We were greeted by blithe palm trees decorated with crystalline dew, encircled by the Gulf of Mexico in a tiny pocket of paradise: The Gates Key West Hotel. Its concept was inspired by the island's lush and diverse past, from Bahamian conchs to Cuban revolutionaries and literary legendaries. It is the rich, intricate history that makes Key West so special.
For an ephemeral moment, we escaped reality.
It was a weekend getaway to unlock the keys and savour the last bit of warmth before returning to the imminent long and bitter winter season in New York. We were welcomed with a palette of creamy whites and neutral hues punctuated with colour accents, eco-friendly and reclaimed details of exposed whitewashed beams, and custom platform beds of hand-washed pine. The hotel amenities were designed for the discerning traveller, incorporating luxurious bedding, plush towels and bathrobes from Turkish Towel Company, and key lime bath essentials from Key West Aloe. Each room also displays original work by award-winning local photographer Jorge de la Torriente of Key West’s De La Gallery.
In the centre of the hotel, rests a food truck called The Blind Pig and we must admit that we were a bit skeptical. However, the fish was grilled to an excellent medium, the soft-shell tacos were splendidly spiced, and the tortilla crisps and fresh guacamole were perfectly salted and slightly tart—a unique “Conch fusion” menu inspired by Key West’s Cuban, Bahamian, Caribbean, and Floridian roots. The fare smelled delicious and instantly satisfied our palettes. We finished the trip with the perfect mojitos from The Rum Row—refreshing and sweet. The people were just incredibly cordial and warm, we will surely return in the future.