Key West has long ranked among the world’s top destinations for gay and lesbian vacationers. It’s still up there, but changing times, demographics, and trends have taken their toll, and while you’ll still see prominent gay nightspots, celebrations, and drag queens on Duval Street, LGBT guesthouses have shrunk from dozens to a small handful, of which the premier example is Alexander’s. A stalwart for more than 30 years, it’s housed in a pair of old clapboard houses on a quiet stretch of Fleming Street, a 15-minute stroll from Duval. And now, under owners Raul Diaz and Orlando Torres, it’s snazzier than ever in looks (bright, clean, and contemporary) and service (friendly and attentive from attractive staffers). There’s a pool and hot tub out back, plus a couple of clothing-optional decks. Another factor in Alexander’s perseverance has no doubt been that it also welcomes open-minded straight folks—many, one manager told me, from Europe, booking here because “they want to meet ‘the new Americans, the progressive thinkers.’” For anyone with cat allergies, Hercules and Junior are sweethearts but they also are, indeed, kitties.
- Frommer's Staff