Casa Morada, in the Florida Keys, is the brainchild of partners Lauren Abrams, Terry Ford, and Heide Praver Werthamer, who collectively spent 24 years picking up the tricks of the trade while working at various Ian Schrager hotels. Ninety minutes south of Miami, the tranquil, 1.7-acre property seems a thousand miles from the hustle of Ocean Drive. Casa Morada's 16 suites are large and luminous, bright-white and breezy, punctuated with area rugs and orchids in clay pots. Mexican antiques are juxtaposed with modern custom-designed tables and beds. Each suite has a private outdoor space with chaises or Adirondack-style chairs. Jutting out from the small island into Florida Bay is a spacious pavilion on stilts, the perfect perch from which to watch for manatees and enjoy a late-afternoon glass of wine.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.