In all my travels to Key West, I’ve always stayed with a very good friend. Now that she has moved back to New Hampshire, It was time for me to find a different place to stay than a guest room. Since I had been to Key West many times, walked around, knew where all the hot spots were, I knew where I desired to be and at which resort I wanted to stay.
Ocean Key Resort & Spa at 0, yes, zero Duval Street was to be my home for the next three days and two nights. Arriving at the resort, I was greeted by the handsome hockey knowledgeable valet, Jeremy. He was the first and last face I would see staying there and all others at the resort would follow his lead of having a pleasurable and helpful personality. Cara Johnson, Director of Sales & Catering, would later give me a tour of the picturesque resort, educating me on everything from the spa to the hand-painted ceiling tiles in the Hot Tin Roof Restaurant to the soon to be reconstructed Sunset pier.
When cutie Jeremy showed me to my suite, I think my face may have said what my brain was thinking, “Seriously? This is my suite?” The resort used to be all time shares but has since been taken over by Noble House Hotel And Resorts. Some of the time share residences are still owned by families, but maintained and handled by Ocean Key. My suite with one bedroom, living room, dining area, full kitchen, and massive bath was more than I expected. The cathedral ceilings throughout added a wow factor to my lodgings.
I had two reasons for coming to Key West that weekend. One was to see one of our writers that I had never met in person, and second was to have a relaxing weekend in a Key West resort. The amenities at Ocean Key Resort & Spa allowed me to do both.
Dinner at the resort’s restaurant Hot Tin Roof was amazing as I enjoyed its Little Gem Salad (tomato, pickled red onion, humboldt fog cheese, billionaire’s bacon, buttermilk dressing) followed by Albondigas Picadillos (pork & beef meatballs, tomato, queso blanco) and then the Sunset Ale-Braised Lamb Shank (smoked gouda polenta, wilted spinach). Dinner was accompanied by a 2015 Zinfandel while the dessert, a salted caramel and dark chocolate tart, was enjoyed alongside a Tawny 10 year old port. I will say, the service was remarkable. I was eating by myself so besides enjoying the great food, I admired the service and the great team someone assembled. My Ukranian waiter was visually stunning and a great conversationalist. The rest of the staff assisted each other with ease, grade, and accuracy. It was a symphony and I told that to the head of house. I was impressed.
Brunch was just as exceptional and had the same view as the first night's dinner. Many more families were present as the Hot Tin Roof is known to have one of the best brunches on the island, reservations recommended, but walk-ins welcome.
On my last day at Ocean Key Resort & Spa, I checked out of the resort and into the spa (it's in the same building, but that just sounded cool). Spa Terre has many different services to choose from and I actually chose two, the Balinese massage and a facial. Being a man with a beard, I was unsure how a facial would go, but the experienced staff, both for the facial and the massage, were friendly and excellent with their hands.
I hated to leave, but now being relaxed and more clean than ever, it was time.
Recommendations off the chart for the Ocean Key Resort & Spa. One of the best locations on the island at 0 Duval Street, a staff that strives for nothing but excellence, and amenities and rooms that will satisfy you and your memories.
There's a lot more to the keys than just one resort Here are some other aspects of my trip to the keys.
Getting to Key West
Since my first trek down 95, to Route 1, to the end of the state and country, I’ve been to Key West several times, none of them will match the beauty and awe I experienced the first time, going over the bridges, hopping from one island/key to the next, seeing the magnificent indescribable hues of blue and green seawater. Many wrinkle their nose at the 4.5 hour drive from Fort Lauderdale (3 to 3.5 from Miami), but it is truly an enjoyable and important part of visiting the keys. Yes, you can fly into Key West International Airport or take the Key West Express departing from Fort Myers Beach at 8:30 am, from Key West at 5 pm, with a travel time of about 3 1/2 hours once underway.
Since Hurricane Irma
It had been about 9 months since my last journey to Key West. I had gone down Route 1 in November of last year, just two months after Hurricane Irma blasted through the middle of the archipelago. Key Largo at the top of the keys and Key West at the end were the least damaged of the keys, but everything in the middle was affected. I didn’t want to stop and stare at the devastation, but I was able to take some pics from my car as I drove. What I notice was how much greenery was gone, how many homes were gone, how much garbage there was alongside the roads on keys that I never thought had homes to begin with. This most recent journey down, there was so much lush greenery present, new construction, activity, and promise. There was still talk of the damage, a great amount of repair still going on, some keys were a little further in the process of recovery, but none were still in devastation mode.
More to see than just Key West?
I will always enjoy my expedition to the Keys for I truly have just scraped the surface of what they have to offer. Being in Florida, I am bombarded with many resorts marketing that they are coming back alive and will be at full swing in 2019. I love Key West, but with having 7 trips down there under my belt, maybe it is time to explore more destinations along one of my favorite roads in America.
Enjoy these other pics and their descriptions from other aspects of my trip.
If you have travel ideas, places we should visit, or work for a PR company and are looking for writers to visit, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and address your comments to the Managing Editor.