Spa and Travel Review: Ocean Key Resort & Spa (Key West, Florida)

By on May 28, 2012

By Michele McIntyre –

Some addresses are notoriously famous; so well known that their mere utterance spark images of their fame and what lies behind their doors: Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive, Wall Street. In Key West, the famed address is Duvall Street. To stay on Duvall Street is equivalent to staying on Bourbon Street in New Orleans; it’s where it’s all happening morning till’ night. But a stay at Ocean Key Resort & Spa takes it up a notch because it has what I consider to be THE best address in Key West: Zero Duvall Street. Ocean Key is one place where location really counts. Situated at the sweet spot where feisty Duvall Street meets the Gulf of Mexico, its location is less heavily traveled by the throngs of tourists and cruise ships passengers that descend on Key West each day.

Of course, our 650 square-foot Boutique Oceanfront suite (room 512) has all the usual luxury trappings: a super-comfortable sleigh bed, silky sheets, two flat screen TV’s and a large well-furnished living area. In the bathroom, we have a combination jetted tub and rain shower, luxurious towels and Lather bath products.

But what we are really gaga over is the view. My husband pronounced it the “best place we’ve ever stayed” every time he sat on the balcony overlooking Sunset Pier and the watersports docks below. We are treated to the sounds of roosters crowing every morning, live music every afternoon and happy vacationers enjoying cocktails and the sunset each evening and every sound just adds to the pleasure of Ocean Key and Key West’s laid-back island vibe. Rooms and suites are decorated in casual Tommy Bahama style and shorts, tee shirts, bathing suits and sandals are about as formal as it gets here.

Our poolside experience is heightened by the prime Oceanside location and the flurry of boat traffic that passes by as we soak and float our cares away. I can see it in the expressions of the visitors who pass by as they stroll the waterfront boardwalk: they all have major pool envy. When we’re not swimming, we take up residence on cushy lounge chairs under a cozy cabana. For poolside libations and food, Liquid Lounge servers come by regularly so you never have to leave your poolside location. In the afternoon, chilled washcloths were offered to cool you off from the hot southern Florida sun.

I’m anxious to visit Spa Terre on our fourth day and it’s only a short elevator ride from my guest room. I checked-in at the small reception/retail/waiting area and it wasn’t long before my therapist, Jessie, came to lead me to my treatment room. The menu consists of remarkable therapeutic spa treatments that are indigenous to the islands. I’m scheduled for a Thai Herbal Therapy Heat Energizer (80 minutes, $185) and a Ritual Bath (20 minutes, $50). The massage, a blend of Royal Thai Massage, assisted stretching and finger walking techniques, is performed with an herbal poultice and lemongrass massage oil.

But the best part of the treatment is yet to come. I’m ushered out to a curtained balcony where there is a large wooden tub filled with steamy fragrant bath water and flower petals. Jessie leaves me to soak for twenty minutes with a glass of champagne, pineapple strawberry-infused water, a cup of herbal tea and some magazines. While soaking, I peak out the curtains and realize that my sanctuary overlooks the views of the Key West waterfront, Mallory Square and the cruise ship dock. When Jessie knocks on the balcony door to signal five minutes remaining, I enjoy my last few minutes of tranquility before returning to my treatment room.

It may be cliché to say that location is everything, but as I sit on my fifth-floor balcony listening to live music and watching the sunset, I couldn’t agree more.


Ocean Key Resort & Spa
Zero Duval Street
Key West, FL 33040

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a discounted media rate and complimentary spa treatments for the purpose of writing this review. 

Michele McIntyre

About Michele McIntyre

Michele McIntyre is a freelance writer who covers spas, travel, fitness, wellness, beauty and healthy living/eating. She is happiest when lying face up on the treatment table, writing about her spa and travel experiences or testing new products to share with her readers. She lives near Syracuse, NY with her husband and son. Michele is a regular travel contributor to LivingBetterat50+ and has written for Today’s Central New York Woman Magazine and online at Tripology, TripAtlas, and Splash Magazines Worldwide. Michele blogs about the spa and travel industry, and anything else she can think of, at When she isn't writing about or visiting spas, Michele loves traveling, hiking, skiing, camping, yoga and reading. If any of these pursuits can be combined with a visit to the spa, even better! Michele can be reached at [email protected]


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Spa and Travel Review: Ocean Key Resort & Spa (Key West, Florida)