Landmark Key West Hotel Closed Until December

by joeheg

The Casa Marina Hotel opened in 1920. It was conceived by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler and was THE spot to be seen in Key West. President Harding visited the hotel three days after its grand opening, firmly placing it as an exclusive destination. It’s remained a Key West landmark ever since, featuring the largest private beach on the island. We stayed there in 2018 when the hotel was a Waldorf Astoria.

In April 2022, Casa Marina moved to be a part of the Hilton Curio Collection, which better suited the hotel. Casa Marina was a swanky location but in an old-money style and was missing some of the luxury touches people expect from a Waldorf Astoria. The hotel owners will lean into the current trends and have closed the resort for a multi-month renovation of the entire property.

Casa Marina is owned by the Park Hotels & Resorts REIT, and the closure was announced on the November 2022 earnings call by Chairman and CEO Tom Baltimore.

In addition, we have initiated plans for full-scale renovation of the Casa Marina resort in Key West, a $70 million project, which will include a transformation of the public spaces, and guest rooms and the addition of a new ocean-front restaurant. We expect to start construction in May of next year, with a targeted completion date of early December 2023, in time for the peak holiday travel season. We are incredibly excited about the transformative ROI project for this iconic resort.

According to Keys Weekly, a construction fence has been erected around the entire property at 1500 Reynolds Street. When asked about the scope of the renovations, resort officials reassured that the building itself, with its sprawling verandas and Spanish-style architecture, will certainly not be torn down.

Based on the architectural renderings provided, it does look as if the rooms will receive a significant update from the old decor, which was bland and uninspired.

a bed in a room

These furnishes are a huge change from the previous look from a 2009 renovation.

a couch and table in a room with glass doors

The Casa Marina resort will reopen in stages with the first set of rooms due to be finished by September. The entire project is planned to be completed by November/December 2023. To speed up the process, workers are being housed at the resort during the construction (undoubtedly because of the lack of housing in Key West).

When we stayed at Casa Marina, we liked the Old Florida feel of the hotel but the rooms were rather bland. I’m glad the owners realize that guests expect more from luxury hotels and are putting $70 million into a landmark property. Hopefully, this renovation will keep the hotel’s classic charm while bringing the amenities into the 2020s.

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1 comment

The pearl May 30, 2023 - 6:41 pm

Don’t screw it up! Give it the love it deserves !


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