Fodor's Expert Review The Gardens Hotel

526 Angela St., Key West, Florida 33040, USA See on Map Fodor's Choice

Could this be the most luxurious hotel in all of Key West? Yes, indeed. From the outside, you could probably guess that it was once the largest private estate in Key West. Its picket fences, brick walkways, and main house are picturesque. But once you step inside, the grandeur is even more apparent. And oh those botanical gardens!

YOU SHOULD KNOW Parking is an additional $25 a night, and no one under 15 is allowed.


Incomparable in the details, and comfort, you’ll feel like royalty in your spacious and elegantly tropical Master suite. Fine Italian linens, four-poster king bed with gel Tempur-Pedic mattress, hand carved plantation-style furniture, polished oak floors, original art by Key West’s finest artists, it is scrumptious. A flat screen TV, Keurig coffee maker, refrigerator, and fast Wi-Fi round out your in-suite amenities. And then there’s your private verandah with stylish loungers, overlooking the gardens.

YOU SHOULD KNOW If you're on the ground floor, you may hear the guests upstairs since they have wooden floors.


Master suites have marble upon marble, with double sinks, walk-in shower, a Jacuzzi soaking tub, and space to spare. There are no other bathrooms in Key West like this. You’ll also find a bidet, a sauna, a separate water closet (toilet), soft, thick towels, and plenty of bath amenities.

You’ll find all the bath products you could want in your ensuite bath, including a loofah, shower cap, nail file, makeup remover packets, and other goodies.


Just inside the main entrance, you’ll be welcomed and shown to a large room on the right where you can sit, be welcomed with champagne, and checked in without hurry.

Before you arrive, you can arrange a number of specialty packages, from wine and cheese to romantic dinners in the gazebo.


There’s a freeform main pool in the courtyard area, just outside of the main house's French doors. It's not a huge pool, but it’s got a 7' deep end (rare to find) plenty of modern loungers, lion-based bistro tables (wow!), and lush, lush foliage all around. The carriage rooms have their own pool area.


They can arrange a massage for you in the gardens or in your room.


No onsite gym but you can hop on a bike.


Breakfast is served from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. so you can sleep in. Enjoy a spread of locally made pastries and bagels, fresh fruit, quiche of the day, mueslix (like granola only better), fluffy scrambled eggs, yogurt, Boars Head meats and cheeses, and fresh juices, teas, and coffees.


Great things come out of small pool bars, especially this one. It’s a full liquor bar set within the gardens and the pool deck, and the perfect spot to spend hours contemplating quitting your job and moving to Key West. Prefer indoors? The d’vine Wine Gallery uses a modern serve-yourself system, allowing tasting of up to 35 wines.

Sundays in the Garden is a popular event during the season (October through March) and is open to the public. Sit on your balcony with your wine and soak in the sounds. Off season, there's still live music from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


It’s called The Gardens for good reason. Don’t miss the opportunity to meander along the windy pathways made from century-old bricks where you’ll find something spectacular around every gentle curve. Tortoises, a koi pond (ask about Hemingway falling into it once!), caged birds, orchids galore, statues and other way-cool garden art, this is a one-of-a-kind shady haven of happiness. And wait till you see it lit up at night, especially the gazebo. Jazz in the Gardens happens every Sunday.


Getting Around

There is no need to drive since you are staying in the center of everything. You can walk most everywhere, or have the staff call you a cab.


Blue Heaven (6-minute walk) is popular morning, noon and night. It's known for its roosters and key lime pie, along with fresh "Floribbean" cuisine; Guy Fierri from Food Network discovered DJ’s Clam Shack (2-minute walk) and you should, too. Order at the walk-up window then take a seat on their back patio and have a beer while waiting on lobster rolls or fresh clams. New York Pasta Garden (7-minute walk) may not sound exciting, but it’s a beautiful place for an al fresco dinner under the trees with excellent seafood.


The Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn (10-minute drive) has more types of rums that you can imagine and the bar tenders are renown for their skills. The Green Parrot (5-minute walk) has live music and lots of locals. Fat Tuesdays (8-minute walk) has frozen concoctions for every taste, served on their outdoor patio.


This secret garden, with Bahamian-style homes built around it, is a sight to behold. The service is impeccable, staff is genuine, and the grounds will wow you like nothing else in Key West. It’s not difficult to gush over a property when it’s The Gardens, the hard part is finding something to complain about. We’re still trying.

No wonder it was listed as one of the "1000 Places To See Before You Die." We agree.


Residential Area
Casual Chic


Phones: 305-294–2661;800-526–2664

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