Julie United States 2 Comments

With luxury resorts, boutique hotels, historic Victorian mansions, and budget hotels, you have a lot of options to choose from when deciding where to stay in Key West.

One of the most important things to consider is the location. Do you want to stay within walking distance of the bars and restaurants along Duval Street or do you prefer a quieter neighborhood?

In this guide, we cover where to stay in Key West…not only the best properties, but also the best areas of town to call home while you are here.

Overview of Key West

Before we jump into the best hotels in Key West, here is a quick geography lesson. This is important if it is your first visit to Key West.

Key West is a relatively small place (this island is only 2 miles by 4 miles long). The majority of things to do are in the Old Town, which is the western end of Key West and includes Mallory Square, the Historic Seaport, Duval Street, and the Southernmost Point. New Town is the eastern area of Key West, and this is where you will find the Key West International Airport and Smathers Beach.

Of these two areas, the Old Town is the best place to stay. From here, you are within walking distance of best things to do in Key West. This area is further divided into smaller neighborhoods, which you can see on the map below.

Where to Stay in Key West Map

To get around Key West, we typically use Uber to get to places that are too far to walk to. You can drive from place to place, but parking is challenging and expensive, and can be a big hassle.


How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about hotel. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Where to Stay in Key West

Below I list the best hotels in Key West, organized by neighborhood. Each neighborhood has its pros and cons, which I also discuss in each section.

The hotels we list in this article are very highly rated. All but a few get 8 stars or higher on Booking.com, and most of them get at least 9 stars. On this list you will find hotels, bed and breakfasts, apartments, and even a place where you can stay in houseboat.

I list hotels as luxury, upscale, mid-range, and budget. A luxury hotel is a 5-star property, an upscale hotel is a 4-star property, a mid-range hotel is a 3-star property, and a budget hotel is 1 or 2-star property.

How Much Does it Cost to Stay in Key West?

In recent years, Key West has become a very expensive place to visit. During peak season, a mid-range hotel at double occupancy can start at $400 to $500 per night. Even budget properties can be pricey, costing several hundred dollars a night.

Best Hotels Near the Historic Seaport & Mallory Square

This area is the northwest area of Key West and the most touristy part of town. If you want to stay within walking distance many of Key West’s top attractions, this a great place to stay.

Pros: Near many of Key West’s top attractions, including Mallory Square, the Historic Seaport, bars on Duval Street (Sloppy Joe’s, Hog’s Breath Saloon, Irish Kevin’s), and Papa’s Pilar Rum Distillery and the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery.

Cons: Touristy, can be loud at night, lacks the charm that you will find in other Key West neighborhoods, mid-range hotels tend to get poor review scores in this part of Key West.

Duval Street Key West

Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Duval Street


Mallory Square

Mallory Square at sunset

UPSCALE: Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa. This 4-star hotel is located next to the Historic Seaport and just a short walk from Mallory Square and Duval Street. We stayed here on our most recent visit, and I have to say that the location is excellent, if you plan to go out at night at the bars and don’t want to do a lot of walking. The hotel is clean and quiet, but I think it is a little bit overpriced for what you get. However, I would stay here again, because the location and the amenities are excellent.

Hyatt Centric Location

Hyatt Centric Key West

View from our room at the Hyatt Centric

UPSCALE: Key West Harbor Inn – Adults Only. This bed and breakfast property is located near the Historic Seaport and a short walk to Duval Street. There is an onsite pool, bar, and terrace.

BUDGET: Seaport Inn. Located next to the Historic Seaport, rooms can accommodate up to four people. There is an onsite pool and some rooms have a kitchenette.

BUDGET: Casa 325 Guesthouse. If you are looking for a budget property in the heart of the action on Duval Street, check out this property. This small hotel has an outdoor pool. Rooms range from standard hotel rooms to two-bedroom suites. Prior guests rave about the awesome location and the clean, comfortable rooms.

Best Hotels in the Historic Old Town

This is the historic heart of Key West. This area is bordered by Eaton Street in the north, Whitehead Street in the west, White Street in the north, and stretches down to the Southernmost Point and Atlantic Coast. Duval Street runs right through this section of Key West.

The area around the Southernmost Point tends to be quieter and more laid back than northern end of this neighborhood. There are also several great breakfast/brunch restaurants (La Grignote and the Banana Café) and a restaurant with great sunset views (Louie’s Backyard) in this area, so you won’t have to walk far to get a good meal. Plus, you can easily visit the Southernmost Point in the morning, before it gets crowded.

