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The Dolphin Connection, Hawk's Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida
©Roger Cox

Hawk's Cay Resort
Cliff Drysdale Tennis School

Duck Key, Florida

By Roger Cox, Editor

The bottle-nose dolphin seemed quite happy to tow me around a lagoon in exchange for a few fish doled out from the hands of the trainer at the Dolphin Connection. It took very little effort on his part, though I'd never moved through the water so fast without the aid of wind or motor, and I was astonished to feel just how powerfully these mammals swim. I came out of the water with an even deeper respect for these lovable animals.

Set on Duck Key, Hawk's Cay Resort takes up all of a roughly boot-shaped 60-acre private island just off the Overseas Highway to Key West, 97 miles south southeast of Miami. Its focal point is a 177-room hotel, which rises behind a perfect circle of a lagoon fringed with sand, but for a small resort it harbors an extensive array of distractions, including a spa, several restaurants, five swimming pools, an 85-slip marina, a watersports center, fishing and scuba diving charters, a dedicated children's center, a six-court tennis complex, some 100 two-, three-, and four-bedroom villas, and, of course, that dolphin encounter.


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Tennis Features

Pro Shop: 305-743-7000, ext. 1571
Email:

Cliff Drysdale Tennis oversees the operation of the tennis club, which consists of two Hydrocourts, and four hard courts. Peyton Smith directs the programming.

Tennis Staff. Originally from Azle, TX, Peyton has been a Tennis Pro since 2015 in clubs across Texas. He previously taught at Arrowhead at Vail, CO before becoming the Racket Sports Director here at Hawks Cay in 2020.
Tennis Programs. At Hawks Cay, he inherits a stable of local players who along with guests are kept active with morning adult clinics, Cardio tennis, and family tennis classes throughout the week as well as private and group lessons. The staff also arranges singles and doubles matches or, alternatively, a "beat the pro" lesson option at half the price of a regular lesson if you win more games than the pro, while a once-weekly round-robin affords another way to meet compatible players. She has also introduced kids programs (by levels, from 4 to 13+) twice a week as well as a once weekly junior day and tournament. She rounds that all out with a willingness to custom-design programs for groups and teams.
In addition, Hawk's Cay runs a year-round 2-, 3-, or 4-night Cliff Drysdale Adult Tennis Camp. It consists of your choice of accommodations, three hours of daily group instruction, unlimited court time, buffet breakfast daily, and the usual amenities of the resort, including fitness center access and the Coral Cay Kids club. If you're the organizer and you're bringing 8 or more people, your camp may be free under their "Camp for 8 Special."
Courts & Fees. There are currently six courts: two Hydrocourt and four hard. Court fees: None for guests; $10 for two hours for those staying elsewhere.

Ratings

(175 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Tennis Staff
5-Ball Rating Instruction
4½-Ball Rating
Game Matching
4-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
4-Ball Rating
Cuisine
3½-Ball Rating Lodging
3½-Ball Rating Spa & Fitness
3½-Ball Rating
Dollar Value
4-Ball Rating Other Recreation
4½-Ball Rating Setting
4-Ball Rating
Kids' Programs
4½-Ball Rating Romance
4-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
3½-Ball Rating


Cliff Drysdale Tennis Adult Tennis Camps at Hawk's Cay Ratings
( 34 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating
Instruction
4-Ball Rating
Junior Tennis
4½-Ball Rating
Dollar Value
4-Ball Rating


Bryan Brothers Fantasy

Join Bob and Mike Bryan for a Fantasy Getaway on Aug. 28 at the Dave Marshall Tennis Center in Lewes, DE or on Aug. 29 at the Talbot Country Club in Easton, MD. Learn strategy and tactics from the winningest doubles team of all time, while enjoying a fun day at Dave Marshall Tennis. The half-day sessions include 2½ hours of on-court drills with the Bryan Brothers and their co-coach Dr. Dave Marchall as well as a photo op, lunch, and Q&A session. Spectator tickets and a Play-the-Bryans Sponsor Event are also scheduled. Cost: $525. Space is limited. For bookings and information, contact Dave Marshall at 302-462-0042 or dave@davemarshalltennis.com or visit Bryans Fantasy Camp


Ratings

(175 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Instruction
4½-Ball Rating Lodging
3½-Ball Rating Spa & Fitness
3½-Ball Rating Dollar Value
4-Ball Rating Kids' Programs
4½-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
3½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
5-Ball Rating Game Matching
4-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
4-Ball Rating Cuisine
3½-Ball Rating Other Recreation
4½-Ball Rating Setting
4-Ball Rating Romance
4-Ball Rating


Cliff Drysdale Tennis Adult Tennis Camps at Hawk's Cay Ratings
( 34 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Instruction
4-Ball Rating Dollar Value
4-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
4½-Ball Rating

Other Recreation

Beach. You won't find a beach washed by the ocean but rather one that encircles a salt-water-fed, man-made lagoon that is part of the resort..

Spa & Fitness Center. The resort's Calm Waters Spa mixes traditional with locally inspired spa treatments. The fitness center in another part of the same building has a variety of weight-training machines and cardio equipment.

And ... The most unusual of the other activities is the Dolphin Connection, which takes small numbers of people into the water to interact with the dolphins while anyone in the resort is free to watch from the side of the dolphin pond. Otherwise there is a fully equipped marina offering sportfishing charters, dive boat and snorkeling excursions, kayaking, paddleboarding, and sunset cruises. Other watersports equipment, including standup paddleboards and kayaks, are available in the lagoon.

Children's Programs

With its own building and a fenced playground with everything from miniature golf to a pirates' ship, the Indies Club schedules a full day of activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those ages 5 to 12 as well as a variety of social and recreational activities for teens.

Lodging

The main block of accommodations are the 177 rooms and suites in the main hotel. These have a West Indies decor, upscale amenities, and, with the exception of a few standard room, broad terraces with views of the island or water. Alternatively, the resort offers villas ranging in size up to four bedrooms and situated somewhat removed from the main hotel in four villages.

Restaurants

There are half a dozen dining outlets, including 61 Prime, the signature restaurant for fresh seafood and steaks; the low-key Angler and Ale for burgers, catch of the day specials, and cook-your-catch options.

See Also

If you're contemplating a beach and tennis vacation, with options for kids, you also ought to look at:

Rates and Reservations

Hawk's Cay Resort

Visit the website for current rates

Hawk's Cay Resort
61 Hawk's Cay Blvd.
Duck Key, FL 33050
305-743-7000
Toll-free: 888-395-5539
Web Link: Hawk's Cay Resort

Cliff Drysdale Tennis Adult Tennis Camps at Hawk's Cay

Rates on request.

Visit the website for current rates

Cliff Drysdale Tennis Adult Tennis Camps at Hawk's Cay
Hawk's Cay Resort
Duck Key, FL 33050

Travel Essentials

Seasons. Year-round, though busiest from a tennis perspective from mid December into April.

Travel Instructions. By Air: The nearest major airport is Miami International Airport (MIA), 104 miles to the north.

General Tourist Information. For information about travel to the region, visit Florida Keys & Key West.