The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
1435 Simonton St., Key West, Florida 33040, USA
You might never know it’s there unless you stumble to the quiet end of Duval and wander down a side street that dead-ends at the sea. This is The Reach, a quiet, upscale resort where they take great pride in their service, and their onsite restaurant is renown for its prime steaks and romantic, waterfront setting.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Valet is $35 a day, and so is the resort fee. There is no self-parking.
You can overlook the ocean, courtyard or the street, but all the rooms and suites are updated with amazingly comfortable beds with white Waldorf-Astoria sheets and duvets, large flat screens, stylish furnishings, and Nespresso machines with all the supplies you need to sip your way to nirvana on your balcony. A mini fridge, safe, and Home docking station are in each room, too.
A little on the small side, but it has everything you need. Newer vanity, stacks of towels on the vanity shelves, luxurious bath products, modern sinks and faucets, and a step in shower with plate glass wall (and a curtain so the water doesn’t splash). You might find the placement of the faucet a bit odd. It’s on the side of the sink instead of its usual rear position. It makes washing your face an adventure.
Slip into your plush, seersucker robe, hanging in the closet.
Pull up to the valet and head up the steps. The aroma from their signature candle is intoxicating. If the check-in counter is busy, pour yourself some fruit-infused water, have a seat, and admire the nature photography by Alan Maltz that adorns the walls. A concierge is in the far corner.
Mostly rectangular, freshwater, surrounded by palms, and the sound of the ocean (and views!) just might lull you to sleep. Cabana rentals are available and there are plenty of loungers along the edge. Pool service includes chilled eucalyptus towels, sunglass cleaning, popsicles, and food and beverages by Spencer’s by the Sea.
Since you have access to sister resort, Casa Marina, you have access to Spa al Mare. It’s a two-minute walk and you can choose to have your massage oceanside, under a cabana, at no added charge.
YOU SHOULD KNOW No manicures or pedicures at the spa--sorry, ladies.
It’s a good size, with treadmills, bikes, weights, cardiovascular equipment, mats and balls, a mini fridge full of branded bottled water, and a stack of gym towels. Restrooms are inside the fitness center, too.
YOU SHOULD KNOW No key access is required, you can just walk right in.
One of the finest waterfront dining experiences in Key West (and beyond) is onsite at Spencer’s by the Sea. Dine inside or on the veranda, overlooking the Atlantic. They’re known for their USDA Prime grade steaks but their seafood, like their enormous Key West Pinks (shrimp) is also outstanding.
Their homemade key lime pie, flourless chocolate cake, and cookie skillet desserts are worth the calories.
There is an outdoor bar under a canopy that overlooks the pool area, and Spencer's by the Sea has an indoor bar.
They have their own private, soft sand, natural beach where you can walk right in the water. This is one of the best hotel beaches in the Keys, by far. A beach concierge can set you up with a lounger, umbrella, and towels.
Take a look in the onsite shop and you’ll find clothing, seaside-inspired gifts, and a few food items… lots to see in a small space. The concierge in the lobby can arrange reservations and tours. Wi-Fi is accessible from most anywhere on the grounds.
Purchase a souvenir Tervis tumbler in their onsite shop and you’ll get free refills of iced tea or iced coffee for the duration of your stay (in the store).
Play bocce or a giant game of chess, walk out to their gorgeous pier gazebo, or visit their onsite watersports vendor, Barefoot Billy’s, where you can rent a jet ski, paddleboard, water trike, bike or kayak, and enjoy many more water and land activities.
For something different, sign up for the jet ski tour. It’s two hours long and you’ll explore the island by water with other adventurers.
There isn’t a shuttle, so you’ll have to walk or drive yourself around Key West. You can walk to many places from this location, and when you tire of walking, you can hail a cab or a pedi-taxi.
Sushi lovers will be thrilled to know that Ambrosia (1-minute walk) is right next door. La Trattoria Oceanside (10-minute drive) is an indoor Italian bistro across from the ocean, but with glass walls to take advantage of the views. Deuce’s Off The Hook (13-minute walk) is a foodie paradise with their everything-made-in-house dishes like gnocchi lobster mac and cheese. It’s small, so be prepared for a wait, but they’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Southernmost Beach Cafe (2-minute walk) is the oceanfront bar (and restaurant) right next door. The crowd is young and fun. Louie’s Backyard (2-minute walk) is more than a restaurant, they have a casual café upstairs with a nice menu of appetizers and daily flavored popcorn. For live music, locals, and good priced drinks, head to the Green Parrot Bar (6-minute drive). It’s not a place for a quiet drink, but it will be memorable.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The location puts you just a few blocks from Duval Street, but you’ll feel like you’re in a privileged, private bubble with the comfort of your room, the spacious grounds, the pool area, and of course that soft sand beach. You’ll also find each member of the staff to be accommodating and friendly, and the onsite food and drinks will spoil you since the quality is so exceptional. To thoroughly enjoy your time here, get outdoors and soak in all that this oceanfront property has to offer.
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