The Dewey House has completely changed my perception of Key West by delivering an extraordinary experience.
Prior to this past weekend, I always dreaded any visit to Key West because past experiences led me to expect a hot, sweaty, rocky, crowded tourist trap. But three days (and nights) at the Dewey House have changed all that. Who knew that there existed in Key West such an elegant, service-oriented, and historic accommodation and… on a beach. But, here it is!
Victorian on the outside but all comfort on the inside with friendly people eager to ensure a pleasurable stay.
Our room, a luxury garden view, was in the Dewey House and decorated in a more contemporary style (the rooms in La Mer were more traditional). It had many windows with plantation shutters and a large bathroom with even more windows, double sinks and even a soaking tub. A king size bed with soft, pillow-top mattress, comfy pillows, and great bedding. A good-sized fridge that easily accommodated a 7”round birthday cake. A large flat-screen tv… bathrobes, in-room safe… even a private balcony with fish-shaped Adirondack chairs.
Breakfast each morning included the usual “continental” items… but also, made-to-order waffles, home-made quiche and even beignets with either mango or raspberry filling. There is also champagne for mimosas and an espresso/cappuccino machine. All of this is served on an open air, covered patio facing the beach with balmy breezes. Afternoon tea is also served on this patio and, while not a traditional English Tea (i.e. no scones or clotted cream), it does offer the espresso/cappuccino in addition to teas as well as cheese, crackers, veggies, hummus, biscotti and a different “sweetie” each day (also champagne).
Being right on the “public” beach, it is just a few steps to having a beach chair set up. You have to get your own towels at the pool (not a problem as you pass it on the way to the beach). Chairs are free for hotel guests ($5 for non guests). Umbrellas are $10 but worth it for the shade.
There is also a private beach, but this is small and perched on top of a concrete wall… as is the tanning pier. There is a beautiful pool with beach chairs, umbrellas, live music and a bar… but perhaps a bit more crowded than the beach.
Turn-down service every night and very friendly staff completed the experience.
My sisters were at the La Mer and loved it as much as my husband and I loved the Dewey House. One sister had a “suite” (#409) which seemed a bit small to me but had a great wrap-around balcony on which we all gathered each evening for wine and cheese). It also provided a great view of weddings that were held on Friday night and Saturday night… I have to say, it looked like a GREAT place to have a wedding.
The Dewey House is also in a great location, not just because of the beach but also because it is easy to find and easy to sample the other offerings (restaurants) of Key West. If your feet aren’t up to the walk to the other end of Duval, there are always taxis (about $7).
The only difficulty we had was with the front desk of the Southernmost when it came to ordering taxis. The first time, we called the concierge far ahead for a taxi to arrive at a specific time. It never came. Because we needed to make a specific “sailing time”, we ended up taking a taxi off the street. The second time, we tried again to make a reservation in advance but the person at the desk (Linda) refused to call it until we were all gathered in the lobby “because we might take another taxi”; when I asked how long the taxi would take she said 15 minutes. So… we would be obliged to wait 15 minutes in the lobby as opposed to calling in advance? She finally agreed to call the taxi right away. But, when we all appeared in the lobby at the appointed time, she picked up the phone “to make sure the taxi was on its way”. Fifteen minutes later, still no taxi and we were in danger of missing yet another sailing time. We ended up “again” taking a street taxi (and still missed our sailing time for the restaurant L’attitudes, which totally messed up our plans for the evening). Our advice on taxis (which we learned from other guests) is to make your own arrangements by calling 305-296-6666. We never had a problem with them (palm tree on the door)… just the company the Hotel relied on (parrot on the door)… but again, this was NOT the La Mer/Dewey House. It was the Southernmost.
The bottom line is that we are so enamored of the Dewey House (and La Mer), that we have all agreed to gather here annually.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC