CONTEMPORARY KEY WEST HOTELS FOR WHEN YOU’RE OVER OLD TOWN
Key West, the southernmost point in the U.S., is no stranger to tourism but when it comes to hotels, your choices are mostly charming B&Bs in Old Town, vacation rentals, or the traditional hotel chains. Don’t get us wrong, the conch cottages of Old Town make for a quintessential Keys experience. But what if you’re looking for something a bit more, well, modern and sleek? These things have been hard to find in Key West—until now. Try one of these spots for a chic new take on the Conch Republic.
This one has been open since March 2015 but in this part of the world, it’s still fresh. The light, airy guestrooms feel residential, with their whitewashed beams, wooden floors and colorful prints by local photographer Jorge de la Torriente. To help cement its Floridian spin on the boho-beach vibe, The Gates has worked extensively with influencers, some of whom you’ll see if you punch in #unlockthekeys into Instagram. Local partnerships are also the, er, key, to The Gates’ strategy, with partners including Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, Rodriguez Cigar Factory, and Martone Cycling Co., which supplies funky blue and white branded bikes to hotel guests for getting around the island. (That’s helpful, since The Gates is not right in the heart of the Old Town action, although it’s a short bike ride away.)
This newcomer is located right in the heart of Old Town, giving you the chance to combine the historic vibe of Key West and a modern beach escape. There are just 22 suites, 11 of them with their own plunge pools. (Others have a front porch and swing chair.) There is also a rooftop pool and lounge for guests (who must be 25+), with Key West’s infamous Duval Street nightlife just steps away. H2O makes pre-gaming a cinch, too, serving a welcome amenity glass of champagne with a splash of Chambord.
This new boutique hotel is set to open in March, at Stock Island Marina Village, a small island area that you cross right before arriving in Key West proper. The property promises to bring some of Stock Island’s creative spirit to the foreground, giving guests the chance to mingle with local artists, and enjoy “boat to table” dining in line with its marina location. The 100 guest rooms with have large balconies for enjoying the Florida Keys breeze, and the hotel will have outdoor fire pits and a waterfront pool. An organic community garden nearby — not to mention all those local boats available for charter — contributes to the laidback vibe Stock Island is becoming known for.