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“Charming, exceptional location, rooms too warm.”
Review of The Gardens Hotel

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The Gardens Hotel
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Key West
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Charming, exceptional location, rooms too warm.”
Reviewed 29 December 2013

PLUS: The hotel is very pretty, the grounds are a world apart from the street, and the staff was helpful at every turn. Also, the complimentary hotel cat napping by the door was a nice touch.

There was live jazz at the property throughout the evening and the sounds didn't reach me inside the room. It was incredible how locking the door shut out all the outside noise, which has been a problem in other properties in Key West. Here, it was an oasis of calm.

The room had lovely soaps and shampoos and fluffy bathrobes and towels. There was also a very welcome pump bottle of sunscreen which I forgot. The pillows were huge and soft, the mattress very comfy, and the bartender recommended an amazing (somewhat affordable by Key West standards) restaurant for dinner.

MINUS: I was recovering from a cold and I thought the air freshener was overpowering without full use of my sense of smell. Don't get me wrong it was a lovely flowering garden type smell, but it was too much of a good thing.

The air conditioner was breezy at best. There's a big sign in the room to not lower AC below 72 degrees and that would be fine if it actually cooled the room to 72 degrees but I had to sleep with no blankets or sheets and the ceiling fan on full blast to feel comfortably cooled.

Last, I thought $21.50 for on-site parking was really a bit much. I wanted the car nearby for convenience as I was leaving quite early in the morning, but the parking spaces are microscopic. Backing out of the space took ten minutes, an inch at a time and backing out of the narrow driveway only happened because a member of the staff saw how much trouble I was having and gracefully offered to get the car out for me, otherwise I probably would have had to move to Key West permanently.

Room Tip: Use hotel parking only as last resort. It's microscopically narrow and too pricey. Also, if you...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MolotovMimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TOTOKeyWest, General Manager at The Gardens Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
I really wish guests would Immediately let our staff know of any issues as we want our guests to have the perfect visit with us. That is the only way we can respond and make the visit perfect. Parking in Key West is one of the biggest debates in town. It is expensive and hard to find. The City charges 2.50 per hour to park. One resort charged me $14 for a 2 hour sunset sail recently. Our parking lots are small but we can accommodate 13 vehicles in a secure gated property. You have options to park in the City lots, on the streets or what is really best is to not have a car in Key West because it is a walking biking town and 99% of the cars here stay in the lot and don't venture out. $20 per night is very affordable and much less than any other resort or B & B, Hotel if they even offer parking. Jim Marquardt, GM.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (294)
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Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013

We just spent a few days at the hotel. We had rented a room with a terrace. The room was a little bit tiny and hot but would have been OK if we had not been awakened each morning by the noise of construction just next to the hotel. We could also hear the noise all day long at the swimming pool. I wish the manager had informed us before our arrival of this construction site, because the charming and relaxing atmosphere everyone is referring to was kind of ruined.

The hotel is very well located, but if I go back to Key West I'll pick a hotel with more modern amenities. The pool is small, the bar is just next to it, so, besides the noise of the construction you'll also enjoy the loud conversations of the bartender and drinking costumers, the breakfast starts at 8:30am and mainly consists of bagels, bread, and if you are lucky some eggs.

Overall I was not impressed.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marguerite24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TOTOKeyWest, General Manager at The Gardens Hotel, responded to this review, 29 December 2013
We apologize to this guest for the construction next door which is out of our control. The hours for construction in Key West are 8-4 M-F. Our pool is quite large for Key West and larger than 90% of any B & B or Hotel. Our poolside bar is very festive and fun and this is the very first complaint I have heard. As I have said in previous reviews, for this guest who stayed with us for five days, our breakfast is vastly superior to any B & B and Hotel and is complimentary and served. Perhaps a Luxury Boutique Hotel is not the right fit for some guests however receiving our recent award from the readers of Conde Nast Traveler for Best In The World Top Hotels speaks for itself. Jim Marquardt, General Manager.
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Rucphen
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2013

Just behind Duval Street a beautiful small hotel in a loverly garden. Great rooms, clean, nice breakfast, friendly staff. Love this place! As a travel agent traveling all around the world it is one of the best places we stayed. You can stay in a 5 star hotel but the atmosphere in a small B&B or hotel is much better. We will come back!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Josepha W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TOTOKeyWest, General Manager at The Gardens Hotel, responded to this review, 23 December 2013
Thank you for your review and comments. We love to visit with Travel Agents and here the comments. We hope to see you soon!
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New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 16 December 2013

This hotel has a very big reputation so it has a high bar to reach, given high expectations. In most ways it is fine, with charming rooms, OK breakfast and gracious service. One "concierge", Robin, was exceptionally helpful with planning and on-the-spot advice. But there were significant lapses. For example, there was no dresser in any of the 5 rooms we booked with friends. You had to put your clothes in such places as a 3-inch-high drawer next to your bed, the narrow desk drawer, and a low sort of cabinet that had one narrow drawer and a small space to stack a few shirts, shorts or such. The four-poster bed, while charming, was very high and very soft. The gardens are typical tropical green, with lots of vines, palms, etc. Not as special as the title of the hotel or its past reputation suggests, but still nice to walk through. The wine bar and wine selections are pretty great, and make up for a lot of other sins. The location of the hotel could not be better, and the staff really tries hard.

