My wife and I were visiting family in Naples, FL and decided to take a quick trip down to the Keys. We had originally planned to do some camping, but since it was the high season we weren’t able to find any decent spots. We knew a hotel would be pricey, but decided to treat ourselves and book a place right in the center of Key West so we could walk/bike to everything we wanted to see. Upon arriving, I went to check in as my wife attempted to find a parking spot. We knew this might prove to be difficult as we had read that the Merlin did not have designated guest spots and parking on Key West is limited. However, before I was finished checking in, my wife returned having found a spot right outside the hotel-definitely a benefit of arriving on a Sunday. We left the car there for the entire trip.
The check in process went smoothly and the staff was extremely friendly. Our room was located just around the corner from the office and just off the street. I imagine that it could get noisy during busy times, but we had no issues during our stay. The wood floors in the room were really nice and we liked how the historic feel of the structures was kept while the necessary renovations were made to keep it feeling fresh and clean. Everything in the room seemed new, classy, and modern. The vaulted ceiling was an especially nice touch. The pool was small and warm, but inviting. We loved all the natural South Florida vegetation surrounding the patio. The continental breakfast was just right and we enjoyed conversation with one employee, Kenneth, who told us about his time in Central America. Everyone we met who worked at the hotel was extremely friendly and welcoming.
The location was perfect. We walked to get food, and see the Hemingway house and just down the street to rent bikes to ride around the island and go to Smather’s Beach. When it came time to leave we wished we could stay for the rest of the week.
Restaurants were OK, but being vegetarian we always hope for more options. Having the Sugar Apple Health Food store right down the street was nice, but due to timing we were only able to get lunch there for the ride home-it was delicious. We also enjoyed tacos at Amigos-great service. The Cafe was a little disappointing. A bit overpriced and they were out of some things/ got our order wrong.
All in all we had an amazing time and would definitely consider the Merlin Guesthouse for our next Key West adventure.By: Jesse Sawyer January 19, 2015
5 / 5 stars