Key West’s tranquil oasis

My first visit to Key West was a business trip in which there was little time to savor the many delights of the island. My second trip was quite spontaneous and coincided with Key West Pride, in mid-June. This was a fun time but busy once again. Although this time we were busy running from event to party to parade to experience all the festivities and to meet as many cute men as possible.

However, my last trip to Key West, my third trip, was the charm. This time I wanted rest – pure, uncompromised rest. I was quite able to bask in the peace and solitude for which the Conch Republic is known. My lodgings, the Cypress House located at the corner of Caroline and Simonton Streets surely added to the peace of the weekend.

The main building 601 Caroline Street was built in 1888. Like many historic structures of Key West it was built by shipbuilders, which surely contributes to the longevity of the mansion. In addition to the main building Cypress House offers studios two doors down offers charming rooms in two buildings flanking a shaded deck area.

An extended complementary continental breakfast with one hot dish is offered in the large kitchen each morning from 8 to 11 a.m. Guests can enjoy their meal by the pool or in the shade. Each morning after breakfast I lounged poolside and soaked up the sun, which for me was the best way to start my day. The pool – open to guests 24 hours – is a delightful, tranquil spot and also the location for the 6 p.m. happy hour. Like an old-fashioned hotel guests are encouraged to mingle and share Key West adventures in the evening.

While the hotel is LGBT-welcoming it is not exclusive to gay men, which is in keeping with Key West’s slogan of “One Human Family.” This also imparts a slower pace to the facility, as many guesthouses catering to gay men seem to host a constant party. At Cypress House it is possible to read a book while soft music plays overhead and you will not be looked on as being anti-social.

If you do wish to experience the gay guesthouse vibe that Key West is known for the New Orleans House and Island House are only about 10 minutes away on foot. They offer weekend pool parties and day passes should you need a break from the serene tranquility of Cypress House. As the hotel offers bikes for rent you can get around like a real resident of Key West – on two wheels.

With all of the activities on and off the island, the many themed weekends and other crowd-drawing events potential visitors often wonder when is the best time to visit.

“It’s always a great time to visit Key West,” manager Stephen Aube, answered that question quickly upon asking.

Residents of South Florida who are used to the heat of the Sunshine State are conditioned to withstand the tropical temperatures of the Conch Republic. Summer, therefore is an ideal time for local residents to visit. However, regardless of season the peace and quiet of Cypress House is as refreshing as the pitcher of lemonade kept out for guests on the outdoor bar.

When leaving Cypress House to explore the city, one question kept crossing my mind. How can such peace and quiet exist only two blocks from Duval Street?

Please visit CypressHouseKW.com for more information.