Water activities, key lime pie, and taking a tour of the Ernest Hemingway House are just a few family-friendly activities for travelers in Key West. While you’ll likely be out exploring the city, you’ll still want a hotel that is more geared toward families than honeymooners or partiers. We visited the top hotels in Key West to evaluate how they stack up — from the rooms to the restaurants to the amenities — all with the vacationing family in mind. So if you’re taking the whole family to Florida, check out our list of the best kid-friendly hotels in Key West and start planning your getaway!
This 40-room resort caters to the upscale traveler with luxurious, beach-chic cottages and high-end amenities. It is located on Sunset Key, a residential island off Key West, and is affiliated to the Westin Key West, with which it shares some features, such as the fitness center and the restaurants (though only guests of Sunset Key can use the on-site amenities; Westin guests do not have access to them). The hotel itself has wonderful amenities, including a lovely pool, a gorgeous beach with palm trees and clear waters, and a pleasant spa. Its location, though idyllic and exclusive, might be somewhat inconvenient for travelers who want to be close to shops and restaurants (the hotel only has one eatery on-site).
Southernmost on the Beach is a Key West favorite. The hotel has lovely architectural details such as arched doorways, crown molding, bay window seats, and porthole windows. Many rooms have balconies, and some have corner, wrap-around balconies with ocean views that are truly spectacular. Polished rooms are decorated in soothing, beach-inspired tones. Highlights here include the spectacular beach, long pool, private sunbathing pier, and sunny fitness center. The hotel is located on the far end of Duval street, giving guests easy access to Key West's famous bars and restaurants without the annoyance of nighttime noise. With hammocks strung between palm trees and Adirondack chairs looking out over the ocean, this 124-room hotel provides the perfect environment to relax.
Santa Maria Suites, with 35 spacious suites with full-size kitchens, is an upscale, four-pearl property in the southernmost part of historic Key West. Guests get lots of freebies here -- such as bottled water, wine hour with snacks, smoothies, and ice-cream bars -- but a mandatory resort fee is added to the bill. Santa Maria Suites is about a block from the beach and walking distance to the south end of Duval Street. This property, with its condo-style suites, can offer good value to families, couples, and groups of friends traveling together.
The Sheraton Suites is a mid-sized, all-suite hotel that's across a busy street from Smathers Beach. Suites are spacious with a cozy living area separate from the bedroom, and bathrooms have big marble showers. The hotel is well maintained and amenities are numerous, including a bright, well-equipped gym, big pool with tiki bar, and business center. Downtown Key West and Duval Street are a six-minute drive away -- a hotel shuttle offers free transportation until 11 p.m. -- making this hotel a better fit for families seeking sand and sun than people looking for nearby nightlife.
The Best Western Hibiscus Motel is a 61-room, three-pearl motel-style property located within walking distance to many tourist attractions in historic Key West. Rooms are clean and comfortable with basic furnishings but don't offer amazing ocean views. The property is geared toward travelers who want to be close to the action but don't want to break the bank.