“The Sailing Rode” Visits Mangrove Marina
I can not say enough positive things. I am a bit of a speed demon and getting somewhere fast is not the easy way of coastal life, as long as you keep that in check, you will leave relaxed, renewed, refreshed. I didn’t use any of the facilities on the premises cause when we were not at the boathouse we were out. Im sure its great from what we saw. It is a beautiful unique experience and bucket list worthy.
What an awesome vacation. Never stayed on a house boat, don’t think I’ll ever stay in a hotel again. This place is great. The grey lady was incredible. Big and spacious, clean and nicely furnished. Great back deck for morning coffee or beers at sun set. We brought our boat down and the marina had great slips to rent by the day. Nice pool and great outdoor bar area to chill at night. Live entertainment topped it all off. Can’t wait to come back.
We had a great 10 day stay on Dolphin. This was our first trip to the keys and couldn’t have found a better place. Mike was very helpful setting up our after hours check in and the office staff was extremely helpful with any questions about the area that we had during the day. The boat was extremely clean upon arrival and was a great alternative to staying in a condo or resort. We will definitely be returning to Mangrove Marina on our next trip to the keys.
The Seahorse was exceptional and so were the people at the marina. The grounds are super clean, the pool is pristine, and you can’t beat the location. Mike, and his trusty companion Ace, made things easy to check in and ensured we were taken care of every step of the way during our stay. Fin and juice (tiki bar on site) is open even though google and apple say it’s closed. Would stay here a million times over if we could, great experience. I’m extremely grateful we chose a house boat rather than a hotel or resort room, unforgettable experience.
Our stay at Mangrove Marina was absolutely perfect!! The houseboat was the perfect and unique getaway for my little fam to catch some summer keys vibes☀️ That is exactly why I booked it but this place exceeeeeded all expectations Michael and all staff were friendly and accommodating, especially Michael was very personable and made sure we felt at home. Everyone made us feel like family. The restaurant opened during our stay and made our stay that much better with the live music and good vibes. Mandy, the bartender made us feel so welcome, she is truly a genuine sweet soul and makes the best Bloody Mary I ever had 👏🤙🏼 Also I give it 5 stars for cleanliness too! Our place was spotless!! Having a crawling baby this is the most important thing to me and they nailed it!!! I made sure to let them know personally 🙏 I’m a Florida local from Stuart and I stayed with my boyfriend and our 3 kids and each one of us said it was the best trip we’ve ever had and a lot of the credit goes to the amazing staff at Mangrove Marina!!!! See y’all soon!!!!! ☀️☀️☀️☀️🤙🏼
I LOVED sitting on the upper deck and watching the people, water, and night time weather move in. I had never even thought of renting a houseboat before but it turned out to be an excellent idea! The marina had music and food on the weekend and it made the stay so much fun! The houseboat was extremely clean and the bed was very comfortable. Everything was compact but to be expected on a houseboat. The shower was very tiny, but we had the option to use the bath house if desired. We did not use the pool but I was glad that we had the option. The location is perfect if you want to be close to snorkeling tours to the reef. The lady that was tending the bar during the live entertainment was super friendly, helpful, and inviting. I forgot her name—sorry! Stay here! The marina was great and the houseboat was awesome!
Beautiful accommodation. Excellent hospitality and communication by the management team.
This house boat is absolutely perfect. Very clean and super spacious. Been our first time on a house boat we were pleasantly surprise of how nice it was. The views from the porch were spectacular. The marina was very clean and the staff was very polite.
We loved our stay on the Gray Lady! Beautiful houseboat, clean and spacious with peaceful views from the back deck. Quiet and comfortable. We will be back!
When we were looking at hotel options, we kept coming across the same old descriptions. We came to VRBO to find something different, and were not disappointed. There isn’t a better way to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Keys than on a houseboat in a marina. Similar to staying in an RV park, but was even quieter. The accommodations were great, clean and quiet. A couple of good coffee houses were in walking distance and many seafood restaurants a short drive in either direction. We also ran across some really nice people who escaped the traditional hotel life as well. I highly recommend the Starfish or one of the other houseboats at the marina.
From the moment of check-in with Mike, we were impressed with the the place. Everything was better than advertised. The houseboat was clean and perfect! Had we needed anything from the special type of toilet paper, extra towels or help with the TV, all concerns and questions were taken care of promptly. We honestly had such a good time that we just lounged around the houseboat the last two days of our stay. Perfect place to chill out! The only thing I’d do differently next time would be to cover the bedroom windows to make it darker for when I slept. However, it’s a minor change and not something that would keep me from booking again. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay!
It was a great experience staying on the houseboat! It included everything we needed!
Friendly staff, great location. Clean and cozy houseboat. Gorgeous views. Perfect little paradise. We’ll definitely be back.
