[“]Oasis of tranquility just steps away from the Duval Street hubbub” describes any number of small hostelries in Old Town, but truly a star among them is this lush spread, once Key West’s largest private estate–cum–botanical garden, created in the 1930s from an 1880s manse, opened to the public in 1968, and an inn since the 1990s. Surrounding two pools and poolside bar in the center of it all are not only a clutch of Bahamian-style buildings housing 21 tropically elegant rooms, suites, and cottages with hardwood floors and handsome four-poster beds, but those eponymous lush, mazelike gardens with brick walkways; bubbling fountains; funky sculptures; a gazebo; a big fancy birdcage; and several huge, antique clay jars from Cuba called tinajones. Since 2004, innkeeper Kate Miano has polished this gem to a high gloss with friendly, personalized service and a handful of imaginative innovations such as Sunday afternoon jazz concerts and the “d’vine Wine Gallery,” a fancy automat allowing folks to sample a variety of interesting international vintages by the partial and full glass (both, by the way, are also open to the general public). Great expanded breakfast service, too (sticky thumbs-up to that luscious Key lime French toast).
- Frommer's Staff