Travel to Key West, stay at The Gates Hotel, and eat on the beach… Not ever have I longed back to a vacation destination more than to those I went on last year. In specific one that I haven’t even shared with you yet… Part of me doesn’t want to share it, because I don’t want everyone to go there, but on the other hand, how can I not share this little piece of heaven on earth. Plus, it’s one of those perfect destinations for when you are traveling with little ones…
Last October, after Paris Fashion Week, straight off the plane right onto the one to Miami, from where we drove down to Key West. It’s a drive of about 5 hours, but totally worth it. The views are incredible, especially the part where only a bridge connects the islands, and you almost feel like you’re driving on the ocean. Is this a good thing to do with little kids? Well I personally like to keep the number of transfers as low as possible, because this can be quite stressful for them AND for us. Hence we decided to try a longer drive – which ended up being 6 hours on the way to The Keys, and 5 on our way back. The kids loved it for the parts they were awake, but they slept almost the whole ride.
The Gates Hotel is brand new and has a great minimalistic but retro vibe to it. I’m very sensitive to hotel design and decoration, and atmosphere is everything. You know from the moment you walk in somewhere if it’s good or not, and The Gates Hotel felt good. When we were there (beginning of October) the weather was awesome and the number of hotel guest at a minimum – this is another thing we love when traveling with the kids. We noticed that over the weekend people who are living in the area go to the pool for a day of fun, mostly with their kids. The rooms are very spacious, and super clean. I loved the sleeping area, but was a bit disappointed in the bathrooms. They were spotless, and modern, but just a bit too basic for my taste…
There’s a food truck on the property that serves a good variety of good breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. We had super early breakfast at the pool every day, wish worked perfect with the low-key way this was served. The bar offers amazing cocktails, take the frozen Margarita, it’s like a slush-puppy 2.0!
What made the hotel a perfect choice for us as a family with toddlers: First of all, the minimalistic and small set-up, which makes getting up from you sun-bed to get an extra diaper from the room less of a challenge, and you have a good sight on the pool from wherever you are sunbathing – nothing stands in the way of safety first! Then there’s a fence around the pool, no life guard though, but that doesn’t matters to me, because I never take my eyes of them anyway! Lastly, the rooms are spacious, we had James sleeping in one of the Queen beds, and brought a travel bed for Stella. It would have been great to have a water boiler in the room to warm up Stella’s bottles. I kind of expected to have that, because there is actually a state of the art coffee machine in the room.
Good spots to eat with kids outside the hotel are Garbo’s Grill, which is a little food truck on the terrace of a bar. They are most friendly, both to us as well as to the kids, and the taco’s here are insane!! Another 100% must-go is Salute! On The Beach. The best food ever, the friendliest service – really everywhere in The Keys the people are just ACE – and right next to the beach. They do kids food, and are not making any fuss if you have a special request. Sunset, kids playing next to you in the sand, and having the best Key Lime Pie. What else do you want!
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