Even if you've never (or rarely) stayed in a bed and breakfast or guesthouse before. Key West is different. I'm proud to say I have never stayed in a hotel in Key West. There are a few reasons to seriously consider guesthouses in Key West: there are double the number vs hotels, a good number are incredibly good quality, you get more of a "real Key West" experience and they are better value than the super over-priced Key West hotels.
If you pick one of the better Key West guest houses it will be:
- a beautiful property
- staffed by locals, who are real characters
- staff who really care about guests
- have a happy hour
- maybe even have a house cat
... Will a hotel have all this?
There are a lot of guest houses (or you might call them bed and breakfasts) in KW (100 according to TripAdvisor vs only 40 hotels) and second because KW guest houses are really excellent and offer a better 'true Keys' experience than a brand hotel.
Are guest houses really that good? Yes. Really. Take a highly rated guest house in KW (Alexanders, for example) - they got an 'excellent' rating (5 stars) on TripAdvisor in 90% of the total reviews. Take a top hotel in KW (Ocean Key) - they got excellent rating only 67% of the time.
Below I take a close look at some of the best: The Marquesa hotel and Almond Tree.
I'll be adding more guest houses to this post over the coming months, but for now here are some pictures - all taken by me - of great lodgings in Key West.
Hopefully you'll see from the pictures the high quality of these guest houses, how much ongoing love and care has gone into them and how interesting they are to be a part of, even if for only a week of your vacation.
Here are some pointers:
- Use TripAdvisor to find one that you like the sound of - read lots of reviews, it's important
- B&Bs vary significantly in target guest audience. Different B&Bs cater for some very unusual tastes in KW! (and some don't allow kids) - do your research!
- At peak time, the best guest houses will be expensive too.
- The rooms vary far more than hotels. Ask for a room plan or layout. And look at pictures, especially the 'real traveller' pics on TripAdvisor.
- Look for perks. Several guest houses do free happy hour every night, or a few times a week: there's nothing like getting drunk with fellow guests to meet new friends and seal a brilliant vacation. Other perks include free bike rentals, gyms, cooked breakfast rather than continental, etc.
Let's start with the beautiful Marquesa hotel.
|Front doors of the Marquesa hotel.|
|The Marquesa hotel aqua marine colored building is historic and restored, as shown by these plaques|
|The reception area of the Marquesa hotel in Key West|
|Restoration pictures of the Marquesa hotel - this framed picture is in their lobby. Wow there is a lot of work that's going into this place!|
|Marquesa hotel reception/lobby being restored|
|Marquesa hotel pool|
And now for the Almond Tree Inn, a block from Duval Street.
|Almond Tree Inn sign|
|A well decorated room at the Almond Tree Inn|
Next, a few pictures of Alexander's guest house. But not too many as I've written a whole post on Alexander's - see here. Alexander's is a gay guesthouse.
Coming soon: more Key West guest houses, including the Gardens Hotel.
Other useful things on my blog...
The hotel vs guest house dilemna in Key West - click here for information to help you choose.
Key West has some big, branded, lovely hotels too - click here for loads of pictures of the best hotels in Key West.
And once you've booked your accommodation: Things to do in Key West