News from Florida Keys and Key West

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Florida Keys’ Turtle Hospital, located at mile marker 48.5 bayside in Marathon, is the only facility of its kind in the world – it even has a turtle ambulance for patient transport. The staff treat injured sea turtles and, when possible, return them to the wild. If release isn’t feasible, the creatures become permanent residents.

Four Keys Properties Rank Among TripAdvisor’s Top U.S. Hotels users named four Florida Keys hotels in two categories of the site’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards unveiled in early February. The travel advice website is one of the largest with nearly 14 million monthly visitors.

Key West’s Orchid Key Inn and Marquesa Hotel made the Top 25 Small Luxury U.S. Hotels list alongside Tavernier’s Island Bay Resort. The last two also ranked in TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travelers’ Choice Awards, with Island Bay Resort named for the third consecutive year.

The fourth Keys award recipient, Key West’s Atlantis House, made the Top 25 U.S. Bed and Breakfast and Inns list.

Travelers’ Choice Award winners are chosen based on millions of independent user reviews and opinions from travelers across the globe. No other Florida hotel made the Top 25 Small Hotels or Top 25 Bed and Breakfast and Inns categories.

Ranked fifth among the Top 25 Small Luxury U.S. properties, Marquesa Hotel is a four-building complex with an interior garden and two swimming pools located in Old Town Key West.

In the same category, Orchid Key Inn earned the 11th spot thanks to its 24 guestrooms and suites, which are steps away from renowned Key West attractions. And Island Bay Resort in Tavernier, an oceanfront property that offers efficiency, one-bedroom and two-bedroom cottages, ranked 12th.

Visit for the list of 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Marquesa Hotel:

Island Bay Resort:

Orchid Key Inn:

Atlantis House:

Keys Adventures

Key West paranormal expert David Sloan recently debuted Sloan’s Ghost Hunt, interactive ghost tours that start nightly from Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery at 301 Whitehead St.

Sloan, a renowned ghost hunter and author of books including “Ghosts of Key West” and “Haunted Key West,” has appeared on or consulted for numerous television shows focusing on supernatural or ghostly topics.

During his 90-minute walking tours in Old Town Key West, he takes guests to some of the island city’s most haunted locations, where state-of-the-art “ghost hunting” equipment is used to help detect supernatural activities. Tour guests learn about Key West ghosts and explore sites including a haunted garden where legend says children’s spirits wander free.

Tickets are $25 and include a free membership to the Ghost Hunt Society and exclusive access to a collection of haunted artifacts. Guests who book online also receive a free book autographed by Sloan, a $15 value.

For information, visit

Dive shop Keys Huka & Scuba is now open in Marathon adjacent to Island Bar & Grill, located at 12648 Overseas Highway. Owned by Captain Jerry Martin Williams, Keys Huka & Scuba offers diving charters, scuba certification classes and hookah dives. Diving charters leave from Island Bar & Grill with the option of scheduling departures from neighboring private docks.

Because hookah divers use surface-supplied air in a limited space and depth, they do not require diving certification or heavy scuba equipment. With this alternative to standard scuba diving, inexperienced divers can enjoy the Florida Keys’ underwater wonders in a safe, fun way. Hookah dives are available to families with children age 8 and older.

Keys Huka & Scuba operates boats that take no more than six guests per dive. During each charter, a licensed PADI dive master guides each dive to ensure guest safety. In addition, spearfishing charters are available for four divers at a time.

For details and booking information, visit or Facebook at Keys Huka Dive

Keys Chocolate-Lovers’ Attraction

With the Bean-to-Bar Experience, Lush Bar at The Green Pineapple introduces guests to the world of chocolate and fine wines at 1130 Duval St. Guests have the opportunity to grind organic cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and organic sugar to create their own chocolate bar. In addition, they learn about the history of cocoa and how it is made.

Lush Bar offers a selection of chocolates, wines, coffee, teas and beers that come from sustainable organic vendors. Tasting sessions can be booked that offer combinations of beers or wines matched with fine chocolates.

Bean-to-Bar packages start at $65 per person and reservations are required 24 hours in advance. Two to four people can participate in each session.

To learn more about Lush, visit or download the dedicated LushKeyWest app at the iTunes store for daily specials, events, discounts, coupons and more.

For more information on the Florida Keys & Key West, visit

February 2014



For more information and images, please contact Ulla Helander at the Florida Keys & Key West Nordic Press Office on