Key West. If you haven’t been, you at least know someone who’s explored this infamous party island. I recently packed my bags and drove down to the southernmost point to wrangle a Diamond PR press trip to NYAH, which stands for ‘Not Your Average Hotel.’
The name alone speaks for itself. NYAH’s tucked away on Margaret street, and by its first impression you wonder how 35 rooms could fit into the petit façade. But somehow past the white picket fence, the property jets back for hundreds of feet opening up to three pools, two Jacuzzis, and no shortage of balcony space for lounging about. I’ve been touting the adults-only property’s unique ‘Build Your Own Room’ concept to media for months, and was so excited to see the convertible furniture in action. From two twin beds, to a sofa, and king bed, the furniture really does it all – and everyone immediately wanted to bring their friends down for a girls/guys getaway.
Outside of the hotel, I wasn’t sure what to really expect from the island. After exploring for a few days, here’s what I learned as a Key West newbie:
The last thing I wanted to do was stick out like a crazy tourist – so I’ll have to admit I was a little hesitant to get on the bikes. I quickly learned that no, this isn’t like wearing a fanny pack and tacky Hawaiian shirt that’ll make you stand out like a sore thumb – it really is what the locals do. And the best part is that the locals in the cars are happy to move at a slower pace and share the road with you; I can’t imagine the same sentiment is shared along the streets of Miami. Not only was it a beautiful way to see the island, it was extremely convenient, and it was fun to peddle about.
See the Sunset Two Ways.
On land – Mallory Square Sunset Celebration is all that it lives up to be. Street performers, home-made guacamole (served out the avocado shell!) and sword-swallowers kept the group entertained as the sun bowed out for the day.
On water – Danger Charters sunset sail cruise was THE highlight of the trip. Water, beer, wine and snacks are served complimentary, and being out on the water when the sun set on the horizon had everyone in awe.
Surprisingly Fun History.
So I’ve heard of Ernest Hemingway, but I didn’t know too much about him prior to this trip. Not only was he a phenomenal writer, he was a war correspondent, and excellent sailor of the seas. Outside of the tour of his home (which is currently home to 54 six-toed cats,) it was interesting to hear about how involved his present-day family is with the island. Papa’s Pilar Rum is a new rum distillery on the island, and worked with the family to coordinate every single detail on the rum, rum bottle and design, logo, and all the gift shop merchandise. And the best part is that all of the proceeds the family receives are donated back to literacy and marine conservancy charities. Everywhere we went on this trip there were nods to Ernest.
I checked off a lot on my Key West bucket list, and added a few more things for my next go-around. Can’t wait to go back and explore the rest of this historic and vibrant island!