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Recent Key West reviews

  • A Dream Come True

    "Words can not express how fabulous and wonderful my home away from home was. Staying at Jeff's townhouse was truly staying in Paradise. The house is magnificent. It is beautifully furnished, so welcoming, equipped with every amenity imaginable, down to Q tips if you forgot yours. It is perfect in every way, spacious, immaculate, cozy, elegant, fun and it feels as if you are staying in your own home. We rented a car and it is a short drive to the town etc. The best part is that Jeff provides you with all of the info you need to have an amazing stay. All of his restaurant picks were phenomenal. Do not miss Lattitudes for dinner if you want an unforgettable dining experience. Breakfast at Blue Heaven was outrageous. Key West is a superb destination; laid back, fun, beautiful and lots to do. My husband and I can't wait to go back. Jeff is a perfect concierge in every way. If I could give my stay 10 stars I would. ********** I just did. You will be so happy if you stay at Jeff's. An unforgettable experience. You don't have to look any further for the perfect place to stay. The photos do not even do it justice. You will be so happy, I promise!! Hoping you enjoy your stay as much as we did."
    Guest: Franny Date of Stay: May 2014 Review Submitted: June 29, 2014
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  • Want to return!

    "What can we say but.....we didn't want to leave! Renting from John is like renting from a generous friend. His condo is stocked with many items (from a cooler for picnics to condiments for a sandwich to a variety of shampoos) and he makes sure that your stay is the best ever--including a welcoming gift! We appreciated his tips for parking, sightseeing, and most importantly, restaurants. The condo itself faces west so if you don't want to go down to Mallory Square at sunset time, you can enjoy from your private balcony overlooking a nature preserve. The pool is nice and warm, especially nice for evening swims. Love, love the high efficiency washer and dryer! The location was perfect....away from the crowds yet still close by that in 5 min we were downtown. We were able to do so many things easily and it was nice to know that when we came "home" there was a reserved parking spot for us......no searching for a spot! Our preteen daughter had a fantastic time.....especially with the free use of bikes. Thanks John for the great time and we hope to return!"
    Guest: Jeff and Carol Date of Stay: December 2013 Review Submitted: January 12, 2014
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  • Girls get away

    "Went to the banyon for a girls get away in January, when our husbands went on a hunting trip. Perfect place to stay, very clean and safe. What a luxury. I have family that lives in key west and was able to entertain them for an evening of dinner and drinks. Great location....you can walk everywhere!"
    Guest: Carla M. Date of Stay: January 2014 Review Submitted: September 10, 2014
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  • Perfection

    "We thoroughly enjoyed out stay! The condo is beautiful and very well maintained. The 2 king sized beds were a huge plus! Also, the pool with a gorgeous view made our great afternoon relaxing very enjoyable. The location is perfect. We were able to walk to most of the places we want to visit. We would love to stay here again. Thank you Darla for helping us have an amazing trip!"
    Guest: Melanae A. Date of Stay: August 2014 Review Submitted: September 4, 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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