We’ve probably all been to our fair share of high school pep rallies, but who knew that the tradition would carry on in the tourism and hospitality industry?

Before the highly anticipated opening of Playa Largo Resort & Spa, the 100th Autograph Collection property and the first hotel to open in the Upper Keys in more than 21 years, our entire team – from our international developers, to our award-winning operations management firm to our on-property staff who keeps everything running seamlessly – all came together for a Playa Largo pep rally like no other!

The day kicked off with a delicious breakfast at La Marea, the Upper Key’s first steakhouse and Playa Largo’s breakfast venue. With sugar levels running high having fueled up on a beautiful spread of fresh fruits and tasty sweets, everyone took their seats in the Tavernier Ballroom, one of the most beautiful event spaces on the property with the most gorgeous ocean-inspired chandeliers.

You could feel the anticipation building as the staff could hardly contain their excitement – seriously, we’ve never encountered a more enthusiastic housekeeping or culinary team.

The executives from Prime Hospitality Group and Shaner Hotels got the crowd even more riled up with some firey rah-rah speeches, but the real star of the show was Shakir Hussain, our General Manager.

Vowing to make Playa Largo the No. 1 Marriott in the country, everyone in the room burst into applause – shaking their noisemakers, cheering and ready to welcome their first set of guests the next day. To top it off, the pep rally concluded with a hearty, island-inspired bbq lunch and a pool party with live entertainment.

You’re probably thinking, “But hotels open all the time. Why was this opening so special?” The resort has been a labor of love for the past two years. Building in the Florida Keys is extremely challenging for a number of reasons, including the sensitive environment, the ‘Key Rights’ for quick storm evacuations, and the extensive approval process. (Check out the our other posts to read more about it).

Inspired by Key Largo’s lush tropical island surroundings, Playa Largo aims to bring a taste of the beach indoors, making use of indigenous materials like driftwood, coral rock and capiz shells. With 144 rooms, 10 private bungalows and a secluded beach house, Playa Largo also features an expansive waterfront pool, 745 feet of sandy beach, three on-site restaurants, including a steakhouse and ceviche bar, a fitness center, three sport courts, private marina and the full-service Ocean Spa.

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