When you think of Key West in Florida, the words “quiet retreat” might not come to mind, but when you stay at the Marquea Hotel, that is exactly what you’ll experience. I really enjoyed the best of both worlds here, let me explain. Key West is so colorful, vibrant, filled with fascinating history and a roaring nightlife. A few days here can be quite fun but exhausting. However, you’re absolutely able to enjoy all of that while also retreating to a tranquil oasis at the Marquesa Hotel. But how exactly?
The Marquesa Hotel is conveniently located in the center of the historic district of Old Town Key West, and it’s more of a compound with two locations across the street from each other. You’re in the middle of everything, but these two streets are quiet, charming, and mostly residential with historic homes. Throughout both properties, you’ll discover three sparkling pools, lush interior gardens, and the delicious Cafe Marquesa restaurant which I’ll rave about more down below.
This property is part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts collection, and when you check-in at the Marquesa Hotel, you feel like you’re being welcomed into a boutique inn with such personable service. In other words, this is not a typical hotel experience. We sat down at a gorgeous antique desk where Bruce checked us in and very kindly insisted on carrying our bags to our room, as well as parking our car in the designated parking lot. He had worked there for many years and clearly loved the property and Key West. We received so many helpful suggestions from him on where to explore and eat, he truly made our stay a better one. In fact, everyone we encountered at the Marquesa Hotel was so warm and welcoming, we were sad to say goodbye to them!
A Junior Suite:
We stayed in a Junior Suite which is located on the same side as the main building, you just need to walk past two of their lovely pools and gardens (which are just as beautiful and peaceful at night). You’ll quickly find a small row of colorful cabana-like buildings where our suite was ready to welcome us. One of the best parts of staying in these suites is a private and spacious porch which overlooks the gardens and pools. Waking up to this sight every morning instantly relaxed me and made me excited for the day ahead!
While the property dates back to the late 1800s, there is a wonderful mix of historic and contemporary interiors in the rooms. Our Junior Suite was warm and bright in every sense, from the natural light to the furnishings. There was a great flow from the seating area into the bedroom and then bathroom. I appreciated the desk space too, and there was plenty of storage space in both the closet and armoire.
When it comes to food at the Marquesa Hotel, you are set for both breakfast and dinner. A continental breakfast is included with fantastic pastry, fruit, and cereal options. I especially loved their blueberry muffins! I also liked the convenient choices you had to enjoy breakfast which were in the beautiful breakfast room in the most historic part of the building, or outside on the original porch. However, if you wanted to take it back to your room or poolside, you’re more than welcome to. There’s also to-go boxes if you’re in a rush and on your way out, it’s all up to you and I appreciated having those options.
Now when it comes to dinner, do not miss out on dining next door at Cafe Marquesa. This is a high-end but cozy restaurant that’s open for dinner every night of the week. It only seats 50 people total so I’d highly recommend reserving a table. The service here is just as helpful and kind as the Marquesa Hotel, but the food is the real star. You’ll find a mix of contemporary American cuisine featuring grilled meats, and the most delicious local seafood.
Do yourself a favor and start out with their fresh baked bread, along with a bowl of their She Crab Soup. This was an absolute standout dish for me, and certainly the best she crab soup I’ve ever had. Another winning appetizer is the Tempura Black Grouper with sweet corn, pea, shishito peppers, creole aioli and basil salad. As far as entrees, the Butter Poached Maine Lobster was my favorite. It’s quite decadent and rich with Hackleback caviar, and she crab risotto but you’ll enjoy every bite.
While I stayed on the main property, guests will also be very happy across the street at the Marquesa Hotel’s 4-1-4 House which has their own lovely pool as well (but they can also use the other two). If you’re looking for a very modern room, I’d recommend one of the 414 Suites with contemporary art work and an impressive bathroom with soaking tub and glass enclosed shower.
If you’re looking for a relaxing spa experience, I would check out a Noble House sister property that’s only a 10-minute walk away: Ocean Key Resort & Spa. I personally would not leave Key West without booking a facial here at SpaTerre. Melissa was my expert esthetician who not only gave me one of the most incredible facials, but she also spent time massaging my neck, shoulders, and feet. So if you only have time to choose between a facial and a massage, I would go with a facial because you enjoy a little bit of both.
The Marquesa Hotel is perfect for those looking for a tranquil and even romantic getaway, without being far away from the lively restaurants and sights that attract people to Key West in the first place. From historic features to luxury interiors and five-star service and food, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Please note: I was a guest of the Marquesa Hotel but all opinions are my own.