photos by Barry Fitzgerald
"Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?" Well here's the proof you can ... and it's To the Nines -Key West vacation rental. When you rent this totally unique vacation rental, you will have the "best of both worlds" ... a penthouse and a pool courtyard villa, all wrapped up into one! I've never seen another private luxury property in Key West with this sort of fascinating and artistic layout. The stunning attention to detail in every room provides an unparalleled place to stay in the heart of downtown Key West. Plus... it's situated "RIGHT OFF (yet at the same time), RIGHT ON DUVAL STREET".
Everybody knows about the famous downtown Duval Street scene in Key West. And naturally, like lots of Key West fans, you may be searching for a fantasy-like luxury property to rent in the heart of Duval that until now... just didn't exist! But this one breaks the mold by morphing into dual identities - One part penthouse 'right on Duval' (with amazing rooftop deck overlooking the Duval Street scene)... and one part villa 'just off Duval' (with a private ground level pool garden on a hidden residential lane).
Undoubtedly, we've had countless requests over the years for a property that combines both exclusive penthouse and spacious villa features on Duval Street. With the creation of To The Nines-Key West you can now rent this fantasy property.
A Brief History: This Key West Victorian building is over 100 years old and wasn't always so beautiful, and it's nearly impossible to conceive of what it was like before a total transformation was completed in summer 2010. Remarkably, the exterior was kept to original form to meet historic preservation guidelines, while the inside was completely reconfigured as a stunning contemporary luxury penthouse villa.
To own an historic building in Key West like this one, is to be a steward of a precious piece of history with a storied past. It was only from the present owner's creative vision, fascination for the neighborhood, huge financial commitment, and his love for Key West, that this property was transformed to its current state of beauty. A long time Key West resident, the gentleman who owns this property pulled out all the stops and took an all-or-nothing approach to make it happen.
Grounds: Don't bother looking for this penthouse villa when you walk down Duval Street ... it's just not visible. In the decades I've strolled this downtown neighborhood, I had no idea that perched on an unsuspecting 3rd story roof-top, of an old Victorian building, was this amazing penthouse deck that's secretly attached to a pool-side villa on the other side. To find the gated entrance for this property, you have to wind around a cross street off Duval, and discover the tiny 'dead end' lane that leads to the courtyard side of the property.
The property entrance displays all the favorite Victorian garden features. At the end of the lane you'll find a strong tall privacy fence topped with lattice (for even more privacy) and a white garden arbor above the gate. The custom built wooden entrance gate is painted a delicious passion purple and combined with the soft grey color of the privacy fence, the wildly elegant tone for the property is set. Directly in front of the fence is a coveted rarity in Key West - two private parking spaces that are reserved just for this property!
When you open the purple gate, it's the private pool courtyard that hits you first. It's like entering your own little paradise found. Tall wood privacy fencing is landscaped with palm trees and a variety of colorful tropical plants and flowers. Your own private sunning courtyard, complete with plunge pool with trickling waterfall, outdoor rinse shower, fashionable lounge and garden chairs, and patio dining table complete the outdoor picture. I must say, at this point it's hard to believe that Duval Street is just around the corner.
Layout: Set at the back of the courtyard, you're drawn to the Key West Conch-Victorian house that was lavishly renovated in 2010. The classic wooden rail stair case, leads to the 2nd floor covered front porch and prepares you for the thrill to come. The spectacular Victorian porch is an outdoor-yet-indoor lifestyle space that is so quintessentially Key West. The clay tiled floor and 'robin egg' blue ceiling are a beautiful contrast with the fashionably striped green and white canvas, creating an elegant setting for the custom glass and stone dining table and slip covered chairs. A wet bar to one side completes the perfect picture for alfresco dining and gazing down at the pool- side courtyard below. Double sets of single pane French doors with side lights lead you indoors to the gorgeous living room.
