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“Charming B&B / Hotel, perfect location! Excellent alternative to chain hotel!”

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Island City House Hotel
Ranked #16 of 77 Key West B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
North Pole, New York
Level Contributor
143 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Charming B&B / Hotel, perfect location! Excellent alternative to chain hotel!”
Reviewed May 11, 2009

Looked forward to the drive from Miami after being on a Western Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately our Cozumel stop was changed to Key West because of the swine flu so we saw KW a day early!

We drove back down the following day and stayed at the Island City House Hotel in the Old Town area. We wanted a small intimate hotel rather than the Westin or Hyatt experience, and this is the place to stay if you want a nice quiet spot yet still be within walking distance to the harbor, Mallory Square, and Duval St. The Island City House has a very nice pool area and garden area and we were lucky to meet other couples there enjoying their first visit to KW like us.

We stayed in room 16, which is in the rear of the Main House. The Main House faces the quieter William Street, and room 16 is on the 1st floor facing the garden area. This room has a very comfy bed with the LCD TV and closet with ironing board & iron and hangers. The separate kitchen area has a large sink w/ disposal, full-size fridge and stove/range, microwave, and all accessories you need. The kitchen counter and cupboards have been upgraded in this room. The bathroom was roomy and clean; the water pressure in the shower was weak and my wife has long hair but she survived. Daily service was excellent.

One note on the porches in the main house - The front and rear units have a porch sitting area. Guests taking the stairs to the upper floors can easily see the sitting area so the porches are not actually private but they are reserved for the end room. Floor 1 has the most private rear porch. We also had more luggage because of the cruise and since there are no elevators floor 1 is also much more convenient. The trees provide privacy from the atria where breakfast is served and the porch is very comfortable during the hot day. Well worth the extra cost, especially if friends are staying in rooms without a porch – makes for a great gathering spot. There is also a look-out on the roof of the main house.

The balconies in the Cigar House are shared except for the 3rd floor, these are visible from the pool area so they are not as private. The Carriage House fronts the busier Eaton Street and has porches facing the gardens, we didn't see this bldg as much so cannot really comment.

Bikes are available for rent for $12/ day, and a washer and dryer are available during business hours. The staff is very helpful with dining and sightseeing advice. Our favorite restaurants were the B.O. Fishwagon a block away for fish sandwiches (fried grouper is the best and their fries are hand made) and the sloppy joe at Sloppy Joe’s is for real (as is the burger). The trolley is recommended for a first look at the island since you can get off and on at any stop you want and it covers the entire island. The train doesn’t make these stops and only covers the old town area. North Duval is a bit busy for my tastes, South is much quieter. Front Street is nice and Mallory Square is where the sunset parties are. Cruise ships obviously make for a crowd, since Mexico was off limits KW received triple the cruise ships the last 2 weeks.

The Hyatt, Westin, & Pier House front the harbor, and the other big hotels are on the other end of the island. After staying at the Island City House and seeing these other properties from shore and from boats I can’t imagine staying anywhere else. It’s really a charming place and well worth looking at. The location is the real clincher, close to everything yet quiet.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bluewater464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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918 reviews from our community

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lady lake fl.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2009

Great location,staff was wonderful.grounds well kept and the room were very nice.

We were a group of 3 couples....


We would recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank golferLadyLakeFl_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 21, 2009

My husband and I enjoyed our stay. The walkways were surrounded by tropical plants and flowers and seemed like a quiet, perfect retreat. Unfortunately for us, we were surrounded by families with young children which made it pretty loud. It was completely our fault for not anticipating so many children since this is one of the few B&B's that allow them. I just don't think B&B's are appropriate for smaller children since the atmosphere is typically on the quieter side. The floors are creaky, which I had also read about, but we were woken up every morning by children running above us. Again, we signed up for that since we chose a bottom unit, but just beware!
The continental breakfast was simple, but perfect for us non-breakfast lovers. We rented bikes two of the days and it was perfect since you could rent them from the front office. The hammock on our porch was a perfect place to relax, take a break from the sun and read a good book. The location was near perfect since it was so close to Duval and the harbor. Overall I would definitely recommend this place, but you may want to talk with the front desk directly before booking to determine which room/house would be right for you!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank vacaygurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2009

