As someone else said if you want a Ritz resort experience stay at the Ritz. We booked the Barnacle for our 20th anniversary trip because it was less crowded and off the beaten path. It is a couple of miles off Hwy 1 on Long Beach Road, which dead ends, so traffic and noise are minimal. We also liked the fact that there is no one under 16. Sorry, but if you have young children there are much better places for them to enjoy. Yes, there is seaweed on the beach but you're going to the ocean. We spent a good deal of time sitting out on the beach reading and were not at all bothered by the seaweed. Not the best place to go in for a cool off dip but just walk across the road to kayak launch site and go for a swim. We stayed in the cottage for eight nights. No problems with privacy, just shut the blinds. It is nice and bright, clean and cute. Plenty of storage. Enjoyed hanging out on the patio in the evening. Thanks for supplying the bug spray! Very comfortable bed. We were interested in the kitchenette when we booked but with all the great restaurants (The Square Grouper - WOW!) we only heated up leftovers once. Having the fridge was great and the AC works very well. There was a bookshelf with lots of books. They also had the "Insiders Guide to Key West and The Florida Keys" provided in the cottage that was a great reference to history, restaurants, attractions and recreation. Word of advice: get the book before you make the trip - we had a cram session on the first day down.
The breakfasts were great (yummy eggs Benedict and waffles, Eric!) and more than enough. We never ended up getting lunch -- didn't eat again until dinner.
It was also nice to see the other rooms when they were between guests. The crow's nest is really cute. The outdoor shower is neat, just don't book it if you are six feet tall.
We really enjoyed the use of the kayaks. Saw lots of fish, a ray, and a bonnet shark in the shallows on our kayak outings. We also thought the Big Pine location was good because it wasn't too much driving to get to Key West or Marathon. Drive carefully to watch out for the deer cause they are plentiful. During our stay Eric said they went up the stairs and into the kitchen - helped themselves to the bananas.
No question we will stay here again and adjust our schedule if need be. Already planning our next trip. Thanks for a lovely stay.
I spent 3 nights in the Ocean room, from Jan 16 until Jan 19, 2012. There are tiny imperfections, but nothing about the place that would make me give it less than 5 stars. I thought it was the most wonderful place anyone could hope to find, and I intend to return year after year, as long as it stays the way it was this year.
Different people have very different characteristics that they want to see in a B&B. For me, the Ocean room was absolutely splendid. Front door from the front yard and parking area, very convenient. Bathroom nothing to write home about, but quite adequate. Comfortable bed, TV, refrigerator. What else could one want in a room, when the room's back wall is made of sliding glass doors where you step out directly out onto the sandy beach next to the ocean?
There are hammocks out there, lounge chairs, picnic table, a BBQ grill, refrigerator, bicycles and kayaks the guests can use. This is a private beach - No one else around except the other guests, and the myriad types of sea birds and the fish that atract them. And the key deer that walk back and forth at dawn, at dusk, and often in between. They will even walk up and sniff your fingers if you hold still.
When deciding upon a place based on web sites, one fears that the photos were taken at the only angle from which the place can be made to look good, just missing the ugly factories and parking lots on each side. Not so, with this place! There is nothing in the area that shouldn't be there. Just big homes hidden by dense foliage.
It is a short drive into town where there is a full size grocery store, as well as all kinds of other shops and restaurants. Bahia Honda is really close. Beyond that, the seven mile bridge and Marathon, where I highly recommend the Sunset Grill for lunch.
The hostess, Jane, was completely unobtrusive, and yet very easy to find each time I had a question about finding the local attractions, bug spray, etc.
A TripAdvisor review written on 7/29/2011 has so many statements, about things that simply are not true as of Jan 2012, I can't even begin to respond to them all.
I read reviews about the "new" hosts Debi and Jason, but apparently they are no longer there. I read reviews about how dirty the place was, and I did not find that to be true at all. I have OCD, so dirty is something I would notice.
