You’re thinking about a vacation to the Florida Keys, and you’ve got a few options to choose from. However, when you start looking into the best hotels in the Florida Keys, it can be a daunting task. You’ve heard of some great new hotels opening up all over the Keys but with so many choices, how do you know which ones are worth your time? I’m going to share my experience on my first time in Key West as well as some tips on finding the right hotel for your vacation!
Tropical islands, shoals of pure white sand, and the world’s third-largest barrier reef – the natural beauty of the Florida Keys has beguiled travelers for generations.
The Florida Keys are a seemingly endless archipelago of coral keys that divides the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico 120 miles from the southern tip of Florida. The Keys, which are only 90 miles by sea from Cuba, have a culture of their own. Laid back, creative, and culturally diverse, life in the keys unfold only on island time. Spend your days on the islands snorkeling across a desolate, bleached landscape, splashing on shimmering shores of sandbanks, venturing into the sticky heat of mangroves, or simply relaxing in the tropical temperatures.
The archipelago is home to stunning underwater scenery across its 1,700 islands, and there are plenty of scuba diving opportunities with diverse marine life thriving around the protected reefs. Take the exciting route of the Keys and drive along the famous and picturesque Ultramar Highway and then use your car to tour the islands at your own pace.
The Florida Keys are an amazing place to visit, but first you need a place to stay. And that’s where we come in! The following article is meant to help you decide which hotel best suits your needs and is located in the Florida Keys.
1. Little Torch Key
The tiny island of Little Torch Key is charmingly local, with a friendly atmosphere that’s ideal for couples looking for a relaxing getaway. There are a handful of shops and restaurants for visitors to choose from and the other more populated keys are a drive away. This is the island to choose if you are looking for peace and quiet away from it all. And nearby scuba diving opportunities are plentiful at Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.
If you want to stay in the Florida Keys for a slice of romantic solitude, you can take the boat to Little Palm Island and stay at the charming resort – the only problem is, once you sink into your hammock, it’s hard to go. to any other place.
Where to stay in Little Torch Key?
Parmer’s Resort – There are unpretentious rooms at Parmer’s Resort – which come complete with balconies (or patios) – as well as oceanfront cabanas that feature full kitchens, meaning you can keep costs down and cook up a feast.
More value for money at this Little Torch Key resort comes in the form of free breakfast and free parking, plus it’s only a half-mile from the Overseas Highway, meaning it’s a good option if you’re arriving by car.
Translating as Island Home, Islamorada is made up of six islands: Windley Key, Plantation Key, Indian Key, Upper Matecumbe Key Lignumvitae, and Lower Matecumbe Key… These beautiful locations have been labeled a village of islands, and are known for their depth of marine wildlife with people drawn to the area to explore the many reefs.
Islamorada is also very popular with hobby anglers as there are a large number of fish to be caught right off the shore. With so much Islamorada surrounded by water, it would be hard to find a hotel without an ocean view. There are a wide variety of resorts to stay at, from mid-range to high-end, most of which have their own pools and restaurants.
The best places to stay in Islamorada are:
La Siesta Resort Marina
La Siesta Resort Marina – An unpretentious hotel overlooking the sea, La Siesta Resort Marina is a great idea for those vacationing in Islamorada with their family: It is entirely all-suite, which means there will be plenty of space for all of you, as well as facilities like kitchens so you can cook your own meals.
You won’t get bored here either, as fishing rods, kayaks, and bike rentals are included in the price of the night. It’s right off the Overseas Highway, which means it’s perfect if you’re on a road trip.
Amara Cay Resort
Amara Cay Resort – The modern and contemporary style rooms of this resort hotel have been recently renovated for greater comfort. Each room is decorated with an island theme and features balconies that overlook the water.
There is also the option to choose a room with a kitchen, which is very convenient, but the hotel’s Italian restaurant serves very delicious dinners, as does the poolside bar. Relax in a hammock on the private beach or you can have an adventure by taking out one of the hotel’s bikes, kayaks, or paddle boards.
3. Big Pine Key
Easygoing Big Pine Key – is the place to come and relax. Named for the pine trees that grow on the island, it is home to the beautiful Bahia Honda State Park. Take some island time and enjoy sunbathing, snorkeling, or swimming in the enticing crystal clear waters around Big Pine Key.
