The Gates Hotel Key West, a new independent hotel with 100 rooms, is will open in early 2015 on the island of Key West, Florida.  The boutique address under new ownership of Highgate Hotels will combine refined luxury, modern design, organic touches, and Floridian flare to recreate the verve of Hemingway’s “old school Key West.” With its authentic island ambiance, residential-style interiors, Cuban-themed dining and drinking, and splashy pool deck scene, The Gates will bring the Key West lifestyle to life for guests and locals alike.


A departure from traditional hospitality in the Keys, The Gates can be considered the first of a “new wave” of hotels focused on chic, yet comfortable hospitality in Key West. Amenities, design, and participation from local partners are among the keys to The Gates‘ unique personality and appeal, and arrivals can expect to be greeted by staff that embody the philosophy of the hotel and promote fun and relaxation throughout each stay.


Inspired by the Prohibition era, Rum Row will be The Gates‘ contemporary rum bar and small plates café serving creative craft cocktails and tapas-style entrees. Located adjacent to the hotel pool deck, Rum Row will celebrate the rum-running romance of the Prohibition era through partnerships with local Key West First Legal Rum Distillery and family-owned Rodriguez Cigar Factory, offering guests special on-property events and exclusive experiences off-site.


A spacious deck with the adjacent long-boarded bar of Rum Row will surround the hotel’s large swimming pool, setting the scene for relaxed afternoons and festive evenings of live entertainment. Poolside cabanas and daybeds will be available to rent by the day and evening with varying levels of VIP service. Whether stretched out on chaise lounges or tucked in the privacy of a cabana, poolside will be the place to experience all Key West has to offer at The Gates.


Important to the vision behind The Gates is interior designer Andrea Henzlik of AHD in Atlanta, Georgia. With her extensive experience designing interiors for private residences, Henzlik’s eye for personalized spaces resulted in a minimalist-yet-convivial property that is culturally connected to the island and sets the stage for boutique hotels in Key West.


“I was challenged to create a functional space inspired by the vibrant yet relaxed lifestyle of KeyWest,” shares Henzlik. “I started with monochromatic minimalism and infused it with splashes of color and texture to create interiors that feel like an ocean home rather than a traditional hotel.”


The Gates‘ common areas and guest rooms will showcase original photography by award-winning local photographer Jorge de la Torriente of De La Gallery. A wall of pecky cypress and a 10-foot community table will dress the lobby, along with a variety of textural elements. The guest rooms will display a modern yet rustic vibe with exposed whitewashed beams, custom platform beds of hand-washed cypress, petrified wood tables imported from Bali, and hand-selected rugs.


The hotel will offer two guest room categories: The Standard and The View. The View guest rooms include views of the pool or bay with some even providing direct access to the pool area. Each stay comes complete with complimentary WiFi access, a welcome cocktail and locally-inspired gifts and programs. In addition to the lunch and dinner fare served at Rum Row, traditional Key West breakfast items and Cuban coffee will also be offered daily.


The Gates‘ location at the point of entry of Key West on North Roosevelt Boulevard will afford easy access to everything, including Duval Street, Mallory Square and myriad attractions throughout Old Town. Guests staying at the Key West hotel will be able to indulge in ocean-view runs or ask the hotel’s concierge to arrange yoga, Pilates and spa services from area studios. Other activities include renting bicycles and scooters from the hotel, or hopping on a complimentary ride to the island’s favorites. The concierge can also set up local adventures including seaplane tours, catamaran sailing, parasailing, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, eco-tours, golf and more.


Travelers should take a second look at Key West for a beach escape this winter. Long known for its laid back vibe and Cuban influence, the destination has quietly transformed into a more sophisticated destination for savvy travelers in recent years. A prime example of this transformation is the new Gates of Key West.Slated to open this fall, the hotel will be a hot spot for travelers craving the lively atmosphere, design influence and “see and be seen” scene of Miami, without the crowds, extravagance and “glitz.” With a lively pool scene complete with private cabanas, popular DJ sets and tapas style dining, the property will announce the arrival of “new wave” hotels to the famed South Floridian destination that’s on its way to becoming Miami’s hipper and more under-the-radar little sister. The hotel will also offer a number of locally-inspired partnerships including Key West First Legal Rum Distillery and Rodriguez Cigar Factory, working with these local companies to offer guests exclusive classes, experiences and items.


Another example of the destination’s transformation is the elevation of Key West’s food scene beyond the traditional seaside experience.  Never considered a foodie destination in the past, Key West has recently welcomed a number of new chefs and restaurants (both established and aspiring) who are bringing with them cuisine that’s new/innovative to the area. The stunning outdoor patio at Square One  reopens this September with new ownership introducing a revamped menu with modern Key West favorites. Grab some signature tapas and sangria at Santiago’s Bodgeo, which just opened a second location in Orlando due to high demand, and stumble into The Porch for a craft beer or fine wine in the historic Porter Mansion in Old Town Key West. Another sign of Key West’s hipper vibe is a new emphasis on beer culture. Moving beyond the Bud Lite happy hours of Duval Street and Sloppy Joe’s, Key West will soon be home to a newWaterfront Brewery.

Opening rates from $249. Reservations for The Gates Hotel Key West will soon be available or by calling 305-294-3773. More information is also available on the property’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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