Key West has such an eclectic vibe that it’s almost hard to stay in a big chain hotel. Walking the streets and noting all of the ornate, gingerbread-like houses in the middle of everything, you know that’s where you want to be. A charming house with a pinch of craziness, just like the island itself.
We had just the luck to talk to a friend of ours a while before leaving for our epic road trip. She suggested that we cancel our existing reservations at a large chain hotel a bit outside of Key West’s center and stay at Simonton Court. It was a bit of a leap of faith, but boy, we couldn’t have been happier with our gamble. (Thankfully there was no cancellation charge, otherwise we might have thought twice!)
Upon arriving in Key West, we were stunned to find out how AMAZINGLY well situated our accommodation was. Simonton Court is located on Simonton Street, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from Duvall St! Don’t fear: even though we were close to the action, you would never even know once inside the grounds. So, the location is great, what about the rooms?
There are various types of rooms at Simonton, varying from a normal room to stand-alone bungalows. My parents stayed in the ground floor room and the chef and I hoofed it up to the 3rd floor. Both of the rooms were fairly large and very tastefully decorated. The original artwork in the rooms is a marvel. The rooms were clean, towels were fluffy and we even had a tiny (read: veeeeeeerrryyy tiny) balcony off of our room.
While the rooms are nice, they are nothing compared to the lush grounds of the hotel. Once you walk in, you know that this is the way Key West is meant to be experienced. Built on the grounds and using the preexisting buildings from a late 19th century cigar factory, Simonton Court is one of a kind. There are a few different pools on the grounds. We stuck close to the main pool. While it isn’t large by any standards, it’s just what the doctor ordered to cool off from the hot, steamy tropical weather. At night, the grounds are lit up so beautifully, it is magical! And by the way, there are two friendly cats to play with too!
With our room, we had breakfast included. There were some excellent bagels and great Florida oranges. I was up and about long before they started serving, so when those bagels hit the buffet we were the first in line. The breakfast staff and the staff in general was helpful, polite and very discreet.
There is not much we didn’t enjoy about our stay at Simonton Court. The location was top, the room was great, the grounds to die for…You might be thinking that we had to pay a lot more than at our original choice far from the center, but think again. The bill came to be just a tiny bit more than at the original place, but it was worth it to be in the center of it all. The worst part about Simonton Court was leaving. I could have stayed there forever!