Why at the lower end of Duval Street is there a cluster of hostelries labeled “Southernmost”? Well, right down the block on South Street is that famous, garish, buoy-looking thingy marking the southernmost point in the continental U.S. (though actually, this is still true only if you’re counting natural landmass—the manmade Truman Annex reaches farther south). This gracious white Queen Anne clapboard, now owned by Cuban-American Mona Santiago, is especially significant to Key West history because it was built by a businessman who helped define it in the late 1880s: Eduardo Hidalgo Gato, who came from Cuba to become a honcho in one of the signature local industries of the day, cigar-making (his descendants lived here until 1951). The interior today isn’t as elaborate, but as a bed-and-breakfast it offers a nice respite with its outdoor patios, hammocks, a small pool (guests can also use the bigger, busier pool at the Southernmost Hotel across the street), and a half-dozen appealing rooms with contemporary decor, watercolors, wicker furniture, and mosquito-netting-draped beds. If you’re interested in the action near the Mallory Square end of Duval, that’ll be a bit of a stroll away (about 20 min.).
- Frommer's Staff