Casa Marina, A Waldorf-Astoria Resort
1500 Reynolds St., Key West, Florida 33040, USA
If you’ve got the money, honey, this resort delivers. History buffs will relish in its storied past, and affluent travelers will adore its many amenities including a fabulous spa, two oceanfront pools, top-rated restaurants, and the largest (and private) beach in Key West.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Self-parking is $27 a day, and valet parking is $35. There’s also a daily resort fee of $35.
Room or suite? Either way, you win. Bedding is exceptionally comfortable, furnishings and amenities are contemporary, and guests love having their own Nespresso machine.
YOU SHOULD KNOW You may find the long corridors in the Flagler building a little creepy. They seem out of context compared to the glamorous lobby, and may remind you of a certain movie where, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Modern and sleek with new vanities, flattering lighting from stylish sconces, glass-enclosed shower, and Ferragamo bath products that you’ll want to pack up and take home.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The faucets can be tricky, but once you get it, hot water flows so don't scorch yourself.
It’s more than a lobby, it’s the luxurious gateway to many of the hotel’s venues. While there are several comfortable seating areas, and check-in stands, what will catch your attention is the gloriously vaulted, Florida Pine beamed ceiling.
A quiet pool for adults and a family pool for everyone. Both overlook the ocean, have plenty of loungers, and poolside service is available.
Stay long enough to cool off with their poolside popsicles and refreshing, frozen eucalyptus towels.
Even though you have to walk across the street to get there, Spa al Maré delivers what you seek--total relaxation. The menu offers facials, body scrubs, and massages but no mani/pedi options.
Add “Ocean Breeze Indulgence” to any massage and get your treatment under a thatched hut on the hotel’s beach at no additional cost.
It's across the street, but it's nice and big with a whole row of treadmills, ellipticals, free weight equipment, most everything you need, including towels, fruit and water.
Dine casually outside with the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop at Sun Sun Beach Bar & Grill. Sunrise breakfast is a memorable experience, especially with Key West's famous roosters crowing (yes, even a Waldorf Astoria property cannot escape the famous roosters)! You can also walk over to Spencer’s by the Sea (at their sister resort, The Reach). The atmosphere is more upscale yet still relaxed. Veranda dining available.
YOU SHOULD KNOW All this luxury and beachside ambiance comes at a cost. Even breakfast is pricey, let alone dinner. Can you say, “ $14 soup?”
You've got options. Sip a cold one by the pool, day or night, at Sun Sun. Indoors, you might get lucky and land one of seven barstools at RUMba, the quaint lobby bar. For a morning mimosa, find your way to the Flagler Cafe.
Try the Southernmost Mojito at Sun Sun.
Yes, there's a large beach area, but this is Key West, so the beaches are formed by the coral reefs just offshore. That means, the sand is not soft, and this beach is fringed by rocks. They have roped off areas where you can easily enter the water, just don’t expect powdery sand.
Spare yourself parking headaches. Take an Uber, taxi or a pedicab (a human-powered bike/taxi). Another great option is the Old Town Trolley. Casa Marina is Stop #10 so it comes by twice an hour and the narration is educational and fun. There’s also a free shuttle to sister resort, The Reach, where you can enjoy their amenities.
If the concierge sends you to Louie’s Backyard (5-minute walk), it’s not someone’s home, it’s one of the most popular restaurants in Key West. Reservations are necessary. New York Pasta Garden (5-minute drive) is a gem--and don’t let the name fool you. It’s seafood bliss. Blue Heaven (6-minute drive) is not-to-be-missed. Hemingway used to box here, and Vanilla Ice loves their breakfast, but they're also open for lunch and dinner. Salute! On The Beach (5-minute walk) is the sister restaurant to Blue Heaven, offering Italian seafood specialties. Don't miss it.
Pay a visit to the Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn (14-minute walk) and treat yourself to Bob’s Bark Juice or 200+ types of rum. For the brave or just curious, head to Garden of Eden (9-minute drive), a clothing optional rooftop bar. Captain Tony’s Saloon (10-minute drive) was a Hemingway favorite, and has a live tree growing through the ceiling.
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s not often that you find a property with such beautiful design and intriguing history. If only these walls could talk! And while the original 1920s Flagler building has its quirks, like tiny elevators and those long hallways, the accommodations, manicured grounds, location, and amenities are what you’d expect at a Waldorf Astoria property.
But the "a-ha!" moment happens once you step outside the lobby and gaze at the towering palms that gracefully line the wide walkway, leading to the ocean. Then, you’ll get it. It’s in that moment that you’ll realize how blessed you are to be standing there, and to partake of the lifestyle that Casa Marina affords its guests. We love that moment, and you will too.
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