Many of the buildings in this area are historic properties. Some of these Victorian buildings have been converted into boutique hotels and bed and breakfast properties. This area has more of a local feel to it than the area near Mallory Square.

Duval Street

Duval Street


Hemingway House where to stay in Key West

Hemingway House


Southernmost Point where to stay in Key West

Pros: Good, central location in Key West. Wide variety of properties to choose from, including hotels, apartments, and historic Victorian mansions. Easy walk to some of Key West’s best restaurants and top attractions, such as the Hemingway House and the Southernmost Point.

Cons: Properties located right on Duval Street can be loud at night.

LUXURY: The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton. This luxury property gets good but not great reviews on Booking.com. At the time I am writing this, most people loved their stay, they just think it is overpriced for what you get. And what you get is a beachfront property with rooms that can accommodate up to four people. There is only one other luxury property on this list in Key West, and that is the Casa Marina, an adjacent sister property.

UPSCALE: H2O Suites. This adults-only property is one of the highest rated hotels in Key West. We almost stayed here on our most recent visit, choosing the Hyatt Centric to be with family who were visiting at the same time. But on our next visit to Key West, this is where we will stay. The rooms are modernly decorated and come with either a balcony or a private pool. Private pool…how nice would that be?! It also has an onsite bar and rooftop pool. From here, it is a short walk to the end of Duval Street.

UPSCALE: Santa Maria Suites Resort. At this boutique property, all rooms are two-bedroom suites that come with a full kitchen and washing machine. There are two outdoor pools and an onsite Japanese restaurant. Santa Maria Suites is located just a short walk from Duval Street, the Southernmost Point, and the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.

MID-RANGE: Southernmost Point Guest House. This boutique property has a great location, right at the end of Duval Street and just a very short walk from the Southernmost Point. It’s also a short walk to one of our favorite breakfast spots in Key West, La Grignote. This Victorian-style mansion is surrounded by lush tropical gardens, and it gets wonderful reviews on Booking.com.

MID-RANGE: Almond Tree Inn. This adults-only is one of the highest rated properties in Key West. Rooms can accommodate up to four people. Enjoy the pool and happy hour with complimentary drinks. From the Almond Tree Inn, you can walk to the Southernmost Point, Hemingway House, and the Historic Lighthouse in less than 10 minutes.

MID-RANGE: The Artist House. This bed and breakfast has an excellent location. It’s a historic Victorian mansion and one of the most photographed houses in Key West. It is tucked away in a residential area, but from here, it doesn’t take long to walk to Duval Street and the Historic Seaport. Rooms can accommodate up to four people and continental breakfast is included with your stay.

MID-RANGE: La Te Da – Adult Only, 21 or Older. La Te Da is a restaurant, bar and hotel. In the evenings there is a drag show. This hotel gets great reviews, both for its well decorated and comfortable rooms, and also for its restaurant and bar. Just be aware that the live music and show ends around midnight, and you will be able to hear this from your room. This is a great pick for those who plan to stay up late in Key West, but if you think you’ll be going to be before midnight, I recommend choosing a different hotel.

BUDGET: Courtney’s Place Historic Cottages & Inns. On Booking.com, this property is the highest rated budget property in Key West. This historic property is just a one-minute walk from Duval Street. Take your pick between standard hotel rooms and cottages that can accommodate up to six people.

BUDGET: Blue Marlin Motel. This hotel is one block away from Duval Street and a short walk to the Southernmost Point and Higgs Beach. Rooms can accommodate up to four people.

BUDGET: Southwinds Motel. Many years ago, on our first visit to Key West, this is where we stayed. It’s nothing fancy but it ticks all the boxes for cleanliness, comfort, and amenities. There is an outdoor pool and from here, it is just a short walk to the end of Duval Street.

Florida Travel Guide

Best Hotels in Bahama Village

In the late 1800’s, Bahamians moved to Key West and settled in this area of town. Small houses painted in classic Caribbean colors of aqua, bright yellow, and bright blue are now historic properties. In recent years, this area has been renovated and is now home to ethnic restaurants and small shops.

The Bahama Village is a small area located west of Whitehead Street, between Amelia and Angela Streets, and is bordered by the Naval Air Station.

