by Leo Jakobson | July 26, 2018
There's a renaissance going on in Key Largo, the closest of the Florida island chain to the mainland, with two new properties joining two recent arrivals in the "Dive Capital of the World."

The 12-acre, 135-unit Bungalows Key Largo opens later this year as the island's first luxury all-inclusive property. With 1,000 feet of shoreline, the resort at mile marker 99 bayside includes luxury accommodations in bungalows averaging 800 square feet, with outdoor plunge pools or tubs, as well as dining at six outlets, high-end beverages, activities, and watersports. The property has 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. 

Also opening this fall after a multi-million dollar redesign is Curio Collection by Hilton's Baker's Cay Resort, on the site of the old Hilton Key Largo. The 13-acre, 200-room resort will have two swimming pools, a waterfall grotto, a winding nature trail with hidden beaches and a boat dock. The pet-friendly resort offers Tiki dog huts and cooled water bowls. Its 17,000 square feet of event space will include two expansive ballrooms, executives boardrooms and a grand lawn, among other outdoor spaces. 

They join two other new properties, including Dolphin Point Villas, at mile marker 102 bayside, which opened in late 2017. It offers five villa-style homes with one to three bedrooms, as well as the Nautilus House estate, which can sleep groups of up to 16 in five bedrooms with five separate baths, a private pool and a wraparound porch. The property can host group events for up to 100. 

The first of the new properties is the 177-room Playa Largo Resort & Spa (pictured), an Autograph Collection hotel, opened in fall 2016 as the Upper Keys' first new-build resort in more than two decades. The property offers three gourmet restaurants, a full-service spa, a pool with a 1,200-square-foot pool deck and 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 6,000-square-foot ballroom. There are also 10 secluded bungalows and a three-bedroom beach house with a private plunge pool.