Key West, Florida, is well-known for its sunny atmosphere, but not so much for its history. And Americans tend to flock to places whose main attraction is their rich backstory. Boston, which is nearly 400 years old, Philadelphia, and even the nation’s capital, are cities held in such high esteem because they’re geographical relics of the foundation of the United States. After all, there’s an undeniable thrill that comes with running a finger down the crack of the Liberty Bell. And even though America and its most historic cities are relatively young compared to their international counterparts, which were settled thousands of years ago, their anniversaries are still significant. Case in point: Key West, Florida, the two-mile-wide island that floats halfway between the tip of Florida and Havana, Cuba, is celebrating its bicentennial throughout March.
Unlike its historic neighbors in the north, Key West is a bit more of an obvious destination, courtesy of the weather. Perhaps that’s why there are so many luxurious hotels situated along the azure-hued water. For those looking to celebrate the tiny island’s 200th anniversary, be sure to do so in style at any of these seven hotels.
The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
Positioned on the only natural sand beach in the southernmost tip of the continental U.S., The Reach Key West has recently reemerged after a multi-million-dollar renovation. Though much of the 150-room resort has changed, its nautical name remains. Plus, it’s inspired much of the quietly luxurious spaces, including the naturally lit and airy lobby, where local artwork transforms the gallery into a gallery. Perhaps the most visually charged area of the hotel, though, is the massive patio. One of the patio’s few walls is home to the Gypsy Chicken, a large-scale mural by Cuban American muralist, street artist, and painter, David Lavernia, that reaches the top of the wall.
Another stylish space? The newly appointed oceanfront restaurant whose interiors reference a famous photo of Ernest Hemingway on a fishing trip with his family in Key West. Along with many others, the image hangs prominently on the arrival gallery wall.