Living room / Kitchen / Dining The architecture of the living room is dramatically artistic, expansive and gorgeous. You immediately feel uplifted with the sensationally high contemporary cathedral ceilings. All around the living room you see dazzling angles and architectural delights. I love the contemporary white metal staircase railing, reminiscent of Miami South Beach style, leading to a 3rd floor mezzanine that looks down at the living room. Another interesting feature is a large round window set up high on the wall towards the peak of the roof, pouring in the sunlight and adding a hint of a maritime flare. Spot-light ceiling fixtures bounce light off the shiny varnished wood floor that becomes the perfect stage for the beautiful furnishings. Local interior designer, Chris Elwell, has done a fabulous job of combing some antique pieces and personal art work brought in by the owner with contemporary minimalist furnishings including a grand sweeping sectional in tan complimented with colorful easy chairs, beautiful coffee and side tables and low light mood lamps.
The living room area transitions naturally into the kitchen. The subtle division between the two rooms is defined by the dropped ceiling in the kitchen to a usual ceiling level. But done get me wrong ... there is nothing else that is usual or typical about this sensational kitchen. With a passion for cooking, the owner of this property has created his dream room, an outstanding chef's kitchen with exquisite designer features mixed with excellent touches to delight the soul.
Check out the high style 'diner booth' tucked neatly in the corner with its own private look-down view of Duval Street! Wow ... now that's unique! You'll absolutely love the polished granite eating counter and black leather chair-stools. Other designer features come into play as you note the sleekness of the range hood and elegant counter lighting. The cooking layout has abundant space to prep and cook with multiple work stations, double ovens, and custom stove top. Stainless steel appliances, custom wood cabinetry, and coco colored tile set on the diagonal make it all come together to create a superb effect.
First Level Bedrooms and Bathrooms: In its deluxe new form as a penthouse villa the master bedroom with en-suite bath is grand in size and exclusive in design. Located off the living room, solid wood French doors step-down into the suite and create a feeling of privileged privacy. The bedroom is architecturally finished with varnished wood floors, wide crown molding, and two sets of single pane French doors lead to your own private front porch perch. Sun colored walls with bright white trim show off sophisticated - minimalist furnishings that include a King size wood and leather platform bed and beautiful white lounging chaise. A wooden writing desk is tucked neatly in the corner.
The en-suite master bathroom is a featured room in-and-of itself with a masterful layout and over-the-top amenities. Done up in mocha cream color tile, it was redesigned to the highest luxury standards; the owner thought of everything and left out nothing. Oversized Jacuzzi bath (with window perched above), dual person designer shower with custom water jets and frameless glass doors, oversized built-in wooden vanity with marble top and clear glass bowl sinks, commode tucked neatly behind tiled knee wall, and designer bath fixtures and lighting. Just imagine luxuriating in this scene!
Moving on to the 2nd bedroom and bathroom, get ready for an unveiling experience! You enter these rooms through a hallway that is situated just at the foot of the living room staircase. The hallway is also set as an attractive laundry center with a high-end washer dryer tucked neatly behind a curtain. And then... there's the bathroom! Well, talk about wild, yet elegantly wonderful, it doesn't get better than this! Artsy and sexy this black granite bathroom can be a vacation all of its own. The shower takes one whole side of the room sporting multiple shower heads and sleek bathing benches. On the opposite end you find custom glass counter and stainless steel sink and glossy black commode, with a window of its own private view of Duval Street below!
Moving from the bathroom door back into the hall you'll find the 2nd bedroom filled with light by two oversized windows. Architectural details mirror the master suite with varnished wood floors and wide crown molding, only in this room walls are painted a soothing sage color that's set off with bright white trim. Subtle and stylish furnishings in this bedroom include 2 twin beds (that can easily be pushed together to make into a king size bed), coco wicker and wood accent pieces, and custom lighting. And don't forget, in this bedroom you are ideally perched to have your own secret viewing point of the Duval Street scene below.
Top Floor: You really start to feel the penthouse features of this property when you climb the aesthetical white metal rail staircase leads you up to the 3rd story level. The 3rd bedroom and bathroom for the property plus the roof top deck are found up here, and this is where I'd want to stay.
Located just at the top of the stairs, the 3rd bedroom design is excellent, full of interesting angles and coves created by roof dormers and windows that pay homage to the historic roofline. Here you retreat to a secret space that is elegant, understated, and filled with light. I love the way the bright white ceiling marries up to the sky blue walls, it makes me feel like I'm up on top of the world! The interior designer chose a dark wood platform queen size bed and matching minimalist furnishings that contrast beautifully with the varnished wood floors and are just perfect for this penthouse space.
