The first ever concrete modular, green, luxury hotel guest suites were topped off in Islamorada at the legendary Florida Keys Cheeca Lodge, reopening December 15.
“The precedent was set for luxury construction in multi-million dollar homes, and now we’ve brought this innovative and green construction to the hospitality industry, as a first in the U.S. and possibly a first in the world," said Jerry Johnson, owner of Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, Florida Keys. “We have been able to put up a green, concrete modular Guest Room wing in an unheard of 90 days, from pilings to topping off, and with a quality superior to that of conventional construction,” he continued.
In the Florida Keys, the Premier Oceanfront and Island View suites will be part of Cheeca Lodge’s green, four-story Main Lodge which will set another milestone as the first four-story concrete modular building in Florida.
The 840 square foot green suites were delivered complete to Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada, Florida Keys with fully-equipped bathrooms, from marble tile floors, granite counter tops, bath fixtures, and marble and glass rain showers, to all electrical wiring and cabling throughout the suite. The green, fire-resistant modules are highly insulated, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient. They are made of 30% recycled materials. True to Cheeca Lodge’s tradition of environmental sensitivity and preservation, the new Main Lodge in Islamorada is being built to LEED specifications set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council. Sturdily built with high strength concrete roof, floors and walls, together with the addition of high impact glass windows, they can resist winds in up to a category 5 hurricane and have a life span of over 100 years. They were manufactured in Okeechobee and trucked down to the Islamorada, Florida Keys resort.
“The strength of concrete modular construction allows us to use higher end finished materials since there is no danger of damage during transport,” said Wally Sanger, President and CEO of Royal Concrete Concepts, builders of the units. Luxury finishes will be completed on site, including rich mahogany crown moldings, doors and cabinetry, textured walls, plush carpeted floors, floor to ceiling glass walls, and original art. Twenty-four foot wide balconies will be added along with a signature open air round tub for two with dramatic overhead tub filler.
“Besides the high quality of the product and its green and safety features, this modular construction has allowed us to fast track our entire construction process as well,” said Johnson. “Instead of the typical schedule of 36 months for construction of a Main Lodge, when you consider the time required to do the architectural plans, source the materials, and do the construction, we’re able to streamline this green, concrete modular construction to six months,” he continued.
All of the green modules have been put in place, on schedule for the Cheeca Lodge reopening on December 15. In addition to the new Premier Suites, Cheeca’s transformation will include an expansive indoor-outdoor lobby lounge, a meeting room with ocean-view floor-to-ceiling windows, two new restaurants, a club floor with a sun deck and water wall overlooking the famous Cheeca pier and Atlantic Ocean, 2400 square feet of retail space which includes a Cheeca signature store featuring Tommy Bahama products, and more.