Key West, the southernmost city in the United States, is a tropical paradise. This gorgeous confluence of sun, sand, and sea is famed for key lime pie, succulent seafood, conch-style pastel-hued houses, and funky vibes. What’s more, it’s also the perfect home base for water-based activities and enjoying a laidback beachside vacation in general. Whether you want to relax on beaches or dive into the US’ only living coral barrier reef, Key West has something for everyone. The same applies to the options for a beachfront hotel in Key West, as oceanfront living by the beach is key to a Key West holiday – pun unintended.
What’s more, Key West’s beach hotels mirror its high-low vibes and free-spirited nature. So, you’ll find options ranging from historic gems by the sea and funky boutique seaside properties to gorgeous and luxurious resorts with private beaches! Whether you want to take snorkeling tours or relax on oceanfront hammocks, their amenities meet any trip you can imagine. In fact, you can even get a Key West boat rental for a one of a kind experience – all from your hotel. To that end, here are the 11 best beachfront and oceanfront hotels in Key West by the beach.
Table of contents
- The Perry Hotel & Marina Key West
- Sunset Key Cottages
- The Marker Key West
- Casa Marina, Curio Collection by Hilton
- Pier House Resort & Spa
- Parrot Key Hotel and Villas
- Margaritaville Beach House Key West
- Havana Cabana at Key West
- Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel
- The Reach Key West
- Ocean Key Resort and Spa
- Recommended Beach Bars/Restaurants in Key West
- Recommended Things To Do in Key West
- Best Beach Areas in Key West
The Perry Hotel & Marina Key West
Travelers on a budget will love The Perry Hotel Key West. It’s not just the best beachfront hotel in Key West, FL, but it’s also one of the best cheap hotels in Key West, FL. This naval-inspired hotel is Key West’s best marina stay and sits on Stock Island’s southern end. Its best feature is the onsite, 288-slip marina that’s perfect for those who want to get out and explore the waters by boat. If you have a boat, you can easily rent a spot to park it just steps away from your room. Choose from many spacious accommodations with open-air showers, coastal-inspired furnishings, and private balconies with water views. If you want to indulge, we’d suggest the Salt Water King Studio, which has an expansive balcony facing the pool and the marina.
The contemporary hotel also has many other amazing amenities, including two heated outdoor pools where you can enjoy a dip and a lounge. Besides an F45 gym, there are free scheduled shuttles to and from Higgs Beach and Old Town and onsite electric vehicle, bike, and scooter rentals. When hunger comes calling, there are four restaurants, of which three are dockside.
Sunset Key Cottages
Is your idea of oceanfront beach hotels in Key West the private island kind? Then the Sunset Key Cottages were made for you. One of Key West, Florida’s best hotels, these cottages lie on a private island off the mainland, with their exclusive beach. Accommodations here range from spacious one to four-bedroom houses, all of which come with full kitchens and private verandas overlooking the gardens or the sea. We’d suggest the two/three/four-bedroom cottages, which have the options for complete oceanfront views.
Notwithstanding your chosen room, your days start with breakfast baskets filled with fruit and freshly baked pastries delivered to your porch every morning. After that, head to the exclusive beach, which lies just as you step off the two/three/four-bedroom cottages. After a day by the sand, lounge by the pool or walk in the verdant gardens dotted with frangipani and jasmine trees. Do you want to enjoy a comfortable meal? The onsite restaurant serves delicious seafood. Do you want something special? Hop into town for a meal via the property’s private launch.
The Marker Key West
The Marker Key West is not just the best beachfront hotel in Key West, but it’s also one of Key West’s top gay-friendly hotels. While most beach hotels in Key West, Florida, have more than 100 rooms, this 96-room hotel is as intimate. Tucked within Old Town Harbor, this hotel’s conch-style architecture is typically Key West. Moreover, all accommodations feature bright blue and white coastal-themed decor, soaking tubs, French doors, and furnished balconies overlooking the gardens and the pools. But the best is the Harbor Suites, whose balconies directly face the oceanfront.
The hotel might be small in size, but it has many amenities, including palm-tree-lined pools, one of which is adults-only. Since it sits right on the marina, you’re on the waterfront the minute you step out of the property. When hunger pangs come calling, head over to the waterfront Starboard Restaurant & Bar, which serves delicious seafood and has a fantastic happy hour.
