Named for Mile Marker 0 (the famous photo op that marks the end of U.S. Highway 1), The Marker Key West Harbor Resort is ideally located in a quiet cul-de-sac in Old Town, right along the historic seaport. The hotel is only three blocks from Duval Street, steps away from sunset sailings and fishing charters that leave from the harbor, and within walking distance of Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration.
Outside of the hotel, we spotted a series of colorful sculptures called the 5 Watchovers by artist Adam Russell of Key West Pottery, which showcases vigilant pelicans, each sitting atop a tower with a calm eye of protection for their surroundings (aside from the middle pelican who’s feasting on a fish). Each pelican (watchover) overlooks a different aspect of the island: navigators, feelings, the Conch Republic, the red sky and surrounding life.
The lobby’s neutral tones and wicker furnishings are designed to evoke a relaxed yet elevated island vibe, but they are balanced out by contemporary artwork bursting with color and expressive energy. This style of art is also featured in the guest rooms, hallways and elsewhere throughout the hotel.
This small stand in the lobby serves as the hotel’s retail shop for Florida vacation essentials like sunglasses and sunscreen, plus The Marker-branded merchandise. The reef-safe Raw Elements mineral sunscreen sold here is also offered from complimentary dispensers by the pool; they are considered the first reef-friendly sunscreen dispensers installed in Florida.
The Marker’s modern rooms are sleek, with white bedding and furniture and pops of color in the throw pillows and hanging artwork. Every guest room at The Marker comes with its own private balcony, a separate soaking tub and a walk-in rain shower. For the best view, choose a room facing the harbor.
Guests are given citrus-scented bath bombs to use in their soaking tubs. These bath bombs from the Key West Soap Company provide an example of a local in-room amenity.
When we took a look inside the closet, we found The Marker’s signature bathrobes. They come in a vibrant salmon color that fits in with Key West’s unique character.
Suites feature an old-school Hemingway writing desk with an antique Key West desk chair in honor of the esteemed author Ernest Hemingway who made his home in Key West.
Known as the captain’s quarters, the hotel’s lone junior suite is inside the “steeple” of the building and features a unique 350-square-foot wraparound terrace. The deck, which comes with lounge chairs and a dining table, offers views of the pool and the harbor.
Guest rooms feature a bottle of Papa’s Pilar Rum from the local distillery as a minibar item. Suite guests receive this complimentary tasting flight of Pilar’s light and dark rums.
The Marker Key West offers three pools: two in the heart of the hotel, adjacent to the Starboard restaurant, and another more secluded adults-only pool for peace and tranquility. The main pool deck (also open to locals) hosts live music, games like pool golf, Sunday pool parties and more.
The Marker Key West hosts local music acts by the main pool area on this stage several days a week.
The only on-site dining option, Starboard is named for the right side of a ship and is a playful suggestion that when you’re here by the harbor, you’re on the right side of town. The menu is filled with seafood and other options with local flair, like mahi bites and Cuban nachos, as well as hand-tossed pizzas fired in their brick oven.
The courtyard next to the Harbor House event space hosts a monthly trivia brunch that’s popular with locals. Trivia happens outside in the courtyard, and attendees go inside the Harbor House to enjoy the brunch buffet as part of the event.
Behind the hotel, three industrial sculptures by artist John Martini face the harbor. These abstract animals represent a key deer, a marsh rabbit and the area’s exotic birds. You’ll see them as you stroll Lazy Way Lane, which is lined with small souvenir shops along the historic seaport.