Posted November 2, 2016
By CLARISSA BUCH
KEY WEST, Fla. — Amid large crowds and street performers in Mallory Square, the sun begins to set and captivates tourists and natives alike. As you stand on the edge of the boardwalk, with arguably the best viewing spot, you can’t help but notice a small, private island on the horizon.
But before you know it, purple and pink hues illuminate the sky and the island fades away into the distance remaining a mystery to most.
One of the most exclusive resorts in Florida lies only 500 yards away on Sunset Key, a 27-acre island off the coast of Key West. Ranked among the world’s best hotels for families, according to Travel + Leisure magazine, the Westin Hotels and Resorts’ Sunset Key Guest Cottages is seven acres filled with luxury, relaxation and charm.
Only accessible by boat, guests board from the Westin Marina and disembark less than six minutes later.
Within the first moments of arriving on this fantasy island, guests are offered a wide-range of amenities to take advantage of.
Unlike Key West, the island is lined with rich, sandy beaches. The resort offers gourmet food along with cocktail and wine service for guests soaking up the sun or simply enjoying the endless view of the crystal clear waters.
Though the spa at Sunset Key is small, its quaint and private setting makes up for its size. Both a secluded patio and garden area are an added bonus with each treatment room. Make a reservation for a myriad of services, including facials, massages or various body treatments. A guest favorite is the self-heating mud massage where guests rest their backs on warm, bubbling mud as a masseuse continues the massage.
For fitness enthusiasts, the spa offers athletic rooms and tennis courts. For those simply seeking relaxation, guests can visit the hotel’s tropical pool lagoon and. Sweet delicacies such as chocolate-covered strawberries are laid out around the spa for an added treat.
For more active guests, water sports, an 18-hole golf course, museums and shopping are all within reach as well.
As an added plus, the ferry service runs 24 hours a day, giving guests the advantage to experience Key West and Sunset Key all in the same day.
As dusk sets in, Sunset Key is no less prepared for evening activities.
The property features one of Florida’s most sought-after restaurants known as Latitudes. Signature dishes include herb and Parmesan crusted scallops paired with a wild mushroom risotto, chilled seafood cocktails with poached main lobster tail and claw, chilled shrimp in a mango chili cocktail sauce or a yellowtail snapper with hearts of palm and tomato salsa.
As the night turns into early morning, guests are graced with the rival to Sunset Key’s utopian sunsets … its sunrises. The warm rays of light shine on the cottages, awaking guests in the calmest of ways. On the porch awaits a complimentary picnic basket filled with freshly baked breads and pastries and juicy seasonal fruits. Make sure to try the beignets too.
From restaurants to various activities, Sunset Key is entirely reachable on foot. This car-free island gives guests everything they might need within a 10-minute walking radius. But on the slight chance the island is missing something, the ferry dock is just a few steps away.
As one of the most exclusive getaways a South Floridian can take, Sunset Key Guest Cottages is truly a hidden treasure. Weather it be a three-hour drive or less than hour flight, Sunset Key needs to be put on the top of every traveler’s destination bucket list.
If your schedule doesn’t allow a long-term vacation, consider spending the day or evening at Sunset Key. The island welcomes guests to use its facilities, including the spa, restaurant and beach. Make note that guests must make a reservation for their desired experience in advance.
If You Go
- 245 Front St., Key West, Fla. 33040
- Phone: 305-292-5300
- Reservations: 866-716-8136
- Prices vary depending on desired service and experience.