Loved the houseboat Music at night with the restaurant in the marina Wish we booked for longer We will be back for sure
This place is awesome – SO much better than renting a hotel/motel or anything “normal”! We got a bigger houseboat for our party of 4, and the big deck up on top was our favorite feature. We were up there all the time, morning coffee and yoga, birdwatching, and especially in the evening watching sunsets and starry skies. The house boat was totally clean (no toilet issues that another reviewer mentioned!), the people were friendly and helpful, the vibe was the best! Wish we could have stayed MUCH longer!
Enjoyed our Memorial Day getaway aboard the Sand Dollar! Mike and the rest of the staff at Mangrove Marina were extremely helpful. Great place to relax. We enjoyed the simplicity of stepping off the houseboat onto our paddle boards. Beautiful sunsets. Will return!
This place was awesome! The houseboat was clean, cool, and comfortable. Staff in and around the marina were awesome! The pool and outdoor showers were great and, the location is great for pretty much anything you would want to do in the keys. We will be back!
This place was amazing! If you’re going to Florida and need a place to stay in the keys I can’t recommend this enough. The staff was friendly and polite and the boats were amazing. It felt so warm and inviting. Better than any hotel.
We enjoyed a wonderful experience at the Gray Lady, Boat House. This photos do not do it justice. We loved the open living areas. All of the bedrooms were perfect for our needs and two bathrooms were a plus. Beautiful location and house. Check-in was easy. Amazing air conditioning. All staff and neighbors were so polite and kind. Cleanliness A+ Thank you!
We had a wonderful stay at the Sea Biscuit. The view from our balcony was amazing! There were 5 adults in our party and has enough sleeping space for all of us. As for the bathrooms, we made use of the bathhouse quite a bit which is a short walk from our houseboat. Mike the manager with his sidekick Ace (chihuahua) is very friendly and accommodating. Hope to come back soon.
This was by far the best trip ever! Staying on a houseboat at Mangrove Marina and Resort Aqualodge was amazing.
When I made the reservation I was apprehensive wondering what I got my group into. When we pulled in we were excited to see the boats and the water. When we stepped in to check into our boat the experience started. The gentlemen in the front office were welcoming, friendly and helpful. Mike took us to our boat and gave us the grand tour. I mentioned to him that we were celebrating a birthday and he gave awesome recommendations for dinner watching the sunset and where to go that was not overwhelming with “crowds”. Later in the evening, they brought down a card and balloon to our special Birthday girl, what a wonderful and pleasant gesture.
There are other houseboat rentals all through the keys, however, if you want an experience to remember from the time you check in to the time you check out this is where you need to go! The boat was spacious, clean and so comfortable I did not want to leave. We enjoyed the pool and the tiki bar with live music! Will be making this our spot yearly if not twice a year…customer for life! 1,000 stars.
We had an amazing time. This made my husband’s 40th extra special. I was looking for something to do, but due to COVID, our options were limited. He really enjoyed himself and so did the rest of us. It was a great low-key weekend enjoyed by all. The atmosphere was amazing and peaceful. We totally recommend this place and plan to go back.
We had a fabulous time at Mangrove Marina in the SeaHorse boathouse. The facilities were awesome, everything was clean and the hospitality was great. We enjoyed the pool, the outdoor showers, the tiki bar, and Saturday evening entertainment. It was great, even the mini hurricane that came through! Mike answered all my questions, every time I called, which was a few! We can’t wait to come back again and rent another house. This might even be an option for retirement someday. Loved living on the boat. Peaceful coffee in the morning and sunset cocktails at night. Close to everything and far from it all. Thank you Mike and all the employees at Mangrove. You made our experience worth every penny!
We had a wonderful stay at The Gray Lady. House Boat was super clean and spacious. The views from the dock were incredible. We’ll definitely be back!
This whole trip to the Florida Keys was kind of an adventure for our family. We did things that we wouldn’t normally do. One of them is renting this houseboat. Everyone was great from check-in to check-out. We had an issue on the last morning of the breaker flipping. The manager was right there to help correct it. Our girls loved the pool. It was warm and that is how they like it. We would definitely stay there again! Great experience.
Fun to stay on a houseboat to mix things up. Mike and Ed were both great.
We’ve been visiting the upper keys for the past 10 years and always stayed a hotel or condo with our boat from Miami. This was the first time we stayed in a houseboat and it was the best experience ever! Not only do you have 24/7 views of the water, but you’re also literally sleeping on the water. The houseboat was super clean and had all the basic essentials you would need. My son loved the attic and it’s especially nice for a nap when the seas are choppy. The kitchen is big enough for basic meals and the full fridge is helpful. We ordered an Instacart delivery from Publix the first night and it was perfect. Stocked up the fridge and did not want to leave. The pool is great too, we had a ton of fun playing there “on land”. The new outdoor tiki bar and entertainment space look gorgeous, it was not yet open when we were there, but looking forward to enjoying it when we return soon.
