Isla Bella Beach Resort
Isla Bella Beach Resort caters to travelers who have a taste for the finer things in life.
Nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys is a winding road where lush native plants, trees and tropical greenery canopy the drive into paradise. A traveler’s journey begins at the end of the road where the Atlantic Ocean comes into view and Isla Bella Beach Resort awaits to set the stage for memories that will last a lifetime.
“When you see the ocean, you know you have arrived,” Director of Food and Beverage and Executive Chef Josean Rosado says. “We have created an oasis in Marathon, Fla., as every room, suite and building was designed to bring you closer to the ocean. The first thing I tell guests is that Isla Bella is a place to relax.”
Isla Bella opened in April 2019 on one-mile of waterfront property in the Florida Keys. The property features five oceanfront pools, including a 4,500-square-foot pool, as well as a 4,000-square-foot spa, relaxation room and a 1,000-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness center.
Sitting on 24 acres of beautifully landscaped tropical native gardens and an expanse of sand dunes stretching alongside the resort, Isla Bella offers the perfect setting for those who want to relax and take in the views and for those looking for adventure. The marina offers a variety of water sports, including fishing charters, jet ski tours, harbor cruises, and kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving trips.
Isla Bella’s food and beverage program suits its guests every palate, activity and mood. Its multiple dining options include a world-class Neapolitan traditional Italian restaurant with wood-fired pizza ovens, classic Florida Keys seafood, beach bar, poolside food and beverage service, The Marketplace Café and grab-and-go.
IL Postino, the Neapolitan-style Italian restaurant features hand-made pizza from a Forza Forni pizza oven, fresh pastas and classic cuisine. “We make the dough and mozzarella in-house, the pizza is hand stretched and cooked to order,” Rosado says. “The restaurant features a few signature items and the pizza oven is definitely one of the main attractions.”
While enjoying the ocean breeze, guests can pull up a stool at The Beach Bar to enjoy freshly caught fish – from marina to menu – as well as other fresh seafood, tropical cocktails and live music. At the resort pool, Rosado serves up comfort foods, including burgers and fish tacos.
The Marketplace Café features pastries and local favorites, including Panther Coffee and Bianco Gelato. “Developing good relationships with our vendors is important because you aren’t in the city and need to plan ahead,” Rosado says. “I’ve been working with our vendors for almost a year now and began building those relationships even before I got to the Keys.”
Rosado was working in Boston when the executive chef position at Isla Bella was presented to him by a former colleague and he seized the opportunity to relocate to warmer weather and return to where he first studied the culinary arts. After eight months as executive chef, Rosado also took on the role of the director of food and beverage for the beach resort. As Rosado focuses on transitioning to the director of food and beverage, he will develop the executive sous chef over the next year to become Isla Bella’s next executive chef.
Although the beach resort is in its infancy, Rosado is working on revamping the menus to have one in-season menu and one for the off season. “We will revise what we learned during the season and adjust the menu for the next one,” he explains. “In the Keys you don’t get the four seasons, so we will change the menu items twice per year.”
As the food and beverage program at Isla Bella continues to evolve, Rosado says the vision is to create a casual yet elegant atmosphere with thoughtful service. “I’ve been with the hotel since the early stages and I feel like it’s my home and you are in my dining room,” he adds. “Isla Bella is a resort and the guests are staying anywhere from six days to two weeks, so we need to really be engaging with the guests, sharing stories and making memories together.”