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One of the more captivating places of the Florida Keys archipelago is the seven-square mile Key West island with its tropical vibe. It’s one of the main destinations for party hoppers and sun-seekers looking for a Caribbean-style vacation within the United States. Predictably, you’ll find plenty of hotels in Key West Florida to suit all kinds of travelers.
Key West is known for its spectacular sunsets and many of the best hotels in Key West Fl have waterfront locations that give front-row views of the stunning evening sky. The small city straddles the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico and both areas are easily accessible. However, the island city is closer to Cuba than to Miami and has a diverse mix of people. While most visitors come here for the sun and coral reefs, there are some other interesting attractions in the area worth exploring.
For people looking to escape the harsh winter of the north, Key West is also one of the best places for U.S. Winter Vacations. It’s also a popular driving destination for people who choose to base themselves in Miami.
Where to Stay in Key West, Florida
No matter which part of the city you choose to stay at, most of Key West’s attractions are easily accessible. Mallory Square is the hub of Key West’s social and commercial activities and you’ll find plenty of good hotels and restaurants in this area. Whilst there is plenty to explore in the area, the historic Mallory Dock is where most visitors head to capture one of the most stunning sunsets in the world.
Another popular destination is the Key West Historic district on the western section of the island, more popularly known as the Old Town. You’ll find the highest concentration of tourist sites here such as the Key West Aquarium and the legendary Sloppy Joe’s bar where Ernest Hemingway used to hang out. Architecture buffs will love the 187 momentous buildings in the area.
New Town, on the other hand, is in complete contrast to its historic counterpart. This highly residential area features many Florida-style CBS homes, home improvement stores, and a shopping center. It’s a good place for families and budget travelers as you’ll find many affordable accommodations here. While it’s at a distance from the touristy part of the island, attractions are easily accessible from here.
If you’re here for the nightlife then Duval Street should be your destination with its restaurants, renowned pubs, and array of shops. It’s also where you’ll find the best gay-friendly hotels in Key West. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, as well as Key West Cemetery with its quirky gravestones, are closeby. Other places that are worth checking out are the Historic Seaport area, Smathers Beach and Stock Island. In case you’re traveling with pets, check also our Top 11 Pet Friendly Hotels in Key West.
The Perry Hotel
The Perry Hotel is at a little distance from the happening spots of Key West, but if you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, it’s one of the best hotels in Key West Fl for solitude. Located on Stock Island, a fishing and diving destination, you’re a 15-minute drive from Key West. There are only two hotels in the area so it’s not a destination that sees a big crowd. However, there is plenty to occupied here and if you do want to venture into the Old Town, you can use the hotel’s free shuttle service.
The hotel has an industrial-chic design with exposed steel, natural wood, and clean lines. This design extends into the rooms that feature chocolate-brown leather headboards and modern upholstered sofas. Each of the spacious rooms comes with an oversized balcony, perfect for a relaxed stay.
There are two waterfront swimming pools to choose from. White lounge chairs and palm trees line the serene pools that are flanked by the hotel’s main restaurant and an outdoor bar. One of the best restaurants in the area, Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar is part of the hotel’s repertoire. You can enjoy some of the best seafood here, infused with Creole flavors and Southern comfort. Also, available at the restaurant are three new signature beers. Another good onsite dining option is the Salty Oyster Dockside Bar & Grill. Poolside you can enjoy a barbecue at the Barrel House Brew & BBQ.
A private 288-slip marina Stock Island Marina Village is a great place to spend the day if you’re looking for water activities. Just off the shores of the island you can explore flourishing coral reefs from a paddle board or kayak.
One of the best all-suite luxury hotels in Key West Fl that will not burn a hole in your wallet is The Laureate. This revamped former motel is located in the New Town area of Key West where you’ll find plenty of affordable hotels and chain restaurants. Although New Town is about a 20-minute drive from the Old Town, it’s a great place for budget travelers. The Laureate enjoys a prime bayfront location so its perfect for someone wanting to spend more time within its environs.
