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First time going to Key West

New York
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First time going to Key West

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Key West this summer and I had a couple of questions. I have found 2 fairly cheap hotels that we are trying to decide between, but they are at different ends of the island, one is at 1125 Duval Street and the other Roosevelt Blvd. The one on Roosevelt seems more out of the way, but the one on Duval doesn't appear to be near where the "action" is either (I guess it is more towards the southern part of the island). Would either be a better choice? I was also wondering if we should plan on renting a car or not? I realize the island is small, but I didn't know how much transportation costs and how much walking we would/could actually do. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. Thanks!

Harwich...
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1. Re: First time going to Key West

I'll make this short and to the point: If partying on ,near or around Duval is going to play a major part of your vacation( you didn't mention how long you'd be staying) then stay on Duval, it's not that long and you can shop or do the Duval Pub Crawl as you walk down to the Mallory Sq. area.If you plan on staying only on Key West ,then ,no a car is not necessary, walking or renting a bike will get you around. Taxi's are readily available for any night time trips out of the "Old Town Section".

Charlotte, North...
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for North Carolina
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2. Re: First time going to Key West

Hopefully someone will see your topic and give you a better suggestion for an accommodation. You definitely don't want Roosevelt; I suspect that the property is on North Roosevelt, and that is NOWHERE that you want to be. (even if it is on South Roosevelt, it's way out, too) N. Roosevelt looks like a strip of mostly chain hotels and restaurants that you would find in "Anywhere, USA". That entire area is called "New Town"and I highly recommend not staying at any accommodation that is in New Town. You want to be in "Old Town".

Once we made the mistake of staying at one of the Marriott Courtyards on N. Roosevelt; we had Marriott rewards and wanted to use them. The hotel was okay, and had a great pool, but we felt like we weren't really in Key West. You would definitely need a car, and when you make trips to the "Old Town" area (again, where you want to be to experience the Key West that you've come to see) you will pay DEARLY to park. We found that the cheaper lots ($25 per day, or those with a decent hourly rate) were usually full, so that left us at the $40 per park lots. If we wanted to go back to hotel during the day for any reason, then wanted to return, we'd have to pay again.

On the Duval Street accommodation, I bet there is no parking available at the hotel; that's almost the norm there. At least at that end of the island you could rent mopeds to get around, or do a lot of power walking. Summers in Key West are "cooking"! If the heat doesn't get you, the humidity will. We've been in Key West and other Keys during the past few Julys. We've found that it is much cooler staying in the other Keys where you get some ocean breezes. In Key West unless you are directly on the oceanfront, there are no breezes, all the buildings stop them. We do enjoy visiting KW however and when we can't take the heat anymore we pop into an air conditioned shop, bar or restaurant.

I don't have any suggestions as far as accommodations in Old Town, we've only stayed at the Casa Marina, which is a great historic hotel with the best beach in KW, but it is further out than 1125 Duval, and it is quite expensive.

I bet someone will post ideas for closer, less expensive accommodations.

Best Wishes!

Naples, Fl
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3. Re: First time going to Key West

Go to the website http://www.fla-keys.com/listing hit key west then accomidations. Just about all the guest houses are listed there. To really get the feel you are in Key west stay near the North Duval area the closer you are to Mallory Square the more you'll feel you are right in the tick of things, the more fun you will have. Renting scooters is fun, but if you are in that location you won't even need scooters. Don't think about renting a car, it will sit the entire time and you may actually have to pay to park it. (assuming you are flying into Key west airport) you will spend far less on taxi's than the cost of the car rental.

New York
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4. Re: First time going to Key West

Thanks to all those who replied. I guess our best bet is to find somewhere to stay that is not in "New Town". From what I have read, that area seems out of the way from everything and is basically just a bunch of chain hotels. I am booking the trip online and I was able to find hotel+airfare for between $600-$650 for a 7 day trip. I will look into some other accomodations but so far, I haven't found anything cheaper. We will be flying right into Key West and we don't plan on going to any of the other islands on this trip. I guess it would be a waste of money to bother with a car. Thanks again for the input. Feel free to make any further comments or suggestions.

arkansas
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5. Re: First time going to Key West

I wouldn't worry at all about a hotel on Duval being too far from the "action." Many people actually prefer that side of the island and walking really isn't a problem. It should take you 20 minutes - maybe 30 if you're in no hurry - to walk down Duval from the Atlantic to the Gulf side, which is where Mallory Square and the sunset celebrations are.

