“The Sailing Rode” Visits Mangrove Marina
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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