by Courtney Elko
Parrot Key Hotel and Villas offers families an ideal location that’s removed from the craziness of Key West’s Duval Street, but also convenient to reach when you want to head into town. The hotel is situated in Key West’s commercial district, less than 3 miles outside of the city center, and enjoys a scenic location along the waterfront, with sunset views that can’t be topped. The hotel saw a complete renovation following Hurricane Irma in 2017. The guestrooms were completed renovated, the pools and landscaping were refreshed and the onsite restaurant is new and improved, too!
Families will feel as though they’ve entered a tropical oasis upon arriving at Parrot Key. The spacious and modern guestrooms and suites surround the center courtyard areas, where families will find four pools (including an adults-only pool). The waterfront guestrooms and suites overlook a cool sandy beach area, where kids can play in the sand and adults can practice yoga in the morning (sand buckets and yoga mats are provided!).
The onsite restaurant offers all-day dining and the onsite water sports and bike rentals allows families to get out on the water and experience everything Key West has to offer.
Our Editor Loves
- Four swimming pools
- Villas that can accommodate eight guests
- Onsite water sports rentals
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The accommodations at Parrot Key look more like townhomes (they once were townhomes many years ago) so they are ideal for family stays. Families can book a guestroom also known as an A room, or a B room, which can offer one or two bedroom areas (the two-bedroom option makes it a C room) depending how much space you need. Or families can book A, B and C together, making it a giant villa. All of the rooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi, and cribs are available upon request.
Guests who stay in the Waterfront Rooms receive some upgrades that include turndown service, sand buckets and shovels, and yoga mats to use during your stay. Families can also use the large beach bag and beach blankets provided in those rooms.
The A guestrooms are situated on the first floor and walk out to the garden area or waterfront area. They offer one king or two queen beds with outlets by the bed, a flat-screen television, a mini-fridge, microwave, coffeemaker and a small table with two chairs. The bathrooms feature a standup shower. The ground-level balcony features two chairs and a table. The guestrooms can accommodate between two and four people.
The B suites are situated on the upper level and offer a bedroom area with a queen bed and separate living room area with a couch, and a wet bar that offers a mini-fridge, microwave, sink and coffeemaker. There is a flat-screen television in each room and a balcony with chairs off each room as well. The bathroom offers both a standup shower and a bathtub.
For more space, a second bedroom (C suites) can be included with the B suites. In the second-floor bedroom, families will find either a second queen bed or two twin beds, a third flat-screen television and a second bathroom with a shower/tub combination. The suites can accommodate between two and four people.
For the maximum amount of space, families can book the combination of A, B, and C-- making one large, private unit that can sleep up to eight people comfortably.
Upon arrival they will also ask you for an additional $150 for incidentials (will credit you 3 to 4 days after you check out if there is a balance you did not use like the resturant or charging something to your room). Beware they do not do turn down service every night as advertised nor do they give you the complientary bottles of water either that are suppose to come with the room each day you stay. The last pick up time for the shuittle to go back to the hotel is 4:30 p.m. so it has to be just a lunch on duvall st.
We have now stayed here for two extended stays, both combining work with play. So combined, over 4 weeks, which means that our take on things is probably pretty accurate and not just 'one time flukes.' There are parts of this hotel that are really good. The lush landscaping and the four pools down the middle make it seem like paradise and very high end. The villas themselves are pretty, done in whites to seem beachy and airy. They are spacious and good for families needing more than just one big room. (We've had single rooms, two bedrooms and three bedrooms- water view and water front.) The lobby and valet staff are also very friendly. Bellmen were very helpful and appreciated in our changing of rooms. However, there are some major flaws that would definitely make me think twice about staying here again, especially if paying for it completely ourselves (rather than partially through work).
The single biggest downfall to this hotel is the housekeeping department. They are absolutely terrible and for so many reasons. For starters, some of the rooms we've entered have been completely filthy from the start, especially the floors and couches. During our stay, it was more common that not for housekeeping to simply not show up. If they did, it was often before 8a at which point we weren't up or definitely weren't ready to have them in our villa, so they would just leave a note hanging on the door saying that they'd tried and would try again tomorrow. So most every single day, we called to ask that they please come. However, for the last 4 days of our stay, we called every single day to say that we'd be out of the room right now for the next 2 hours so they could please come- the front desk would say that they'd send them right away, then we'd return hours later to a still dirty villa. So our room was not cleaned one time for 4 days- we finally asked them just send us fresh towels. And a final note about housekeeping- not a single one we encountered spoke English as we tried to resolve our issues countless times with the housekeepers directly (telling them when we'd be leaving, asking them to come, asking for fresh towels, etc.) but not one could communicate with us. I don't mean this in a derogatory way at all as I'm all for EOO, but I do think it's important that at least some of your staff be able to communicate with guests.
