Now just two years later, the resort has benefitted from significant renovations and upgrades including redesigned rooms, new furnishings, new landscaping, the popular new Stoned Crab restaurant that specialized in stone crab and a new dock for fresh daily deliveries from local fishermen. IBIS BAY has quickly become a favorite among travelers and locals and is already having a big impact on the local community through the many events and fundraisers it hosts. As the island’s only beach resort to embrace Key West’s Cuban history, IBIS BAY stands alone as both a resort and a destination. Holland is all about authentic travel, and he fuses his personal design aesthetic with the island’s classic 1950s style to create a fun, unique Key West destination.
“We don’t want to be the Ritz Carlton and have that hotel chain sameness because it’s so boring! We’re looking to provide travelers with a unique experience that allows them to enjoy the Key West of the 1950s while utilizing the advantages of modern technology to ensure a pleasant and fun-packed stay. Our Fun Desk booking service is Key West’s one-stop shop for the island’s best dining, shopping, adventures, tours and rentals, so we’ve got something for everyone. We’re not going for Palm Beach,” Holland emphasized, “we’re going for Jimmy Buffet.”
The new on-site Stoned Crab restaurant offers a true boat-to-table seafood experience with daily deliveries of fresh stone crab, lobster and other locally caught delicacies that go right from the dock to the kitchen. Located adjacent to IBIS BAY with its own dock, the restaurant has beena big hit with locals and visitors who love dining on the freshest seafood anywhere, including the local Key West delicacy, stone crab!
“A lot of air travelers see the giant crab claw on our restaurant’s roof,” Holland continued, “and their first question off the plane is ‘What’s that giant crab restaurant?’ It’s really amazing how much people love our stone crab dishes. Recently a couple took a 7 p.m. flight from Miami to Key West just so they could enjoy the fresh stone crab claws that The Stoned Crab is famous for. Then they turned around and took the 9:30 pm flight back home. Whether it’s the food, the atmosphere or the special events we host, we’re all about keeping things fresh and exciting, so there’s always something fun going on at IBIS BAY!”
IBIS BAY is a study in contrast, maintaining the classic Key West feel while including all the modern amenities and technologies that travelers expect. Pelicans and ibis birds roam the pebble stone courtyard, palm trees and hammocks dot the white sand beaches, and parrots and iguanas can be found all over the resort. The design aesthetic mirrors classic 1950s Miami/Havana, contrasting with the flat screen TVs in every room and the Fun Desk that offers guests and locals an easy way to plan a whole day or week full of exciting Key West activities. Even the resort’s approach to maintenance is high tech, with the maid staff now using eco-friendly clean UV wands to sanitize each and every room.
The 80-room resort caters to all kinds of travelers, from families to fishermen to honeymooners, with special dock-front rooms for boaters, plus it sits adjacent to Key West’s hottest new fresh seafood restaurant, The Stoned Crab. And to make IBIS BAY’s white sand beaches even better, Holland has extended it to more than 600 feet, so that it’s now Key West’s largest private beach!
Holland came to Key West, like a lot of people, as a second homeowner. But he brought with him nearly 30 years of experience as the founder and creative director of Holland Advertising in New York, and as creative director for Ted Bates in Hong Kong prior to founding his own agency. Holland has created memorable campaigns for clients as diverse as Panasonic, AIWA, McCall’s magazine and Esquire. His creative sensibility is apparent everywhere in what’s taking place today at IBIS BAY.
“People say that Key West is like no other place on Earth, and IBIS BAY Beach Resort is like no other place in Key West,” said Holland. “Since I took over the Blue Lagoon and turned it into IBIS BAY we’ve made incredible improvements and progress, creating a truly unique destination that has everything a traveler could ask for, from the gorgeous beaches and ocean views to the updated rooms, friendly service and stellar dining.”
What’s more, IBIS BAY hosts a wide variety of special events, from weddings and local designer fashion shows to Thursday night poolside Dive-In Movies and fundraisers like mixed martial arts fight nights for local causes and charities. Holland and the resort have quickly become an important part of the Key West community.
The resort also recently introduced a new block of fishermen-focused rooms, called “The IBIS BAY Fish Camp”, where a boat ramp sits just outside the rooms and visitors can arrive by car or boat. With seven fish-themed double queen suites right on the water, each with a kitchenette, it’s the perfect place for fishermen to get a head start on the day and then haul back the day’s catch.
About IBIS BAY Beach Resort:
IBIS BAY Beach Resort (www.ibisbayresort.com) embodies the very best of Key West and offers guests a vacation experience like no other. With a full deck of options for active adventure-seekers, Hemingway buffs or travelers who want to fit in with the locals, there is something special for every guest. Featuring classic Key West architecture and design, 600 feet of beautiful private beach, a 20-foot poolside movie screen for outdoor movie nights and The Stoned Crab restaurant, IBIS BAY Beach Resort is more than a resort—it’s a destination.