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Recent Key West reviews

  • Fabulous stay in every way!

    "This was our first time staying at the Hollinsed House, but it definitely won't be the last! The house and grounds were beautiful and the "Poolside Suite" was perfect for two people. The location couldn't have been more convenient for Fantasy Fest and general sightseeing (within easy walking distance of Duval Street, the Cemetery, etc). Ruth the housekeeper was a gem and was very attentive to our needs. We were as comfortable as we've ever been in a vacation rental -- it felt like home! Tracey was easy to work with and we had no issues. I couldn't recommend the Hollinsed House more!"
    Guest: Adam S. Date of Stay: October 2014 Review Submitted: November 11, 2014
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  • Marriott Beachside

    "These accommodations were great! The place had all needed amenities, was beautifully decorated, fit 8 people perfectly without feeling cramped, private, and was conveniently located to tourist attractions. A highlight was the Marriott shuttle, which takes guests to and from Duval street every hour for free; if a shuttle became too full, the hotel staff easily ordered another shuttle to accommodate more people. We would all stay at this place again!"
    Guest: K Date of Stay: March 2015 Review Submitted: April 1, 2015
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  • Fun for family reunion

    "I brought a group of 21 family members with ages from 8 - 80. It is a nice house in a great location. We were one short block from Duvall street and walking distance to many of the attractions - southernmost point, Hemmingway house, Fort Zachary state park and the marina near the Westin. The grocery store is just around the corner so we could carry everything and we did not need cars. The house is pretty and most of it has been renovated. The dishwasher did not work but they tried to fix it and then replace it but could not do it during the holidays. The management offered to send someone to wash dishes but we declined. The area can be a little noisy. We did not hear noise from the crowds as much as the roosters. (For some historical reason, Key West has roosters wandering the town. They like to announce morning starting at about 4 am.) We rented both the 7 bedroom and 4 bedroom 'attached' house. The 4 bedroom is newer and in better shape. Overall, we had a good time and the rental was good."
    Guest: DC Planner Date of Stay: December 2014 Review Submitted: January 5, 2015
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  • FABULOUS MANSION

    "We have just returned from spending a week at this fabulous house. This was our family's special treat for 2014 and everyone enjoyed it and didn't want to leave. The house and grounds are meticulous planned and kept for everyone to enjoy. The kitchen has everything and we all enjoyed the ice chest for frozen treats. The pool and hot tub were so much fun. This house is perfect for family and friends to get together to enjoy Key West. We can't wait to return."
    Guest: Susan M. Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: July 27, 2014
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Key West Travel Tips

Key West is a veritable hot spot for literary icons, both today and in the past. This small Florida island was loved by the likes of playwright Tennessee Williams, and poets Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens and Shel Silverstein.

Today, beloved children’s author Judy Blume keeps a home here, and every January for more than 30 years, writers and readers from around the country gather at the high-profile Key West Literary Seminar - spread over two weekends - for lectures, readings, discussions, workshops and parties. The event has featured the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Diaz and Gore Vidal.

Key West should be high on the list of travel locations for any literary lover and creative soul because of its deep history in extraordinary American literature. Ernest Hemingway even kept a fabulous estate in Key West that today has been converted into a museum and bookstore. Visit the beautiful and historic Ernest Hemingway Home and then check out some of the writer's rumored favorite spots.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Hemingway’s stately, olive-shuttered two-story cottage at 907 Whitehead Street in Old Town Key West is no doubt a visitor favorite. If you’re a die-hard Hemingway fan, you’ll have to brave the crowds and come here.

The home was built in 1851 from limestone excavated from the exact land upon which it is built. Hemingway bought and lived in the estate from 1931 until 1940 with his wife and kids before he left for Cuba. This spectacular estate, which includes a rear guesthouse and is surrounded by elegant gardens and rustling palms, is still the largest residential property in Key West.

You might be surprised to see that the beds are made in full linens and the home looks recently lived in - it’s as if the family just stepped out for lunch and will be home shortly. Here are the highlights you should take note of inside and around Hemingway’s marvelous estate:

The Ritzy Pool

A pool this large - or any pool at all - in 1930s Key West was a luxury. To fill it, construction workers had to drill to the salt-water table deep in the ground and install a water pump. Hemingway’s wife - Pauline - had the costly pool built as a surprise for Hemingway while he was in Spain in 1938 working as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War.

The Happy Cats

Hemingway’s six-toed cats - or polydactyls - are legendary. Recently uncovered letters from Hemingway to a friend explain just how sad he was at the loss of one of his cats - Willie. The Hemingway Home and Museum curators maintain that each of the 40 to 50 cats on the grounds is a direct descendant of Hemingway’s first cat, a white polydactyl named Snowball (Though they don’t all have six toes on each paw, all are said to carry the gene for polydactyly). The cats living here are very friendly and many will actually pose for pictures. They’re all vetted and well-taken care of - not your average strays!

The Lush Gardens

The Hemingway House gardens are stunning, featuring a vibrant array of tropical flowers - shrimp plants, heliconia, bleeding hearts and the funky looking pelican flower - and banana, Barbados cherry, papaya and Spanish lime trees, among many others.

Other Literary Tour Stops

410 Caroline Street is Jessie Porter’s home - a fifth-generation Key Wester - who was good friends with Robert Frost. He spent several winters in the cottage in Porter’s backyard. The site used to be the Heritage House Museum, though it has been closed since 2010. If you want to see things the iconic Frost saw, at least take a stroll past the home!

Green Parrot Bar and Sloppy Joe’s Bar are rumored to be hangouts of Hemingway and his friends like Wallace Stevens.

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