Cypress House Key West

Hotel in Florida Keys

Historic Inn Hotel

When you live in London, you don’t necessarily expect to be impressed with historic towns in the U.S.A.  But Key West is different.

The wild, west vibe of Key West is fun and fabulous and makes an attractive haunt for visitors. The town’s architecture is enchanting, taking tourists back to a former time when the southernmost town in the U.S. was influenced by Havana, Cuban cigars, pirates, sponge and shrimp fishing as well as a roaring trade in narcotics and marijuana.

This town, located at the southernmost point of the Florida Keys is astonishing for the amount of original buildings still intact from the 19th century.  The wooden clapboard houses now have tin roofs, required by law, and it all adds character and ambience to this bohemian enclave.  Old saloons, plantation homes, former brothels and ancient lighthouses vie for attention; the East and West armouries built during the Civil War are open for visitors and many other properties are of great interest.  Even Ernest Hemingway’s house and gardens are in immaculate condition and a shady refuge on hot summer days

Cypress House Hotel is also one of these fascinating, historic gems.  The former estate property of Richard Kemp, an avid naturalist and fisherman, includes two Classic Bahamian Conch Style houses and one Grand Conch Mansion, dating from 1888 and 1895.  The houses are clustered around the corner of Caroline and Simonton Streets.  The office faces Caroline Road in what looks to have been a coaching and tacking stable.  Behind the office is a cool sitting area and beyond that, the shaded swimming pool.  A complimentary breakfast is served here daily.

As I climb the somewhat rickety wooden stairs to my room on the second floor, I am anxious and excited to see what might be in store.  I unlock the door to a truly enormous room with a large bed, refrigerator, seating area with table, ample hanging space and a very big chest of drawers as well as a plasma screen TV.  There is an enormous bathroom which is tiled in a mosaic style and boasts an absolutely gigantic shower (nearly the size of a room itself!!).

When staying at the Cypress House you are literally just a two block stroll to some of the best restaurants and bars in town.  The Porch and The Bull Bar are both on Caroline Street less than a 5 minute walk away.  B&Os fish wagon, 801 Caroline Street, is a shack with character and great food.  Go around the corner to Green Street for Amigos’ authentic Mexican Food and stop into Captain Tony’s Saloon across the street which has the town’s hanging tree in the middle of the premises.  Both the Half Shell Raw Bar and Conch Republic Seafood Company are on the historic waterfront and are second to none for excellent seafood.

The Hotel uses a city parking garage a few blocks away (included in the price) that means you can leave your car and explore Key West on foot, perhaps just hopping on one of the trolley tours in the middle of the day when the heat is significant.

Accommodation includes continental breakfast, evening social hour and Wi-Fi access.

Lynn Houghton is a Travel Writer and Photographer based in London

Reviewer's Rating
Relaxation, Beach / Sun, Great local restaurants
Services Free High Speed Internet, Swimming Pool
Dress Code Casual
Cost Medium
Ambience Hidden Gem, Charming
Number of Rooms 22 rooms and suites

Room and Suite Categories

Superior Queen Room; Deluxe King Rom; Historic Room with Porch and Cypress Suite.

Additional Ambience Information

Friendly and casual.

Additional Price Comments

$179 to $369 per night plus tax for a room with a Queen bed; $199 to $389 per night plus tax for a room with a King bed.

Last updated on 02-10-2015

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