Key West (or??????) Hotel/Resort
September 6, 2013 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a great place to spend a week for my husband's special birthday in early November. Where is your favorite place to stay in the Keys? I think Little Palm Island, the Moorings or Sunset Key may be a little too quiet for him (and possibly too pricey? I haven't really checked)....I have been looking at the Hyatt resort and Spa, Pier House, and Casa Marina. Anyone have experience with these? Any other recommendations? Does not have to be in Key West as long as in the Florida Keys, we will rent a car. Thanks!

we are not totally locked into the keys......If anyone has a great recommendation for somewhere else (specific resort) to spend a week with things to do and see and great November pool or beach weather; but not as far (from Chicago) as Hawaii (Caribbean OK ) Please chime in, all suggestions appreciated!
posted by Lylo to Travel & Transportation around Florida (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do yourself a favor and look into the Marquesa Hotel. It's a lovely place. Good restaurant on premises, too, last time I was there.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 10:31 AM on September 6, 2013

I have only been in Key West, in December, but I really appreciated the mix of quiet and fun that we got from staying in a house. It was literally the first time I've ever been somewhere and thought, "Oh. So THIS is what it feels like to be on vacation."

We are not partiers, but we had a lot of fun doing things like karaoke and late-night dinners in 70-degree weather on a Thursday night. Staying in a house instead of a hotel/motel really helped; we had a private pool, and had friends around, so there was also mild partying going on there, too. Pretty much everything was walkable from the house our friends rented on Caroline St. They went through Preferred Properties.
posted by Madamina at 10:41 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

We stayed at The Paradise Inn back in May. Lovely little hotel a couple blocks from Duval. Very clean, very quaint and free parking (this is HUGE). Pool is a bit small but it was empty so no big. Do yourselves a favor and rent bikes.

Key West is as quiet as you want it to be. We are also not partiers but wandered down Duval each evening to soak in the energy and then headed off the the side streets for quieter meals. This really isn't an option on the other islands.

There isn't a ton to do on Key West other than drink, wander around, go to the Hemingway House, drink more, try some conch fritters, loaf around your pool and then have another drink while you watch the sunset. Coming back to the freshly made bed in a super air conditioned room at the end of each outing sold us on the Paradise.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:52 AM on September 6, 2013

Also, a week is a VERY long time to spend in Key West. As said there isn't a tremendous amount to do unless you really like snorkling, jetskiing and drinking. The beaches aren't THAT great (and there aren't that many public ones), so maybe divide your time between Key West for several nights, another quieter, isolated Key one or two other nights, and a fancy night out at a swanky hotel in South Beach.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2013

Well, I feel the opposite of BlerpityBloop and felt that I could have stayed in Key West well beyond the 8 days I was there. :-)

In any case, my husband and I stayed in a house rented out by a local for our honeymoon and loved the "non-hotelness" of it. It was near a grocery store and CVS. We rented bikes and seriously considered never returning home.

We stayed in Poinciana Place, but there are other homes to rent too through them. I am hesitant to give away our secret, but it's too good not to share. (Pay no attention to the old, poorly designed website.)
posted by mzwz at 12:37 PM on September 6, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Key Lime Inn a couple of years ago. It's a pretty affordable collection of little cabins. Very nice and really close to Duval. BlerpityBloop is right, though. A week is a long time. Maybe split the time between Miami and a town or two in the Keys.

Stuff to do: karaoke, drinking, eating, cat show and pier, riding scooters or bikes, drag shows, sailing, Fort Taylor
posted by lunalaguna at 12:41 PM on September 6, 2013

Oh, Key Largo was great, too. Much better beaches than Key West, but less to do.
posted by lunalaguna at 12:43 PM on September 6, 2013

Oops, yeah, I should add that I live in San Diego. I am at the beach and in the sun every day of the year so key west, while it felt like vacation, wasn't too much of an escape from my norm.

Key west was a hot, muggy playground. If you really want relaxing paradise, book a room at a megaresort in the Bahamas/Bermuda

Anonymity. Nightlife. Big sprawling Beaches. Direct flights from Chicago. No car needed.

Key west felt like you were in America. A hot drunken America.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 12:56 PM on September 6, 2013

I've stayed at Casa Marina and absolutely loved it. One of my favorite hotel stays in all of Florida.

The hotel is gorgeous, the rooms are lovely and spacious and the staff is attentive. Add on the direct beach access and hammocks under the palm trees and its a home run. I can still remember the afternoon I spent reading in one of those hammocks.

If you can afford it, do it.
posted by FlamingBore at 4:10 PM on September 6, 2013

Oh and I should mention that Casa is away from the madness. Within easy walking distance but seems a million miles away.
posted by FlamingBore at 4:13 PM on September 6, 2013

Also, a week is a VERY long time to spend in Key West.

I agree heartily. Three years ago my wife and I booked a two-night stay there, as the natural terminus of a drive down the Keys on a whim, and we were bored out of our skulls by the end of the second day. It has some lovely restaurants, but no natural beaches, the shops are wicked touristy (lots of knick-knacks shops and places selling sexually suggestive T-shirts), and no nature to speak of. Key Largo was, for us, delightful—beaches to walk down, snorkeling, birding, wildlife, etc. Of course, it's all a matter of taste.

FWIW, we stayed at Doubletree Grand Key Resort, on the far east end of the island. We couldn't walk anywhere from there, but parking in town was never a problem, and we enjoyed the reduced rates that came of being away from the hustle and bustle (such as it is) of Key West. It was a perfectly nice place. Nothing exciting.
posted by waldo at 5:47 PM on September 6, 2013

The drive is half the fun!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:36 PM on September 7, 2013


We stayed at Ocean Key Resort and liked it a lot. The location was excellent, near enough to walk everywhere but great water views and surprisingly secluded from the madness. The service was great and the room very cool and spacious. Small things like lighting and bathroom layout could be improved, but for 3 day stay it was great. Unlike other resorts, the Wii-Fi was free. Loved the pool area, had a good time.
posted by Lylo at 12:18 PM on December 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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