Classed as both an island and the southernmost city in the contiguous United States, Key West is favored as much by extroverts as those who prefer a more laid back style of vacation, offering an eclectic mix of gritty bar-hopping for the revelers, literary festivals and art galleries for culture lovers, and gorgeous tropical surroundings for those seeking an escape into nature.
Key West offers an equally diverse mix of hotels, motels and B&Bs to suit every price point and preference. Whether you’re headed for the beach, cocktail hour or a leisurely stroll through the heart of Old Town, this guide to Key West places to stay has all the inspiration you need to help you find the best accommodation for every kind of traveler. Here’s a guide to each style of trip, and the best places to stay when you go.
Aquatic Fanatics: The Almond Tree Inn Hotel
For ocean-lovers, the Almond Tree Inn is a secluded spot with a pool featuring a waterfall and lush greenery, making it the perfect place to relax after a day spent snorkeling, surfing or sailing the ocean waves. A modern boutique haven offering free continental breakfasts, free happy hours and 22 rooms featuring their own coffee maker and mini-fridge, it’s so peaceful you might forget that Duval Street is a mere pebble’s throw away. For those seeking an action-packed trip, an onsite concierge is also on hand to help with arranging activities both on and off-land.
Party Goers: The Marquesa Hotel
Much like the city itself, the famous nightlife of Duval Street is an eclectic mix: from the neon-lit dive bars of Lower Duval to the sophisticated cocktail culture of Upper Duval, there’s something for everyone. Just a block away from the hubbub lies the Marquesa Hotel, a former 19th Century Conch House with three pools, featuring rooms decked out in soothing nautical colors. It also happens to be home to the award-winning Cafe Marquesa, serving classic American dishes with a modern twist.
Culture Vultures: Conch House Heritage Inn
Within walking distance of both South Beach, Conch House Heritage Inn offers great hospitality from the owners (the fifth generation to run the hotel since 1895) in historic, Victorian-style settings not far from the art galleries of Upper Duval Street. It’s also close to the Hemingway House and Museum, where you’ll likely encounter a six-toed descendant of the original polydactyl cat gifted to the famous author by a ship’s captain.
Foodies: Havana Cabana
Gallivanting gormands will be spoiled for choice with all that Key West has to offer: plump Key West shrimp, conch fritters, and a slice of zingy key lime pie, to name just a few. It’s also famous for its Cuban cuisine, which you’ll find by the plateful at Havana Cabana, a characterful hotel based on the Key West waterfront with light, airy rooms, stunning views, a tiki bar and food truck serving all kinds of delicious treats from pastries to palomillas.