If you fancy being more active, there is a wide range of water sports to try, or you can hike around the Blue Hole, an old limestone quarry turned freshwater lake with attractive natural scenery.
Or you can add a dollar bill to the walls of No Name Pub, a popular pub, and restaurant that’s often the first stop for travelers heading to Key West. The island is also famous for its large population of Key Deer which have dwarfed in size after many generations of living in the keys.
Lodging on Big Pine Key can be more affordable than many of the other keys, with camping and lodges available, but you can also choose from one of the secluded oceanfront family resorts.
Where to Stay in Big Pine Key
The Barnacle B&B
The Barnacle B&B – It’s a laid-back spot that’s outfitted with Caribbean-inspired decor, which means bright colors and eclectic ornamentation in the cozy rooms. With free kayak and bike rentals, you’ll be able to get out and explore the area very easily.
This fantastic place to stay comes with its own private beach, tiki hut, and barbecue area, plus, you can go snorkeling at Bahia Honda State Park, just five miles away.
4. Key Largo
If you’re looking for an island paradise and the opportunity to snorkel, look no further than Key Largo. Home to deep nature, visitors to the island can enjoy a wide variety of activities, from fishing and kayaking to hiking in the national park. The crystal clear waters off the coast of Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are home to the world’s largest artificial reef, which is a big draw for keen snorkelers.
The tropical island has a large Cuban population, and as such, the opportunity can be taken to sample some traditional Cuban cuisine in restaurants with stunning sunset views. Stay in Key Largo at one of the many island resorts that offer everything you need to relax. To stay on a budget, you can opt for a family inn.
The best places to stay in Key Largo are:
Hampton Inn Key Largo
Hampton Inn Key Largo – Stay at this hotel and enjoy all the fun of being on the beach in the center of the area. The rooms, in a discreet style and with neutral decoration, are comfortable and clean, some of them with sea views. The hotel has touches of tropical style throughout its interior and becomes a relaxing place to enjoy a break on the beach.
You can lounge under the shade of the palm trees with the sand between your toes on the small beach, swim in the hotel’s outdoor pool, or even rent a kayak and head out on an adventure. The hotel is only a five-minute walk from major attractions like Dolphin Cove.
Marina Del Mar Resort
Marina Del Mar Resort – A jacuzzi and heated pool (with tiki bar) await you at Marina Del Mar Resort and the marina to which its name refers, this 3-star hotel is located on the largest deep-water marina in Key Largo, which means there will be plenty of opportunities for you to venture out into the open sea yourself.
The rooms have services such as coffee makers and mini-fridges, while if you go for a suite, you will have a balcony with privileged views. Arriving by boat? You can pay for overnight docking at the marina
Atlantic Bay Resort
Atlantic Bay Resort – Situated on its own private beach, staying at this resort means relaxing in the peace and quiet of nature. Decorated in a tropical water theme, the rooms are like spacious beach houses and come with their own patio, truly allowing guests to enjoy their own privacy.
This is an excellent option for people who want to make their own meals, or who are traveling with children since some rooms come with fully equipped kitchens. There’s also an outdoor pool to cool off in, as well as a waterside bar.
5. Key West
At just 4 miles long and 1 mile wide, laid-back Key West is the epitome of the island lifestyle. Artsy, quirky, and fun, Key West has long been a haven for those looking to take a break from every day and spend time relaxing and enjoying life.
The tropical island offers visitors the chance to relax, so you can spend time wandering the interesting neighborhoods and sipping iced coffee in charming cafes, or soaking up the sun on the beaches. You can even go fishing on the water.
It’s easy to travel around the island grab a bike and see the sights pedaling through the quiet streets, or take the bus or tram. Home to the southernmost point of the continental US, accommodation in Key West usually always has ocean views.
For a cheap night’s sleep, you can opt to camp at one of the island’s campsites, where there are also some reasonably priced mid-range guesthouses, along with some more expensive resorts to choose from.
The best places to stay in Key West are:
Margaritaville Beach House Key West
Margaritaville Key West Resort – With fantastic views over the water and its location in the center of Old Town (plus only three minutes from Mallory Square), this luxurious resort is a fun and welcoming place to stay.
