We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Amazing guesthouse! Staff and amenities were awesome!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Cabana Inn Key West

Save Saved
You added The Cabana Inn Key West to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
The Cabana Inn Key West
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   413 Appelrouth Lane, Key West, FL 33040   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #41 of 98 Key West B&B and Inns
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing guesthouse! Staff and amenities were awesome!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

Sad that Big Ruby's is becoming "open-to-all." With that being said, I'd probably still stay here again barring it becoming overrun with kids. I had a truly wonderful experience on my trip. Mario was a great staff member - super helpful, nice, accommodating, etc. He was awesome.
Loved Big Ruby's! Stayed 5 nights and it was so worth it ... wish I had gone there sooner before the change that's going to take place :-( A gay landmark in Key West is going away. Hopefully if I stay there after the changeover, I'll still have a great time.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

188 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    122
    38
    11
    7
    10
See reviews for
7
112
6
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

We had the chance to enjoy Big Ruby's last days as a men's only, clothing optional resort just before Labor Day weekend! Our overall experience of the guesthouse was completely up to our expectations but, on just our second day there we were informed that a Swedish consortium (who have already bought up 3 other "previously gay" resort properties in Key west and turned them straight) had just closed the deal for Big Ruby's as well and starting November 1, 2013, what we enjoyed will be no more... That very afternoon, (after taking photos and commenting on how beautiful the pool area and gardens were), banana and palm trees that created a tropical ambience around the pool area were trucked away by a maintenance team who started working on a "new look" for the place?!? Seems they couldn't even wait til after the sold out Labor Day weekend to start destroying a good thing! Nearly all of the other guests staying at the same time as us had stayed at the Guesthouse on previous holidays and the consensus was the same... We wish the new owners luck with their (new) clientele... We ourselves liked the clothing optional areas and the men only regulations - offering something special for gay couples! So on our next vacation we'll be looking elsewhere - alas, probably far away from Key West! The island once known for it's gay community and liberated lifestyle, seemed in general to be decidedly straight and "main-stream family" oriented these days. The gay lifestyle seems to have been literally pushed "straight" out of town... Even the audiences at the drag shows on Duval Street were 99% straight! Looks like it's time to head south for Puerto Vallarta, Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires - where times are a changing. Safety concerns of the past in these destinations have changed for the better and the appreciation for gay travellers and development of more and more gay and "gay friendly" attractions continues to expand even as we speak!

Room Tip: We had room 25 in the back. Small, but adequate and quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

This was my first time staying at Big Ruby's, I wish I had done this sooner its a great place but during my stay I found out that the new owners will be changing from men only clothing optional to all welcome on 1 November. I feel this will only take away from the charm of this little gem, located in the heart of old town. The staff was friendly and quick to help make my stay as pleasant as possible, the house keeping staff even folded my clothes that I had left laying around when they cleaned my room usually while I was down having the complementary cook to order Breakfast offered daily. It seems more and more of the great little gay places are disappearing all over the island and are changing over to all welcome, unfortunately it seems to be the way of the island retailers even the shops on Duval St are all tacky T-shirt shops selling pretty much the same shirts the length of the street have pushed out the great boutique shops that made key West a great charming tropical hide-away. I will really have to re-think where my gay dollars are spent

Room Tip: I had room 22 located on the second floor between two other rooms and it was very quite even though...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Outer Banks, NC
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

Upon hearing Big Ruby's had sold, my worst fears have come true. It is going straight and family friendly November 1. NO more clothing optional. We thought we would get a fast trip in before that, really wish we would not have. The old staff is gone. heard most went over to the Equator, not sure if that is true or not. But the new staff really seems to care less what happens, rooms, not as clean, pool and hot tub, awful, had to ask repeatedly for pool tools. The breakfast that used to be great is NOW a JOKE. taste and time to prepare.
At this point I would say it is buyer/renter beware. Doubt they are contacting people that have reservations past Nov1, to tell them about the change. The poor folks that are staying there for Fantasy fest even though it will not have changed yet, don't expect great service! And the New Years eve crowd feel sorry for as well.
We wish we would not have tried to get this last trip in and would have just remembered to great times and service in the past. Fantasy Fest, Pride, New Years Eve, and the fun weekends at Big Rubys are a thing of the past.

