Get more for your money at these amenity-packed Key West hotels

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Sometimes where to unload your bags on vacation is just as important as the destination itself. Fortunately for those traveling to Key West, the island’s quirky, quaint tropical charm comes entirely from the accommodations, with historic inns featuring oysters and charming B&Bs. But the flip side of Conch Republic’s lack of sprawling high-rise resorts is that accommodations come at a premium. If you’re headed to this much sought-after area, you can still find charming and convenient places to park your bag, while not always cheap, but it’s great value, and includes plenty of amenities. Here are a few of them

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The Gardens is tucked away on Angela Street, within walking distance of Duval Street and the heart of the action, but you’d never know it. This lush and serene garden oasis offers a peaceful respite from all activities outside. The main building, formerly the Gardens Mansion built in the 19th century, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Botanical plants collected by former owner Peggy Mills frame meandering paths, secluded seating areas, and two heated pools. Guests (including children 16 and older) can choose from five cottages, guestrooms, and suites, all with private entrances and access to outdoor verandas. Rooms are decorated with Bahamian plantation-style furnishings and locally crafted artwork. Upon check-in, guests receive a card to purchase wine from the on-site D’Vine Wine Gallery, poured by 1 to 3 or 6 ounces. Sip from a variety of 36 wines while listening to live piano music at night from 5-7pm and live jazz on Sundays from 5-8pm. Rates include free Wi-Fi and breakfast served poolside. The property also offers a business center, bike rentals, laundry and concierge service, on-site parking ($30 per night), and a poolside bar.

Only a 15-minute drive from downtown Key West, Stock Island offers a quieter, less crowded alternative, but with great dining options and a beautiful marina. Oceans Edge Key West, which opened in 2017, is one of the largest resorts in the area with 175 rooms. It’s located right next to the marina at 165 slips, with full-service resort facilities. The $45 daily resort fee covers transportation to and from Key West; Use of paddleboards, kayaks and bikes for 2 hours per guest per day; 24-hour gym access; Resort activities such as yoga, SUP lessons, poolside movies, and garden games (eg giant chess, Connect Four, ping pong); And high speed wifi. Check the weekly schedule for a free one-hour marine science ecological experience, pairing live animal guests with live topics led by marine scientists. All guest rooms feature contemporary furnishings as well as a furnished balcony, mini fridge and coffee maker. The property offers six temperature-controlled saltwater pools with poolside service and towels. The Yellowfin Bar & Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with happy hour in the bar from 3-6pm daily and live music Thursday through Sunday from 6-9pm. Ocean’s Edge Café is the perfect place for a coffee, smoothie or quick meal from 7-11am.

Also on Stock Island, The Perry Hotel is located on more than 40 campus acres, steps from the on-site 288-slip marina, the largest deep-water marina in all of the Florida Keys. Check in to the 100-room boutique property with a complimentary glass of champagne. Guestrooms feature contemporary furnishings and balconies (some with outdoor showers) from which to admire serene island views. Hotel amenities include free Wi-Fi, parking, and a shuttle service to and from Old Town Key West. Two swimming pools on the waterfront. rental of golf cart, bike, scooter and 3-wheel Key West Arcimoto (electric utility vehicles); Access to Salute the Sole Yoga in the event park, fully equipped F45 training lounge, and boot camps in the event park. On-site restaurants include Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar, Salty Oyster Dockside Bar & Grill, and Sloppy Joe’s Dockside. The latter two host a daily happy hour with discounted drinks. Sloppy Joe features live music every Friday and Saturday from 6-9pm. Great Lakes Coffee Roasting offers direct growers coffee, smoothies and baked goods with indoor/outdoor seating.

Located in the heart of Old Town Key West on Truman Street, several blocks from Duval, Kimpton Winslow’s Bungalows features three private pools, a pool bar, and tropical gardens. There are eighty-five comfortably appointed guest rooms, including two deluxe suites, in several buildings and in many architectural styles in Key West. The $35 daily guest amenities fee includes parking and borrowed bikes on a first-come-first-served basis, continental breakfast, Wi-Fi, a boisterous welcome drink, use of the off-property snorkeling kit, and access to the Press Reader on your smart device (choose from over 7,000 newspaper and magazine). Although many Key West properties are pet-friendly, Winslow’s Bungalows allow pets of any size, weight, or breed at no additional charge, and no damage deposit is required.

Set in three separate buildings on both sides of Caroline Street in the heart of the Old Town, Amsterdam’s Curry Mansion offers 28 air-conditioned guest rooms, each uniquely decorated, and a pool and deck area, where breakfast and cocktails are served. Built in 1869, the original mansion is the home of William Carey, considered Florida’s first self-made millionaire. His son demolished and rebuilt much of the house in 1901 into the Georgian Renaissance mansion that stands today. Many reports agree that it was in this kitchen that “Aunt Sally” invented key lime pie, a dessert served throughout Key West. Guest rates include free parking. full breakfast with an omelette made to order; 2 hour cocktail party every evening with an open bar selling liquor, beer and wine, snacks and live music; concierge use of computer and printer; WIFI; Use of washer, dryer, and laundry supplies, and a self-guided tour of the mansion, including historic treasures in the attic, leading to Widow’s Walk that offers panoramic views of Key West.

Alexander, an adult-only gay, bisexual, and transgender guesthouse, welcomes guests to a safe, inclusive setting listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This three-story oyster house on Fleming Street was built in 1902 and still retains the original pine wood floors. Guests can choose from 17 well-appointed, tropically decorated guest rooms spread across three renovated (1902-1904) homes. Rates include an extensive continental breakfast, including eggs, cake and fruit served poolside; local newspapers daily happy hour poolside 4:30-5:30pm; WIFI; full concierge services; Lending library for books in the lobby; Swimming pool and jacuzzi. And two optional pool decks.

A short drive from Old Town on Roosevelt Road, Havana Cabana exudes Cuban charm and character, with classic cars at the front and Cuban-influenced artwork throughout. Many contemporary rooms feature pool or ocean views, and some have bunk beds to accommodate families. The hotel has the largest pool in Key West, and the action here centers on weekly pool parties that feature DJs, pool games, and food and drink specials (1-4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday). On Sundays at 4:30 pm, join in the traditional Loteria (a Latin game similar to bingo) where the winning teams receive special prizes. Mojito’s Pool Bar hosts happy hour daily from 10am to noon with discounted Bloody Marys and beer. All day long, order over 15 mojitos and other Cuban drinks. Guests can enjoy complimentary juices at noon, ice cream at 2pm and churros at 4pm. The Floridita Food Truck serves Cuban cuisine all day long in an outdoor setting. A free shuttle takes guests to and from the Old Town.

Landmark: Florida, Key West

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