Ladies, Take a Look: Your #GirlfriendGetaway Has Arrived

It’s a busy world, and busy women have precious little time to spend with even their closest girlfriends. Maybe that’s why more and more of us are finding opportunities to gather our nearest and dearest on group getaways. From family to colleagues to that old college roommates you love like a sister (even if she did spill wine on your favorite pair of jeans), you deserve to spend some quality time reconnecting and having fun with your favorite ladies.

Which is exactly why we’ve created the Cheeca’s Chicas Girlfriend Getaway, a package specially designed for women who want to hit the Florida Keys with their BFFs. We know that traveling in groups can be tough. (We’ve been to some pretty tragic bachelorette parties. Not cute.) But between our pristine beach, soothing massages at our premiere spa, fabulous dining options and array of exciting watersports, Cheeca offers something for everyone in your squad of favorite females.

(Yes, even her. We know, we know. She’s difficult, but you love her anyway.)

Here’s how it works: Gather your girls and book 3 or more nights in your choice of Golf, Resort, or Lagoon View rooms. You’ll receive a suite of special amenities just for your crew, including a “Survival Kit” stocked with wine and snacks, a private mixology lesson where you’ll learn how to whip up your own fabulous and fruity tropical cocktails, a $200 spa credit, $150 watersports credit — and even Girlfriend Getaway t-shirts that’ll serve as a great souvenir of your group vacay. (Plus they’ll help you spot one another at each morning’s full breakfast buffet on our oceanfront terrace #CantSeeBeforeCaffeine.)

Oh, and for those nights after dinner when you want a good, old-fashioned slumber party? You’ll even have access to a special library of Cheeca’s favorite “Chick Flicks” for your in-room viewing pleasure — because every girl’s-only vacation is better with 100% more Julia Roberts.

So go ahead. Eat. Pray. Love.

Better yet, let’s just hit the beach.

Ready to book? Head here.

CHEECA #TBT: In the Beginning

Every week, social media’s #TBT brings us reminders of the people and places — and more importantly, hairstyles — that have defined our past.

But while you’re searching through old vacation photos to post on Facebook, it probably hasn’t occurred to you that your favorite vacation destination has a pretty interesting history of its own.

Allow us to share: While Cheeca prides itself on offering the finest in amenities and hospitality expected by the modern traveler, we also have a rich history as a landmark property in the Florida Keys. So we decided that we’d highlight some of our own favorite memories, famous visitors, and throwback photographs — to bring you closer than ever to Cheeca’s legacy. (But please, don’t judge our hair.)

Image by www,KeysHistory.org

It’s best to start at the start, of course. So this month’s #TBT takes us all the way back to 1919. What you’re looking at above is the Matecumbe Club — otherwise known as the “Millionaire’s Club” — an exclusive property that once stood right by the current Cheeca Lodge. You see, during the 1800s the Keys hardy early pioneers (known as the “Conchs”) constructed the very first buildings of Islamorada right on the beach where Cheeca is now. Among them was an old church and schoolhouse; there was even a small pioneer cemetery, now a designated historic site that Cheeca helps protect. (You can still visit it today.)

Today, the contemporary Florida Keys Overseas Highway follows the historic railroad's route through the Keys. Photo courtesy of the Monroe County Library

In 1905, the building of the Overseas Railway linked the Keys to Miami and beyond, and the islands slowly began to build their reputation as a sportsman’s paradise. (That literary legends like Ernest Hemingway waxed romantic about us didn’t exactly hurt.) In these earliest days of Keys tourism, a handful of 11 businessmen from the New York Cotton Exchange built the Matecumbe Club, designed as an exclusive and discreet getaway for the wealthy. One of its more prominent members was Lunsford Richardson and his brother Smith, who founded the Vick Chemical Company. The Richardsons would take a private rail car from their native Greensboro, North Carolina, all the way down to Flagler’s railroad, which took them on to the Islamorada Rail Station. (And you thought your flight was long?)

The Florida Keys Memorial is located next to Cheeca. Photo courtesy of US National Archives

The Matecumbe Club, like many of Islamorada’s most historic buildings, was destroyed in the infamous Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 — a Category 5 storm that is still considered the most intense hurricane to ever hit the US, based on atmospheric pressure. But its building marked an important moment in the island’s history: It was a spark that helped to fire up the Keys’ tourism reputation, one that has only grown stronger and more exciting over the years. (Not many of us can say that after looking at our #TBT photos!)

That’s just a quick glimpse at some of the fascinating history associated with Cheeca Lodge and Islamorada. Check back soon for another #TBT photo as we surf along the Cheeca timeline.

Have a #TBT photo of your own Cheeca getaway? Share it with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

#CheecaTBT #SayCheeca

Leader of the Quarter – Kerry Millhiser

We are proud to present Kerry Millhiser as our very first, Leader of the Quarter! Kerry has been at Cheeca for less than a year and has already shown her shining abilities as a leader which has given her the opportunity for not just one promotion, but three in this brief period of time. She started with us June of last year as a Front Desk Agent. In just 5 months she moved into the Front Desk Supervisor role. In no time at all, we heard many good rumblings about Kerry in this role and saw her put action to the tasks at hand to create a great experience for each guest!

With the creation of our new Guest Adventures department, Kerry was quickly chosen as a key candidate for the new Leader of this area. Much work needed to be done and we knew she was up for the task. So, on February 7th, Kerry began her new role and hit the ground running! The amazing strides she’s made in the Guest Adventures department in these short two months, put her ahead of the pack again in consideration for the new Front Office Manager position. It was easy to see that Kerry was ready for the new leadership role she will be taking on in the coming weeks.

Kerry is a great leader and consummate professional.  She has the ability to mentor and develop staff in a manner that promotes group cohesion and personal development.  She brings out excitement and creativity in team members which translates to superior guest service for our guests.  As Guest Adventures manager she started a department devoted to providing fun activities to our guests and it has thrived as a direct result of her hard work and passion for guest service.  For these reasons and more, Kerry deserves to be out Leader of the Quarter!

Congratulations Kerry on a job WELL done!