Marina, staff, pool, and location were all awesome. We loved the rooftop on the calypso.
We stayed in Conch Shell at Mangrove Marina and everything was amazing! The houseboat was awesome, loved the pool, bathhouses, and general marina atmosphere. We also came a day early from our reservation (our error) and during the busiest time of year, Mike worked the magic to get us a different houseboat for the first night. Thank you for that!! More detailed instructions in the houseboat would have been nice re daily garbage routine, fresh towels, etc. We figured it out eventually!
We had a blast for our vacations, with our 2 daughters and 2 little dogs. It is so peaceful and beautiful. It is our 2nd time coming over, for sure we’ll be back.
We really loved the location and the houseboat. We were able to bring our boat and dock it in a slip right next to the houseboat which was really convenient. Mike was very accommodating and helpful both during and after hours when he went above and beyond to help us when we dropped a key in the water and had to fish it out. We will be back!
Best place to vacation and relax, so peaceful.
We totally enjoyed our stay at mangrove marina in our nice little houseboat. Can’t get much more waterfront than that! The staff is friendly and helpful and Mike the property manager made our stay awesome! Thanks to all. Date of arrival – March 2, 2021
Quick and friendly check-in with a tour of the boat. Very laid back and peaceful. Enjoyed coffee on the rear deck in the morning and cocktails in the evening watching the sunset.
Amazing place to stay!!! Every detail was great! And the service was amazing!! Very clean and wonderful place to stay!!
Great stay. Never stayed in a marina or houseboat but both were cool. Can not beat the price for the keys in February! The houseboat was roomy and we loved watching the sunset off our back deck. If you are looking for a unique experience, the conch shell is it. The marina is opening a new restaurant in March 2021. Our poc Mike was a wonderful guide to all things Key Largo.
I cannot say enough about this property! We booked a 3 night stay on the Gray Lady as an alternative option to a hotel because of Covid. Mike at check in could not have been more welcoming! Extra towels as requested when we arrived. The boat…gorgeous! Clean, freezing cold A/C which was awesome! State rooms have enough room for multiple couples to stay on board and two bathrooms! Two fridges for shopping if you elect to eat in. Balcony on the back of the boat is the most gorgeous sunset! Water pressure was great, boat swayed nicely at night when the water was a little bit rough (only one night but if seasickness is your thing grab some Dramamine and don’t miss this opportunity!) The view…million dollar worthy! Go see Bluefin and Jason at the Tiki Bar after dinner for some cold beers and friendly atmosphere. Everyone is practicing social distancing and masks required. It’s all the comforts of home, a hotel and a boat. 2 hour short drive to Key West and within minutes of amazing water front dining. We will be booking here again and value the kindness we received for our short stay!
From the minute we stepped on the dock our adventure began. Our stay here was so unique and amazing. The space was small enough to be quaint, but large enough to feel spacious. Loved the outdoor area on the boat. Everything was clean and stocked for us. The pool was climate controlled which was a huge bonus. Saw marine life from our boat! Incredible memories. Thank you Mike!
Nothing says Florida Keys like a houseboat vacation. Mangrove Marina has everything from cute one bedroom to magnificent four bedroom fully equipped floating homes for rent. Great little tiki bar and a yummy food truck with weekend live music in an outdoor venue perfect for social distancing. Mike, Ace and his friendly and helpful staff keep everything immaculately clean and sanitized, the entire staff wear wear face coverings at all times. Perfect location- close to all the sights of the upper and middle Keys. We have placed a deposit for spring 2021 today! We highly recommend Mangrove Marina!
Mangrove Marina is amazing!! My initial AirBnb with a different host was cancelled two days before our trip, and I didn’t know what to do. The host reached out to Mangrove Marina and explained everything, and they went above and beyond to help me out. I dealt directly with Vanessa at the front desk, who was incredibly friendly, helpful and calming. She assured me that I was indeed, going to have a great vacation, and made sure it all happened for us. All of this even before we got there, and when we arrived, she made good on her word. We had a fantastic vacation! The Marina is so welcoming, with an overall great vibe. The pool is amazing, and all the facilities (bathrooms, shower rooms, etc.) were very well maintained and clean. Fin and Juice, their bar and place for small bites, is a great place to end the day, overlooking the marina. Everybody there, staff, residents, fellow vacation-ers, were lovely. We loved the boat we stayed on, with unbeatable views and an incredible breeze. Such a wonderful vacation, and we really do have Vanessa and Mangrove Marina to thank for it!!
