photos by Barry Fitzgerald
"In-the-know" travelers who return to Key West to vacation love to choose the more elegant area of Upper Duval St. as their favorite area to stay... and this is exactly where you find Amelia's Hideaway vacation rental. This one-of-a-kind vacation villa is perfectly situated just off Upper Duval, and because it is way at the end of an unknown lane it is well hidden from public view. Unless you've stayed in this villa before, there's no-way you'd ever know it's just steps off Upper Duval Street in one of the prettiest parts of Old Town Key West.
The property itself is authentic Key West and unique all-the-way. Pineapple carvings on the fence gracing this property just hint at the island-living charm you find inside. Art work by famous local artist David Wegman perched above the gates welcomes you at the entrance. Enter the large wooden blue-green gate off the little private lane and you step into the beautiful courtyard with a crystal clear swimming pool. A statue of the happy Buddha graces the pool side and further welcomes you to your home in Key West and once inside the courtyard you are treated to even more art work; this time canvas art pieces painted by Key West artist Sanford Birdsey are uniquely incorporated into the courtyard walls.
This vacation villa was refreshed and the layout re-worked in October 2008 by local designers to maximize comfort and sleeping options that now include four full bedrooms that all open to the private courtyard. If you have stayed at Amelia's Hideaway before you will love the upgrades and the new room layout that now features one spacious great-room with open kitchen / living room and a flat screen HD TV. The great-room opens directly to a covered lanai that has a dining table for 'el fresco' dining.
The best way to visualize the layout of this Amelia's Hideaway is to consider each room as it is situated within the courtyard. The house is built as an 'L-Shaped' villa with each room in the house opening to the courtyard, and then 3/4 of the roof of the villa is an expansive Mexican tiled roof-top deck. We begin our descriptive tour as you pass the rooms once inside the courtyard gates.
Room One: Bedroom #1 (yellow room) is a large room and is set as a full suite offering 2 twin beds that can be put together to make a king size bed, a large kitchenette, and a private half-bath (commode and sink). There is also a table conveniently placed for your lap-top. This room also offers a full size sofa that can be made into a queen bed
Room Two: Bedroom #2 (blue room) has a king size bed and love seat that can be made up as a twin bed. This bedroom connects to a newly renovated full bathroom with bath tub. The design is decidedly unique and very tropical using tumbled marble in an unusual design.
Room Three: Bedroom #3 (rose room) has a Queen bed and offers a writing desk. While this bedroom connects to the same newly renovated full bathroom as bedroom #2, the door connecting this bedroom to the courtyard is just steps from the 'pool bath' which can be used as a private bath for the 'rose room'.
Room Four: The great-room (living room / kitchen) is the fourth room down the line of the courtyard. The great-room has a beautiful retro-style blue and white kitchen that is open to the cream colored living room area on the other end of the room that provides a sofa and love seat. This combined living area has a flat screen HD TV. The sofa in this great-room is a queen sleeper sofa if you need another bed in a private sleeping area. The main dining area for this room is found in the covered lanai just out the French doors from the kitchen offering a Caribbean 'el fresco' dining area.
Room Five: The 'pool bath' is an artistically tiled full bathroom with a blue and white design created by a local Key West artist. This bathroom has entrances from the lanai as well as the 'great room.'
Room Six: The sixth room (green room) is Bedroom #4 and is considered the master suite for this villa as it is situated 'off to itself' offering the most privacy. This bedroom offers a king size bed and a private full bathroom. The bathroom is tiled in tumbled marble tile of muted tones of golden brown.
Roof Top Deck: The next living space in this unique Key West villa is outdoors and upstairs on the large Mexican tiled roof top deck which expands over 3/4 of the roof. This upper deck is reached by a stair case just outside the master suite. The upper deck offers the perfect spot for private lounging, sunning, star gazing, catching the ocean breeze, or staging a roof top cocktail party or dinner. This deck is furnished with outdoor furniture, built-in side bench seating, and outdoor lighting.
Laundry: Finally, back towards the entrance gate is a separate building which serves as the laundry and utility area.
The general design of this property lends itself perfectly to small gatherings of families and friends and should be considered an ideal spot for a gathering of family or friends.
Bedroom #1 - 2 twin size beds (can be made as a king size bed); queen sleeper sofa.
Bedroom #2 - king size bed; twin sleeper sofa.
Bedroom #3 - queen size bed.
Bedroom #4 - king size bed.
Amenities: Well hidden at the end of little known lane. Private swimming pool, large private gated courtyard, expansive private roof-top sun deck, privacy fences. Fully equipped kitchen, el fresco dining, a/c, telephone, color cable TVs, stereo, washer / dryer. Laundry room with washer / dryer. Linens and towels are provided. Catering can be arranged. Maid service can be scheduled.
Activities: Elegant Upper Duval St. - Close to the Southern Most Point of the United States. Cafe neighborhood features art galleries, wonderful eateries and internationally famous fine restaurants, coffee house, fine gift and clothing stores, Grand Vin wine tasting, home made ice cream. Here you start at the top of Duval St. near the Atlantic Ocean and can take the 20 min stroll to the Gulf of Mexico (remember it takes 3 to 4 Key West streets to equal the distance of a typical city block). Sailing, boating, diving, museums, nightlife.
Area: Walk out your gate and down the lane to all you want to see in Historic Key West. Best restaurants, shops, galleries, clubs, Hemingway House Museum, Light House Museum, Custom House Museum, aquarium, Ship Wreck Museum, 4 blocks from Southern Most Point of the U.S., close to beaches. Walk everywhere from here.
Restrictions: Smoke free house. Only well behaved children. Smoking permitted outside only. No pets please.