A bed and breakfast in Key West or a chain hotel?
If you’re like most people when booking your vacation, you may lean towards booking a chain hotel. You might be familiar with a particular chain and like that you know what to expect from them. But have you ever thought about staying at a locally owned bed and breakfast or guesthouse for your next visit to the Florida Keys?
Personally, I hadn’t.
I was one of those “hotel only” types of travelers. I admit it, I was a stereotyper. I felt more comfortable sticking with the name brand hotels because, let’s be honest, you never know what the non-branded hotels will consider is quality service and cleanliness. I thought every bed and breakfast was owned by grandma and grandpa and would be covered with doilies and creepy dolls.
That is, until I started working for one in Key West.
What I found is that the amount of attention the staff is able to provide can make a huge difference in the quality of your stay. Breakfast is an experience rather than a meal. Front desk agents and/or Concierges are genuinely interested in showing you the best of Key West – they want you to love Key West as much as they do! And if you really need one, a manager is readily available to answer your question on the spot (no calls to corporate necessary).
Since working for a bed and breakfast in historic Old Town in Key West, I’ve also been lucky enough to visit other local B&B’s, inns and guest houses. I can honestly say that each one reflects Key West’s diverse culture and personality in their own way, creating an intimate and unobtrusive experience I never felt at a chain hotel.
Oh, and those creepy dolls & doilies? Non-existent! I was surprised to find the modern decor, comfy beds and complimentary amenities I’m used to at larger hotels (yep, that includes Wi-Fi and plenty of coffee).
So next time you’re looking for Key West accommodations, don’t forget the little guys. We recommend reviewing Key West B&B and Inns or Specialty Lodging accommodations on TripAdvisor as a start. You’ll find some amazing top rated choices such as The Mermaid and the Alligator, Gardens Hotel and Old Town Manor (shameless plug) just to name a few. You should also check out the Key West Innkeepers’ website that has a full list of inns and B&Bs located in Key West.
Good luck on your search, and welcome to Key West!