“We preferred the seafood at The Stoned Crab, a wonderful restaurant at the Ibis Bay Beach Resort. At the urging of the hotel’s Australian immigrant owner, Chris Holland, we spent a couple of evening hours paddling illuminated glass-bottom kayaks over shallow sea waters. The wealth of nocturnal ocean life, from unusual sponges to lobsters and barracudas, was amazing.”
“Key West changes every evening when that fiery, orange orb slips effortlessly beneath the horizon… Spiny lobsters depart their rocky hiding spots and traverse the ocean floor in search of food; octopus make their shadowy presence known only under the cover of night; and docile sting rays relax in the darkened shallows.
These nocturnal nuances go largely unnoticed by the topside world — but they’re revealed in stunning clarity during a guided nighttime kayak or paddle board tour that departs every evening from Ibis Bay Paddle Sports.
For the nighttime tours, the paddle boards and glass-bottom kayaks are equipped with waterproof, LED lighting that illuminate the water and introduce people to a whole different world, said Pawel (pronounced pa-vel) Pluciennik, who owns Ibis Bay Paddle Sports, the water sports concession business at Ibis Bay Resort.
“We cater to all skill levels, and offer instruction for newcomers,” said Pluciennik, “and we stay in water that’s only knee- or waist-deep in areas with no boat traffic. The things you see at night are so different. We see octopus at night; lobsters are out walking around; stingrays hang out on the bottom, and nurse sharks and bonnet head sharks are active. A lot of locals have actually been taking our nighttime tours because they’ve never done anything like it before.”
Nightboarding™ Illuminates Florida Keys’ Underwater World for Adventure Lovers
Visitors to Key West can experience the Florida Keys island chain’s undersea wonders at night during Nightboarding™ excursions by standup paddleboard or two-person clear-bottom kayak.
Launched by Ibis Bay Beach Resort in Key West, the southernmost island in the continental USA, Nightboarding™ uses utilizes I-Lumenate’s Night-Ops waterproof LED light bars to light up the water. Nightboarding tours launch at sunset each day from the dock of Ibis Bay’s restaurant, The Stoned Crab. The tour costs $45 per guest and lasts about two and a half hours. Participants can choose a stand-up paddleboard for one or a clear-bottom kayak for one or two paddlers.
When discussing the most unique attractions of Key West, Endless Vacation magazine made sure they included Ibis Bay’s Nightboarding adventure, saying that “you don’t have to make for dry land when darkness falls, thanks to Ibis Bay Paddle Sports’ new nighttime stand-up paddleboarding excursions through the mangroves. LEDs mounted on the underside of your board spotlight such reef denizens as lobsters, sea turtles and octopuses.”
Call our FunDesk now at 305-296-0616!
A Ramp At The End Of The Road
Adrian Gray from Florida Sportsman magazine took a skiff fishing trip to the southernmost Florida Keys, and he found that Ibis Bay was the perfect place to stay, thanks to the easily accessible private dock that puts flats boats right into the bay. They caught tarpon, permit, barracuda and lemon shark. After a few successful days of fishing in some of the Keys best waters, Gray summed up the resort, stating that “The new Ibis Bay Resort on Roosevelt Blvd. in Key West is a comfortable setting with cottages, boat ramp and floating dock where you can secure a skiff each night. There’s a gas station at the four-corner junction and an excellent restaurant and bar, The Stoned Crab, on the premises.”
Best Key West Happy Hours to Fill You Up
Get Away From It All: Ibis Resort & Stoned Crab Restaurant
When you just want that little break from the the Duval St. bar scene with your toes in the water and your drink in hand to enjoy that laid back island life. Ibis Bay Resort & The Stoned Crab Restaurant are Key West originals and welcome visitors to enjoy their pool, hammocks and cocktails. They also have kayaks, jet skis and paddle boards for rent and the island’s only Nightboarding tours using clear-bottom kayaks and standup paddle boards with bright LED lights. Their Caribbean style sets you in the mood for wonderful frozen cocktails like Key West Sunset (mango and raspberry puree mixture), Raspberry Mojito or a Raspberry Mudslide. Crab claws caught fresh from their two boats daily and the outdoor seating looks over the docks for a wonderful island feel. Stop in and get “Stoned” is their saying for “come enjoy our stone crab claws”. Although their happy hour menu doesn’t include the stone crab claws, the bar food is good and budget friendly and we love the atmosphere. Try the chicken tenders or the onion rings. Bring your camera and swim suit to best enjoy your vaca within a vaca!
“At night, it’s not about the distance covered,” explains Mateo Dura, the owner of Key West’s Ibis Bay Paddle Sports, which began offering nighttime SUP tours this spring. “It’s all about going very slow and searching for sea life on the bottom.” On any given evening, Dura sees nurse sharks, stingrays, turtles, and spiny lobsters flit through the spotlight beneath his feet.
If you’ve ever used an underwater torch while diving or snorkeling, picture that – on steroids. The system harnesses 72 LED lights to the bottom of a board using a tension system and singes the underwater surrounds with 2000 lumen of light. “In Key West, the lights illuminate an area of about 50 feet around you and 15 to 20 feet down,” says Nocqua’s Billy Rossini, the world champion kneeboarder who invented the tech after admiring the fancy lighting he saw on yachts in Florida’s islands. “It was purely for visual effect,” says Rossini, “but it attracted a lot of fish, and I thought ‘How cool would this be if I could have that underneath my paddleboard?’”