Room Tip: We stayed in the "Gardens Rooms" with their charm and shortcomings. Don't know about t...
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Green Features: I'd rate this hotel pretty high in environmentally-friendly practices.
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BradStein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TOTOKeyWest, General Manager at The Gardens Hotel, responded to this review, 23 December 2013
Sometimes it truly is difficult to hit the bar for some guests and for this we apologize to this group of ten that stayed with us. We do take comments and positive constructive feedback seriously and prefer to address them in person rather than in a review after the fact. We have ordered 8 dressers for our Garden rooms as this was a concern for us as well. All other rooms have dressers. Our breakfast is quite extensive and complimentary. We offer a fresh made hot special each day from Belgian Waffles, Key Lime French Toast with Coconut Syrup to Various egg dishes, frittata's etc. Special orders affect our service to our guests. This is why we offer a variety of dishes each day. The original Peggy Mills Gardens were a variety of trees from all over the world. Peggy Mills was an avid collector of interesting and exotics as well as more common trees. The Gardens as they exist today are lush, tropical and full at the base of Peggy Mills wonderful trees. We just received Best In The World Top Hotels from Conde Nast Traveler in November 2013 so we hope your return visit will be more restful without the group effect that can somehow change a holiday.
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Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

What a wonderful stay we had. It was delightful in that the rooms were not the sterile atmosphere that we often find in hotel stays. The garden settings were beautiful and relaxing. The room had special touches that made us feel pampered. The staff was wonderful and the concierge extremely helpful when providing information about the area. It was easy to get to the surrounding attractions without having to use our vehicle, which was great as parking in the city was a nightmare. Especially liked the Conch Train, Mallory Square (sunrise and sunset) and Hemmingway's House. The roosters, hens, and chicks were a real treat.

Room Tip: We liked that we had an upper room away from the center of the complex.
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Green Features: Loved not having little individual shampoos and conditionals.
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank KathrynTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TOTOKeyWest, General Manager at The Gardens Hotel, responded to this review, 14 December 2013
Thank you for your review! Yes the Chickens are all over the place! We look forward to your return!
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Boston
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

My husband and I returned recently from our fifth stay at the Gardens. It remains one of our favorite places in the world to visit. It is truly an oasis where you can relax completely. The staff are all attentive and helpful. We tried several new restaurants at their suggestion and each was great. The rooms remain quiet, extremely comfortable and very clean. The beds are among the most comfortable I have found anywhere. Breakfast by the pool is the perfect way to start the day. I enjoy the fact they have options available so you can eat very light or have something a little more substantial. Billy and Scott whip up the most amazing drinks at the pool bar and are happy to create something special for you. It is always fun to visit with fellow guests before heading out to dinner. The gardens are extremely well maintained and beautiful to walk around in. The location is perfectly central to anything you might want to do. We will certainly be back for a 6th visit!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tink1Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TOTOKeyWest, General Manager at The Gardens Hotel, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Thank you for your review! Scott and Billy are great people people and love to try new drinks! Tuesday's new drink is the Tranquil Turtle!
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Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 7 December 2013

Everything about our stay at The Gardens Hotel was close to perfection. It's a lovely, secluded oasis in the heart of Key West, midway between the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and a couple of blocks from the Hemingway home. Once inside the walls surrounding the hotel and its botanical garden, the outside world just melts away. The rooms are exquisitely appointed and wonderfully comfortable; the pool, patio and courtyard are surrounded by beautiful, dense tropical vegetation - a delightful place to enjoy the delicious breakfast each morning. The staff is exceedingly professional, attentive but discreet, and always made sure we had everything we needed. We spoke with Joseph about a room request before leaving home and he went out of his way to accommodate us. When we arrived Susan greeted us with a glass of Prosecco and excellent restaurant recommendations. The self-service wine tasting room adds another dimension to the luxurious ambiance of The Gardens. We're already talking about our next visit here .......

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jane R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TOTOKeyWest, General Manager at The Gardens Hotel, responded to this review, 8 December 2013
Thank you for your wonderful review! We truly appreciate your comments and will let the crew know. We look forward to you return visit! Jim Marquardt, general Manager
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Additional Information about The Gardens Hotel

Property: The Gardens Hotel
Address: 526 Angela St, Key West, FL 33040-7433
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Key West
#1 Luxury Hotel in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gardens Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once the largest private estate in Key West, the expansive grounds of The Gardens Hotel house 20 luxurious guest suites, and comprise over an acre of lush, tropical landscaping just steps away from Key West's infamous Duval Street. The Gardens Hotel calls to mind the best of elegant boutique hotels,but with a decidedly Key West atmosphere. Start your day with a tropical complimentary breakfast and relax in our pool open 24 hours. Our d'Vine Wine Gallery is the first Enomatic wine tasting system in the Keys. Taste, Flight or full pour, you can enjoy up to 35 different wines from around the world. Every Sunday 'Live Jazz In The Gardens' starts at 5 and ends around 7:30pm. Live piano in our Cabaret, Wednesday through Saturday, 5-7pm. Now a tradition and a stop off for both locals and guests, world class entertainers all in the beautiful Gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Gardens Hotel Key West, Florida

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