The rooms are spacious with private balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows – just perfect for watching the boats go by on the water outside. The outdoor pool here is accompanied by an alfresco bar and there’s also a very chic restaurant on-site, welcoming outside-hotel diners for a lively atmosphere.
The Marker Waterfront Resort
The Marker Waterfront Resort – Just a nine-minute walk from the food, drink, and entertainment at Mallory Square, The Marker Waterfront Resort was built in 2014, meaning a modern stay is what you can expect at this 4-star hotel.
The staff is friendly, there’s a decent pool for guests, and the rooms, including bathrooms, are spacious. There’s more food and drink on The Marker’s doorstep, making it ideal for anyone looking to explore Key West further.
Chelsea House Hotel
Chelsea House Hotel – The best thing about this 3-star offering is the fact that it is set in three beautiful period houses, making it ideal for anyone who likes to stay in the middle of a city’s own heritage.
Victorian era accommodation comes complete with simple furnishings, some rooms have four poster beds! The garden here is wonderfully shaded and comes complete with its own heated swimming pool. When you can tear it up, lively Duval Street is just a three-minute walk from the Chelsea House Hotel.
Truman Hotel – Bold, modern, marble-appointed rooms are the order of the day at this 3-star offering, also complete with a picturesque palm-shaded poolside area. Some rooms have a balcony, so you can get some fresh air from the privacy of your own room, while the suites have a living room. Parking is available at the Truman Hotel and it also has a complimentary continental breakfast for guests. The Ernest Hemingway House, an icon of the city, is just a three-minute walk away.
Located in the Middle Keys, the marathon runs for ten miles and is a great option for a family getaway. The island has a welcoming local community and a wide variety of services to make your stay comfortable.
Spend your time under the shade of the trees at Sombrero Beach and swim in the safety of the ocean ropes. You can also try all kinds of water sports during your stay in Marathon, or visit the turtle hospital where you can learn about conserving wildlife in the Keys.
It is a good idea to rent a car so that you can easily travel around the island and discover the local restaurants that serve freshly caught seafood at sunset. There is a wide variety of accommodations in Marathon: you can choose between staying on a houseboat on the marina or in one of the family-oriented resorts with tranquil ocean views.
The best places to stay in Marathon are:
Tranquility Bay Resort
Tranquility Bay Resort – A true slice of old-world luxury, this 4-star resort is all kinds of a classic when it comes to decor: Tranquility Bay Resort is spacious, whitewashed, and filled with beautiful furnishings and stylish design details.
Stay in one of the hotel’s opulent rooms or opt for your own 2- or 3-bedroom beach house. Amenities include a barbecue area, a Mediterranean cafe, and a beach bar. You’ll be just over a mile from the green space of Marathon Community Park if you stay here.
Captain Pip’s Marina Hideaway
Captain Pip’s Marina Hideaway – Situated right on the water’s edge, this place really is a little hideaway where guests can really get into life in the Keys. There are plenty of opportunities to get to the water by renting a boat or taking a snorkel trip or just fishing off the hotel dock.
The rooms come with everything you need to make your stay run smoothly (including a kitchen) and the staff will be happy to provide you with beach towels and equipment.
What are the best islands in the Florida Keys?
The main islands of the Florida Keys are Key Largo, Key Little Torch, Key Bahia Honda, and Key Cudjoe, to name a few. The main urban centers of these islands are Cayo Largo and Islamorada. All these islands and cities have something unique to offer. One of the best cities in Key Largo is Tavernier.
What is the largest island in the Florida Keys?
Sunset, Key Largo. Key Largo (Spanish: Cayo Largo) is an island in the upper Florida Keys archipelago and is the largest section of the Keys, at 33 miles (53 km) in length.
How many islands make up the Florida Keys?
The total area of the Florida Keys is 137.3 square miles (356 square kilometers), and in total there are more than 1,700 islands in the archipelago. However, very few are populated and most are very small. Only 43 of the islands are connected by bridges.
What are the islands of the Florida Keys?
- Key West.
- Amelia Island.
- Sea Islands chain.
- Sanibel Island.
- Purple Island.
- Marco Island.
- Anna Maria Island.
- Long Key.
- Siesta Key.
- Gasparilla Island.
- Key Biscayne.