When we began to plan our Florida Keys and Key West vacation we knew we wanted to hit each of the three areas; upper, middle and lower Keys. That of course also meant Key West. Deciding where we hoped to stay, the Westin Key West was my first choice. Why? I’d gotten to know them via social media, today’s word-of-mouth marketing venue, and through those tweets, press releases and photos I’d come to hope we’d visit one day.
The Westin Key West I knew was in Key West, was on the waterfront, has an island called Sunset Key, just offshore, but that was about it. I’d only previously spent about 24 hours in Key West, sixteen years ago, when it rained the whole time and I slept. I knew little to nothing about what the island was really like. You can look at a map, but lets face it, until you’ve been somewhere, you still have only a limited feel.
*** As a travel writer I work with local Convention and Visitor Bureaus who arrange my stays, rates are media rates or comped.
When reaching out to The Florida Keys and Key West I specifically requested, if they were interested, Westin Key West. I had to see and experience it for myself. That they are also dog-friendly made it even better. We would be traveling with Jake the dog, so staying anywhere required they accept dogs.
Driving into town one is excited, overwhelmed by the island atmosphere, that “you’re finally here,” and that you’re trying to figure out where to go. We hadn’t Googled the Westin as we’d done all the other hotels – I’m still not sure why – and literally drove towards the piers and that end of town. Road construction, water, excitement and everything else led us on. Pulling out a map we determined it had to be on Front Street, turning right first, coming to a dead-end, then back right, passing over the famed Duvall, and there, ahead, it was. The Westin Key West. But wait, we can’t go that way, a short one-way. We dodged left, to the corner, then made our right… Key West quirky had begun and so too, our joy and excitement.
The Westin Key West turns out to be in “the perfect location.” Set a block off the end of Duvall and its world famous, Mallory Square, the Westin shares not just Front Street here, but the waterfront as well. Face the island, you’re in the heart of all the action, with Duvall, shopping, dining, and all the fun at your doorstep. Turn towards the water and you discover what so many come here for: the water and sunsets. Westin is at the heart, the doorstep, the entryway.
Checking in, our room wasn’t ready so we turned to town – after checking our bags with the door-staff – then headed out to explore. We’d arrived on the island as early as possible and knew this was likely, so we were prepared and excited. Tropical Storm Debby had come along for our Florida Keys adventure and remained by our side this day, not so much a nuisance as a friend harboring us beneath her cloudy cover – perfect when walking a 12 year old dog all over.
The town is wonderful and we’ll talk about Key West in many other posts, but our return to the Westin is our concern, and our joy.
Shannon and company had given us a dog-friendly room, second floor, main building, and while I am tempted to even give you the room number so you might request it, I don’t want to! I want to keep this secret. I’ll console you with the knowledge that other rooms on the second floor of the main building seem to allow dogs as well (we could hear one, but only when walking through the hallway) and all the rooms seem mostly perfectly wonderful.
Why keep ours a secret then? So when we return it might be available and why did we love it? Well, it was perfect. The setting, the view, the location in the building… we were in paradise!
From the amazingly comfy bed to the set up, from the location in the building to the location of the building, from the view one day to the next, we truly were blessed and feeling we had found paradise.
In deed, our entire trip (rooms provided as media) we were blessed by these wonderful hosts who shared with us their hospitality and warmth. In turn, we get to share it with you.
But would I rave if it were not so? No, I would not. But look at our smiles in photos from throughout the trip and know what I say and write is true… we were in paradise.
If you’re planning a Key West visit, I do know there are a number of wonderful lodging choices. From B&Bs to resorts, surely the others are mostly worthy your consideration. I cannot lie and say the Westin is your only choice.
But I can tell you with all sincerity and honesty, it is a wonderful, nearly perfect choice.
You are literally in the heart of all Key West’s best… but you are equally in a place of peace and beauty. Your view of the harbor and waters beyond is breathtaking. We didn’t get the most famous of Key West’s sunsets with Debby in tow, but certainly ours was great and yours will be as well. Shopping and dining are within a stroll, while there is a peace and quiet here that keeps your mind at peaceful ease. The room was so quiet we could never once hear the dog in the room next door, while we never felt we were overwhelmed. We were in the middle where only the middle of paradise includes activity and peace… see what I mean… perfect.
I’ll share more photos, the room service we had, the photos… there are plenty of ways to show off the Westin, Key West, and the beauty of it all. I hope you’ll check it out. But when you’re planning your next or first Key West visit, I highly encourage you to consider the Westin Key West – or their private island right off shore, Sunset Key. This place, perfection; Paradise Found.
For more on the Florida Keys and Key West and our visit, click here. For more on the Westin Key West, visit their website. If you are planning on a Florida Keys and Key West vacation, visit the Florida Keys and Key West Convention and Visitors Bureau site. We are going to be sharing a number of opportunities throughout the Keys, so stay tuned, but also, visit us often so you don’t miss one exciting more or opportunity to make your next vacation in paradise the best it can be!
Be surprised… when you wake the next morning to a
very large cruise ship outside your window!
We were. The ships come in pretty much daily (unless canceled
by tropical storms) and must leave port by 4pm, so no worries,
your sunset will not be blocked!
Jake was so tired from our walk around Key West
that when we arrived in our room he laid down
at his provided water and food bowls and napped
until we filled the water… Westin Key West is a
wonderful, comfortable friend to dogs.
Just ask Jake…