Editor's Note: Since the time this feature was published back in 2011, this property has changed their name from Ocean Dawn Suites to Ocean House. We've updated our feature accordingly. Thanks for reading!
My husband and I travel down to the Keys often, and we usually stay in the same place in Islamorada - Ocean House. On our last trip down, we were blown away by the beautiful landscaping and amenities they've added to the back of the property... what used to be an empty sandy beach space is now a stunning outdoor resort venue perfect for a small ocean-side wedding ceremony and reception.
The space can hold up to 70 guests, and there are several levels and areas that can be used which are all open and visible to each other: a large area of sandy beach, accented by landscaped beds with tropical shrubs and palm trees; a pool deck with saltwater pool, tiki bar, and several high-end cabana structures with fans; a hot tub; and a step-down paved area with a gas fire pit.
The resort itself is a two-story structure, with 4 rooms on each level. While they all technically have an ocean view, the bottom level rooms - which have nice decks in the back with high-end lounge furniture - have partially obstructed views due to the landscaping in the back of the property. Top floor rooms have clearer views and spacious balconies. All rooms are suites and nicer than many comparable properties in the area; newly renovated with upscale linens, fixtures and furnishings, and at least a kitchenette with sink, microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker (the larger suites have full kitchens). The bathrooms are beautiful and decorated with high-end tiles and natural stone. All have large showers except for the signature "Ocean Dawn Suite" which has a jacuzzi tub.
Their wedding packages include renting of all 8 suites, leaving you with the property to yourself, for 2 or 3 nights. Each suite sleeps from 2 to 5, with a total capacity of 20 guests. Pricing is reasonable, and winds up being just a bit more what you would pay to individually rent the rooms out - a great deal for destination weddings where you would be paying for accommodations anyway. There's also a decent discount for booking off-season (June through January, but not including the week surrounding Christmas).