Because Hideaways members have always loved vacationing on private islands such as Upper Captiva, we wanted to check out Sunset Key Guest Cottages, a residential resort on an island within sight of Mallory Square.
It's easy to enjoy Key West's commotion, then escape to this new enclave (the resort opened in May, 1997) on a 27-acre, man-made island. Simply check your car at the Hilton (the resort is part of the Hilton, but the connection is downplayed) and hop the private launch that runs twice an hour.
Most of the island is reserved for an upscale development of private homes; about eight acres is run as a villa-hotel with 37 luxurious, conch-style cottages.
The cottages seem a bit crammed together, with about 15 feet of separation in many cases. Once the new landscaping matures, guests should have a better sense of privacy. Exteriors are simple: pastel clapboard or stucco with gingerbread trim and tin roofs. Covered verandahs overlook the water or gardens.
We stayed in an attractively furnished, two-bedroom cottage (one- and three-bedroom units are also available), with features that couples traveling together would appreciate: separate entrances for each bedroom (both large; one with a king-sized bed, one with two double beds) and two large, tiled, ensuite baths.
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