470 Views |  Like

Sunset Key Guest Cottages

By Clarissa Buch

Amid large crowds and street performers in Mallory Square, the sun begins to set and captivates tourists and natives alike. As you stand on the edge of the boardwalk, with arguably the best viewing spot, you can’t help but notice a small, private island on the horizon. But before you know it, purple and pink hues illuminate the sky, and the island fades away into the distance remaining a mystery to most.

One of the most exclusive resorts in Florida lies only 500 yards away on Sunset Key, a 27-acre island off the coast of Key West. Ranked among the World’s Best Hotels for Families according to Travel + Leisure Magazine, The Westin Hotels and Resorts’ Sunset Key Guest Cottages is seven acres filled with luxury, relaxation and charm.
Only accessible by boat, guests board from the Westin Marina and disembark less than six minutes later into paradise. Sunset Key Guest Cottages feature 40 tastefully decorated villas with either garden or ocean views facing the Gulf of Mexico. Sizes range from one to four bedrooms, each with a state-of-the-art kitchen, multiple flat screen televisions, and WiFi indoors and out.

Upon arrival, guests are escorted off the ferry and immediately greeted by staff. There is no need to worry about cars or check-in because all paperwork was done and all cars were safely parked back at the Westin Key West Resort and Marina, the sister hotel on the mainland. The cottages await their visitors, and staff accompanies each party to their personal getaways.

Within the first hours of setting foot on this fantasy island, guests are offered a wide-range of amenities to take advantage of.
Unlike Key West, the island is lined with rich, sandy beaches, and the resort offers gourmet food and cocktail and wine service for guests soaking up the sun or simply enjoying the endless view of the crystal clear waters.

Though The Spa at Sunset Key is small, its quaint and private setting makes up for its size. Both a secluded patio and garden area are an added bonus with each treatment room. Paired with the spa’s immaculate service, guests are ensured the utmost satisfaction. If guests want to indulge, this is the right place to do it with facials, massages or various body treatments. A guest favorite is the self-heating mud massage where guests rest their backs on warm, bubbling mud as the masseuse continues the massage. For fitness enthusiasts, the spa offers fitness rooms and tennis courts. For those simply seeking relaxation, guests can visit the gorgeous tropical pool lagoon and Jacuzzi to relax in the most utopian surroundings. Sweet delicacies such as chocolate-covered strawberries are laid out around the spa for an added treat.

For more active guests, water sports, an 18-hole golf course, museums and shopping are all within reach as well. The concierge at Sunset Key assists guests in planning their ideal excursion. As an added plus, the ferry service runs 24 hours a day, giving guests the advantage to experience Key West and Sunset Key all in the same day.
As dusk sets in, Sunset Key is no less prepared for evening activities.

Guests looking for a high-end meal and picturesque sights do not need to venture far. The property features one of Florida’s most sought-after restaurants known as Latitudes. Whether seated at tabletops in the sand surrounded by lit torches or inside the chic and cozy dining room, all guests are guaranteed the most luxurious meal of their lives. Signature dishes include herb and parmesan crusted scallops paired with a wild mushroom risotto, chilled seafood cocktails with poached main lobster tail and claw, chilled shrimp in a mango chili cocktail sauce or a yellowtail snapper with hearts of palm and tomato salsa. For those with a sweet tooth, their Key Lime pie is nothing short of perfection, paired well with various crème-filled pastries. However, the food is not the only factor that makes Latitudes so desirable. The enthusiastic staff makes the experience that much more enjoyable by giving guests comfort and great conversation in a high-class atmosphere.

For the more outgoing and adventurous guests, the resort can book a Wind and Wine Sunset Sail sponsored by Danger Charters. Between the entertaining crew, and non-stop wine pouring, guests sail along the sunset into the twilight on one of the top two Sunset Sails in all of North America, according to Coastal Living Magazine. Sailing nightly, this sunset sail features eight different wines from around the world, in addition to upscale beers and various hors d’oeuvres.

As the night turns into early morning, guests are graced with the rival to Sunset Key’s utopian sunsets … its sunrises. The warm rays of light shine on the cottages, awaking guests in the calmest of ways. On the porch awaits a complimentary picnic basket filled with freshly baked breads and pastries and juicy seasonal fruits. Make sure to try the beignets. You won’t regret it!

Those looking to venture off the island for a morning stroll and tasty brunch can take the ferry and dine at Bistro 245 at the Westin’s sister property. The bistro offers alfresco casual dining or comfy indoor dining overlooking the beautiful Key West Harbor and occasional docked cruise ships. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests can count on extraordinary cuisine including an egg white omelet with broccoli and cheddar cheese sided with crispy potatoes, a fresh Caribbean seafood salad tossed in a ginger mango dressing or a crawfish key lobster paired with flamed grilled asparagus. And don’t forget the unlimited mimosas!

From restaurants to various activities, Sunset Key is entirely reachable on foot. This car-free island gives guests everything they might need within a 10-minute walking radius. But on the slight chance the island is missing something, the ferry dock is just a few steps away.

Imagine those who make Sunset Key their reality. As well as the cottages, Sunset Key is home to private residences starting at more than $1 million dollars. For those who want a taste of that reality, visiting the guest cottages becomes the next best option.

As one of the most exclusive getaways a South Floridian can take, Sunset Key Guest Cottages is truly a hidden treasure. Weather it be a three-hour drive or less than hour flight, Sunset Key needs to be put on the top of every traveler’s destination bucket list.