New owners have taken the helm, so upgrades may be on the horizon, but in the meantime, a visit to Parmer’s is like visiting a relative with a house in the Keys. It’s tucked into in residential neighborhood, the atmosphere is welcoming, the grounds are tropical and manicured, and it just doesn’t feel like a resort; it feels like home.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you book a basic room, that’s what you’ll get--basic. Small space, plastic shower, rough towels, and a bar of soap. It’s merely a place to lay your head. But if you’re in a cottage, like the Osprey, you’ll get the "feels like home" experience, complete with monogrammed bath towels.
Lots of choices in size and view, but overall, you’ll find plain white walls, tiled floors, a small ceiling fan, an older A/C unit, a small TV, a patio area outside your door, and Wi-Fi. Some have simple kitchens but they’re stocked with all the equipment you need to cook a meal. Blinds are right from the home improvement store, so if you like a dark room, you won’t get it--but you will get a clean room.
YOU SHOULD KNOW They don't clean your room every day unless you ask, and pay extra for it.
This will depend on your room choice, so the more you upgrade the better the tile and towels will be. Some have a sink outside of the bathroom, which we think is a good thing.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Smaller rooms are lock-offs of the larger rooms, so privacy can be an issue. With a shared door and shared walls, your business is your neighbor’s business.
This is where you come to exchange your dirty bathroom towels. Drop them in the hamper in the lobby and pick up a new set. You’ll also find a freezer of creamy treats, a cold case for drinks, merchandise for sale, packets of coffee, and a helpful staff.
You may feel like you’re going to the neighbors house to swim since an entire building of units overlook the pool, but it’s a nice area. It's heated, kidney-shaped, and you even get a sliver of a water view, and a row of comfortable chaise loungers.
Pool towels are provided so you can leave your bath towels in the room.
Come on down for the free breakfast served in a pleasant community room with plenty of tables and chairs. Help yourself to cereals, sliced fresh fruit, and carbs that you can toast yourself.
You’re on five acres of waterfront property so take advantage and go paddle boarding, kayaking, boating, diving, or fishing. The staff can make arrangements. They also have water aerobic classes in the pool, yoga by the bay, a mini golf course, and a bocce court. Want to just do nothing? There are colorful hammocks strewn all around the resort.
YOU SHOULD KNOW You’ll notice that the grounds are covered in white pea rocks. This is typical in the Keys as grass is hard to keep alive in all that sun, and requires lots of watering, which is expensive on an island. Make peace with the pea rocks.
You’re basically in the middle of nowhere, so there are few places you can walk to. Drive your own car or you can try for an Uber or taxi.
For a good, fun meal, day or night, Kiki’s Sandbar (7-minute walk) is the place to be. Dine quietly upstairs, or downstairs where the action is. Boondock’s Grille & Draft House (3-minute drive) has it all, from tuna burgers to chili cheese dogs. For the experience of a lifetime, make a reservation at The Dining Room at Little Palm Island (2-minute drive). Catch their motor yacht just down the street and dine on a private island miles offshore. The memories will be priceless but your meal will be costly.
No Name Pub (11-minute drive) is an institution and a must-visit while you’re this close. They also serve pub food. My New Joint (14-minute drive) is a funky beatnik place that serves good cocktails and small plates of awesome food. Looe Key Tiki Bar (6-minute drive) is super casual and a local hang out on the side of US1.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you're looking for relaxation, easy access to the water, and flip-flop comfortableness, Parmer’s Resort offers it all in simple, Keys style. You really will feel like family as you meander around the immaculate grounds. And, there is a room for most every budget. You won’t be within walking distance to any sites, but the Keys best beach is only 10 minutes away and you can be in Key West in well under an hour. If you can do without fancy, and can embrace accommodations of a simpler time, Parmer’s will be your new home away from home.