A Review of the Orchid Inn--Key West

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's back to Key West for part two of my celebration with family, but sadly my furry children stayed home with the pet sitter.

This time we chose a hotel closer to the main action. Actually it was on Duvall Street but outside the main fray, at the corner of Duvall and Truman --The Orchid Inn.

My mother and sister selected the hotel over the Internet-- risky business when selecting a hotel in anything-goes Key West. As we looked for a sign or address, we saw the neon sign (neon is not usually a good sign). The selection was made because of the location; the fact that the hotel was completely remodeled, and they had parking!-- a luxury in slovenly-drunken-pedestrian Key West. So the risk was minimized. But the neon sign and now the 1950's exterior structure sent a wave of preliquor nausea. After we drove into the recently paved parking lot and noticed the manicured rock garden and strategically planted and beautifully appointed orchids, we knew we arrived in Paradise more sumptuous than Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville or Cheeseburgers.

The Orchid Inn was perfect! As a designated historic building, the owner could not change the exterior structure. However, the remodeled decor of the lobby and bedrooms were ultrachic-colors of pewter, blue, and green with white acrylic paneled wall of orchids in the lobby, and a paneled headboard of blue waves in the bedrooms. The details were perfect. The pool area was charming, chic and an oasis. The Orchid Inn captured the glories of the 1950's on the outside and transported you to contemporary scenery on the interior. The location was also quiet--several blocks away from the bustle and booze of the restaurants and bars.

Charming, chic and intimate all in one. The newly constructed building that housed the wine bar was a major draw and instant hit. It opened the weekend of our trip. What timing! On the south side of the building is a mosaic waterfall which serves as a backdrop to the jacuzzi. Excellent idea!

The Orchid Inn offers complimentary Happy Hour wine and beer daily from 5pm to 7pm.
During our visit, the sister of the owner was helping out and tending to a variety of hotel operations. She also served as bartender and poured our drinks and refilled the bowls with those popular goldfish crackers. For a boutique hotel in Key West, you could not miss the family-owned vibes that made you feel right at home. The entire staff was pleasant and helpful.

The owner also owns the hotel across the street, The Almond Inn. We walked over and took a peek. Indeed the Almond Inn is traditional Key West, hidden in mangroves with a more informal, rustic colonial decor but with Key West colors of green and yellow. Charming but for this Miami girl, give me chic and modern any day.

We definitely plan on returning to the Orchid Inn for future Key West visits!

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