Sunset Key, Key West, Florida
Sunset Key Cottages
Tranquil, pastel-colored cottages, just far-flung enough
What it is
A blend of the Keys’ laidback vibe and high-end luxury.
What it isn't
One of the ambitiously eclectic, quirky hotels on the non-stop carnival of Duval Street.
What we think
The carless private island off of Key West is one of the best kept secrets around here - the only way to get to the island is to take a quick boat ride from the resort’s sister property (the ferry runs around the clock from The Westin Key West Resort & Marina.) With only 40 individual cottages set around the water’s edge, the resort is intimate and gives the distinct impression that there’s not another soul for miles (though Key West is just 500 yards away.) The classic clapboard cottages range from one to four bedrooms; all have wrap around Adirondack-bedecked verandas, designer tropical detailing, wicker furniture and are pale blue or buttercream yellow with bright white edging. Some cottages are set back in the gardens, but oceanfront cottages are directly on the beach - a beach which happens to be private so the morning view (complemented by the delivered muffins, freshly squeezed orange juice and the day’s newspaper) is devoid of beach strollers.
The resort’s open-air restaurant requires guests to don country club casual attire. Surrounded by island kitsch, the chefs serve up Caribbean-influenced food and signature Key lime martinis. There are no longer private chefs for the cottages, but an considerable room service menu is available until 11 pm.
For those that would like to prepare their own family-style meal, each cottage has a full kitchen and a dining area - while the staff with happily get your pantry staples for you, it’s advisable to grocery shop while you’re on the mainland.
You're here because
It’s a tranquil, tropical escape that’s easily reached. More than that, it’s a setting unlike any of the lodging options on Key West. The cottages are seasonally updated and renewed and every detail is designed to amplify and encourage the easy lifestyle of the Keys.
Plus, those sunsets...
Closing the pale lemon cottage door behind you, you turn into the warm breeze that carries languid, rhythmic Calypso music. On your way to Latitudes, you veer off the palm-lined path and walk towards the island’s private dock. Underwater lights illuminate the dozen or so tarpon swirling around the posts.
The resort is on Sunset Key, a 27-acre private island 500 yards off of Key West. The Westin Key West Resort & Marina serves as Sunset Key Cottages’ mainland porte-cochère. Guests are met by an “island ambassador” at the marina and led to the ferry. It's a 10 minute ride to the resort.
The ferry launch is a 20 minute drive from Key West’s international airport (EYW.) From Miami’s international airport (MIA,) it’s a 3.5 hour drive down U.S. 1 to the ferry (or a 45 minute connecting flight to Key West’s airport.)
The resort’s boat service runs 24 hours a day, so guests can hop from the resort to Key West’s eclectic nightlife, the Ernest Hemingway museum or the Southernmost Point photo-op buoy whenever they like.
Restaraunts & Bars
Latitudes Restaurant, located on the Island provides fresh flavorful cuisine with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. A delicious, ever-evolving “work of art” menu incorporates locally sourced fresh fish and tropical fruits cuisine. Guests are invited to join us at Latitudes' outside bar for "Up Spirits!" every afternoon between 4:30-5:00 p.m., as we revive the Royal Navy Sailor's long-ago tradition of savoring a daily ration of rum. Enjoy complimentary tastings of Latitudes' own white or golden raw rum-straight up like the sailors did, or mixed up in the Up Spirits cocktail du jour.
The iconic Truman “little” Whitehouse was the vacation home to Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse back in time during the mid 1940’s and 50’s when one of the greatest Presidents in US History spent 11 working vacations in Key West. The renowned Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a registered National Historic Landmark. More than 60 six-toed cats roam freely throughout the home, making the house and its gardens their domain. Explore the Mel Fisher Museum which displays many items from the Atocha as well as artifacts and manifests from numerous salvaged shipwrecks from around the world. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum has been active in revealing the story of the Key West African Cemetery since 2002. It is a unique American Heritage site that is believed to be the only local Caribbean influenced cemetery in the United States. Other fun family activities to explore are: The Butterfly Conservatory, The Shipwreck Museum, The Key West Aquarium, and a bike ride around the island.