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“The best all male resort you could ever hope for.”
Review of Island House

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Island House
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509 reviews from our community

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New York City
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2006

This was the first time I ever stayed in a gay male only guesthouse, and I had a blast. The place was immaculate, and the staff very friendly and knowledgeable about the area, and more than happy to provide tips on what to see and do.

The single rooms are small, but clean and very, very comfortable. The Island House has its own brand of CD's to pop in the radio, and I found the music very relaxing.

There is a good, albeit small, gym with sauna and steamroom. There are two jacuzzis on the premises as well as a large swimming pool.

The food is quite good and if a bit pricey, but more than offset by the convenience. No review would be complete without a comment on the video room...suffice to say no one who stays at the Island House need go to bed frustrated.

Once you go, you will have to go back at least two or three times a year just to re-charge among your own kind.

Unqualified recommendation.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
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14 Thank Dorsalfin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 6, 2006

I have been going to the Island House for about 25 years and I have seen many changes. I can tell you that over the past couple of years, the new owners have greatly improved the grounds, rooms, services, etc. of this beautiful guesthouse. The clientel is varied, from 20 year olds all the way to 70+ year olds which is a very nice mixture. The staff is extremely helpful. There have been many times when I don't even bother going into town (about 9 blocks away) because they have everything you need in this compound.

p.s. no children are allowed, not sure how you rated them for this, should be 0

  • Stayed November 2005, traveled on business
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13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2006

If you want to go somewhere for a total escape, Island House is your place. I have been to Island House three times now, and, in my view, it is unarguably the best gay male resort in the country.

There is everything that a gay man needs for total relaxation: a terrific, highly social pool area with a restaurant/bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (and don't forget the Happy Hour where Key West locals, including the drag queens, drop by for a good time); a full spa and gym and their legendary video room; and finally a sun deck to get that perfect tan.

Perhaps the only downside is that some may prefer a less cruisy scene but my experience is that everyone was respectful of other couple's or individual's wish to be left alone.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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26 Thank Lida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2005

I read everything I could before booking the Island House...the poor reviews on this site, in my opinion, are unwarranted.

Island House is a “Gay Men’s Resort" and was exactly what I expected and more. Great staff....thanks Matt, Matty, Aaron, Billy and Donald! Great atmosphere and great accommodations.

I was especially surprised by the reviews regarding the "cruising" at Island House. For god’s sake, this is a gay resort, with a 24/7 adult video room...I wonder what people expect. I hope to go back for "Fantasy Fest 2006"...suppose to be the best week of the year.:)

Stayed September 2005
20 Thank chris81803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amityville, New York
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2005

Me and my partner were warned about the reputation of Island House before we decided to stay there, but we decided to stay there anyway. We have been to cruisy places in the past, but this place takes the cake. If you are looking for a meaningless "hook-up" with a faceless/nameless guy, this is the place for you. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation after a year of working hard -- forget Island House.
A few good and bad points -- we stayed in one of the higher end rooms that face the pool. Be prepared to bring (or buy) Clorox to clean the mold off of the bathroom shower walls and floor. Although the bed is made on a daily basis, and the towels are changed daily, the staff clearly does not spend any time really cleaning. The mold in our shower ranged from black to pink depending on its age. Thirty minutes (and a bottle of Clorox later), the mold and its smell were gone.
Second -- there are a lot of little bugs (yes, insects) that were in our room. You need to learn to co-habitate with them -- If it's not your style, then skip this place.
Third -- The "video room" with "seven screens" as advertised is a pretty small hook-up room above the "gym". The "screens" are 20 inch or so TVs that are mounted into the walls of four seaparate little rooms. It looks like a back-room in any gay bar -- again, nothing special.
Fourth -- The food is absolutely first rate at really good prices. The staff can tell you what is particularly good on any particular day -- take their advice.
Fifth -- The bar staff and wait staff are very nice and do their best to make certain that everyone is having a good time. If you are lucky enough to have Donald on duty at the bar, you will get great service and a friendly attitude.
Sixth -- Good thing and bad thing -- depending on what the guests look like when you are there -- most people spend part of their time naked.
Seventh -- Very nice second floor sun deck away from the cruisy pool.
Eighth -- Although the pool is advertised as being the largest in the gay guest houses in Key West, it is still very small (especially when there is a large crowd od guests).
Ninth -- There is not a lot of chair space around the pool -- somewhere around 14 lounge chairs.
Well, I hope this helps if you are traveling down to Key West.

  • Stayed August 2005
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32 Thank Chris32NY1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2005

I must say, starting off, you need to be aware of what this hotel is before you go. If you are looking for a nice private hotel that is for couples to enjoy each other (in isolation) and one that affords a lot of privacy, this is NOT your hotel. Saying that, it was a lot of fun, and certainly opened some interesting discussion for us as a couple. This hotel, we found out, used to be a bath house, and has since been updated (although it VERY much still has that feel). They have done a beautiful job at it, and the rooms, bar, restaurant, etc., are VERY nice. Mattie (who works at the bar) is GREAT and can recommend what to do and see. Should you check out there website beforehand, be warned, contrary to their video this is not a hang out for young attractive gay men (at least during our stay). Most all the men were at least early 40's (and overweight) and VERY few were remotely attractive/in-shape. It went from being a very sexy/hot place (had it been younger attractive men/couples) to being a sort of creepy/gross atmosphere. No offense to older/less attractive persons, it just wasn't a great experience. Being younger and somewhat attractive, my partner and I felt like we were constantly being looked at and watched, and approached by others. It was uncomfortable in that regard. I must say they have done a great job with the place, though, and was a nice room/amenities. It is about 9 blocks walk from Duval Street (where everything is), however, we enjoyed it as it let us get out and see the neighborhoods. The desk staff varied, some were very friendly, others were rude and arrogant (old and bitter in my view). Anyway, be warned, it is VERY expensive, and could be quite a suprise if you don't know what you are getting into. It is reminiscent of a VERY POSH bathhouse for older men. If that sounds good to you, go for it. They didn't seem to like us late 20 year-olds (we didn't even get a thank you or come again), so we wondered if they would prefer younger men didn't come. The food is great, and Mattie is cute and very nice (at the bar), so take some time to talk to him should you stay. It is what it is...but not at all like any typical hotel, so be warned.

  • Stayed May 2005
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27 Thank brickbark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island House

Property: Island House
Address: 1129 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040-6997
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine.... a place where everyone is gay.... where it’s easy to make friends.... where you can really be yourself.... where you can enjoy yourself 24 hours a day..... in a secure locked compound, safe from the outside world...... where a friendly and capable all-male staff are on hand to make sure you enjoy your vacation...... in a tropical paradise. Well that place is waiting for you. It’s called Island House in Key West. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Island House Hotel Key West
Island House Key West

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