Casa Marina, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Casa Marina is one of the chicest and most luxurious oceanfront beach hotels in Key West. The art deco landmark sits on Key West’s largest private beach and is exclusive beachfront living at its best. This beachfront hotel in Key West, FL, boasts minimalistic accommodations, whose highlight is the large picture windows with ocean views. For instance, the King Grand Room with Terrace faces mesmerizing pools, palm trees, and the beach and the ocean beyond.
The crown jewel of the amenities here is the 1,100-foot private beach which can be accessed via a walkway winding through the property’s lush gardens. After some beach time, you can relax by the two outdoor pools with full service, including popsicles and eucalyptus towels! Do you need an extra bit of pampering? The spa with both indoor and outdoor treatment rooms is a real treat. Additionally, there are four food and beverage options, meaning beachfront dining is also taken care of.
Pier House Resort & Spa
Few beach hotels in Key West, Florida, beat the Pier House Resort & Spa, the best beachfront hotel in Key West, FL. This resort sits on the northern end of Duval Street and has been a Key West icon since it opened in 1967! Today, its waterfront location makes it a favorite with vacationers, especially since Pier House and Simonton beaches lie right out front. Walking along the property and setting foot out of it will plonk you on these private white sand beaches; what more could you ask for?
While some rooms are smaller than others, many boast private balconies facing the Gulf of Mexico. We recommend the Ocean View King, whose balcony feels like you’re right out on the water! It’s no wonder that this hotel is one of the most romantic hotels in Key West. When you’re done with beach time, head to the outdoor pool for a swim and a lounge with cocktails. Afternoons are best spent at the full-service spa, where you can get an authentic Key West massage or treatment. But, ensure that you drink and dine at the Chart Room Bar, where Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffet got their starts.
Parrot Key Hotel and Villas
There’s no oceanfront beach hotel in Key West like the Parrot Key Hotel and Villas, one of the best beach hotels in Key West, Florida. Imagine this: stepping out of your oceanfront room and stepping right onto the sand, with a hammock right next to the patio and the ocean in front of you. Now that’s what we call bliss! The design is clever because the resort sits on the marina, allowing you to have a taste of the beach when there is none. It’s no wonder that this is one of the best boutique hotels in Key West.
You have many choices in oceanfront living, including rooms and suites, depending on your preferences and how much you want to indulge. What’s more, all rooms are nautical-inspired with balconies/patios, mini-fridges, and flatscreen TVs. The rest of the resort is no less amazing, with four inviting pools with poolside service, spa treatments, and a complimentary shuttle to Smathers Beach. Wind up the day at the Grove Kitchen & Bar, which serves delicious meals.
Margaritaville Beach House Key West
Tucked on Smathers Beach is Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, the best beachfront hotel in Key West. This hotel boasts a topical, laidback, and airy vibe and stunning rooms with island-inspired decor. Choose the rooms and suites with an ocean view, with massive furnished balconies with complete beach and ocean views. The hotel has many onsite perks, including a lushly landscaped pool area with poolside cabanas and fire pits. Since Smathers Beach is right across the boulevard, you can even spend an entire day at the beach, and the staff is happy to provide daybeds, chairs, beach towels, and umbrellas. Did you know that this is also one of the top pet-friendly hotels In Key West? Yes!
Havana Cabana at Key West
Step into Cuban beachside goodness at Havana Cabana at Key West, one of the chicest and most affordable oceanfront beach hotels in Key West. The rooms and suites here are on the first/second floor and overlook either the gardens and the pool or the bay. The best are the water-view rooms overlooking the busy street, with the Gulf of Mexico beyond. Moreover, they all have mod-cons, while the larger ones have patios/balconies as well. Despite being a budget hotel, the resort has a well-equipped gym and a beautiful outdoor pool surrounded by gorgeous Key West foliage. It has many lounge chairs and an adjacent tiki bar, which means relaxing by the pool is one of the best and most tranquil things to do. The best bit? The onsite restaurant serves delicious breakfasts and lunches.
Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel
Are you traveling to Key West with your family? The Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel is the best beachfront hotel in Key West for families. This resort lies on acres of lush landscaping right on a 16-slip marine that’s flush with watersports and boat rentals. Families can begin their mornings at the tanning beach, which lies right in front of the property; in fact, step off the pool area, and you’re on the sand. If your kids are younger, the waterfront pool is fabulous, especially since it also has daybeds for parents to relax. After a day of fun, grab meals at one of the many restaurants, which means your kids won’t get bored of eating at the same place. If you’re staying with your family, then one of the oceanfront suites with multiple bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and furnished oceanfront balconies is perfect.
The Reach Key West
The Reach Key West is one of the best oceanfront beach hotels in Key West. With a small strip of private sandy beach and a pier out front, this hotel is all about quiet sophistication and luxury. Choose from a host of oceanfront rooms, all of which feature patios that look out directly to the sand and the pier. The rest of this shoreline sanctuary is no less amazing, especially the lushly landscaped pool area with a freeform pool, daybeds under umbrellas, and access directly to the sandy beach. What’s more, there’s even an expansive outdoor patio with a tropical garden ambiance and oversized chess boards. After a day of exploring or laidback relaxation, refuel with fresh seafood at the onsite restaurant, Four Marlins Oceanfront Dining. You could even enjoy a private dining experience right on the sands!
Ocean Key Resort and Spa
The Ocean Key Resort and Spa is not just the best beachfront hotel in Key West but also one of the most romantic hotels in the Florida Keys! It sits right next to Mallory Square on the Key West Harbor and offers panoramic water views spanning for miles. Since the pier is right out front, you can enjoy long walks and even the famed nightly sunset celebrations, complete with local entertainment and live music. The oceanfront pool is the best place to enjoy a soothing dip and a lounge at the hotel. While rooms and suites have a garden and partial ocean views, the best are the ones with complete ocean views, like the oceanview king suite. Like the other oceanfront rooms, it has a furnished balcony overlooking the marina and the ocean, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
Recommended Beach Bars/Restaurants in Key West
- Sunset Pier: There are few places in Key West that offer such an unobstructed and stunning view of the sun and the sea than Sunset Pier, the restaurant at Ocean Key Resort & Spa. This bright, cheery pier is the perfect after-dinner place to indulge in a “Sunset Celebration.” It’s all about street performers, local artists’ shops, and lots of delicious food and drinks.
- Salute! On The Beach: This place is a true Key West treasure and one of its best beach bars. The atmosphere is that of a charming seaside cafe, but it has the dining excellence of sister-restaurant Blue Heaven. Dig into delicious seafood and international fare and wash it down with craft cocktails, wine, and drinks.
Recommended Things To Do in Key West
- Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Eco Tour: How would you like to watch bottlenose dolphins frolicking about in their natural habitat? This dolphin-watching and snorkeling eco-tour is just that. After looking out for sea flora and marine life, cruise to the backcountry waters for some snorkeling fun of your own.
- Key West Sunset Sailing Trip with Open Bar, Food, and Music: There’s nothing like a Key West sunset, and this sailing trip is proof of that. Hop onboard a gorgeous catamaran and enjoy live music, a great selection of appetizers, and an open bar on what is one of the most popular sunset sailing trips in Key West.
Best Beach Areas in Key West
When you hear Key West, images of fresh seafood restaurants, Duval Street parties, and stunning beaches come to mind. So, which are the best beach areas in Key West where you can stay? We begin with Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, the USA’s southernmost state park. The beach here is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and lounging on the sand. There’s also tons of room to up camp for the day along the shore. Secondly, Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach Park Within the park has a Civil War-era fort. What’s more, it’s also the only shore-accessible underwater marine park in the country beneath the surface. Next, there’s the half-mile-long Smathers Beach, Key West’s biggest and most popular public beach. Since it’s close to the city center, it has a smattering of activities, including traditional beach activities, a volleyball course, picnic areas, and local food trucks.
At the end of the bustling Duval Street, you’ll run right into the tiny South Beach, which is excellent for taking a short break from exploring. Moreover, there’s also Rest Beach on Atlantic Boulevard, with soft sand and picnic tables. Finally, pup peeps (and their furry companions) will love Dog Beach, which is Key West’s only beach that allows unleashed dogs to go and play in the surf and the sand.