This is a very attractive hotel in lovely gardens but underneath the apparent laid back atmosphere is an uptight feel. For that reason I wouldn't recommend taking children. We felt very inhibited with ours and despite the fact they are generally well behaved and pretty nice kids we were on edge the whole time. The breakfast is poor.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elfrida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belvidere, Illinois
Level Contributor
106 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 251 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2009

My husband, myself, and our friends stayed at the Island City House for 2 nights March 22-23. We had no problem checking in when our Key West ferry arrived at 11:30. My room was not ready but they gave me an upgrade to the Cigar House Suite 12 which was ready. It was a very nice 2 room suite. The bedroom had a queen bed w/very comfortable mattresses and pillows. There was a nice flat screen TV on the wall, a dresser, and a closet. The bathroom had a shower/tub combo, toilet, sink w/mirror and Rusk bath products. The towels were ample and fluffy. The kitchen/living room combo had a full size refrigerator, oven w/microwave, dishwasher, and coffeepot. There was a small table w/2 chairs for eating, a sofa, chair, cocktail table, and another flat screen TV. We had a private balcony w/2 chairs and a hammock that overlooked the pool. The pool was decent sized w/plenty of lounge chairs, shade, etc. It felt heated, but I am not sure if it was. There is a cabana changing area at the pool as well as a restroom. This came in handy on our last day there when we had already checked out. The grounds are beautiful and overflowing w/all sorts of foliage. The courtyard where a nice continental breakfast is served daily is very quiet and relaxing. The staff is very accommodating and were willing to hold our luggage on our last day so we were free to explore more of Key West on the bikes we rented from the hotel for $12/day. The hotel is located about 3 blocks off Duval and is very quiet. It is well located and easy walking distance to most places on the island. You would not need to use your car at all if you stayed here.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ctribbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2009

Stepping out of our room was like walking into a little jungle paradise. Breakfast was served in a courtyard garden with orchids hanging overhead. Even our bathroom was beautiful. The biggest downside: very creaky floors. Also, the streetside parking situation seemed annoying for those with cars.

We had a large group spread over multiple rooms, one of which had a private porch, which was really nice since it made a natural gathering spot.

Convenient to Duval street and Historic Wharf District. We biked to all the beaches on the island without problem, but are rather active people.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laurascudder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2009

Stayed Feb 2009. This is one of the few places in Key West which allows you to book with kids (I have a 2 year old). Having said that it did not feel like a hotel over take by kids....pool area was very pretty...gardens were beautiful (this is where you have your breakfast) and the location is a ten minute stroll to harbour area and in opposite direction Duval Street. We had a room which has mircrowave/sink/fridge - all very useful and we borrowed a cot/crib from the hotel - which was great.

Only (very minor point) downside is there is limited parking....so you can drop off your luggage but will probably have to park elsewhere.

  • Liked — The grounds and general location
  • Disliked — Limited parking
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Londonmummy71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island City House Hotel

Property: Island City House Hotel
Address: 411 William St, Key West, FL 33040-6853
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 77 B&Bs / Inns in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Island City House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Key West suite accommodations at The Island City House Hotel are comprised of three buildings, each with its own style and unique character. The Arch House features six suites furnished in a casual Caribbean Style. The two suites on the first floor are two-bedroom suites. These suites have two separate bedrooms each with one queen-sized bed, a living/dining room with a kitchen, one bathroom, and a small porch. The studio-suites on the second floor of the Arch House have one queen-sized bed in an alcove, a sitting area with a kitchenette, and either a street-side balcony with a porch swing or a garden view balcony with a hammock. The Island City House is the main building on our property housing twelve parlor suites, ten one-bedroom suites, and two two-bedroom suites. These suites are furnished in an island Victorian style with lace curtains and many antique pieces. The two bedroom suites have two separate bedrooms, one with a king bed, the other with a queen bed, a living/dining room with a full kitchen, one bathroom and a large porch. The ten parlor suites have one queen-size bed and a separate sitting area with a kitchen. Many of these suites also have a sleeper sofa (for children or a third adult) or a porch overlooking the gardens. The Cigar House, our poolside building, is the home of our six largest one-bedroom suites. All of these suites are decorated in a tropical plantation style. The first and second floor suites have a king-size bed in the bedroom, a separate living room with a full kitchen, and a hammock on the poolside porch or balcony. The two suites tucked away on the third floor have a queen-size bed in the bedroom, a separate living room with a full kitchen, and an open balcony overlooking the pool and Infrared Sauna. ... more   less 
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