by Christine Koubek
The Southernmost on the Beach is a place families will love. It’s located on the quieter end of Duval Street (away from party-central) and offers quirky activities you can do with your kids, like Hula Hoop Fitness and Corn Hole tournaments. Plus, families can save money by skipping the rental car. Many attractions can be reached by bike, walk (Duval Street is roughly a mile long), bicycle, standard taxi or Old Town Trolley which you can catch right across the street from the resort (kids 12 and under ride free).
Meander around and you’ll notice that everything on this 7.4-square-mile island — from the people, to the food, to the architecture — has a diverse lifestyle and ethnic flare. French, German and British accents are overheard in nearby cafes. Bahamian-influenced Conch houses line streets, and foods from countries around the globe can be found in Key West restaurants. The city’s motto “One Human Family” seems fitting.
As for The Southernmost on the Beach, the resort has 124 rooms housed in a collection of two- and three-story buildings. The majority are located in buildings constructed in 2009, which sit on the former site of the popular Atlantic Shores Resort. The island building, adjacent to the lobby, was renovated in 2011. Guestrooms in the newer buildings, which are modern and in excellent shape, received updates in 2014.
Southernmost Hotel’s 118 rooms are located across the street. Guestrooms at the two properties all feature the same gorgeous decor and comfortable beds. The differences are in price (the hotel is cheaper), room size (see “Accommodations”), and especially the surrounding views. The beach property offers primarily water and lawn views; the hotel overlooks other buildings and a parking lot.
Our Editor Loves
- Oceanside resort
- Outdoor activities, from Ping Pong and foosball to beach games galore
- Located at the quiet end of Duval Street
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Guestrooms have a coastal contemporary vibe, decorated in blues and various shades of sand and cocoa brown. Most have comfortable king beds (or two queens) topped with foam and feather pillows, a desk, upholstered chair (or two), flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, safe and coffee maker. Covered balconies are spacious, but only have two metal-framed chairs. Move an upholstered room chair out to the balcony for more comfortable seating, and to allow for more space in the room if you've added an extra bed.
Bathrooms are large, with beautiful tile work and oversized walk-in showers (a few rooms have tubs, so be sure to request one if that's important for your family). Regular hair-dryers and Bee Kind shampoo and conditioner are provided.
Southernmost on the Beach guestrooms are located in five buildings -- three that run parallel to one another, with an end facing the ocean, and two closer to South Street (and therefore right across the street from Southernmost Hotel). Here's what you need to know:
Building A, B and D are the new buildings, with two stories above open air parking, which is nicely concealed by landscaping. There are oceanfront balcony king rooms on the end of buildings A and B that range from 380 to 450 square feet. Remaining rooms in buildings A and B overlook a nicely landscaped lawn and garden area and offer partial ocean views from room balconies. The family-friendly Luxury Partial Ocean-View Balcony with two queens is 380 square feet. Rooms in Building D have a parking lot or street view.
All rooms in Building C overlook the West Lawn and its colorful Adirondack chairs and ocean beyond. Note: These rooms are smaller (280 square feet), and many do not have individual balconies.
Rooms in the Island wing are renovated, and are tucked between the lobby and pool area. Most of these rooms have a partial ocean view or view of upscale La Mer B&B next door. ADA accessible rooms are also available.
Southernmost Hotel guestrooms range in size from 220 to 320 square feet, with a variety of patio, balcony or non-balcony options, so be sure to ask for specifics when booking. Penthouse Junior Suites are 400 to 480 square feet.
Guestrooms at both properties offer Pack n' Plays and thick airbeds instead of rollaways (gratis). The airbeds work great. They're more comfortable than your typical air mattress, yet they are light enough to move and lean against the wall when not in use. Adjoining rooms are not available. Adjacent rooms can be requested, but are not guaranteed.
We don't even know where to start as so many things were terrible. From the beginning, we let them know we were traveling to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We requested a room in the quietest part of the resort as possible. I called two more times to confirm our request, and also ordered some treats to be delivered to our room upon arrival to surprise my wife, which I paid for in advance. Upon arrival, we were put in a room overlooking the pineapple pool which was undergoing major construction. We were told that it was literally the last room available at the resort as they had three weddings that weekend, but if we wanted, we could change rooms mid-stay.. Seriously - the very last room in the whole place? They did tell us that although there was construction, they NEVER worked on the weekends so we wouldn't have any noise. We agreed to take the room. When we get to the room, there is no champagne and pre-paid sweets as ordered. We return from dinner at 9PM, and still nothing. I have to go to the front desk to find out what happened, upon which they blame anyone who isn't around to defend themselves and hand me the food, champagne and a plastic bag of rose petals. How romantic! Saturday morning at 8:30 they start sawing and sanding and a bunch of workers are outside our window..We inquire at the front desk, as there isn't supposed to be any construction on the weekends. We are told that the project is behind so they might be there a few hours to "clean things up," but won't be doing anything noisy. They sawed and sanded until after 5PM. We were also told that they would absolutely not be there Sunday. Later that day, the manager calls us to tell us they will be working "late-morning" Sunday, and she gives us a $50 resort credit and treats us to breakfast. Their definition of "late-morning" must be different from mine because they showed up at 8:30AM on Sunday as well. We had trouble getting our room cleaned; and had to specifically ask for maid service to get someone to come clean every day. In the evening, the staff was so busy with the weddings, the pool areas that were open were full of dirty towels and trash. The best thing we can say about the place is the location, which is amazing. The staff were nice, yet never tell the truth about anything. Don't be fooled - stay somewhere else.