The gym is a joke. Not only is it very tiny (I did 3 of my workouts in the lobby because 6 people were already using the gym, leaving no room), but it is consistently FILTHY (see housekeeping notes above). Equipment and floors are so covered in sweat it's hazy white from the salt. Towel bin is often overflowing, fridge is empty (water bottles not restocked) and water fountain has been blinking since April that it needs the filter replaced. Do not offer a gym if you don't intend to keep it up.
Valet is required. This adds $15/day plus tips for the guys every time you retrieve your car. It also is inconvenient if you're like us who come and go from your room throughout the day.
Resort fee adds $30/day to your rate.
Hotel bar/snackbar is wildly overpriced and the food is not very good at all. Drinks are weak (we learned to pay $2 extra for doubles, which ends up being cheaper- and healthier- than ordering new drinks altogether.)
So those are our two cents. Fortunately, all of these issues are ones that the hotel could correct if they choose. The property itself is gorgeous and has so many positive things going for it. The fees can be trimmed, the housekeeping team can be improved or replaced as many times as necessary, the gym can be made a priority, the food and beverage service can be improved (we became friends with the Food and Bev manager actually and he's wonderful so I know he'd be willing!)...But it's all up to the management to make it happen. If it doesn't, I don't see this property staying a contender for the long haul.
There are four small pools that are heated and cooled based on the season, situated in the center of this rectangle-shaped resort. All of the pools are surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas and lush vegetation for a true tropical oasis feel.
The main pool, situated next to The Grove Restaurant, is the largest and where most families spend their time. There is usually music playing there, as well as resort activities at select times. Children are welcome at any of the pools, except for the adults-only pool.
The pools are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and pool towels are provided. Restrooms are also located by the pools. No lifeguards are on duty.
The waterfront rooms, which come with a handy sand bucket and shovel, walk out to a sandy beach area with white sand, lounge chairs, hammocks and umbrellas overlooking the canal and Gulf of Mexico. It’s not a beach in the sense that you can go out into the water, but there is plenty of sand for families to play in and all guests are welcome to visit this area. Sunset Pier is also located here and has the optimal spot to view the nightly sunset show.
Water Sports and Bicycles
While the hotel does not offer its own water sports rentals, it does have an onsite partner, Sunset Watersports, that offers paddle boarding, Jet skis, bike rentals and sunset boat cruises. Families can paddle through the canal, bike around Key West or go explore as a group on a Jet ski tour.
Located less than a 10-minute drive from the hotel (shuttle provided), guests are welcome to enjoy this public beach where the hotel has reserved lounge chairs and beach towels for guests. Smathers Beach is Key West’s largest beach and offers a great space for families to get in the Atlantic Ocean while visiting. Water sports equipment and umbrellas can also be rented here.
The Grove Kitchen and Bar
The onsite, open-air restaurant is situated next to the main pool area. It offers plenty of tables to enjoy breakfast and all-day dining, and features a bar area as well. Some of the menu items include burgers, sandwiches, seafood, beef and more. While there is no dedicated kids’ menu, children can easily be accommodated. The Grove is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
- Resort Fee
The nightly resort fee includes Wi-Fi, Google Chromecast on the guestroom televisions, lounge chairs and beach towels at Smathers Beach, shuttle service, two bottles of water and gym access.
Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort.
Valet parking is available at the resort for a nightly fee. There are no self-parking options.
- Fitness Center
A small fitness center with cardio machines and free weights is available 24/7. Gym towels and water are provided. The waterfront rooms also come with a yoga mat that guests can use during their stay.
A complimentary shuttle, which makes two stops at Smathers Beach and downtown, loops around daily with scheduled stops from about 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., depending on the season.
The Best Time to Visit
Key West is a warm-weather destination and it tends to stay warm most of the year, with the summer months being hot and humid. The busy season for the hotel tends to run from about December through April, especially around the holiday season and family spring break times.
Key West International Airport is less than 10 minutes from the hotel. With limited service, however, you will likely connect to this airport from Miami International Airport. You can also drive to the hotel from Miami International Airport; it is about 3.5 hours away.
The hotel provides a free shuttle that will take guests to downtown Key West and to nearby Smathers Beach. The shuttle runs daily from about 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., depending on the time of year. Also, the hotel can arrange transportation from the Key West Airport or families can rent a vehicle to have complete flexibility. Complimentary bike rentals are another way to get out and explore.
- Offsite Spa
While the hotel does not have an onsite spa, it does have a partnership with a nearby spa, Ocean Wellness Spa & Salon. The hotel is happy to arrange spa treatments for you either in your room or at the offsite facility.
The Grove features a bar where adults can enjoy cocktails, wine and beer until about 10 p.m. Poolside cocktail service is also available.