Room Tip: Go elsewhere new owners and management have not got it figured out.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horn Lake, Mississippi
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

This was our first time staying at Big Ruby's. The place was very clean and quite a tropical oasis. John and Mario were great hosts during our stay. The room was quite nice and the housekeeping was excellent during our stay. Even though quite a few people were in the pool area, the place was still calm and relaxing. Breakfast (cooked to order) was also an added plus. The chef was very friendly and interacted with several guests during one morning when we did eat. It definitely lived up to our expectations.
If there was one drawback was the fact that the guesthouse had recently sold. Had we had known that most of the staff had left due to the current owners stance on all gay/lesbian guesthouses, we might had decided to stay somewhere else.
My advice would be to call and check to see what the status of the guesthouse is. We were informed it was going to be "all welcomed" type of guesthouse. So, I would imagine that the clothing optional option will go away, and its status as gay/lesbian guesthouse also.
Though I love Key West, Fort Lauderdale may become our new destination. At least there as still many gay owned/clothing optional places.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Having visited Key West and Big Ruby's a total of 4 times in the past thirteen years I feel I have a bit of knowledge of the goings on of "gay" key west.
We always come to Big Ruby's for the service, attention to detail, friendliness, gourmet breakfast, location, clothing optional and ultimately that it is(was) gay oriented for both men and women. Well, that all is about to change come November 1st, 2013.
We understand that the hotel has been sold and taken over by a Swedish conglomerate. Gone are the days of nude frolic, impeccable service, personable hosts and awesome made-to-order breakfasts.
Our experience this last trip (labor day weekend 2013) was disheartening.
To start off, the host that checked us in was less than enthusiastic to be working at all. We did appreciate the fact that he informed us on the news that the hotel had been sold after so many years. The rooms are nice but are in need of some upgrading and repair. Out of the seven days that we always stay in key west, the breakfast was late to start 6 of those days. To add insult to injury somedays the specials for breakfast weren't even ready until 9:00-9:30am when breakfast is supposed to start at 8:00am. or they were out of toast ("our food supply order doesn't come in until later") and you could tell they would refrigerate the cream for coffee without changing the container for a few days, leaving a film in the container. Makes me wonder what else they keep for long periods of time and what other corners they will cut just to save money. Also, the breakfast seemed to be much better and tastier in the past.
In the past the decks, pool, hot tub, poolside tables were always clean and impeccable. This trip, no towels were ever readily available, ALL the guests had to continually ask for fresh pool towels. One gust asked the host for towels and was told "i can only do three things at once". Towels were left out all night and lounge chairs left in disarray. The hot tub was blocked off or out of service one day because no one took the time to clean it. No music was playing in the pool area as it usual was in the past and all the plants around the pool were moved so the "lagoon like" feel is totally gone. The poolside bathroom had "c"-fold paper towels just thrown onto the back of the toilet still in the package. You can just look around and see that the attention to detail and concern for guests have already started to slide downhill.
Many other guests that we spoke to here had also been here multiple times before. We ALL were in agreement of how much things have already started to change and that we will be locating alternative lodging for our next visit. I really felt like the staff was just "putting up with us" until November 1st when the "all welcome" theme starts up. Sadly there are many resorts here turning to that same theme.
Just be aware of the location that you are staying in and exactly who they are catering to. There are other places to stay in gay Key West that are nicer and slightly less expensive than Big Ruby's.

Room Tip: Find another resort
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

This was my second time at Big Rubys. The staff is amazing and location couldn't be better.

A lot of guesthouses in Key West are going to "all welcome" however Big Rubys is "gay only" and needs to stay this way. Big Rubys recently sold to new owners. You can tell a slight difference as some of the great familiar faces aren't there, but John is still there and as nice as ever. A word to the new owners...keep Big Rubys all gay and we will keep coming back!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to The Cabana Inn Key West? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Cabana Inn Key West

Address: 413 Appelrouth Lane, Key West, FL 33040
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #41 of 98 B&Bs / Inns in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Cabana Inn Key West 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bed and Breakfast ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Venere and BookingOdigeoWL so you can book your The Cabana Inn Key West reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Big Ruby`s Hotel Key West
Big Rubys Key West

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Cabana Inn Key West, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.