photos by Barry Fitzgerald
Cleverly concealed and overlooking Duval Street is the classy, comfy Suite Cuban Club vacation rental. This newly renovated suite is ideally positioned in an enviable corner of the 2nd floor. Vibrantly colorful on the inside, it goes perfectly unnoticed from the outside of this understated mid-century downtown building.
The name Suite Cuban Club pays homage to the ongoing kinship between the residents of Key West and Cuba. Most people know that Key West is closer to Havana than it is to Miami, but not everyone stops to think about the fact that cultural roots between the two island cities grow deep.
Key West was the biggest and richest city in Florida in 1890, with over 18,000 residents, and half of them were said to be from Cuba. Imagine a time when people traveled freely, back-and-forth between the two islands, developing a strong affinity that still holds strong. It’s a little known truth that Key West regularly elected Cuban mayors and a well known fact that the Cuban cigar industry was huge in Key West. At the peak of the cigar industry, Cubans in Key West helped hand roll 100 million cigars a year in 200 factories in Key West!
Suite Cuban Club vacation rental is situated in a renovated 1950’s building between a tiny little lane off the front entrance, and Duval Street off the back. Here you have a view and instant access to Duval Street below and at the same time a beautiful retreat from the bustle. It is noteworthy that you’re just up the street from the beautiful landmark, the San Carlos Institute, founded in 1871 by Cuban exiles of Key West. And you’re also just down the street from the original the Key West Cuban Club built in 1917 as a club for Cuban cigar makers and their families. (See Note Below)*
But as a place to vacation, nearly everything you could want to see, do, or eat is around you. On the Duval Street side you’re in the mix of famous Key West restaurants like Croissants De France and award winning 915, unique shops like Cuba Cuba and Glass Reunions. You’re just down the street from the 801 Bourbon Bar and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in one direction, and in the other, the elegant Upper Duval Street shops. Pretty South Beach is close by at the end of the South end of Duval, and the lower Duval night club scene, Mallory Square Sunset Celebration and Key West Harbor are a short walk away. To top it off, the other side of the building, where Suite Cuban Club is situated, gives you a ground level resort-style swimming pool, sun deck with privacy fence that is shared with the only the other 5 suites in the building.
Interior Layout: If you take a look at the other suites on our website, you’ll see that Suite Cuban Club is somewhat of a ‘mirror image’ of our Mile Zero Suite next door. Located at the end of a colorful T-shape hallway, this suite is on the left side of the building as you face Duval. It has a fabulous corner position with large viewing windows on each wall. A new renovation redesigned this 343 SQ FT two room convertible suite to be used in two ways. It can either be rented alone as it is presented here, or in combination with one or more of the five other suites on the floor, as presented in On Top of Duval ~ Incognito.(See note below)*
Click here for the floor plan.
Step inside the Suite Cuban Club, and you’re in delightfully colorful room of yellow, green, blue, and mauve, contrasted with dark stained bamboo wood flooring. When rented alone a ‘high-end’ comfortable queen size Murphy bed comes down from the wall and is made up to set the bedroom. An open square arch connects with the living room / sitting area, complete with a key lime green fabric sofa, where you enjoy the down-look to Duval Street. In case you need an extra bed, the sofa converts to queen sleeper. The full bathroom with tub and in-tub shower has been renovated but kept the flashy vintage 1950’s tiles of tropical coral trimmed with mauve and gray.
Inside the entrance door, on one wall is a fully equipped studio kitchen complete with a full stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Drop leaf tables can be pulled away from the wall to set a dining table or to set up a bar for Mohitos or Cuba Libras.
*NOTE: The old Key West Cuban Club, at 1108 Duval Street is now the home of several condo suites. Please note - the Suite Cuban Club, offered on this website is not affiliated with The Key West Cuban Club property.
**NOTE: Please note that in our slide show presentation, we show the convertible suite made up as a bedroom in one photo, and as with a cocktail table in another.
Exterior on Duval side:
The mid-century building, where Suite Cuban Club is positioned, blends in so well it’s easy to miss when you drive by on Duval Street, and totally hidden from view on the Shavers Lane side. The contrast of this beautifully redone suite in the 1950’s style building only adds to its unique feel. This is Key West living, urban island style, right downtown in a comfortable and beautiful fashion, neatly poised above the street below. Close to the entrance to your suite, there is an exterior stairway that leads downstairs to Duval Street where it fits in so well I never noticed it until the first time I visited this building.
Grounds: On main entrance (Shavers Lane) side of the property is the ground level resort-style swimming pool. The pool is for the exclusive use of the six suites in the building. The pool and pool deck have a privacy fence and tropical landscaping. The parking lot provides an additional barrier of distance from the lane.
There are five parking spaces total for this complex. Since there are six suites, parking is available based upon the availability at time of reservation. From this location it’s best to leave your car at home. Walk everywhere, take a petty-cab, ride a bike, or take a taxi if you need to. Cars in this area can be a hassle to deal with. Remember, this part of the island was built before cars! If you can’t find a parking space, no whining … :-) Also, no RV or trailer parking. Car or small truck parking only!
1 Queen Murphy bed.
1 Queen sleeper sofa
Amenities: Heated shared resort-style swimming pool, fully equipped, central A/C with en-suite thermostat, flat screen TV. Linens and towels are provided. Shared washer / dryer.
Activities: Downtown Old Town Key West on Duval Street in the world famous 800 block. On the Duval Street side you’re right in the mix of famous Key West restaurants like Croissants De France and award winning 915, right next to the most lucious Swirilicous Frozen Yogurt, near unique shops like Cuba Cuba and Glass Reunions. You’re just down the block from the 801 Bourbon Bar in one direction, and in the other, the elegant Upper Duval Street shops. Pretty South Beach is close by at the end of the South end of Duval, and the lower Duval night club scene, Mallory Square Sunset Celebration and Key West Harbor are a short walk away. Sailing, boating, diving - museums, all close by.
Restrictions: Smoke free property. This property is not "child-proof." Location is best for adults, but well behaved children who are good travelers are okay. We do not accept guests less than 25 years of age unless accompanied by a family group or guardian. Smoking permitted outside only. Absolutely no pets. (Please don't ask!) This property is offered as an exclusive vacation rental in the most requested location in Key West.
Area: Walk out your door and you’re in the mix of it all. Best restaurants, shops, galleries, clubs, Hemingway House Museum, Light House Museum, Custom House Museum, aquarium, Ship Wreck Museum, Southern Most Point of the U.S., close to beaches. Walk everywhere from here.
For larger groups, this suite is part of the Top of Duval ~ Incognito. Please contact us for more specific details on how this works.