THERE ARE FEW PLACES ON OUR PLANET WHERE YOU CAN GO AND IMAGINE YOU HAVE ENTERED A DIFFERENT WORLD. AN EXPERIENCE NOT SELDOM TRIGGERED BY THE SENSATION YOU ARRIVED AT A PLACE THAT EXIST IN A DIFFERENT TIME. BUENOS AIRES IS SUCH A PLACE, AS IS HAVANA, CUBA. AND ALSO THE SMALL ISLAND KEY WEST CAN BRING YOU THIS SENSATION OF TRAVELING BACK IN TIME.
Small as it is with a surface of 13.65 km2 (5.27 sq mi), Key West is still the largest island of the Florida Keys. Relatively isolated until 1912 when it was connected to the Florida mainland via the Overseas Railway extension of the Florida East Coast Railway, Key West lies 208 km (129 miles) southwest from Miami and 170 km (106 miles) from Cuba. Probably because this close proximity to the Caribbean and its long-term separation from the American continent, Key West has gotten and kept that typical colonial and nostalgic character that nowadays, while strolling down the streets, can fill you with a light sense of melancholia. Over the years its comfortable climate and laid back attitude has made Key West a popular living place and exploring the friendly streets one can now discover romantic looking houses that once belonged to people such as Ernest Hemmingway, Tennessee Williams and formal President Harry Truman.
These days you can choose to fly directly to Key West, but if you choose to do so you can also rent a car and drive the U.S. 1 straight from Miami into the Keys. The drive will take you about 3,5 hours and will bring you to Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine key and many smaller settlements, right into the heart of Paradise itself: Key West. Small as it is, Key West has made history through many things, among them its choice of town leaders. Key West was the first to have a Cuban mayor and one of the first to have openly gay mayors. It is true that Key West is not only known for its superb weather conditions, it is also well-known for its very friendly gay climate, which has resulted over the years in the presence of many gay bars and restaurants as well as guest houses and hotels. Among them, of course, the famous Island House Key West gay resort.
Walking the streets of Key West, discovering the historial colorful houses and amazing tropical vegetation, and enjoying the caressing rays of sunlight, one might think one has arrived in a land of milk and honey. But if you think Key West is a real-time Disneyland, you will think again once you have entered the closed compound of Island House Key West. Located at 1129 Fleming Street, named for Englishman John W.C.Flemming, one of the 4 founding fathers of Key West and business partner of John Simonton who bought the island for $2,000 in 1822. The Island House resort is a completely secure private compound, that follows the strict clothing optional policy (so much for Disneyland). It offers everything that the modern gay male tourist could possibly ask for, varying from spacious and luxurious room accommodation and a night and day health-club and sauna, which can offer a lot more than the regular steam room and Jacuzzi, to 24-hour bar and restaurant service and poolside (or bedside) massage. Purchased in 1999 by Jon Allen and Martin Kay, Island House has undergone dramatic renovation and landscaping and transformed into what it is today, a gay haven in what can only be described as a piece of paradise on Earth.
Island House Key West hosts an extensive staff, each single one of them friendly and generous in providing service, trained to make your stay as indulgent and comfortable as humanly possible. Whether you choose to stay in the resort floating in the pool or lazing on the sun deck, or decide to explore the surroundings by bike, moped and jetskis, the staff of Island House is able and willing to help you get the most out of it. Each room comes with its own bathroom, luxurious decoration and bed linens, comfortable furniture, flat screen TV, Internet connection and air conditioning. Booked with a nice crowd all through the year, you will always meet nice and interesting people and if you are one of those who believe that a vacation is not really fun unless you’ve kissed a man, we can guarantee you will remember your a stay at Island House in Key West as one of the most fun vacations you ever had.Believe me, we speak out of experience. –BM-
ISLAND HOUSE KEY WEST | BEAUTIFULMAG