Up until about six months ago I was a resident of sunny southwest Florida, and aside from the collapsing housing market and copious amounts of traffic, I had no complaints. My options for taking a relaxing weekend getaway, however, were somewhat limited, considering the fact I was already living in paradise. Enter Key West. It’s remote, laid back, and best of all, it’s a three-hour ferry ride from either Ft. Myers or Marco Island. And my quest for a relaxing weekend getaway was complete.
While there, my favorite place to stay was the Ocean Key Resort and Spa. The rooms are bright and colorful (quintessential Key West), the staff has always been wonderful, and best of all, the location is superb. You’re situated at the end of Duval Street directly on the water and Mallory Square is right out your window (which, if you’ve never partaken in the sunset celebration, is a must). For the dining aficionados, they’ve got a great restaurant (the Hot Tin Roof) with seating directly on the water, and of course, there’s a variety of spa services as well.
My advice for a fantastic night: head over to the sunset celebration and take in some of the performances, enjoy the sunset, then visit the Cuban restaurant El Mason de Pepe (which again is right outside your doorstep). Order the “Rabirubia Frita Entera” (fried whole yellowtail, marinated w/fresh key lime,garlic and onions) and pair it with a few mojitos. It’s a beautiful thing, let me tell you.
For more info on the Ocean Key Resort & Spa, you can view their website at www.oceankey.com.