Contemporary decor at The Gates features seascapes by local photographer Jorge de la Torriente of De La Gallery — Photo courtesy of Claudia Miller
The Gates – a new boutique hotel at the entrance to Key West – pairs chic design with a laid-back vibe. Through partnerships with local businesses, artists, designers and tastemakers, they’ve captured the unique character and heritage of the island.
Spacious rooms evoke a beach feeling using custom platform beds of whitewashed cypress and well-placed accessories like driftwood bowls. Pops of color liven up the space through accent pillows and large seascape photos from local artist Jorge de la Torriente.
Luxurious touches like plush towels and bathrobes from the Turkish Towel Company mix with practical amenities such as Keurig coffeemakers and mini-fridges. The king rooms come with a comfy sleeper sofa and seating area scattered with books like The Cigar Lover’s Compendium and The Real McCoy (about the notorious rumrunner).
Catering to a techno-savvy clientele, The Gates provides Samsung tablets for in-room use — Photo courtesy of Claudia Miller
Designed for the modern traveler, the hotel offers Wi-Fi across the property, and outlets are plentiful in the rooms and at the bar. In keeping with the clean contemporary aesthetic, the printed information one usually finds about hotel amenities, menus and local attractions is streamlined onto a Samsung tablet for in-room use.
When booking, choose rooms that face the interior of the property for the best views. Ground-floor units have a small patio and easy access to the scene by the pool and bar.
For a quieter experience, book upstairs and at the opposite end of the grounds.
The tranquil pool and Rum Row bar are the perfect combo for relaxation — Photo courtesy of Claudia Miller
The beautifully landscaped pool, complete with private cabanas, flanks Rum Row bar – perfect for lounging the day away. With live music in the evenings Thursday through Sunday, Rum Row draws both locals and visitors alike.
The bar celebrates rumrunners of old with maritime decor and creative handcrafted cocktails like the Keez Beez Knees. In this refreshing drink, Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, Keez Beez Red Mangrove Honey and simple syrup are shaken with fresh lemon juice and a dash of lavender water, then served martini style.
Their house rum was created by Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, and the bartenders will do an impromptu tasting of the various flavors from Key lime to spiced. Did we mention that guests are even greeted at check-in with a welcome rum cocktail?
At the outdoor elevated Rodriguez Cigar Lounge, smokers can enjoy the local stogies hand-rolled in the traditional Cuban fashion.
The Blind Pig, a permanent food truck, offers Conch fusion tapas and snacks all day long — Photo courtesy of Claudia Miller
Start your day with a Cuban breakfast sandwich at their permanent food truck The Blind Pig (a slang name for speakeasies). Open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, they serve up Conch fusion tapas like fish tacos and crab cake sliders for lunch or dinner. They also make tasty bar snacks like truffle popcorn, rosemary and sea salt nuts and house mixed olive jardinière.
While The Gates is located on the outskirts of Key West, there’s ample parking. And the main drag, Duval Street, is just a quick drive away.
The Old Town Trolley also stops at The Gates; it's an easy way to traverse the whole island. What's more, snazzy blue Martone bicycles are available for rent, and the recently constructed oceanfront promenade across the street is perfect for a picturesque jaunt.