Where To Stay In The Florida Keys: Review Of Grassy Flats Resort (Marathon, FL)
Swaying palm trees. Sparkling ocean and pool within steps of each other. A creative tiki bar. Beautiful rooms. Have I caught your attention yet?? If you’re trying to figure out where to stay in the Florida Keys, and maybe in the Marathon or central-ish Keys in particular, then you absolutely need to give Grassy Flats a look.
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When I was planning my 6-day Keys roadtrip, I knew I wanted to spend a couple nights in Key West, but then base myself somewhere more central for the remainder. After LOTS of searching and reading reviews, I landed on Grassy Flats Resort (see reviews here) on the north end of Marathon.
I’d seen a really helpful review from @dangerousbiz but found other clear information and photos a little harder to get. Now I realize that it’s because the resort is fairly new and they’re still building out parts of it. So I wanted to share photos and info on my experience to help others plan their trip!
You can check out reviews and rooms at Grassy Flats on Booking.com, TripAdvisor, or their website directly. I’ll go into more detail below on my room and the resort overall, the service, pools and beach, and more…with LOTS of pictures to help you better understand what you’re getting.
But in case you’re short on time, here’s the TL;dr version…
My review of Grassy Flats resort:
- This resort is SO cute, a beautiful hidden gem. It’s quite new, and they’re still building out a couple of the buildings. I stayed in the brand-new Galleon Suite and I think was the very first person to—it’s gorgeous!
- The location is nice and central for the Keys overall; the only downside is that it doesn’t really have restaurant options right by it (you have to drive 7-15 minutes either direction). It’s on the Atlantic side, and has both beach and pool options.
- All of the staff were absolutely lovely, from Alex at the front desk to Mike at the bar. The tiki bar had really interesting cocktails and a great selection of premium and craft liquors. The resort also offers different water sports and other activities (some I think are free, others will cost).
- At this price point it’s the little things that kept it from being a 5-star experience…glasses in the room for water, a blow dryer (I asked and they were able to find one), the phone didn’t work for the front desk, no trash can in the bathroom, no body lotion provided. Housekeeping was only on request.
- Bottom line would I stay here again? Absolutely. They’re clearly trying to build a special experience here, and overall I really enjoyed my time here. It has multiple things I was looking for (beach view, great pool, nice rooms, etc.) and I think it will only continue getting better. To me it’s a 4-4.5 star with potential to be a 5-star.
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Why Grassy Flats is my pick for where to stay in the Florida Keys
Let’s start with the room, shall we?? Grassy Flats has regular rooms, 1-bedroom suites, as well as 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom suites as well. I think that most or all rooms have a view out toward the pools and ocean (just based on the way the resort is set up), but I can’t say that for sure.
I only needed one room, but wanted something a little special. I ended up going with their brand-new Galleon Suite (this and the Humidor only opened mid-March), but it was kind of a leap of faith since they didn’t have any photos yet.
But BOY was I happy when I walked in!! The room was absolutely gorgeous…open, bright, with decor that was very up my alley. I fell in love the second I walked in.
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I really appreciated having a couch and chairs in addition to the bed (sometimes you just need somewhere to put your shoes on, and for me I had to work some so the couch was a lifesaver).
The bed was comfortable but unfortunately the pillows really did not work for me and I had a few rough nights. That’s not uncommon for me in nicer hotels, as a side sleeper. I wish more hotels would offer a few different kinds of pillows to accommodate different sleepers. The AC worked well, which is clutch (I sleep very hot and need good AC).
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Even though I’m not a bath person myself, I ooohed and ahhed when I opened the bathroom door and saw this tub…I was so tempted to take a soak! The shower water pressure and heat were good, and towels nice (they do provide beach towels as well).
The bathroom was beautiful overall and they offer nice toiletries, but they’re bolted to the shower wall. There was no body lotion, which is really strange (even cheap hotels offer it). Having a blow dryer (the front desk did find me one) and trashcan in the bathroom would be helpful as well.
