tory, which demonstrates how
scientists live under the sea
during research expeditions.
Also on display is a 2,500-gal-
lon reef tank with living corals
and tropical fish, while land
habitats are represented in exhibits of pinelands, hardwood
hammocks and beach dunes.
“The center is designed to
be self-guided, but guided
tours of up to 30 people are
available by special request,”
notes Manager Craig Wanous.
In addition, classroom space
for 65 is offered, but requests
are reviewed on a case-by-case
basis, Wanous says.
The Key West Butterfly & Nature
More than 50 different butterfly species
from around the world flutter through a
lush, glass-enclosed habitat at The Key
West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory,
an oasis of flowering plants, trees and
cascading waterfalls. These delicate
creatures are not collected from the wild
but are bred in captivity, with excess
numbers released into the wild to benefit
native shrubs, flowers and nectar plants.
Meanwhile, a Learning Center features
a 15-minute educational film along with
displays on butterfly anatomy, physiology
and the amazing migration of the Monarch, the only butterfly known to make a
two-way migration, as birds do.
Receptions of up to 25 are hosted in
the garden, while group tours of up to 60
can be accommodated.
Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key
Home to a family of dolphins and California sea lions, the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key is all about interaction,
so visitors may find themselves “shaking
fins” and swimming with dolphins, learning hand signals and working alongside
the trainers, or joining the research team
in collecting data on these intelligent
Groups can go a step further with
private tours and Q&A sessions with an
education staff member.
“We can tailor a narrated presentation
or interactive program,” says Mary Stella,
director of media and marketing, who also
notes that a visit to the center has some
built-in implications for teambuilding.
“Everything we do with the animals is
possible because of the mutual love and
trust we have with them,” she says. “It’s a
DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER, GRASSY KEY KEY WEST BUTTERFLY CONSERVATORY
Latest + Greatest
➜ Coming in August to Key Largo, Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection
( www.playalargoresort.com) will offer 155 rooms, including private bungalows, extensive beachfront watersports, a spa/salon and 40,000 square feet of meeting space
with multiple indoor/outdoor venues.
➜ Key Largo’s Ocean Reef Club ( www.oceanreef.com) recently unveiled a new meeting facility, Carysfort Hall, with a 5,700-square-foot ballroom, five meeting rooms,
covered patios for outdoor functions and a state-of-the-art cooking school. It joins the
resort’s 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.
➜ The newly renovated Amara Cay Resort ( www.amaracayresort.com) in Islamorada
features 110 guest rooms, a private beach with a hammock and the intimate “Glass
Bowl” meeting room that can accommodate 50 and has a boardroom for 14.
➜ Following recent renovations of its 63 stylish rooms and suites, Pelican Cove Resort
( www.pelicancovehotel.com) in Islamorada touts itself as the ideal corporate retreat,
with teambuilding programs and a newly remodeled meeting room dubbed “The
Nest,” with a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi and conference-style seating for 12. Sliding glass
doors open onto a beachside patio.
➜ The recently opened Courtyard Marathon Florida Keys ( www.marriott.com) includes
95 guest rooms, an infinity pool with a spa pool and 14,000 square feet of versatile
meeting and event space.
➜ Centrally located in Key West’s Historic Seaport, the Marker Waterfront Resort (www.
themarkerkeywest.com) added new indoor meeting space encompassing 1,400
square feet, with floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding Old Town neighborhood.
➜ Now part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection, Sunset Key Cottages, A Luxury Collection Resort ( www.sunsetkeycottages.com) boasts newly renovated two-bedroom
cottages and the new afternoon “rum ration,” featuring locally distilled and cus-tom-branded rum at the resort’s Latitudes bar. The island resort is seven minutes
by launch from Key West.
➜ Once hosting the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, Key West’s
historic La Concha Hotel & Spa ( www.laconchakeywest.com) is celebrating its 90th
anniversary throughout 2016 with a variety of events and guest experiences, including a series of culinary and cocktail happenings at Wine-O, the resort’s casual wine
bar and lounge, whose menu now includes classic 1930s cocktails.