This famous Keys resort was hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Now, it’s coming back

Most of the major resorts took a beating from Hurricane Irma in 2017, so much so that they had to sit out last year’s busy winter tourist season.

Resorts like The Islander, which is still closed, Cheeca Lodge and Spa, which reopened in March after a $25 million renovation, and the Post Card Inn Beach Resort and Marina suffered heavy damage from Irma’s devastating Atlantic storm surge.

Now the Post Card, formerly known as Holiday Isle, announced this week that it will be open to guests on Nov. 2.

“It’s been a long road to recovery, and after an extensive revitalization to the resort and its grounds, Post Card Inn is postcard perfect, once again,” Eddie Sipple, regional general manager of Islamorada Resort Company, said in a statement. “The resort is essentially brand new with cherished offerings from the past 67 years.”


The sign at Holiday Isle in Islamorada tells everyone : “Stay Dry, Stay Safe.”

Cammy Clark/Miami Herald

Post Card Inn is still often referred to locally as Holiday Isle, an iconic Keys hotel, marina and tiki bar that opened in 1951 and where the signature rum runner drink was reportedly invented. The oceanfront resort at mile marker 84 was caught up in the real estate boom of the early 2000s when a consortium bought it for an astonishing $98 million in hopes of turning it into an ultra-luxury “condo/hotel” called Ocanos.

Like almost every other condo/hotel project in the Keys back then, Ocanos was a dismal failure. In 2009, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood Capital bought Holiday Isle for $11 million, renovated it into a more family-friendly hotel and reopened it as Post Card Inn.

Washington asset management company the Carlyle Group bought the Post Card Inn and the La Siesta Resort in 2014 for an undisclosed price.

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The Islamorada resort did not immediately respond to the price of the recent renovation and repair project of the 15-acre, 151-room resort, but said in a media release that it has a “retro, throwback feel of a nostalgic American beach vacation.”

The guestrooms, suites and seasonal cottages are described in the release as “boathouse chic.”


This is charterboat row at the Postcard Inn of Islamorada, seen after damage from Hurricane Irma. Longtime fishing captains at the former Holiday Isle Resort and Marina have been told not to return, pending repairs of uncertain duration.

/ Miami Herald File

The marina that was home base to a significant portion of Islamorada’s charter fishing boat fleet will reopen with 55 refurbished slips, and 26 transient slips “with accommodations suited for vessels up to 90 feet.”

The hotel rooms have expanded oceanfront rooms “with enviable views,” according to the release.

The new swim-up bar, Kokomos, “pays homage to the property’s past while offering an expanded deck over the ocean for sunbathing.”

Other new offerings include the Ciao Hound Italian Kitchen and Bar, an expanded beach area, tarpon feeding from the marina, a “dinghy drive-in” movie theater, bocce ball courts and fishing classes.

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