Three properties that offer a different twist on the usual hotel room
Key West has a wide range of places to stay, from ultra-lux resorts to cozy B&Bs. If you are looking for something a little different, and with an authentic island vibe, these three hotels should be at the top of your list.
The Perry Hotel, Stock Island Marina
Paying homage to Key West’s maritime heritage, the edgy design of this boutique hotel blends reclaimed woods and weathered metals into hip and modern spaces. For the lobby, Florida artist Daniel Siefert created a sculpture wall made of boat propellers, hand crafted in weathered copper patinas. Other artwork includes paintings and photography by Leo Gullick, who works with a contemporary vision in abstract and saturated colors. On the walls, images of rusted and weathered boats and tarnished nautical rusty relics mix with weathered portholes, vintage tools and a steer skull, all reminders of the property’s Stock Island history as a working boatyard and cattle yard.
This 100-room boutique property sits between a mangrove forest and the new state-of-the-art 220-slip Stock Island Marina. Rooms have oversized patios or balconies to allow the sea breeze to keep afternoons cool and water views to gaze at the blue-green Atlantic. Fishing and boating are close by and guests have kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding for active days. With two restaurants on site, waterfront dining and sunset views complement the boat-to-table cuisine. Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen and Bar features a communal chef’s table, while the Salty Oyster Dockside Bar and Grill offers a casual menu. The hotel got its name from legendary Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who was the first to plant the American flag on Key West, declaring it U.S. Territory in 1822.
NYAH, (Not Your Average Hotel)
The name says it best. This compact downtown property puts a different spin on a Key West vacation, and encourages you to bring the whole gang. A unique transforming bed arrangement, known as build your own room, allows anywhere from two to six people to share a room at the same rate, without anyone having to sleep on a rollaway or sleeper sofa. Instead, the furnishings flip and flop to reveal bunk beds, doubles and even kings, all fitted with premium memory foam mattresses and 300-count linens. Couples can book a private room, and solo travelers have the option of hostel-style dorm rooms at very attractive rates.
But the NYAH is no bare-bones youth hostel. From the street the hotel appears to be a private Key West home, with a white picket fence and the typical Key West front porch running the length of the building. Inside the world changes to modern, cool, and trendy. There are no B&B-style doodads draped or hanging around, no bright flashy colors; just subdued colors that bring the outdoors in by reflecting the colors of the sand and sea. There are three pools, two hot tubs and plenty of deck space to hang out and enjoy wine and cheese during happy hour. In keeping with the “bring the gang” vibe, the hotel organizes daily activities from bike rides to snorkel trips, and all are welcome. The shopping and party scene of Duval Street is just three blocks away; close enough for an easy stroll, but also far enough to be away from the crowds.
Parrot Key Resort
If ocean views, privacy and plenty of elbowroom are must-have amenities for your Key West vacation, then this is your resort. Set on five waterfront acres overlooking Florida Bay, Parrot Key has the look and feel of a private Caribbean island. Front porches on the Conch-style cottages are furnished with brightly painted Adirondack chairs, and open to colorful tropical gardens and a swath of palm-shaded white sand. Guest rooms are larger than at other area hotels, with choices including garden views rooms, water view one and two bedroom suites and large three bedroom private villas that can sleep up to eight.
Located just two miles away from Key West’s Old Town, the resort is a quiet oasis that has everything you need. Furnishings, fabrics and pottery throughout the property are inspired by the colors of the parrot. There are four pools, each with their own unique personality enhanced by whimsical art displays. Water sports enthusiasts will find a wide range of opportunities, from more sedate pastimes such as kayaking, paddle board tours and sunset cruises to wild dolphin safaris and parasailing. Bicycles are available to ride through the wandering paths of the resort, or venture into downtown Key West. Or, if poolside relaxation is the order of the day, the Café Blue can supply the libations. At the end of the day, the place to be is the Sunset Pier to watch the sky turn shades of orange as the sun sinks below the waters of Florida Bay.