From Key Largo to Key West, checking into a room in Florida’s southernmost region, spanning 125 miles from end to end, is now more glam than ever. No longer a limited mix of guest houses and chain resorts, these boutique Florida Keys hotels promote pampering, high design and lots of chill time.
Ocean’s Edge Key West Hotel & Marina – Key West
Snug on 20 acres on Stock Island, this 175-room hotel opened in January. Six pools line the resort and rooms flaunt balconies with ocean. Sculptures, literature and art by locals are fanned throughout the resort. All-day dining at Yellow Fin Bar & Grille ranges from golden malted waffles for breakfast to Caribbean jerk chicken for dinner.
The Gates Hotel Key West – Key West
Opened in 2015, digs at this 100-room boutique hotel feature photos of the Keys’ beaches (by local Jorge de la Torriente), paired with whitewashed beams and platform beds crafted just for the property. The hotel’s partnership with a local rum distillery and a cigar factory means private-label spirits at the Rum Row bar, and an onsite cigar lounge and garden. Delicacies like conch salad and duck-fat grilled-cheese sandwiches are served from The Blind Pig, the resort’s permanently parked food truck. When wanderlust calls, hop on a Martone-bicycle cruiser or call for the complimentary shuttle to Old Town.
Playa Largo Resort & Spa – Key Largo
Opened fall 2016, Playa Largo is set on 14 blissful acres — including a 750-foot sandy beach, rare for Key Largo. The 144-room property boasts a spa and open-air eatery Sol by the Sea. Pro tip: Friday stays include fun all-ages activities like Happy Hour Paddle or learning to cast on for fly-fishing. Other family-friendly amenities: a saltwater pool, bocce ball and tennis courts, fire pits and tons of water sports like snorkeling and paddle boarding.
The Perry Hotel – Key West
Channeling nautical architecture (think outdoor showers and shiplap half-walls), this 100-room resort is perched on Stock Island Marina (cue yacht views) only 4 miles from downtown Key West. Open since May, cabanas and hammocks, plus paddleboard-yoga classes, help guests unwind. Get on the water via fishing, kayaking or a sunset sail, all departing from the property. Key West pink shrimp at Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen and Bar is the definition of boat-to-table comfort food.
24° North, Key West
Bridging Florida and Cuban culture, this 145-room resort opened in late 2015. Toasted Coconut, the poolside bar, hosts live music and DJs, and unique amenities include monthly dominos nights and premium cigars. Jorge de la Torriente’s photos of Havana and the Keys are hung throughout — guests even receive a luggage tag featuring his photography upon checkout. Like sister property The Gates Hotel Key West, there is a partnership with a local cigar company.
The Marker Waterfront Resort, Key West
Celebrating its three-year anniversary in December, this 96-room resort hugs four acres on the waterfront in Old Town Key West, and all rooms have a private balcony. Three pools (including the adults-only Serenity), along with bicycle rentals ensure there’s a good mix of R&R. Cero Bodega fuses California and Mexican cuisine in dishes like pollo a la plancha while the poolside bar expands beyond tropical drinks by serving Spanish wines.