What hotel are you talking about? It might be something we're familiar with and could reassure you that it's a good choice. You might also look into the Best Western Hibiscus (NOT the Best Western Key Ambassador) to see how their rates are running. It's considered to be a good value and though it's closer to the Atlantic side of Key West, it's still in a good location.

Kentucky
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6. Re: First time going to Key West

Kristin, it sounds like you got a heck of a deal. Do you mind telling me if it was a package deal through the hotel or a travel agent? My girlfriend and I are wanting to go there in a couple of weeks, but not finding any bargains and not sure where to stay. We think we prefer the "feel" of a bed and breakfast. It seems more like the Keys. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Boston, MA
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7. Re: First time going to Key West

I agree, it sounds like you have gotten a great deal. I have been to KW about 14 times, both with my boyfriend and my girlfriends. If you are going to party, then stay as close to the Mallory Square area as you can afford. I was there in Feb, and my boyfriend & I stayed in a great B&B almost right on the water...a 2 minute walk to Sloppy Joe's and right across the street from the Conch Republic and Schooner Wharf Bar. Name of the B&B is Key West Harbor Inn. It's a very nice place and the location can't be beat. I have stayed in many of the expensive Mallory Square Hotels (Hilton, Hyatt, Ocean Key). I have also stayed at the Sheraton @ Smathers Beach (first time to KW), and it was WAY too far out from the Duval area.

Do not get a car, you will be wasting your money, both on the rental and parking. Take a cab to your hotel. You can rent bikes, scooters, etc, if you want to have a way to get around without having to walk....

1125 Duval Street is quite far from the Mallory Square area...that is about a 30 minute walk.

Mid Missouri
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8. Re: First time going to Key West

Some of the B&B's have there own bikes to rent.....and some it's in the price of the B&B. Check that out too.

New York
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9. Re: First time going to Key West

I should have specified that the price I mentioned is per person, so it would be around $1200-$1300 for the both of us total. I would assume that this is still considered to be a good price? I have been looking for flight and hotel packages on websites such as expedia, travelocity, and cheap tickets. I have found that all of these sites provide several different package deals to Key West for under $1000 per person. I have not really looked into B&Bs because most of these sites provide packages for hotels not B&Bs. I am a college student so my budget is pretty tight. We figure that a hotel is just a place to sleep, so we don't need anything fancy. We would rather spend our money on exploring Key West. The hotel on Duval that I was looking into is called the La Te Da Hotel (I know the name is pretty cheesy). From what I can tell from the pictures online, it doesn't look like too bad of a place. The cheapest package for this hotel I found at www.kasbah.com. Its not a 4 star hotel, and we would have 2 stops on our flight, but overall I thought the package was very reasonable. I have noticed that the prices on these sites fluctuate on a daily basis. I am looking to book our trip soon, so I check the sites daily, trying to get the best deal. We plan on going in July which I guess is considered off season. I know it will be extremely hot, but with work and school we don't have many options. I don't know what kind of packages are available if you are looking to go in a few weeks. Also, I am not sure how big of an influence the airport you fly out of effects the price (we are flying out of Syracuse, NY). In researching hotel and flight prices, it seems cheapest to buy them online as a package. I hope this was of some help. But if anyone has stayed at, or is familiar with the La Te Da Hotel, let me know what you think. Thanks!

NJ
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10. Re: First time going to Key West

Kristin, I have not stayed at La Te Da, but I have gone to several shows in their cabaret and eaten dinner there, and both were first class. If the rooms are as nice as the restaurant and cabaret, you are in for a real treat. Nothing cheesy about this place. Most of the B&B's are quite a bit less expensive than the big hotels, and much nicer also. Some are expensive, but for the most part, the mid range B& B's will run you a fraction of the price of a hotel room. We find the best deals booking directly. We usually book directly with the B& B and directly with the airline (we use Spirit, don't know if their in your area). If you stay at La Te Da, be sure to catch a show there. Your gonna have a great time.