STOCK ISLAND, Fla. — The Keys were buzzing with gossip.
Whenever I mentioned that I was staying at the newly-opened Oceans Edge Key West Hotel and Marina to a bartender, cab driver, or random stranger, the response was “Did you hear that Kanye West owns that hotel?”
I’m not sure how or why the rumor started, but a spokesperson for the hotel confirmed that these enthusiastic natives were the victims of fake news. The rapper does not own the hotel. Also, if West owned Oceans Edge, I’m quite sure the name would be something like the Kanye West Keys, Key West. For the record, it’s owned by developer Pritam Singh.
Oceans Edge covers 20 acres and features six swimming pools and a dedicated dog park. It’s the largest hotel and marina complex in the Keys. It has a lot going for it (did I mention six swimming pools?), but its greatest asset is the view. All 175 guest rooms and suites face onto the ocean. That fact makes Oceans Edge a very appealing option. There is a price to pay for the views. Despite the name, the hotel isn’t located in Key West. It’s on Stock Island, which is east of Key West. It’s not far, but if you’re planning on spending a rousing evening on the town, make sure you have $25 or so for the 4-mile cab ride home. If you’re the kind of person who likes to open the door and stumble onto the street and directly into the action, this may not be the best option for you.
But there are advantages to being away from the craziness of Duval Street. The area is free of inebriated tourists tripping down the sidewalks. It’s quaint, and I mean that in the best possible way. Given the hotel’s location directly on the water, guests can sign up for yoga on paddleboards (yes, that’s a thing) and sunset kayaking.
My room was completely fresh and new. I’m fairly certain I was the first person to inhabit it, so I was careful not to scuff the wall with my suitcase. It was a beautiful, bright space with art created by locals and a bit of tropical flair, but not the kind of heavy-handed ocean-inspired decor that hits you over the head with a conch shell.
All the basics of Oceans Edge rated high. The bed was heavenly, the shower pressure was ideal, and my room had a balcony. If I craned my neck just so I could see the sunset. The better option, however, was a sunset cocktail on a blue and white chaise by the pool.
OCEANS EDGE RESORT AND MARINA 5950 Peninsula Ave., Key West, Fla. 33040; 305-306-6942. www.OceansEdgeKey
West.com. Rates start at $299