by Shannen H
I stayed here on a family vacation. 14 people total reserving 4 rooms. I made my reservation 5 months prior to my stay and was charged for 1 night upfront. This was expected. Upon check in I gave a different credit card to put on file and a hold for our stay was ran. Again to be expected. As our trip progressed they began running charges through on my card without lifting the original hold which effectively maxed my credit card. Upon checkout I told them I wanted the charges on the card I provided at checkin. When I arrived home and attempted to settle up my rental car with my other credit card it was declined as Southernmost had put the same holds and charges on that card as well effectively maxing out both my credit cards. I was forced to pay for my rental car with my debit card and when I called to have the issue corrected I was told someone would return my call within an hour. 4 day’s later I have still never had a return call. The charges are on still on the wrong card and I was charged $300 more than my sister who stayed in the same room next door to mine. There is no less than an additional $100 in fees and taxes on top of the already overpriced room rate. I am highly disappointed in the level of customer service I have received for the amount of money I paid to stay here for 3 nights. I paid less to stay on an actual “resort” in Key Largo for 4 nights than I did to stay here. I will never return.
Activities and Recreation
While the Southernmost properties do not offer a children's center, there are many organized activities geared to elementary-aged kids and older. At check-in, you'll receive a Weekly Activities schedule, which lists days and times for Hula Hoop Fitness, arts and crafts, paddle board school, snorkel school, wacky pool games, ukulele school, Monday night movies (free popcorn and snacks), beach yoga, and tournaments in corn hole, ladder golf, Ping-Pong and more.
Some activities, such as Ukulele school, are only offered twice per month, and some twice per week. Plan around your favorites. Kids are encouraged to participate in games, cheer on pool hipsters and are offer colored tokens for participation (good for one free soda or smoothie-like drink at the pool bar).
You can also make up your own tournament fun. The oceanfront pavilion has games that include foosball, Ping-Pong and corn hole. Or you can read in hammocks and take a swim in the ocean from the pier's steps, which descend into the beautiful water.
Southernmost guests can use the pools at either property. The Southernmost Hotel's pool is tucked in the center of the courtyard, whereas Southernmost on the Beach's pool overlooks the ocean and is adjacent to South Beach. Kid-friendly pavilion games are also closer to this one. Both offer drink specials and great live music daily (think acoustic guitar and/or steel drums).
Pool hours are from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., but you can lounge poolside or use the tables in earlier hours. Note: There is no lifeguard on duty. An adult must accompany all children under 16. The pool's shallow end is four feet and seven feet on the deep end, with a depth that progresses relatively quickly. Semi-circle shaped stairs offer a small area for sitting. A pool basketball hoop occupies a corner of the shallow end and is well used by many kids.
Discounted bike rentals can be booked through the concierge and come with a lock and helmets. Moped and golf cart rentals are also available through the concierge or at the rental stand across the street.
Extra seasonal activities are also offered, including both an adult and children's Easter Egg hunt held during Easter weekend. A family-friendly standout is October's Southernmost Olympics.
Southernmost Beach Cafe
Southernmost Beach Cafe is next door on South Beach. This casual open air restaurant has half-walls, gorgeous views, good food and kid's menus that offer the usual kid-friendly fare, including chicken tenders, grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers. Meals can be charged to your room.
Breakfast offerings (available 8 to 11:30 a.m.) include hot cakes, croissant sandwiches, crab and shrimp omelets, and assorted other egg dishes. Lunch (11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) choices include fish and chips with fried grouper, prime rib sandwiches, tropical jerk chicken sandwiches and veggie garden wraps. For dinner (5 to 10 p.m.), specialties include wasabi sesame encrusted tuna, chicken marsala and mussels marinara.
Shores Bar is located poolside at Southernmost on the Beach. Most of the seating is at the bar, and the food is ordered from a menu that draws from the Southernmost Beach Cafe. Complimentary coffee, tea and cocoa is available throughout the day at a beverage center area adjacent to the bar.
Pineapple Bar is located poolside at Southernmost Hotel. Here you can find a light menu of fresh sandwiches, chicken wings, hot dogs and pizza. While Shores Bar televises sporting events, Pineapple Bar offers the full line-up of specialty sports channels. Shores and Pineapple Bar are open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Babysitting is not available. Crib rentals and chunky air mattresses (instead of rollaways) are gratis, as are two bottles of water per day, Wi-Fi, parking and beach chairs.
Southernmost on the Beach has a well-equipped fitness center with treadmills, stationary bikes and weights.
Coin-operated laundry is available at both properties. Laundry detergent is available for purchase at the gift shop and front desk. Dry-cleaning (delivered to front desk), is available Monday through Friday.
Stock your room's refrigerator with water, drinks and snacks from the market, located across the street from the resort. Clothing, home-goods, jewelry and souvenir-type shops can be found all along Duval Street.
The Art of Smart Timing
Rates are cheapest on the Southernmost Hotel side of the street. Peak season rates begin in the busy season, from February through April, Fantasy Fest week and late December through New Year's.
Key West International Airport is three miles from the Southernmost properties. The airport is served by several taxi companies, many of whom have minivans or small SUVs that are capable of transporting a family.
Families can skip the rental car if they'd like as many attractions can be reached by bike, walk (Duval Street is roughly a mile long), bicycle, standard taxi or Old Town Trolley which you can catch right across the street from the resort (kids 12 and under ride free).
For Mom and Dad
The Spa at Southernmost on the Beach offers massages (including prenatal and couples massage), facials, manicures, pedicures, and waxing. Pricing is typical resort pricey, however, weekly spa specials offer added perks, from Mimosa Monday to Treat Your Feet Thursday (complimentary sugar scrub with a pedicure). Services are designed for adults, although a mother and teen daughter could come together.