Green and Serene from the Start

Key West, Key Largo, Islamorada – most travelers recognize these names. But unbeknownst to many, the Florida Keys is actually an archipelago of more than 1,700 islands connected by more than 100 miles of sun-soaked, palm tree-lined roads.

Because of Florida’s year-round tropical climate, The Florida Keys is a breeding ground for some of the nation’s most exotic plant and animal species. Playa Largo has taken extra steps to embrace and honor this about its natural surroundings and is creating an environment on property where guests can feel connected to the rare local flora and fauna.

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, we thought we’d give you an inside look into the detailed, often time-consuming surveys and tests Playa Largo’s developers conducted around the site to ensure we didn’t upset Mother Nature.

  • Our team set aside more than $300,000 strictly for environmental preservation projects while the resort is being built.
  • Expert environmentalists were brought to the plot of land Playa Largo sits on to survey more than 5,700 trees!


  • The same environmentalists studied the area’s butterfly species and subsequently created a nature trail for guests to enjoy the winged beauties. Soon guests will be able to snap pics with the vibrant Swallowtails, Monarchs, Skippers and Hairstreaks native to The Keys.
Photo courtesy of Felix's Endless Journey, Flickr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Felix’s Endless Journey, Flickr Creative Commons

  • The team surveyed endangered Stock Island Tree Snails to study their patterns and ensure the new buildings wouldn’t disturb their habitat. Had we found any, we would have had to relocate the hotel. We didn’t find any, though. Hooray!
Photo by Burnt Umber, Flickr.

Photo by Burnt Umber, Flickr.

  • Lastly, the team conducted extensive research on the adorable, but endangered, Key Largo Woodrat. The small creatures, which sort of resemble Stuart Little or the ingenious mouse in the movie Mouse Hunt, are native to the tropical hardwood hammocks of Key Largo. Before breaking ground, the team set up 34 traps to ensure that we weren’t encroaching on their home. If even one Woodrat appeared in a trap, it would have thwarted the entire construction process. As you guessed, none of the traps went off (no animals were harmed) and Playa Largo got the go-ahead!
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Flickr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Flickr Creative Commons

And that’s just the beginning. Stay tuned because in a post further down the road, we’ll tell you how we plan to continue being one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the Sunshine State.

* Feature image courtesy of Cam Miller, Flickr Creative Commons

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