Pros: Quieter area of Key West, properties tend to be a little cheaper here, located very close to several of Key West’s best restaurants (Blue Heaven and Santiago’s Bodega)

Cons: Longer walk to some of Key West’s top attractions

UPSCALE: Bahama Gardens – Conch House. This two-bedroom house can accommodate up to five people. It comes with a kitchen, washing machine, and a tennis court. From here it is just a short walk to the Hemingway House.

MID-RANGE: Seascape Tropical Inn. At this adults-only hotel, rooms can accommodate two to four people. Some rooms overlook the pool and other rooms overlook the gardens. Prior guests rave about the location and the friendly staff.

MID-RANGE: Kimpton Lighthouse Hotel. This hotel is located right across the street from the Hemingway House. It gets great reviews and has a pool, complimentary continental breakfast, and on-site bar. Rooms can accommodate up to four people and children are welcome. This is an IHG hotel, so if you collect IHG hotel points, this is a property to consider.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you will have a car while in Key West, check with the hotel if they offer parking. Some hotels offer free onsite parking, some hotels offer free off-site parking, and some hotels will charge an additional fee to park on the property.

Best Hotels in the Truman Annex

The Truman Annex is a small enclave of luxury mansions and historic properties. This is the location of The Little White House, where Truman spent 175 days of his presidency.

The Truman Annex is a gated community where you will find many private properties, but there are also a few hotels and bed and breakfasts. This area also makes a great place to go for a walk or a bike ride, with its park-like setting and beautiful homes.

Pros: Lovely, upscale neighborhood

Cons: Expensive to stay here

Little White House where to stay in Key West

The Little White House

UPSCALE: Sunset at Harbour Place. This apartment condo is located next to the Little White House. It has two bedrooms, sleeps six, and offers great sunset views from its balcony. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, this apartment makes a great pick for families or friends who want space to spread out but are also within easy walking distance of Mallory Square and Duval Street.

UPSCALE: Opal Key Resort & Marina. This waterfront hotel is located between the Truman Annex and Mallory Square. Rooms range from traditional hotel rooms to three-bedroom suites. Some rooms have ocean views and great views of the sunset. Bistro 245 is a highly rated restaurant and one of the best spots in Key West to watch the sunset. They also have water sports onsite as well as an outdoor swimming pool.

MID-RANGE: Weatherstation Inn Circa 1911. This historic property is an adult-only bed and breakfast. It has an outdoor swimming pool and private parking free of charge. This is a great pick for those who want to stay in a historic house in the Truman Annex, without paying a small fortune.

Best Hotels in Casa Marina

This neighborhood includes the area around Casa Marina, a historic resort that was originally built by Henry Flagler. In the 1920’s, Henry Flagler built the overseas railway that connected Key West to mainland Florida.

This area includes Higgs Beach, several great restaurants, and it is a short walk to the Southernmost Point and the end of Duval Street.

Pros: Quieter and less touristy that other areas of the Old Town

Cons: Long walk or a short Uber ride to many of Key West’s top attractions

LUXURY: Casa Marina Key West, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. On Booking.com, this property only gets a 5.9, which is a poor rating for a hotel, in my opinion. I am only including it in this guide because it is a historic, popular hotel in Key West. In 2018, we attended a wedding here and had a great experience. But in recent years, many guests say that it is shabby, dirty, and not worth the money. You can check out the reviews, but I recommend staying elsewhere.

MID-RANGE: The Grand Guesthouse. This adults-only bed and breakfast has rooms with king and queen-sized beds. Some rooms are suites that have a small sitting area. Prior guests rave about the staff, cleanliness, and comfort.

Hotels on Sunset Key

Sunset Key is a 27-acre island that is located just off-shore from Key West. This private island is home to luxury homes, Latitudes (one of Key West’s top fine dining restaurants), and the Sunset Key Cottages.

The only way to get to Sunset Key is by ferry, which runs roughly twice an hour.

Pros: Perfect for the luxury traveler

Cons: Expensive, you will have to ride the ferry to and from Sunset Key to get to Key West

Sunset Key where to stay in Key West

Sunset Key (photo taken from a ride on a Cruisin’ Tikis Key West tiki boat).

UPSCALE: Sunset Key Cottages. These cottages have two to four bedrooms. Some cottages have a pool and/or are oceanfront, offering spectacular sunset views at the end of the day. This was named as one of the 500 best properties in the world by the readers of Travel + Leisure.

