Ideally located at the end of Duval Street (it has the distinction of having its address be 0 Duval), Ocean Key Resort & Spa welcomed us to island paradise with plenty of tropical plants in a space full of turquoise and sunny yellow tones with rich brown wooden accents.
Located in the lobby, the Madda Fella Rum Bar is a partnership with Key West-based tropical clothing company Madda Fella. The bar was built from scratch using reclaimed barn wood, tins and fixtures. Guests can choose from vintage rums and classic rum cocktails, like a dark and stormy or Cuba libre, or pick up a complimentary welcome rum punch upon arrival.
The hotel’s boutique shop, the Madda Fella Store, is located in the lobby and run by a Key West-based tropical clothing company. The expansive boutique store sells designer apparel for beach days and boating, local artwork, gifts and home accessories.
In every guest room, a stuffed manatee is placed on the bed upon arrival as a potential keepsake for guests to take home. It costs $35, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to Mote Marine Laboratory in support of their coral restoration programs. As part of Ocean Key’s sustainability efforts, there are also aluminum water bottles instead of plastic bottles in every room.
These colorful custom armoires, which house the minibar, were painted by the late Jeff Beal, a Key West artist. They’re so beloved by guests that when the hotel removed them from the rooms with plans to phase them out for something more modern, loyal Ocean Key Resort guests insisted the hotel bring them back.
When touring the guest rooms, we found the decor to be colorful, playful and quintessentially Key West. The pineapple chairs are a distinctive feature and tend to be a guest favorite.
The balconies in premium oceanfront rooms and suites offer the best seat in the house, with unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico and a gentle breeze.
The hotel’s zero-edge pool offers some of the best ocean views in town. On the outer edges are in-water benches, and there are also lounge chairs, umbrellas, cocktail tables and chic poolside cabanas. Guests can order refreshing cocktails, seafood and tropical bites from LIQUID Pool Bar & Lounge to enjoy poolside.
The sun deck wraps around the property beyond the pool for guests who want to tan and soak up the sun’s rays with stunning waterfront views.
The historic Sunset Pier that juts out into the water comes to life every night for the sunset celebration with live music by local performers. Visitors can also order casual eats and tropical drinks from the Tiki bar next to the pier.
These picture-worthy distance markers on Sunset Pier are a popular selfie spot and have been dubbed Selfiemost Point (a play on Key West’s famous Southernmost Point).
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Hot Tin Roof, has become a favorite among locals and travelers alike thanks to its unbeatable oceanfront location, which is perfect for sunset dining. It’s also known for having the best Sunday brunch in town. This is the indoor bar and lounge, but the most popular place to dine is on the outdoor terrace surrounded by waterfront views.
For some pampering in paradise, SpaTerra offers massage therapies, facials, body wraps and scrubs. Treatment rooms have elegant chandeliers, custom-painted ceiling panels and flooring, and an enclosed terrace with a traditional Japanese soaking tub for a rejuvenating ritual bath. We saw this couples treatment room, which also comes with its own shower.
This aluminum flamingo from Harley Davidson was brought back from a trip to Mexico by the owner’s wife 20 years ago and has remained a staple of Ocean Key Resort’s quirky decor ever since.
This lush canopy of foliage and purple flowers is a convenient way to provide cover and shade for guests walking between the parking garage and guest buildings, but it’s also become a popular photo op for hotel guests.