Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

Key West’s Gardens Hotel: Hemingway Would Have Stayed Here

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While I love villas and resorts, bungalows and yurts, my absolute favorite type of place to stay in is a unique boutique hotel.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

And I found just that while island-hopping in the Florida Keys. That little-known publication The New York Times called The Gardens Hotel “the prettiest hotel in Key West,” and I’m definitely inclined to agree.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

While the rooms are smaller than other hotels I’ve visited—by American standards, at least (they’re probably considered large for Europeans—they don’t feel like it. Every inch of the space is utilized, the bathroom is of generous size, and the way rooms are furnished makes them feel like top-of-the-line luxury.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

We’d been staying in more moderately priced accommodation the first half of our trip through the Keys, so Gardens Hotel was a nice dose of luxury and felt like such an appropriate place to stay in Key West. The city as a whole oozes a “Hemingway was here” vibe, and after a trip to his old homestead, I think he would have thoroughly approved of Gardens.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

As if the interior of this place wasn’t cute enough, the grounds are as green as a freshly-printed stack of dollar bills.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

And they stealthily conceal a myriad of surprises, from installation art to wildlife (parrots! tortoises!), so look closely as you never know what you might find hiding out among the bushes in this tropical haven.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

Gardens is more B&B-like than reminiscent of a hotel, and breakfast was included each morning and served on the gorgeous patio, beneath the thriving foliage. While there was an ample buffet at the bar, each day the staff served something different; my favorite was the key lime French toast morning (every bit as sinfully decadent as it sounds).

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The inside of the main house has tables and chairs if you don’t want to dine al fresco and a comfortable lounge area. It also boasted a baby grand piano for the weekly jazz nights and, my favorite part, a tasting room—d’Vine Wine Gallery—where you could purchase different wines by the size pour you wanted. Genius! The hotel also holds wine classes and other events there from time to time.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

But we didn’t spend a whole lot of time indoors, as it was a perfect 80 degrees during the duration of our time in the Keys, and who wants to waste away the warm winter days inside when you have this perfect pool at your disposal?

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

I should also mention Gardens Hotel only welcomes guests ages 16 and up, so this meant we had the pool to ourselves and didn’t have to worry about being splashed by small kids (families with younguns tend to migrate toward the waterfront resorts of Mallory Square). At night, we would sit on the perfect porch until dark and read a book (me) or play Candy Crush (SVV).

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

Then, it was out to Duval Street, which is situated just a block away. You get the best of both worlds at this adorable hotel: the convenience of being located smack of the thriving town and a quick walk from everything, while staying in a quiet, beautiful corridor of the old historic district.

The Gardens Hotel, Key West, Florida

The last two nights in Key West, we packed up and moved to the Hyatt Resort on the waterfront so we could use points and cut back on costs. And while I’m a fan of the Hyatt brand, I couldn’t help but wish we’d done things in reverse: stayed at the Hyatt and then finished our vacation on the highest note possible at the Gardens Hotel—which though an apt name, does not convey the property’s immaculate beauty—because there really is no beating the charm of this perfectly-appointed boutique stay.

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COMMENTS
  • February 5, 2014

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  • February 5, 2014

    Nice images. thanks for posting nice views……….

  • February 6, 2014

    nice hotel located away from the busy side of the Key West. We had a room by the restaurant deck and it was perfect. Pools was big enough and room was very clean. We purchased the breakfest when we reserved the room and it was much cheaper than paying for it on site. Overall, I liked it.

  • February 7, 2014

    Impressive pictures. You’ve done great. You made it.The Garden Hotel seems to be a great place to stay.

  • February 7, 2014
    Melissa

    Have stayed here many times. Wonderful pics. The staff is the epitome of hospitality.
    Truly a paradise.

  • February 10, 2014

    What a gorgeous hotel. I like it especially its environs, it’s green and beautiful.

  • February 10, 2014

    Great hotel with a certain B&B vibe to it as you say. I also prefer these kinds of hotels rather than the larger, commercial ones…

  • February 10, 2014

    This place looks absolutely fantastic and charming. It just oozes summer and bliss to me.

  • February 10, 2014

    Through your this nice post we have also come to know about this nice place to stay and you have represented it in nice way with wonderful and eye-touching pictures. All accommodation organization should learn from this and try to provide best services on their behalf.

  • February 11, 2014

    I love boutique hotels! I love Florida and your recaps of this trip have convinced me I need to check out the Keys on my next trip!

  • February 11, 2014

    This place seems heaven. But inside and out I should say.

  • February 16, 2014

    Great photos! I kinda think I need to go to the Keys now!

  • February 17, 2014

    Do you immediately start to write better articles staying in such awesome places… I need to go! 🙂

  • February 18, 2014

    Great pictures, the hotel looks so fine… thanks…

  • February 19, 2014

    Wow! love your all your photos! can you recommend some cameras for someone who is just getting started?

  • February 22, 2014

    You recognize thus significantly in terms of this subject, made me in my view consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like women and men are not involved except it is something to do with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs great. Always handle it up!

  • March 6, 2014

    Other than the indoor appearance of the hotel, I am impressed with outdoor appearance with nature – garden. I guess, if the hotel can setup some window box plants outside each room – that would definitely add more beauty to the hotel and would gear up demand for the hotel too. 🙂

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