The house boat and the area were spectacular. We loved visiting this part of the keys. Had all of the excitement and scenery of the keys without the hustle and overcrowding of key west!! The houseboat was very clean and had everything we needed. Would love to do this again. So much better than staying in a hotel!
This place is great! If you want a unique place to stay, go to Mangrove.
This place was great. Being a hotel room in a house boat added to the adventure.
Can’t wait to go back!
This place rocks! Loved being able to be right on the water off the dock! We were able to fish off the roof and caught so many fish! There was even a manatee that seemed to live underneath us the whole weekend. Everything was super clean and the location is great, only about 10 mins north of Islamorada with lots of great restaurants and things to see and do. The little bar on site and pool is awesome too! Thanks for everything!
Perfect for our family of 3. Slip for our boat – so we just got up and on water in minutes. People were friendly and always had a smile. Will be coming back for sure!
Fantastic and adventurous. Very clean unit. Front desk girls were very friendly. We recommend to anyone.
Very neat experience on this older houseboat. It was clean and well-maintained with a comfortable bed and linens. We enjoyed the vibe of the marina and watching the sunset from the back of the boat. We even ordered pizza delivery for dinner just to enjoy the boat more. TV and internet also worked well. If looking for a new or different experience I highly recommend trying out this for lodging.
Mangrove Marina was wonderful, clean, friendly and helpful! We had a wonderful experience! Thank-you so much for everything, we had a wonderful vacation!
My Husband and I visited Mangrove Marina in Tavernier, FL down in the Keys on September 23rd through 25th 2016. We had a wonderful experience! My Husband was celebrating his Birthday on the 24th of September. So we arrived on Friday night and we were amazed at the way everything was so organized for us being first time visitors at Mangrove Marina. Our House Boat that we rented was so beautiful and flawless! The area was so peaceful and the location of our House Boat on the water impressive! Thanks to Mariella for making it a great experience! We will definitely return in the future for another visit.
Article for “ALL AT SEA”. Story and photos by Jill Zima Borski
Owners of the Mangrove Marina in Tavernier, Florida Keys, originally thought they would fix it up and sell it, but they saw its potential and decided to keep it as a long-term asset. Robert Charney said he and partners acquired the marina at mile marker 92 bayside in March 2009 from a bank that owned it after Cay Clubs, which had bought several properties in the Keys around 2008, went bankrupt.
“Mangrove Marina was a working marina,” Charney said. “It catered to residents who were looking for an inexpensive place to keep their boats. They were OK with the state of disrepair of the property. Then, four years ago, we started to address the maintenance needs and fix the buildings and grounds. In the process, we started to attract a clientele that appreciated the better conditions.
“In the past two years, we started to cater to those seeking a destination resort that is water-centric, while not giving up that Old Florida feel.”
A pool and new bathhouse was added last summer. Next, the marina opened a restaurant with tiki bar and fire pit, and also added eight houseboats that people can rent, which run from $150 to $400 a night depending on the season. Barbecue areas enable residents and visitors to gather and enjoy their waterfront lifestyle.
Tiki bar and fire pit updates. Photo by Jill Zima Borski
Mangrove Marina bills itself as the largest marina in the Keys because they are a full-service marina with approximately 200-250 boats on property. Boats occupy about 120 wet slips, and more than 100 dry racks for storage. A boat ramp, travel lift, yard services such as painting, and fuel lines providing diesel and gas also are on-site. Yacht Works, a tenant, offers sales of four lines of boats as well as service. The boats are available for sea trial. By the end of this year, boat rentals are expected to be available, Charney said.
Other services include on-site laundry and high speed internet that is password protected per user. Many of the marina residents are full-time, and most of the friendly staff has been on hand for a decade.
“The marina’s harbor is a natural anchoring spot in the event of an approaching hurricane,” said Charney. “It is known as Community Harbor or Safety Harbor.”
Waterfront views from just about every point in Mangrove Marina. Photo by Jill Zima Borski
One resident, Rod Luckin, has enjoyed the marina for a year. He complimented the friendly staff. He said he has sailed and motored all over the state and the islands, and Mangrove Marina is one of the best. Some of the marina residents participate in a potluck supper once a week, where they take turns cooking. He also enjoys the music on weekends at the tiki bar and karaoke, where he has been known to croon a ditty or two. Additionally, he has shown folks how to navigate to the Bahamas.
Luckin said he has sailed for four decades, since his twenties. He sailed Sunfish and Hobie Cats, progressing in length from 27 to 30 to 37 feet. He got married 17 years ago to Leah. They dated five times and knew they were meant for each other. “Leah knows dead reckoning,” Rod said. “We’ve lived on and off our boat for 17 years as well.” Currently, they live aboard a motorboat and share their space with a shih tzu they acquired from the Fort Lauderdale Humane Society. Luckin plans to share his boating and motorcycle travel tales in self-published books.
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