I read reviews about the seaweed on the beach. Why yes, there was lots of seaweed there, which I was not used to on a beach, so at first I found it disconcerting. After an hour, I was perfectly used to it, and found that it seemed more natural than a perfect sandy beach that looks like people are paid to keep it manicured. In the middle of the day, the hot sun made the wet seaweed begin to smell bad, but most people are out exploring the islands at that time of day. As it begins to cool off toward sunset, the smell is gone. Maybe in summer it gets worse. I image Florida must be very hot in summer.
What is odd about this spot of ocean is that there are no waves, because the water is very shallow. Way out where the lovely sailboat is anchored, you can see some waves cresting, as that must be where it gets deep enough for that to happen. One day, the wind was from the right direction, so there were some waves to the left and to the right of the Barnacle beach, close enough that I could hear the beautiful sound of them. But the Barnacle's beach is as calm as can be. And if you watch those strange shimmery patches closely enough, you find that what causes them is the dozens and dozens of tiny fishes, simultaneously jumping out of the water, as one.
What a wonderful place.
My husband and I stayed here after a cruise. We loved it. I read the other reviews before writing this and feel maybe they were a little harsh. The house needs some TLC but we did not find it dirty. It was not the Ritz Carlton, but neither was the rate we paid to stay here. Debi and Jason were gracious hosts, and the breakfasts were wonderful. We would stay here again...C'mon people, if you want luxury in the Keys, be prepared to spend $400.+ a nite. If you want a kick your shoes off, peaceful, affordable experience, this place is for you. The dear meander around like dogs, and there are Kayaks, bikes, lounge chairs all at No charge. There is an outside grill if you want to cook your own dinner, or lots of places to choose from, just ask Debi or Jason, I'm sure they will be happy to send you to a great place. They couldn't have been more helpful. There is an old saying that applies in every situation in life...."You just can't please everyone"...
If you're looking for a Marriott or Ritz hotel with a Concierge to greet you in a starched tuxedo shirt, a spa on the property, and four star restaurant as well, go back to South Beach. If you want to find a great friend's house in the keys, with a refrigerator in your room, great air conditioning, comfy beds and clean rooms at a reasonable price, and a comfortable hammock at the tiki bar facing the Atlantic, and your idea of a welcoming committee is the three foot tall key deer meandering in the driveway to greet you, you won't be disappointed. Just got back from a weekend in the Keys, and had a wonderful stay at The Barnacle. Debi and Jason greeted us and showed us to our room, and we were amazed at all the Key Deer wandering around the place! This place is in a nature reserve, where the Deer are protected. We had bicycles to use and kayaks available at no extra charge, and were offered tips on local stores and markets if we needed anything. Jason has his own boat charter business (very reasonable) and we went out with him for a half day out to swim, snorkle, and relax on a sandbar not too far from the resort. We saw loggerhead turtles and dolphin as we passed various islands and were amazed at the clarity of the water. A thunderstorm chased us back in (I'm not big on being in waist high water when there's lightning around) but everything happens for a reason. We went to a local market (as earlier informed) and found huge fresh shrimp (12 to a pound!) for $5 a pound, cocktail sauce, nice steaks and fresh vegetables, a large variety of cold beer and great wines. We picked up a few pounds of shrimp, beverages, and our dinner supplies and went back to the barnacle, and had the ultimate happy hour party at the TIki Bar with the huge shrimp, cocktail sauce, and frosty beers! A bit later after sunset, we returned to the Tiki Bar with marinated steaks and corn on the cob, and used the gas grill to prepare our oceanside beach feast. After dinner, we were invited by our hosts to join them and other guests in a evening "glow in the dark Bocce ball game". Brilliantly and colorfully lit battery powered Bocce balls, with people playing barefoot in the sand on the beach. The wife and I never played before, and I don't know if it was the wine from dinner or the whole fantastic day in general, but we said why not? We laughed and played like kids in the backyard until 1AM!
Breakfast was at 8:30AM, and the smell of fresh coffee greeted us as we walked up to the kitchen area. We dined on tropical fruit topped thick french toast and waffles, with bacon and fruit garnish on the side. It was like out of a magazine or cookbook, the breakfast was great, and plentiful. We spent the rest of day two touring the local islands, only to come back to the peace and comfort of the Barnacle again.