Travel World News: Ibis Bay Is The Uptown Antidote to Downtown Duval Street
“Key West is famous for Duval Street, a vibrant and eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, shops and street vendors, but for many visitors, downtown is not the ideal place to rest their heads after a long day of fun. Located just two miles from downtown, the new Ibis Bay Beach Resort is the complete opposite of contemporary Duval Street. It’s Key West as it existed in the 1950s, a studied blend of contemporary conveniences and technology set in an environment that evokes Hemingway and Havana. With white sand beaches, plentiful hammocks, updated rooms with local and Havana-influenced art and movie posters, plus a fabulous fresh seafood restaurant and on-site FunDesk booking service for every activity on the island, Ibis Bay is the Key West destination.”
Guitar Aficionado Raves: The Stoned Crab Gets 4 Stars On TripAdvisor
“Garnering hundreds of reviews from locals and travelers alike, it’s clear The Stoned Crab is the restaurant the Keys have been waiting for— a fun, zany, family friendly seafood restaurant that specializes in the most delicious of local delicacies, Florida stone crab. In fact, it’s the first and only restaurant in the Keys to base the majority of its creative menu on the coveted crustacean! …Working with local fishermen and serving local seafood, especially the stone crabs, which are returned to the ocean to re-grow their largest claw after removal, the restaurant is helping to promote the area’s delicious seafood resources while helping the community and protecting the local ecosystem.”
10best.com: Ibis Bay Resort Regains What’s Being Lost In Key West
“There’s no doubt that Key West is changing with the times, and so much of the 1950s era and Cuban influence is being lost. Ibis Bay Resort is working overtime to maintain the spirit of “old Key West” without sacrificing modern amenities… Little ones will love the giant tortoises, which — as the story goes — were barter for past due rent that was “paid in turtles.” Beachfront rooms spill out into the sand… and on Wednesday evenings narrated “dive-in” movies under the stars are featured on the big screen.
YAHOO TRAVEL: Best spots for bachelor and bachelorette parties
“Key West has long been loved by vacationers, but it’s also been busy of late. For example, 2013 welcomed the opening of Ibis Bay, the island’s first luxury resort with a private beach. Now you can party all night and recover all day … without sharing your sand with everyone else.”
Travel Channel features Ibis Bay Resort on 2013 Season Premiere of Sand Masters
NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Be a Grown-up in Key West
“Experience the island’s quirky side two miles away from historic Old Town at the fifties-era Ibis Bay Waterfront Resort (from $139), which was renovated and reopened last year. Enjoy the 600-foot stretch of sand (in the process of being extended) with jet-ski and kiteboard rentals (from $25 per hour) from the “fun” desk, or do something new and get a lesson in sand sculpture ($49 for two-and-a-half hours) from local artists Marianne van den Broek and Chris Guinto.”
USA TODAY: Places to Stay With Kids in Key West, FL
“A bit farther up the coast, the funky Ibis Bay Waterfront Resort (ibisbayresort.com) offers large rooms with flat-screen televisions and a beachfront lined with hammocks. The resort’s amenities include a spacious pool and water sports such as parasailing, snorkeling and kiteboarding, as well as family activities such as sand-sculpture classes.”
THE GUARDIAN UK: Florida’s best beach hotels and places to stay on a budget
“It’s quirky and fun and one of the more affordable places to stay in Key West, the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. The resort has rather unusual touches, including a welcome parrot, two giant tortoises, a kangaroo (not real) and weekly “dive-in” movies shown on a 20ft screen beside the swimming pool. The rooms are small and basic but bright and cheerful thanks to tropical murals by local artists and the owner’s personal collection of bits and bobs – surfboards, fishing rods, and anything else that catches his eye. All but a few of the rooms have adjoining hammocks and some back on to a little manmade beach. To expand the sunbathing space, the resort has recently added a large wooden sundeck stretching over the water. Hire one of its jetskis to explore the nearby island, a sanctuary for the Ibis bird, or for nighttime viewing take one of its new glass-bottomed kayaks, fitted with LED lights. Oh, and if you have time, don’t forget to check out Key West too!
• ibisbayresort.com, + 1 305 296 1043, rooms from $109″
“At the end of the island chain, Key West spreads out into a relative metropolis. But before you reach the heart of the island, lined in clapboard “conch” cottages, shade trees and captain’s mansions, the new Ibis Bay Waterfront Resort welcomes drivers with a bright neon sign at the island’s entrance. New owner Chris Holland gussied up the 1956-era motel with buckets of pastel paint, staked picket fences around the buildings, strung hammocks between the palms and installed a restaurant dockside. A stable of jet skis, paddleboards and kayaks encourages guests to explore the island rookery just offshore where ibis, namesake bird of the hotel, roost.
‘The ibis is considered the bravest bird,’ said Holland, explaining the resort’s name. ‘They are the last one to leave when a storm is coming. When the ibis leave, you need to go.’
The advice seems to echo the ghosts of islands past captured at shipwreck and maritime museums, and bail out the beach-blissed or the Duval drinkers: Where logic fails, nature provides. Yet another fitting description of the Keys.”