I’m sure when you think of Key West, Florida images of Margaritaville stroll through your head as you picture sandals, tequila and sun. You think a place known for sunshine and slacking must be a cheap place to visit; well, not really. I have found that the southern-most part of the sunshine state isn’t a place to find bargain lodging. So in researching this post, I decided to find the middle ground between the $500+ per night Sunset Key Cottages and very basic Spindrift Motel (or staying off-island).
My first pick is the Banana Bay Resort Key West, starting at $150 a night. I have to say the first line on their website description made me smile, “Just two miles from where the U.S.A. ends, ideally situated where ‘Old Town’ Key West begins…” giving you a touch of the independent attitude of the islands. The 46-room hotel has a pool, is located on a private beach so you are never very far away from the water (a key selling point for water-lover Amanda). The Banana Bay is also only 1.7 miles from the home of one of the most famous former residents of the keys, Ernest Hemingway. You can walk, bike, or take a shuttle to Duval Street, the heart of downtown Key West, and hit up all the galleries, boutiques and bars while you’re there.
Southernmost Hotel is a 124-room hotel, most of which have views of the ocean, all starting at around $200 per night. You’ll find three pools, two bars and one restaurant on the property — giving you plenty of time to relax and soak up the warmth of the tropical sun on their private beach. And you don’t even have to take up precious packing space in your luggage with a bulky beach towel, since one will be provided. But if you feel inclined to head off-property you’re right in the heart of Key West with all its amazing shopping and dining options.
The Orchid Key Inn is the third and most expensive we’re going to mention at $235 per night. The location of this 24-room hotel is right in the heart of downtown, sitting on Duval Street and Truman Avenue. The price does come with a few perks besides location; a continental breakfast and free wifi are included and even a complimentary happy hour at the Orchid Bar. You also have access to a heated outdoor pool and spa all surrounded by a tropical garden to make you feel miles away from the bustle of downtown.
Its like I was saying, Key West isn’t what you’d call a budget destination. But each of these hotels has a classy stylish look and plenty to justify its price tag.