Hotel style: The Moorings Village
A former coconut plantation, The Moorings Village is peppered with self-contained cottage units of varying shapes and sizes, from sweet little bungalows to colonial-inspired multi-storey houses. Tongue-and-groove walls, charming rustic porches equipped with old-fashioned mailboxes (our favourite touch!), wide-planked floors and shuttered windows in cheery colours characterize all the accommodations here as cottage country casual. And to top it off, all this relaxed comfort is tucked away like a step back in time under a canopy of palm trees on a peaceful, private stretch of beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
For a true cottage experience, look for destinations where things are kept deliberately simple. Wood is the predominant construction material at Moorings Village, for example, from floorboards that make it easy to sweep the sand away to panelled walls and ceilings that add a carefree, bucolic feel. The furniture is a graceful mix of mismatched pieces and crisp linens in cottage style checks and prints. Homey touches like unpretentious artwork, big cozy chairs and lots of sink-into pillows make places like Moorings Village seem more like a home away from home than a luxury hotel. And that's the key, really: Wherever you spend your cottage vacation, relaxed elements like these are a must to put you in the mood.
When you visit The Moorings Village
• Do some research with The Hotel Book: Great Escapes North America ($35, Taschen Publishing), which features The Moorings Village inside.
• The Moorings Village is located at 123 Beach Rd. in Islamorada, the Florida Keys. It’s a 90-minute drive from Miami Airport. Call (305) 664-4708.
• Dine at Pierre’s Restaurant, (305) 664-3225, located in a colonial house with wraparound verandah across Beach Road from The Moorings Village, or at the more casual Morada Bay Café, (305) 664-0604. Jointly, the two restaurants play host to a monthly Full Moon party on the beach.