Closer to Cuba than Miami, Key West is a tiny city in the Florida Keys with a ton of charm and character. The tropical climate makes it ideal for a beach getaway and there’s plenty for travelers of all ages to keep busy. The accommodations range from small bed and breakfasts to upscale resorts. If you’re looking for a posh hotel offering the sleekest rooms, excellent dining, and amenities like gorgeous pools or spa facilities, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are our picks for the best luxury hotels in Key West, so you can be sure to have an unbeatable beach vacation.
The 311 rooms of the Casa Marina Resort have a light, sophisticated, but still island-y feel, with neutral tones, sheer curtains, and sleek hardwood or tiled floors. The resort also offers great in-room amenities, including free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and espresso machines. Although bathrooms aren't anything grand (just simple walk-in showers or shower/tub combos), they're clean and sleek. The resort's grounds are beautiful, with palm trees and lush foliage, and lead to a rare amenity in Key West -- a swimmable beach. Although it's too rocky to wade into the water, a long dock extends to sandier bottoms.
The 19-room La Mer Hotel and Dewey House is an upscale, adults-only property built at the turn of the century on South Beach. With its breezy yet elegant style, beachfront dining terrace, and access to a sister hotels' pools, spa, and three bars, this property offers the features of a resort with a bed-and-breakfast atmosphere. Guest rooms are beautifully decorated in a classic style, and have flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers; some open to balconies. The property serves free breakfast, along with occasional treats like chocolate-covered strawberries, but there's a pesky resort fee and minimum stays are occasionally required.
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).
The Mermaid and The Alligator is a nine-room upscale bed and breakfast housed inside a historic Victorian estate. The owners have taken great care to renovate the home with bold and vibrant decor and updated furnishings. Located on Truman Street, three blocks from popular Duval Street, the home is a quiet and peaceful area that is steps from the heart of the entertainment district. There is a lush interior garden with hammock, lounge chairs, and plunge pool, but there are no on-site restaurants for lunch and dinner and the cancellation policy is strict.
The Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2007. The result is a modern tropical resort right on the water's edge. All 118 rooms have a soothing beach-inspired feel and are complete with privatebalconies. Bathrooms are spacious and modern with funky elevated sinks and rainforest showerheads in walk-inshowers. Perks here include the peaceful outdoor pool with waterfall and direct beach access -- although the beach here is quite small and not ideal for sunbathing. Further amenities include a bright fitness center, bike rentals, floating dock, and two restaurants.
The 100-room Ocean Key Resort has an excellent waterfront location right by Mallory Square. Decor is beach-inspired, with quirky accents such as antique birdcages. Rooms have iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and minibars, and feature a playful, tropical color scheme with various hues of green. Gorgeous bathrooms have big stall showers with rainforest showerheads, and double sinks. Upgrading to a Deluxe Oceanfront Room gets visitors an additional huge soaking tub. There are two restaurants on-site, including the classy Hot Tin Roof. Outside, guests can grab a colorful table and dine on the Sunset Pier. The resort features one pool (that could be a bit bigger), as well as a bright fitness center and spa.
Refurbished from 1884 conch houses, the Marquesa Hotel is a compound of four buildings surrounding lovely interior gardens and two pools. A narrow staircase off the lobby leads to the individually decorated rooms. Light and airy rooms feature flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and cozy sitting areas with ottomans. Bathrooms are basic and clean with shower/tub combos and marble sinks. Suites have private terraces with cute wicker furniture and some are adjacent to one of the hotel's pools. An appealing on-site restaurant, Cafe Marquesa, serves fresh local seafood. No children under 14 are allowed at the hotel, providing this property with a distinctly romantic feel. Free Wi-Fi and parking add value, and the Old Town location two blocks from Duval Street is convenient.
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.