On November 18, 2011 I held my nose and jumped.
Sponsored by my brother in law, I bought what was then "The Del Prado Inn" and the" Paradise Tiki Hut bar and Grill". Initially I had set out to only buy the old restaurant, but then Brian, our Director of Operations, informed me that the whole property consisted of the hotel, Tiki Bar and restaurant.
I had no experience in neither the bar business nor the hotel industry. However, as a Senior Buyer in my young days I had stayed in hotels 185 nights a year, and knew what I wanted in a hotel and had a very clear vision of what I wanted in a bar.
Coming from Sweden I had some different ideas about hotels. We don't have the bed spreads and decorative pillows that we all know never get washed. The rooms are lightly furnished, so we can keep them clean, and the floors are tiled.
My boyfriend at the time told me I was building a mental asylum, but I am happy I did, because our reviews always talk about how clean the hotel is, and let's face it, if you are not clean and safe nobody cares about friendly staff or a fun bar.
It has been a fun and sometimes bumpy journey to get to where we are at today. Thanks to the great people I have around me, we have a beautifully restored historic resort with a fun bar serving great food and drinks to guests from all over the world.
Most guests who come to the resort are very surprised when they hear that we have 100 rooms. The atmosphere is more that of a retro Florida Inn. Many guests return from year to year, so they become friends of ours. As the owner, I am most often here every day and get the pleasure of meeting many of our guests.
And to all of our guests, thank you for choosing Dolphin Key Resort. I know there are many choices in Florida and I very much appreciate your business!