For such a small island, Key West, Florida, sure offers a lot of different options on places to stay! One of the most common questions I get is where should I stay in Key West, Florida? And there are so many options from hotels, guesthouses, inns, motels, resorts, vacation rentals, and more. And as much as I wish I could just give you my favorite Key West hotels, I can’t. But please don’t quit reading. It’s not that I don’t know, it’s that I just can’t choose! We have stayed at a number of Key West hotels and like each one for different reasons, so the answer just is not a simple one.
So today, I’m going to give you a little review of each hotel we’ve stayed in while visiting Key West, Florida.
When I interned in Key West, Florida, for the summer at the age of 18, I thought the La Concha was so cool. I couldn’t wait to stay there one day, and 18 year old me really thought that the day I was able to stay there was the day I’d known I really made it.
The La Concha was my favorite location of anywhere we’ve stayed in Key West. It’s located right in the middle of Duval Street, so it was always easy to jump into the action. Some rooms even have balconies that overlook the pool or Duval Street, but unfortunately ours did not. Of course, a price of being in the middle of all the action means you might hear some noise. I feel like that’s a risk you’re going to take anywhere in Key West, but the risk is likely higher the closer you are to Duval Street. We actually stayed at the La Concha on a holiday weekend (the 4th of July) and we did hear people, but it didn’t really bother me and that’s significant because I’m a light sleeper. This may vary based on who else is staying at the hotel with you, but I was very pleased.
We also found the beds and pillows to be the most comfortable of almost anywhere we’ve stayed. I know that this is a subjective opinion, and everyone will feel differently about the comfort level of beds and pillows, but we still talk about how comfortable that bed was to this day! Last, a good hotel in Key West requires a pool and we really liked the La Concha pool. It is located on the second floor, which is kind of fun! There is also a bar right next to the pool. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of our time at the La Concha. Looks like we need to go back!
The La Concha’s Haunted History in Key West, Florida
I love the history of the La Concha. If you take a ghost tour while you’re in Key West, you may learn that it is said to be haunted. Ever since I heard the story of its haunting, I couldn’t wait to stay there myself. The story we were told on our ghost tour is of a waiter who backed into an open elevator shaft. Of course, he didn’t know it was open and he unfortunately fell to his death. While this is the most notable story, there have also been many suicides at the hotel.We didn’t notice anything spooky when we stayed, but many guests have reported stories.
Ocean Key Resort
This is another place I have always wanted to stay in ever since interning in Key West many years ago! Ocean Key Resort is located at the very end of Duval Street, so similar to the La Concha, it’s easy and quick to jump right into the action.
But the real reason I wanted to stay here so badly was because it’s located right on Mallory Square. Mallory Square is the place to be for sunsets in Key West. When I interned in Key West, we went to Mallory Square to watch the sunset almost every night and I remember watching the tourists (after 3 months on the four by two mile island, I took a lot of pride in considering myself a local, whether others feel that’s accurate or not!) in their hotel pool watching the sun go down. And even when visiting as an adult after my internship, I’d always watch the lucky guests in the pool with envy.
This is actually a photo from one of my trips back to Key West when I was around 21! Forgive my photography skills, but I’m not kidding about having always wanted to stay there!
Which room to book at Ocean Key in Key West, Florida
When we stayed, we booked a room with a balcony, which we absolutely loved. Not all rooms here come with balconies and if a water view is important to you, make sure you pay attention to the room details because some balconies overlook the greenery in the middle of the resort. We paid quite a bit more to get the balcony, so if that is not important to you, you can book a cheaper room that doesn’t have one.
We also stayed here during a slower time which made our room very reasonably priced. Keep in mind that depending on what you do in Key West, you may not be spending a lot of time in your room. We visited during covid when masks were required while walking on the street, so we knew we’d be spending a lot more time on the balcony, but visiting during a normal (non-covid) trip may not warrant a balcony.
This was our view from the balcony. We could look down Duval Street and we also had corner water views.
Silver Palms Inn
My memory of this place is a little fuzzy because this is where I stayed nearly 8 years ago. But while the details might be a little unclear, what isn’t is the way this place made me feel. And that was that I remember feeling welcomed and happy at this little inn. Silver Palms Inn is a short (and cute!) walk to Duval Street. I loved their pool loungers, and had a great experience overall. Plus, they offer free parking, a rare find in Key West. You can visit their website here.
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Grand Key
This hotel is almost perfect when you consider their rooms, pools, and other amenities. However, there is one thing I don’t like. And unfortunately, it’s kind of a big thing. They are located across the island from where we like to spend our time (Duval Street). While the hotel has a shuttle, it runs once an hour and it seemed like when we were ready to leave, we’d just missed its departure. Of course, with some planning this wouldn’t be a big deal at all. When we stayed at this hotel, we were only in Key West for one night so we didn’t want to wait around and ended up taking an Uber.
It’s important to note that this comes down to personal preference. Being a bit farther from the action means it’s going to be quieter and maybe that’s something you prefer! I also don’t have pictures of this amazing place because I wasn’t blogging when we stayed there. But it is beautiful!
We have never stayed at any AirBnB’s or B&Bs, but would love to do so one day. If you’re interested in more information on things to do in the Keys, as well as a list of amazing places I’d like to stay but haven’t yet, check out my huge guide here. Which hotel would you choose?