Little Palm Island & Ocean Key Resort

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In the evenings, guests can start with dinner in The Dining Room, featuring an ever-changing menu of dishes like yellow tail snapper ceviche with passion fruit, roasted pork tenderloin, and sweet plantain and bacon hash. After dinner, guests can have drinks by the outdoor fire pit, enjoy live music on the verandah outside The Dining Room or find a secluded spot for stargazing—due to its remoteness, the night sky views here are spectacular (guests are given a mini-flashlight for help in navigating around the resort at night). Nights at Little Palm Island are almost out of an episode of “Lost”—minus the scary black smoke and less-than-friendly inhabitants, of course—feeling as if you’ve traveled across dimensions to a space and time completely removed from real life.

Through May 31, Little Palm Island is offering an Adventurous Soul package. Priced from $1,791 per night, this package includes a seaplane flight to Key West, $300 credit pp, a snorkel trip for two, a half-day back country fishing trip for two, 80-minute Twist of Zen yoga session for two, a picnic for two and a full meal plan for two.

conch-fusion cuisine The next day, after saying goodbye to Little Palm Island, we headed back to the mainland for a stay at another property in the Noble House Hotels & Resorts portfolio, Ocean Key Resort in Key West. A world away from our first day’s experience—but certainly just as pleasant—Ocean Key Resort is the quintessential Key West experience. The property is perfectly situated at the tip of historic Duval Street, right between Key West Harbor and Mallory Square, and a stone’s throw to Duval’s popular restaurants and bars.

Named after one of Tennessee Williams’—a past resident of Key West—famous plays, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Ocean Key’s Hot Tin Roof Restaurant offers a relaxed, yet elegant atmosphere with stunning ocean views, especially at sunset. The menu features a variety of seafood and landfare prepared in a culinary style dubbed as “conch-fusion,” combining traditional Florida foods with Caribbean and Latin influences. Culinary selections here include curried crab cakes, yellowtail snapper with dill chimichurri, paella and vegetable spring rolls.

Over at the adjacent Stage Door Lounge, guests can sip on a yummy selection of themed signature cocktails like the Liquid Jelly Monkey Luv and a variety of draught poured beers.

Another alluring spot for a more casual dining experience is Sunset Pier restaurant. With dozens of green umbrellas speckled across the boardwalk, Sunset Pier is an ideal place to enjoy sunset margaritas, juicy cheeseburgers and a wide selection of fresh sandwiches. Sunset Pier also offers live music nightly, as well as the best seat on which to watch Key West’s famous sunsets. During Recommend’s visit, we even spotted some starry-eyed newlyweds taking advantage of the picture-perfect backdrop right after a ceremony at the hotel.

an oasis close to all the action Ocean Key Resort features 100 bright and spacious suites decorated with hand-painted armoires and color island-style furnishings, separate living spaces, bathrooms with oversized jacuzzi tubs and patios boasting spectacular ocean views.

Onsite, guests will also find the SpaTerre and fitness center, a heated pool overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, a full-service marina and watersports rental area including kayaking, water-skiing and sailing.

Just a short stroll from the resort, guests will find a wealth of museums and attractions, restaurants and boutiques. Recommend going on one of Key West’s famous ghost tours or taking a tour of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway’s former Key West residence.

Through Sept. 30, Ocean Key Resort has a H2Ocean Key package starting from $667 per night. With this package, guests receive a Vichy shower experience for two at SpaTerre, an island jet ski tour for two, two tropical cocktails pp each day at the poolside Liquid Lounge and an oceanfront dinner for two at Hot Tin Roof.