You can choose from one to three-bedroom accommodations at the property. Suites feature separate living rooms with a pull out sofa and a spacious furnished deck that overlooks the bay. Everything in the room still feels new as the property only reopened in 2018. There are plenty of modern conveniences in the suite for a comfortable stay. You can expect a stylish kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, a two-burner cook-top, microwave, and Keurig coffee maker. Apart from the swimming pool and a grocery delivery service, there are no other amenities to look forward to here. If you’re traveling with your furry friend, there’s a special Opal Paws program at this pet-friendly hotel.
NYAH literally expands to mean ‘Not Your Average Hotel,’ and the hotel strives to live up to this image, with a range of interesting quirks. Firstly, its located in one of the more favorable sections of Old Town within a block from the Historic Seaport. The residential area with its quaint cafes, art galleries, and pastel conch cottages will probably have you whipping out your camera!
The ‘adults-only’ hotel is enveloped in Old Key West charm with its conch cottages and spacious central brick courtyard. Another of its standouts is the Build Your Own Room concept (BYOR). You don’t have to literally build your own room, but this refers to the number of people that you can bring into your room at no extra charge. Rooms are customized to suit group sizes but the rate remains the same. Remember this is NYAH!
If you’re only looking for a good base to lay your tired head then this is one of the best hotels in Key West Florida for that. There are 36 rooms in all with four rooms being shared rooms. Rooms come with memory foam mattresses with individual charging stations. Each bed also comes with a locker for additional guests. However, don’t expect any over-the-top amenities as the rooms are strictly no-frills.
Outside the rooms, you have three pools plus two jacuzzis where you can while away your time. There is no onsite restaurant but guests can enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast and order drinks at the onsite bar. Bikes are also available for hire.
Ocean Key Resort & Spa
You’ll find many waterfront hotels in Key West Florida that have a wide range of amenities, such as the Ocean Key Resort & Spa. With Zero Duval Street as its address, it’s a great base for those who want to enjoy the vibrant vibe of this area. Other attractions like Mallory Square and Key West Aquarium are all within an easy walking distance from here, while South Beach is about a ten-minute drive.
There’s a distinctive seaside vibe with the lobby beach huts and turquoise trimmings. Spacious rooms come with stunning views of the water or the city from furnished balconies. The rooms are tastefully furnished with queen or king-sized beds and tropical color schemes. The expansive bathrooms with walk-in showers and whirlpool tubs are a clear standout.
The hotel’s signature restaurant Hot Tin Roof is one of the few fine dining options in the area. The other dining option, Sunset Pier, is more casual while the LIQUID Pool Bar & Lounge is the ultimate in poolside pampering. Other amenities include a 24-hour fitness and business center and SpaTerre, where you can enjoy an exotic range of treatments. You’ll also find plenty of activities for families with children, and a nightly turndwon service.
Santa Maria Suites Resort
Less than a block away from the ocean, in a quiet, landscaped neighborhood, you’ll find the Santa Maria Suites Resort. Although the resort lies in a relatively quiet stretch of Key West, it’s at a convenient distance from the popular sights. Whilst the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is a block away, South Beach is a three-minute walk from here. The resort’s beach attendant will ensure you have a relaxed time at the beach with complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels.
The resort features 35 suites of various sizes. You can choose between one and two-floor suites that have full kitchens and two bedrooms. All suites are well equipped with modern comforts, including washer and dryers. You’ll find private patios or terraces on all suites. There’s also a nightly turndown service with a range of goodies.
There’s an excellent Japanese restaurant on site but if you’re craving for other fare, there are plenty of dining options nearby. Poolside, you can enjoy complimentary fresh fruit, smoothies and ice cream bars throughout the day. Guests also get to enjoy free wine and light fare at the nightly happy hour.
Margaritaville Resort & Marina
Just steps from the renowned Mallory Square on the waterfront of Old Town Key West, you’ll find the funky Margaritaville Resort & Marina. There’s plenty to keep you busy at this location with shopping, dining and water sports all in the vicinity. Not surprisingly the resort sits high on the list of best hotels in Key West Fl.
Combining a classic New England Georgian style with Caribbean cool, this three-story resort is one of the best places to base yourself for all the fun that Key West has to offer. Rooms are inspired by the dreamy hues of the sand, sea, and sky and have a luxurious, tropical vibe. Guests can choose from comfortable standard rooms or one or two-bedroom suites. All rooms come with modern comforts and feature a patio or balcony.