Best Hotels in New Town

In this large, eastern area of Key West, you will find residential communities, shopping centers, Smathers Beach, and the Key West International Airport.

If you stay in New Town, you will need to drive, Uber, or take a taxi to get to Duval Street and Key West’s top attractions. However, this area does have its advantages. It can be cheaper to stay out this way, and if you are planning your trip at the last minute, it might be easier to find available hotels here, rather than in the Old Town.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you plan to stay in New Town to save money, don’t forget to factor in an additional fee for parking or using Uber to get back and forth to downtown Key West. Parking in Key West averages about $5 per hour and this can really add up.

Pros: Can be cheaper than staying in the Old Town, beach lovers can pick a hotel near Smathers Beach, one of the best beaches in Key West

Cons: Located far from many of Key West’s top attractions, lacks the charm of the Old Town

Smathers Beach where to stay in Key West

Smathers Beach

UPSCALE: Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Windward Pointe. This property is an excellent pick for families. Each room is a two-bedroom apartment that can accommodate six people. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and washing machine in each apartment. Enjoy the outdoor pool and the free onsite parking.

UPSCALE: Parrot Key Hotel & Villas. This is another great pick for families or those traveling as a small group. This property is a Conde Nast Traveler Top Resort. It has a gorgeous setting, right on the water, with access to kayaking and other water sports. There are four onsite pools plus The Grove, an outdoor grill and pool bar.

MID-RANGE: The Laureate Key West. This waterfront property also has an outdoor swimming pool. Rooms range from standard hotel rooms to three-bedroom suites that can accommodate up to seven people.

BUDGET: Harborside Motel & Marina. This hotel is a great option for families and small groups who are traveling on a budget. Some rooms can accommodate up to six people and you can even stay in a houseboat!

Our Recommendations

Even with a narrowed down list of where to stay in Key West, this is still a lot to choose from. Here are our recommendations based on travel style and budget.

If you want to stay in a boutique hotel or bed and breakfast, we recommend H20 Suites, the Southernmost Point Guesthouse, the Artist House, and the Almond Tree Inn.

For couples, we recommend H2O Suites, Key West Harbor Inn, and the Almond Tree Inn.

If you are a budget traveler, we recommend Casa 325 Guesthouse (excellent location on Duval Street), Harborside Motel & Marina (stay in a houseboat), and Courtney’s Place (highest rated budget hotel on Booking.com in Key West).

For families, we recommend the Hyatt Residence Club (apartments with lots of amenities), Casa 325 Guesthouse (great location and it has a pool), the Kimpton Lighthouse Hotel, Parrot Key Hotel & Villas, and the Opal Key Resort and Marina.

On our next visit to Key West, we plan to stay at the H2O Suites. The beautifully decorated rooms, private pool, and location on a quieter side of town all sound wonderful.

If you have any questions about where to stay in Key West, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Key West

KEY WEST: For a list of top experiences in Key West, read our article Best Things to Do in Key West. We also have guides on renting a Tiki Boat in Key West and Where to Eat in Key West.

DRY TORTUGAS: If Dry Tortugas National Park is on your to-do list, don’t miss our guides to the Best Things to do at Dry Tortugas National Park and How to Get to Dry Tortugas National Park. For even more information, check out our Dry Tortugas National Park Travel Guide.

FLORIDA KEYS: Plan your Florida Keys road trip with our Florida Keys Itinerary, which has suggestions on how to road trip from Miami to Key West. We also have a guide to the best things to do along the Florida Keys.

TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more travel ideas, here are 10 unique destinations to put on your travel wish list and 10 places to visit during the winter holiday season.

If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our United States Travel Guide and our Florida Travel Guide for more inspiration and travel planning tips.


Best Hotels in Key West Florida


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Comments 2

  1. Avatar for Liz

    I’m thinking my husband and I will want to rent a golf cart. I read somewhere that parking is $3 an hour?? Is it hard to find parking at most hotels? What advice do you have about this?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Liz. I recommend asking the golf cart company about parking and parking prices in Key West. We had a car but left it parked at our hotel the entire time we were in Key West, and walked or used Uber, so I don’t know how much parking costs. I just know that with a car, parking can be difficult but I think it is a lot easier with a golf cart. Cheers, Julie

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