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“Under new name and ownership” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Cabana Inn Key West

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The Cabana Inn Key West
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   413 Applerouth Lane, Key West, FL 33040   |  
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Ranked #27 of 92 Key West B&B and Inns
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Under new name and ownership”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

This inn is now called Cabana Inn. We have stayed at numerous B&B's offered in Key West and this is one of our favorites. They serve an adequate continental breakfast and offer happy hour every day from 5-7 with beer, wine and champagne. We stayed in Room 3 and were very happy with how quiet it was, despite the air conditioner running all the time. It drowned out any traffic and roosters :) The place was clean and the staff is very friendly. The location is perfect, right around the corner from Margaritaville. We will definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: Choose room 3 and you won't be disappointed. We never heard anybody or anything!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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559 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    385
    121
    32
    10
    11
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31
321
19
5
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 (142)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Napa, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

As stated in previous reviews, as of Nov 1, Big Ruby's will become "all welcome". Seems the tide is turning for the all-male guesthouse as demographics are changing. My BF and I and another friend stayed at Big Ruby's for 5 nights in mid-October. The property has a great layout, and was undergoing a lot of renovations. Breakfast and happy hour around the pool were great. My biggest compliment, though, must go to the staff. Very friendly, always checking to make sure everything was ok. After we checked out and we got to the airport, I realized that I must have lost my iPod in the room. I called and the guy who answered the phone went up to the room and found it, put it in the mail, and I had it back in 2 days! The only downside was the roosters next door crowing all night (they don't wait for the sun to rise). The rooseters seem to be one of those "KW things", though. Thanks again, Big Ruby's! We had a great time!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
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.
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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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
62 reviews 62 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
118 helpful votes 118 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.
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  • 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
2 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.
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Additional Information about The Cabana Inn Key West

Address: 413 Applerouth 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 #27 of 92 B&Bs / Inns in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Cabana Inn Key West 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Cabana Inn, an oasis in the heart of Old Town Key West, one block from Duval Street. A historic conch estate with cottages meticulously converted to a modern and comfortable inn featuring the very best amenities including lush interior courtyards, lagoon pool, spacious in-ground Jacuzzi, large sun yard with treetop walkways and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Ruby`s Hotel Key West
Big Rubys Key West

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