Sunset Key Cottages, a Luxury Collection Resort
Key West, Florida
This is definitely one of Starwood’s most unusual properties.
Located on a private 27 acre island, just off Key West, FL, The Sunset Key Cottages offer the perfect mix of luxury and tranquility, with 40 distinct one, two, three and four bedroom cottages. The cottages and rooms feel like you have your own little island home designed in traditional Key West architecture with pastel colored wood exteriors and tin roofs.
Sunset Key is just 500 yards, across the Gulf of Mexico, from Key West, yet far removed from its busy (and sometimes crazy) streets. You will have the option to take the private ferry back and forth to Key West if you choose, or stay away and enjoy all of the luxury the island has to offer.
In addition to the resort, there is a private residential community on the island with narrow brick roads and Key West Victorian style homes. Cars are not permitted on the island, your only transportation options are bike, foot and the ferry service that will transfer you to and from the island.
Depending on what room type you have (1,2,3 or 4 bedroom), there will be a big difference in size and structure of the cottage, but the look and feel is the same in all of them. We stayed in a 2 story 3 bedroom cottage, with a great view of the Gulf. There were two bedrooms on the first floor and one on the second as well as a kitchen, sitting area and balcony.
Every morning we awoke to find a nice little wicker basket of muffins, fruit and orange juice waiting for us on the balcony. The muffins were made fresh each morning and were the perfect way to start the day!
The hotel has a great restaurant, Latitudes, with beautiful oceanfront views, fine dining and a bartender that poured the stiffest gin martini I have ever had (that’s a good thing…).
As far as commuting back and forth to Key West, there is a Island Ferry that runs from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. with two launches running every half-hour from both The Westin Marina, Key West and from the Sunset Key Guest Dock. From 2:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. there is a launch that runs on demand.
The front desk will provide you with complimentary use of fishing poles and bait. The kids went fishing off the dock and had some good luck. Within minutes of dropping in the lines we were reeling in the catch of the day… They weren’t the biggest fish we have ever caught but we had a ton of fun hanging out on the dock and reeling them in.
Points and Elite Status:
The Sunset Key Cottages is a SPG category 7 hotel, which requires 30,000 – 35,000 SPG points per night for a room (depending on season). If you are going to be staying for a little while, there is a fifth night free option, which will get you a fifth night free when you use points for four nights.
Starwood often allows you to use points for room and suite upgrades, but not at this hotel. Most Starwood Caribbean (and this one) properties have “Limited SPG Participation”, which means you typically cannot book the room through the SPG Website and will have to call the property direct. It also means they may turn you down for using points for your stay and will only offer you the standard room type for your Starpoints.
How to Stay Here Free:
At a range of 30,000 – 35,000 points per night, you are going to need a lot of Starpoints for this one….. However, if you decide this is a dream destination and you want to save up for the points to stay free, there are a couple of ways you could go about it. The first is via staying at Starwood properties and earning points through stays. If you are going to try to earn free nights this way, make sure to check out the Starwood Starpoint Promotion Page – here you will find a variety of ways to earn Starwood Starpoints points and any promotions that are currently being offered to accelerate your earning power. This method will take quite a bit of time, but if you are a road warrior, it can be done.
The fastest way to earn free nights at this hotel is to apply for a credit card with a solid bonus offer such as the Starwood American Express Card, Read a review of the Starwood American Express Card here…
Random Thoughts and Recommendations:
Here are a couple of recommendations and thoughts based on my trip:
Go Deep Sea Fishing with Lethal Weapon Charters – Captain Ted is a pro who has been doing this for years. Since we had kids with us, he knew we would like to get some sharks… and he knew just what to do. We caught a Nurse Shark, an American Sharpnose Shark and a Blacktip Shark. What a great day!
As far as restaurants go, check out these two..
Blue Heaven – for the quintessential Key West experience, you can’t beat Blue Heaven – great local food and live chickens running around….
Louie’s Backyard – if you prefer fine dining with great oceanfront view over chickens at your feet, then Louie’s Backyard is the place for you.