal.

If you need transportation from your villa to anywhere around the resort, just a quick call summons a golf cart or a van, with a smiling driver happy to be of service.

Activities Abound

Water activities at Hawk's cover the complete spectrum. The scuba center has half and full day charters with captain and dive master, equipment rental and a fully-accredited NAUI, PADI and PDIC dive school. If you've always wanted to try scuba, a full day resort course will introduce you to the undersea world. Who knows...it could be the start of a hobby you can share for a lifetime.

Boats, personal watercraft, and kayaks are available for rental. Their romantic, two-hour sunset cruise is the perfect way to round out a busy day, complete with champagne.

Here's something you won't find at many resorts, Hawk's has an offshore sailing school. Beginners can sign up for their Learn to Sail courses which last three hours. An introduction to the art of sailing, these lessons take place in the waters surrounding the resort. Experienced sailors can opt for more extensive classes. The school uses all certified instructors.

In addition, there's even more water activity--fishing, snorkeling, parasailing, water-skiing, and glass bottom boat rides are all additional choices. The resort has five swimming pools, and their Atlantic pool is adults only.

If you want a change from all the liquid fun, why not take a leisurely bike ride or try your hand at tennis?

Dolphin Date

Without a doubt, the resident dolphins are a major highlight of Hawk's Cay Resort. The resort's dolphin program focuses on breeding research and boasts eight dolphin births. They "loan out" their dolphins to other facilities for breeding purposes. All the dolphins have been born and raised in captivity, with at least one coming from Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

Situated in the resort's lagoon area, visitors can have a close encounter with these lovable creatures in either their Dolphin Discovery or Dockside Dolphin program.

In the Dolphin Discovery Program, trainers give a brief educational talk, which includes safety instructions, prior to getting into the water. Rather than tread water, as with other dolphin experiences, you stand in chest deep water on a secure platform attached to the dock. If in doubt about the water temperatures, wet suits are available. While in the water, you'll learn special hand signals used to train the dolphins, get the chance to pop fish in their mouths and pet their rubbery, cool bodies. Don't miss this unique opportunity to kiss a dolphin on the snout. Although you're not allowed to bring your own camera near the water, a staff photographer is on hand to capture the special moments.

The Dockside Dolphin Program is a similar experience, where guests learn dolphin training techniques, without getting wet.

Both programs are very popular, so it's a good idea to make reservations in advance. However, at any time of day or night, you can watch from the sidelines as the dolphins jump and play.

Eating at Hawk's

The Palm Terrace restaurant opens at 7:00 am and features a gourmet buffet breakfast with made-to-order omelets. To take advantage of the warm weather, they have seating both inside and outside. For lunch, the Cantina, has a poolside location with relaxing views of the ocean. Next door to the Palm Terrace is Porto Cayo, a unique fusion of Italian and Caribbean cuisine, in an elegant setting for dinner.

Warm evening breezes off the water make the WatersEdge Restaurant the place to savor seafood in a tropical setting. WatersEdge is open daily for dinner. When you want quiet time alone together, room service is also available at the villas, from 11:00 am to Midnight. Finally, the Marina Store has a selection of groceries to stock your refrigerator.

Indies Spa

Hawk's will open their new state-of-the-art spa in January of 2003. According to Spa Consultant Barbara Whatley, this spa's philosophy is "all about the experience." Indies Spa will offer both individual treatments as well as day spa packages. Take relaxation to an entirely new level, and go for a soothing couples massage. You won't regret it.

A honeymoon is the time to experience new and exciting things. How about a Pineapple Coconut Salt Loofa body treatment or a Hydrating Seaweed Wrap? Spas are no longer just for women--any guy would enjoy the Gentleman's Custom Facial. For a complete menu of spa services, contact the concierge desk in the main lobby or the reception desk at the spa.

For more information on Hawk's Cay Resort, click on www.hawkscay.com.


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