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Recent Key West Area reviews

  • Quaint Little Facade Belies Spacious ...

    "Rating Details: I was more than satisfied with the condition of the vacation rental. I was very happy with the location. The vacation rental was spotless. The property manager was very helpful. Overall, I recommend this vacation rental. Reviewer Comments: Quaint Little Facade Belies Spacious Conteporary Interior What at first glance appears to be a pair of narrow Conch "shotgun" houses reveals itself to be a large, sun-filled, contemporary Key West home. We found everything to be just as pictured, some things even better. For example, there are actually four lounge chairs on the back deck, not just one, and the patio table has a large umbrella. We were pleasantly surprised when we illuminated the pool at night - the underwater lighting makes the pool glow an other-worldly royal blue! You can't tell from the photos, but each of the three bedrooms has a chest of drawers, and there's a hall chest too. The house is located on a corner with ample parking. Bayview Park, with its picturesque gazebo, is just around the corner. Every other week there's a Farmer's and Artisan's Green Market held there. If you stay for a month, we'd recommend that you subscribe to home delivery of the daily Key West Citizen newspaper, $12.00/mo. That way you can learn about what's going on all over town - events, parades, shows, movies, history reenactments, live music, fishing tournaments, art walks, and Saturday garage sales complete with locations pinpointed on a map. Rent Key West Vacations is an excellent property management company. The people are SO nice, and they take care of every possible little detail. If we could make just one recommendation to the homeowners, it would be that a few more of the windows might benefit from window shades, especially the central front doors, for privacy at night and to block out hot sun during the day. For Key West nightlife we especially enjoyed cabaret shows at the La te da: Randy Roberts Live! and Christopher Peterson's Eyecons (female impersonators). Our favorite beach was at Fort Zachary Taylor Park - their web site has a live web cam so you can check it out. And we all greatly enjoyed the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. If you decide to stay at Eliza's Jewell we hope you'll find it to be just as elegant, comfortable, and peaceful as we did."
    Guest: Tom F. Date of Stay: January 2015 Review Submitted: February 17, 2015
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  • Beautiful and Stress Free

    "Stayed in this lovely condo in The Banyan for R&R with my husband. Location was perfect--great restaurants and bars are just a short walk away, but somehow it stayed quiet and peaceful inside the resort. Walkable to just about everything including a great beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Park, however, the Banyan itself was a great place to just hang out, too. The banyan trees themselves are truly spectacular! This particular unit has a private porch nestled in this mini tropical paradise, we ate breakfast out there every day before hitting the Key West attractions. Kitchen was well equipped for preparing simple meals. Overall, really comfortable, attractive, stress-free lodging, we highly recommend!"
    Guest: Boston RN Date of Stay: January 2015 Review Submitted: February 11, 2015
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  • Fun in the sub

    "Second time we stayed here. Love the location can walk anywhere in Key West. Cottage had everything needed for a week stay and the staff was very helpfull. Would stay again."
    Guest: Scott C. Date of Stay: November 2014 Review Submitted: November 15, 2014
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  • Great place!

    "Tee by the Sea is the perfect place to stay if you are looking a very clean and comfortable place. It has all the amenities... beach chairs, coolers, beach umbrella and bikes. The grounds are beautiful and the swimming pool is great. The condo is beautifully decorated and just a short drive to Duval Street and many attractions. The owner is very accommodating and can arrange many activities. I highly recommend Tee by the Sea."
    Guest: J Love Date of Stay: May 2015 Review Submitted: May 18, 2015
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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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