When it came time to go home, we didn't want to but knew we had to return to reality and the rest of the world waiting for us. We made some great new friends, and found a special little home away from home in Big Pine Key. We'll definitely be back!!!
Margarita Mike and the beautiful wife
My fiance and I booked 4 of the rooms here for our wedding and we planned on getting married at Bahia Honda but we loved The Barnacle so much that we just stayed on the beach and got married there. The place is laid back, clean and charming. My family and friends loved the property and we all plan on going back for years to come. We are so happy that we chose this place to start our new lives together. I would recommend The Cottage to anyone who wanted to get away and have a very relaxed and special vacation.
Well, the place had the most amazing view....and that is the only positive thing one can say about this place. The rooms are not clean. The place is old and musty. You are better off at a days inn. Seriously, the caretakers/staff are rude and bicker with each other the entire time you are there. Don't waste your money.
My family of three recently stayed here and really liked it a lot. The hosts Debi and Jason were fantastic, they are very down to earth relaxed people, which made our stay here very relaxed also. The rooms were very clean and welcoming. The Key Deer here come right up to you, and I know you are not supposed to feed them but I did, and it was magical! Out of all my vacation photos the ones with the deer were just amazing, what a wonderful memory! I have never stayed anywhere quite like this.
My son, who is 11, was able to explore real sea life and the ocean for a few hours, while I took a nap in the hammock. This is a very safe place for kids. My son found Blue Crabs, Hermit Crabs and tons more.
~~I have stayed many places in the Keys and this was by far the most enjoyable!
i came here on the advice of friends who had stayed here over christmas; but needless to say, i and my wife were sadly dissappointed. the rooms were old, run down, and not even clean. i've stayed at howard johnsons that were nicer than this place. yeah, it has a GREAT view, but that's about all that saves it. the food sucked, the management fought between themselves most of the time we were there, and even the other guests were uncomfortable! we talked to some of the other patrons and all of us felt the same way-none of us will be back. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!
My wife grew up in the Keys and I have visited many times over the last 35 years. We wanted a quiet out of the way but close to the heavily touristed Key West and Bahia Beach. We thought that this place was perfect. It has a lot of character and local flavor. The new managers (since December 1st) were extremely accommodating, taking care of all the necessary nuances required to make our three night stay comfortable and homey. We wish we could have stayed a few more nights but recommend: Bahia Honda Beach, Sunset Ceremony at Key West, and the Turtle Hospital. If you are looking for a standard Hotel room or Resort atmosphere, look elsewhere. There Barnacle has character from it's unique design to the deer to the evening stars on the roof, to the snorkeling and kayaking-enjoy!
We just returned from an amazing 6 days at the Barnacle B & B and the whole experience was magical! 8 of us siblings and friends occupied 4 of the 5 rooms and the new managers Debi and Jason couldn't have been nicer or more accomodating! The rooms were clean and recently painted. The sheets a very soft Egyptian cotton, breakfasts were delicious and the others guests fit right into our jovial group!
The proximity to Bahia Honda is a real plus, the easy access to Key West is a nice option, we enjoyed snorkeling at Looe Key and the laid back nature of the whole key was just what a soul needed! And we still have a list of things to do when we return in the near future!
I recommend this to others that want to experience the real Florida Keys, enjoy the sun and wildlife, and have a quiet getaway far from route 1 and the tourist scene. As an adult family vacation, it was the perfect choice for us!
Eden House has been a mainstay of Key West's hostelry roster for a couple of decades. Its 1920s ambience includes
a tropical garden courtyard lush with greenery encircling a pool. Accommodations are in two story units that vary in ...
Daily reef trips to the spectacular Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary aboard the largest glass bottom boat in the Keys
is provided by this tour company that also offers off shore fishing, flats fishing, eco tours, snorkeling, and diving ...
Plunked down here in 1936, this rustic spot has changed little, still offering plenty of beer and pizza. No Name
is rough, it's ready and it is about as close to the "original" Keys as you are likely to ...
*Terms & Conditions: Savings calculation is based on Flight + Hotel vacation package bookings for a 3 month period for 2 adults with a 2+ night length of stay compared to price of the same components if booked separately during same period. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, travel dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.