Thank goodness that places like the Key Lantern still exist, because they let the frugal road-tripper pay not much more than what a good night's sleep ought to be worth. All we needed was a cheap place to flop for the night on our way to Key West, and the Key Lantern delivered beautifully.
This is one of those old surviving roadside mom-and-pop motels where the best amenity is that your car can be parked three feet from your door. Our room was roughly eight feet by twelve, and crammed into it were a comfortable double bed, cable TV, a dresser, a small refrigerator, a desk, two chairs, a luggage rack, and count 'em, four lamps. I don't recall seeing a nightstand, but it might have been buried under our stuff, which took no time to consume a room this size once the bags were opened. Off in the corner was a smallish bathroom that even featured hot running water!
The Key Lantern is located within walking distance to some good food and drink. Next door is the Lor-e-lei waterfront restaurant and bar. We showed up too late for their sunset celebration, but it would have been spectacular that day. If you want to sample a much fancier resort, Cheeca Lodge is across the street. We opted for the Whistle Stop, a local's saloon about a half-mile away. Like on any small island, everything is nearby, but this humble little motel is in a particularly good spot.
The Key Lantern is obviously not for everybody, for instance if you want a week-long resort experience or you're claustrophobic, but at $55 in the high season, it's hard to beat as a pit-stop.
- Also Known As:
- Key Lantern Motel And Blue Fin Hotel Islamorada