Guests can enjoy a meal at the upscale Bistro 245 which is open for all meals. The main emphasis is on fresh seafood here although you will find other options too. The poolside bar, Castaways serves lighter fair with beer, wine, or tropical libations. Sunset Deck directly above the waterfront is another great dining venue at the resort. Alternatively, guests can also take the ferry to the restaurant Latitudes at the sister property on Sunset Key Island.
The serene pool is another popular hangout for guests as are the diving spots near the marina. Guests can also use the facilities of the state-of-the-art fitness center or stroll through the boutique shops of the main building.
Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa
Within walking distance of many attractions, you’ll find the Hyatt Centric Resort & Spa. Its location on the western edge of the island between the Historic Seaport and Duval street makes it an excellent base. It puts you at a convenient distance from all that Key West has to offer. Also, you’ll be treated to some stunning sunsets from this harbor-front location.
One of Key West’s longtime legacy resorts, Hyatt underwent a massive renovation in 2007 to transform it into this modern tropical space while maintaining classic Key West architectural elements. The ‘Centric’ that was added to the title puts emphasis on exploring the destination like a local.
Guest rooms at the Hyatt Centric are spacious and outfitted with a balcony that offers full or partial ocean views. While the rooms are comfortable, the design seems a little out of place, with bare walls and drab furniture. The bathrooms, on the other hand, are much better in comparison with glittering mosaic tiles and huge, glass-enclosed showers.
Overlooking the ocean, the pool is a great tranquil space, perfect for whiling away your time. There’s also a whirlpool on the pool deck and a turtle sanctuary. A full-service spa with a nail bar and 24-hour fitness center are also onsite. For those looking for a more active day on the water, you can rent a jet ski or jet boat and head out from the hotel’s private dock.
You have two dining options at the hotel, one poolside at the Blue Mojito Pool Bar & Grill and the Shor Grill. The Shor Grill is a popular dining venue not only for the great views but also for the fresh seafood served in a refined setting.
Parrot Key Hotel & Villas
If you’re looking for hotels in Key West Florida that are a little removed from the party scene, Parrot Key Hotel & Villas is your best bet. Sitting just outside the downtown part of the city, north of the island, the hotel is perfect for those who want a tranquil Key West holiday. However, if you’re looking to hit Duval Street or want the nightlife, this may not be the ideal setting. You can get a free ride to Smathers Beach from the property but not Duval.
The resort was initially designed to be a townhouse project but was later converted into an upscale waterfront hotel. It even has its own man-made beach to complete the picture. Spacious guest rooms range from studios to three-bedroom suites providing expansive water views or garden views. All rooms come with standard amenities such as a mini-fridge, Keurig coffee maker, a flat-screen TV, and L’Occitane toiletries.
Although there’s no swimming beach near the hotel, the four pools make up for it. There’s poolside dining at The Grove Kitchen & Bar, onsite water sports and a fitness center.
Oceans Edge Key West
Many of the best hotels in Key West Florida offer luxury amidst serene and often secluded surroundings. Oceans Edge Key West is one such hotel. The first luxury resort on Stock Island, the hotel is a great destination for those wanting a breathtaking getaway. Stock Island is home to bohemian artists and working-class fishermen. Expect stunning views of boatyards and marinas from the Oceans Edge. The downside to this great location is that you’ll require a car to get around.
The expansive 20 acre resort feels like a waterfront village with its town-house style accommodation. Guest rooms have spacious balconies that look out onto the marina and the open ocean. Bright, crisp decor and furnishings make the rooms inviting and stylish. All rooms come well equipped with a wide range of amenities and spacious, modern bathrooms.
Oceans Edge is all about the water, with six saltwater swimming pools to choose from. When you’ve had your fill of lounging poolside, you may want to explore the full-service marina. Guests can venture out on fishing trips, go out on crewed luxury charters or sunset cruises, or enjoy a day of snorkeling or scuba diving.
The hotel’s onsite restaurant, Yellowfin Bar & Kitchen located among the pools serves up delectable seafood sourced from the marina. It celebrates flavors native to Florida Keys seamlessly fused with cooking styles of East Asia. There’s also a cafe for grab and go treats and the poolside bar where you can indulge beers and cocktails along with tasty bites.
