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Recent Key West property reviews

  • Perfect Place for our Key West Trip.

    "What a great find the Captain's Mansion is. It was the perfect place for our two families during our summer 2011 trip to Key West. We found the owners to be pleasant and very easy to work with before, during, and after our stay. The Captain's Mansion was perfectly located for us. We arrived by boat and were pleased to discover it was only a 3 block walk from the Marina. It is an easy walk to the heart of Key West and just a few blocks from a grocery store and a variety of really good restaurants that were recommended by the home's owners. The pool, outside shower, and inside/outside bar were an ideal place to come home to after a day of roaming the island and snorkeling at Sand Key. Upon arrival we were thrilled to find the house to be as clean, attractive and well maintained as depicted in the photos. The kitchen was top-notch and well equipped. The rest of the home was a nice combination of recent renovation and gorgeous original detail. We would certainly recommend the Captain's Mansion to family and friends, and hope to return in the future."
    Guest: Team Tampa Date of Stay: June 2011 Review Submitted: September 6, 2011
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  • Hanging in Key West

    "The property was very clean and nicely appointed. We were close to many restaurants and attractions, without being in the mayhem of parts of Duval. For those of you who do not want to take out a second mortgage, but want to stay in a nice place in Key West.... this is the place. The neighbors were great and we got to meet a lot of locals just sitting on the front porch. This rental property is a gem for the money!"
    Guest: Kenneth W. Date of Stay: December 2013 Review Submitted: January 13, 2014
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  • Wonderful location!!! Can't wait to go back!

    "Stayed at the Casa Caracol and Isla Bella cottages during August and it was wonderful! The cottages are brand new, with beautiful furniture, and the grounds are kept immaculate. Great place to go with friends or family. I will be going back...can't wait!"
    Guest: Marc Date of Stay: August 2010 Review Submitted: August 31, 2010
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  • A month in paradise

    "I stayed in this lovely little cottage the month of November, 2013. I loved every minute of it. The house seems much bigger than it is, thanks to two sets of French doors in the living areas. It is well kept and clean. The owner is extremely easy to work with. I was allowed to have my dog stay with me. The house is off the beaten path, yet convenient to everything. I was there for Thanksgiving, and had Fausto's cater the meal. I brought leftovers home with me. I've been to Key West many times before, but this was by far my best vacation ever. A lot of bang for your buck. Maybe I was lucky, but it only rained two days the entire month I was there. The last two weeks I was there, I had two friends staying with me. Everyone had their own room. This place is so much better than a hotel. Alright, there's no continental breakfast. Half the time I made breakfast, the other times went out to local coffee shops. If you plan to go to Key West and stay for at least two weeks (minimum rental period) I highly recommend this place."
    Guest: Dan Date of Stay: November 2013 Review Submitted: December 4, 2013
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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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