Psst! Let us tell you a secret. There’s no need to leave the country for a private island escape. Just head to Sunset Key Cottages, A Luxury Collection Resort, a secluded island resort just a 7-minute ferry ride from Key West, Florida. Made up of 40 cottages, this unbelievably laid-back address is fast becoming our new favorite hideaway. Before booking a visit, here are five things you need to know.
You’ll get your own villa
The Sunset Key Cottages are an intimate collection of tin-roofed cottages that are available in one- to four-bedroom configurations — perfect for couples, families and groups. Expansive living areas and full kitchens come standard, and private porches are ideal for relaxing, cocktail in hand. Recently updated, these living spaces offer a beach-chic vibe with upscale touches like spa-style showers and refrigerators that offer a wine-chilling setting.
In the mornings, enjoy a breakfast basket filled with goodies like fresh fruit, juice, pastries and yogurt, delivered straight to your door, gratis. At night, nibble on a seasonal special treat left in the room at turndown. Should you need a midday pick-me-up, just venture outside around 3 p.m., when the Conch Cruiser delivers ice cream to any guest, young or old, with a desire for something cool. Late afternoon is just for adults — sample a ration of rum or a rum cocktail at the daily “Up Spirits” gathering at Latitudes Outside.
Beach time is a must
By day, there’s no better place to get on island time than at Sunset Key’s private beach, accessible only to guests of the resort or sister property Westin Key West. Lounge in the shade of a private palapa or your own personal palm tree while dedicated beach butlers cater to your every whim — we suggest you order a grouper sandwich directly to your lounge chair. Of course, if you want to see a bit more of your surroundings, just book a boat cruise. Sail Florida Adventures offers great private tours — both for sunset sails and sail ’n’ snorkel day trips.
Sunset Key’s boutique spa is one of our favorite parts of the island. Located inside the main resort building, this peaceful retreat offers suites with private garden patios, perfect for relaxing post treatment with a glass of champagne. Book a deep tissue massage with the signature mud treatment add-on. The self-heating mud soothes and detoxifies as it warms and loosens tight muscles. For sun-ravaged skin, try the Key West Aloe Wrap.
Sunset is the best time of day
It’s no wonder that this island is named for the best time of day. Sunset Key offers Key West’s best place to watch a nightly Technicolor display, and there’s no better place to catch the action than at onsite restaurant and bar Latitudes. Sip an ice-cold martini and nosh on dishes like saffron-crusted grouper (caught fresh daily, of course) or the signature honey- and ancho chile–crusted Wagyu beef skirt steak. Save room for some of the area’s best Key lime pie, topped with homemade meringue.
Ask for a table outside, where there’s nothing between you and the sunset but sand, sea and the occasional pelican. Or, enjoy the air conditioning inside the Ernest Hemingway room.
Thank you ferry much
The best benefit of a Sunset Key stay is getting an island escape with the convenience of never leaving the continental U.S. of A. But, should you wish to explore all that Key West has to offer, it’s just a short ferry ride to Key West proper, where you can stroll Duvall Street, historic Key West, the Southernmost Point sign and the aforementioned Westin Key West, where you have access to all of the property’s amenities, including swimming pools and an exceptional brunch at Bistro 245.