You would expect nothing less than unusual and sensational for the incognito bathroom on the penthouse level, and you won't be disappointed! Organic earth tone tiles are used on the floor and set on the diagonal as wainscoting on one side of the room. An inviting clear glass free-standing shower stall takes center position and is complimented by a free-standing sink appointed with a sleek round silver mirror. Sky blue walls, the same as the bedroom, and designer bath and lighting fixtures complete this custom bathroom. Don't worry, you definitely won't miss out on this fabulous custom room sculpted to fit the form and space it occupies... it's the disguised pathway leading to the roof top penthouse deck! Now how much fun it that!
Penthouse Deck At the height of luxury, in a class all of its own, the magnificent penthouse deck really speaks for itself. Poised as the private roof-top chill-out area right above the Duval Street scene, some 500 square feet have been refitted with new wood decking and railing and styled with outdoor lounge furnishings. Positioned in the most central location for birds-eye views of the street scene below, this is a very unique place to sunbath, people watch, and gaze at the moon and stars.
Main level (2nd Storey): 1 King size bed in the Master Suite; 2 Twin size (can ealisy be pushed together to make a King size bed) beds in 2nd bedroom; Queen Sleeper sofa in the living room
Penthouse level (3rd Storey): 1 Queen size bed in top floor bedroom.
Amenities: One-of-a-kind privately owned villa-plus- penthouse; Premier Down-town Old Town Key West location; Enviable view of Duval Street from private roof-top deck. If you rent this property, you will have a penthouse and a villa combined into one ... and you'll be in the most requested downtown Duval Street location. Does this sound like the dream spot you set out to find?
Back of property has magnificent penthouse deck overlooking 700 block of Duval Street. Front of property has wide covered Victorian porch overlooking private plunge pool and fenced garden courtyard off hidden lane. Custom designer chef's kitchen with down-look view of Duval Street below. Three luxurious custom designer bathrooms with one-of-kind features. Washer/Dryer, telephone, color cable TV's. Linens and towels are provided. Catering can be arranged. Maid service can be scheduled.
Parking: Private off - street parking for 2 cars on secluded lane at entrance to the property. If you arrive by car, please plan to park it in your private parking space and forget about it. Enjoy walking or biking around the island.
Area: The thought of Duval Street probably conjures up images of the late night club scene. However, this Duval location can also make it relaxing and rejuvenating. Imagine spending lazy afternoons by the pool in your own completely hidden courtyard. Then walk out the courtyard gate, stroll down the lane and around the corner to Upper Duval and take in art galleries, boutiques, the Butterfly Conservatory, South Beach Key West, and indulge in a leisurely lunch of the finest French food at the Banana Cafe. Even for those like me, with only a passing interest in going out on the town, the color and excitement offered by this unique location can be a very entertaining.
Activities: Duval Street is perhaps the ultimate tourist street in Key West and certainly the most famous. Nowhere else in the world can you walk a street that connects point-to-point the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, with a white sandy beach at the south end and Key West Historic Seaport at the north. Downtown Duval, once the bustling center of seafaring traders, is now the islands hot spot go-to scene. Century old gingerbread Victorians have been converted into nuevo tropical international restaurants, art galleries, lounges, museums, boutique shopping, and late night club scenes. "To The Nines", brand newly renovated, has slipped effortlessly into the scene. Easy access to beaches, sailing, boating, diving.
Restrictions: Smoke free property. Only well behaved children. This property is not "child-proof" and is really best for adults. 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 home is offered as an exclusive vacation rental in the most requested location in Key West.
Notes: The up-scale elegance and design of this penthouse-villa property make it ideal for sophisticated individuals with discerning tastes looking for a spacious luxury accommodation on Duval St. It is best suited for a small group of friends, couples, family or executive group looking for the very finest Key West has to offer with 5-Star Quality amenities. It should never be considered as an option for travelers looking to stage a party or any kind of event.