Amidst lush palm trees, tropical flowers, and spectacular ocean views, you’ll find the historic bed and breakfast, Southernmost House. Just off the bustling Duval Street, this ‘adults only’ property offers you a slice of paradise. Housed in a historic Victorian home, the hotel is one of Key West’s most recognizable buildings. There is an air of sophistication to this architectural wonder with its wraparound balconies and patios combined with ornate dentil work and turrets. One of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite haunts, it also has the distinction of having hosted five Presidents!
Located on the southernmost edge of Key West, this hotel offers guests a tranquil experience. You’re close enough to the hustle and bustle of the popular spots but at the right distance for a serene holiday.
Every room at this iconic hotel in Key West Florida is individually styled. Antique furnishings, romantic beds and spacious bathrooms are hallmarks of the accommodation here. Guests can choose from ocean and courtyard view rooms that have all the modern conveniences for a comfortable stay. Whilst most guests prefer to stay in the main house, larger families will appreciate the large space of the detached Lopez House. This five-room house can be rented as a single vacational rental.
The zero-entry outdoor pool is the highlight of the property with gorgeous ocean views, loungers and hammocks that sway in the breeze. Although there is no restaurant on site, the poolside tiki bar is popular with locals too. Guests also enjoy a complimentary breakfast on the poolside patio.
Sunset Key Cottages
For the ultimate beach experience, head to Sunset Key Cottages, one of the best hotels in Key West Florida on the beach. Located on a 27-acre island off the tip of the Florida peninsula, this luxurious getaway is ideal for those who prefer a bit of isolation. You’re not totally cut off from civilization on Sunset Key island though, as the ferry runs between the mainland 24 hours a day. It’s only a seven-minute ferry ride to their sister property Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina.
Despite its seclusion, the hotel is an ideal spot for families with children too. The zero-entry pool and free afternoon ice cream are a big hit with young children as is the calm beach. There are 40 cottages at the resort, ranging from one-bedroom garden view cottages to four-bedroom oceanfront cottages. Cottages reflect the traditional Key West architecture with Victorian-style tin roofs and wrap-around verandas. All cottages feature fully equipped kitchens and open-concept dining areas. Guests enjoy a ‘Rise and Dine’ breakfast basket each morning, delivered to the cottage porch. The cottages are designed for a relaxed time. Once here you’ll probably feel like lingering on.
If you can pull yourself out of the comfort of the cottage, the private beach with shaded loungers and hammocks is a great place to spend the day. Alternatively, you could head to the heated saltwater pool in the gardens. There are also two whirlpools near the main pool, one of which is separated by a rock waterfall. Guests can also try their skills at the half-basketball court or play a game of tennis at either of the two courts. The island’s concierge will also arrange activities such as jet ski, parasailing or kayaking for guests. Apart from all this, you can also enjoy world-class snorkeling, fishing, or diving.
Another highlight of the hotel is the Spa that offers body treatments and salon services. You’ll also find a 24-hour fitness center with a range of machines and yoga mats. Though dining options on the island are limited, the resort’s casual, oceanfront restaurant Latitudes is quite popular. There’s also the Flippers pool bar that serves cocktails and frilled fare.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Key West:
- Garbo’s Grill – Feast on some lip-smacking hot dogs and taco at the old Airstream trailer in the back of a bar at Caroline Street. You’ll probably have to wait for your turn at this popular food truck.
- Old Town Secret Food Tour – Move away from the tourist traps to see the real city and taste some authentic cuisine in the Old Town.
- Eaton Street Seafood Market – Pick out your choice of fresh fish and seafood at the restaurant in this market and relax outdoors under the awning while your food is being prepared.
Recommended Activities In Key West:
- Sunset Party Cruise – Enjoy an evening aboard a spacious catamaran as you lose yourself in the music of some of the best musicians from Key West. Feast on a selection of appetizers and enjoy some free drinks.
- Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park – The westernmost point of the island is where you’ll find the best waters and the cleanest beach. There are some great places for snorkeling in this park, open daily from 8 a.m. until sundown.
- Dolphin Watching & Snorkeling – See dolphins frolic in their natural environment or dive into the water to get up close to turtles and fish on this trip.