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And I fell in love with my balcony!!! Grassy Flats is located on the upper part of Marathon, so kind of midway through the Keys. It’s on the Atlantic side, so great for sunrise but not really sunset as much. And my room was on the corner of the resort, and had both beach and pool views.
I loved sitting out here and reading while sipping a cocktail, or enjoying the colors of the sunrise as they developed. Note, there are two comfy chairs out here too, that I forgot to take a picture of. The only issue I had was that for some reason, the wifi refused to work out on the balcony (or in the parking lot, right below my room).
It’s super weird because it’s literally like a 3-step difference and it did work at the main pool (not the one below), but it meant I couldn’t sit and work on the balcony, which was a bummer. May have just been an anomaly with the storms we were having or the fact that the room was brand-new, but worth asking about if it’s important to you.
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Okay, I *guess* we’ll venture out of the room—though I love it so much! The rest of the resort is equally beautiful, with excellent landscaping, very clean, and designed well. You’re of course drawn to the beach, which is actually pretty decent as Florida Keys beaches go. In that there’s sand. (Spoiler: Keys beaches aren’t great)
Overall when trying to figure out where to stay in the Florida Keys, you need to make sure you’re considering Atlantic or Gulf side. Grassy Flats is Atlantic, which means its sunrises are more spectacular.
I loved the little jetty that goes out into the water, and couldn’t resist snapping tons of pics (and walking out there at sunrise). There are some beach chairs scattered along the water, so you’re not only confined to the pool area.
The water is super shallow pretty far out, so depending on the tide you can walk out and look at wildlife (in the first pic below you can see a family that was exploring out there).
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But for me, when it comes to laying out and getting some sun, I am a POOL girl! There are two different pools at Grassy Flats—the main one where the tiki bar is, and the other that was under my balcony.
Pool chairs at the main pool seem to fill up fast in the afternoon, although I think it’s because people kept leaving their stuff at multiple chairs as they shifted around (there weren’t tons of people. I loved having the bar close by, but I don’t think this pool is quite as pretty as the other one (which I’ll get into next).
Because I’m a cranky old person I’ll note that I do wish the resort were adults-only 🙂 I think families were mostly located on this side of the resort.
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The secondary pool was just getting inspected and opening up when I was staying there, so they didn’t have the cushions out yet or it would probably have been my first choice (I’m sure I could have asked the staff for a cushion, but didn’t feel like the hassle). We also had a crazy wind front rolling through, which this pool bears the brunt of.
But it’s SO PRETTY! Aesthetically this is my vibe.
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Before wrapping up on beach and pool, I have to give a shout-out to the sunrises. I got down to walk the beach both mornings (also in search of the elusive coffee pot at the tiki bar), and was joined by one of the fluffy ginger cats that roam the resort.
There are two of them, Pebbles and Wilma I think (?), and they were rescues from the Bahamas after one of the hurricanes there. They’re adorable and so lovey!
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Sunrise and early mornings in the Keys overall are highly under-rated…it’s just so much more peaceful. I liked getting out on the road in like the 8-10a window before traffic got a lot busier. I do wish there were coffee pots in the rooms, but I ended up driving to Curly’s Coffee in Marathon, about 8 minutes away.
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And last but not least, let’s talk about the tiki bar!! As I mentioned above, the bar here is great. I had Mike my first day and an older guy the next. They both made me interesting and delicious drinks, and the only two bad drinks I had were my last night when there was a woman there (I didn’t catch her name). Maybe she was filling in last minute.
You can see the types of drinks they offer here, but the bartenders also love making things up based on what you like. The bar area has a super chill vibe, and the wifi does work out here.
They also have a super impressive back bar! Honestly resorts usually have the most boring alcohol selections, but here they’ve gone out of their way to source interesting and craft options…heck, their house gin is Fords, which is my favorite!
So have I convinced you that Grassy Flats is one of the best places to stay in Marathon—if not the entire Florida Keys?? I really did love my stay here and would come back in a heartbeat. If you’re trying to figure out where to stay in the Florida Keys and want somewhere central, beautiful, and with tons of amenities, look no further!
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