Classic Key West style defines this two-story Bahamian Colonial tucked away on Rose Lane, which runs only one block in its entirety, from Simonton to Duval. Rose Treehouse is a charming King bed, one-full-bath studio that occupies the whole second floor with balconies off both the front and the rear of the studio. The building right next door on Simonton, Casa Antigua, was Hemingway's first island residence, where in 1928 he wrote Farewell to Arms. Going the other direction, the lane intersects with world-famous Duval Street, the island's main artery for entertainment. Location alone would make this studio the perfect place to anchor your vacation, but once inside you'll find even more reason to love this residence.
Despite the proximity to the hubbub of Duval, Rose Treehouse is quiet and private. As one guest put it, "One block to Duval, but yet we didn't hear any of the noise or craziness when we were inside or out on the balcony. This is a special little place."
The outside and inside are constructed of classic Dade County Pine. The stairway to the second level brings you up to open-beam ceilings, highly polished hardwood floors, and a wall of glass-paneled doors that opens out to a spacious covered balcony. Picture yourself sitting out here to enjoy the magical weather Key West is so famous for. It's the perfect spot to relax or to enjoy a meal or just socialize around the table and chairs as the sun shifts positions in the water blue sky. As is typical in island architecture, the laundry closet with a stackable washer/dryer unit is accessible from the balcony. Peek over the balcony to view a garden with colorful plantings.
Back inside, the living area occupies an open floor plan with tropical ceiling fans above and plenty of natural light from windows and the glass doors. Should you want to eat inside, you can use the café table and chairs next to the delightful country kitchen. The kitchen itself is highlighted with blond cabinets and a tin tile backsplash in an embossed diamond and floral coin design. Everything needed for meal preparation is here: counter space, stove, convection microwave, pots and pans. Although with over 200 restaurants in town, you may opt for eating out most of the time. It's one of the many delights of the island to have so many choices.
Next to the kitchen, two natural rattan armchairs with plump pillows are situated for comfortable TV viewing. And of course there's wireless high-speed Internet, cable, a DVD player, and air conditioning augmented by ceiling fans. Next is the sleeping area that invites you with its King bed embellished with a one-of-a-kind, antique headboard that extends almost to the ceiling. A door from the sleeping area leads onto the front balcony, also covered and convenient for sitting outside, maybe with your morning coffee. This balcony even has chairs, a table, a lamp, and ceiling fans that make it another room in good weather. Another door opens onto this balcony from the tiled full bath that features a linen closet and drawers.
After you've settled in at Rose Treehouse, have unpacked and put on your flip-flops, you're ready to explore Duval and beyond. Leave your car in the off-street parking provided because you can reach everything by foot or bicycle. Duval runs the fourteen-block width of the island from the Gulf of Mexico to a pier jutting out into the wide Atlantic Ocean. This street offers much of what the island is famous and infamous for: tours, beaches, museums, water sports, shopping, bars, restaurants (many with open-air seating, some right on the water). Art and culture are a big part of Key West as well, with many art galleries, music venues, playhouses, and movie theaters.
After sightseeing and lunch, maybe you'll want to pop back to Rose Treehouse for a cooling dip in the shared pool next door at Rose Villas and afterward a siesta on one of the Treehouse balconies. Before you doze off, set your alarm close to the sunset hour. For sure you'll want to be at Mallory Square to applaud as the sun sinks over the Gulf and outer islands. Once in a while you'll be lucky enough to glimpse a brilliant green flash at the exact moment the orange ball of the sun disappears. Hang around for the after-party as artists and street performers entertain the crowd and enact the Conch Republic's motto: One Human Family. Or if you'd rather experience twilight at sea, take a cruise aboard one of the harbor's tall ships, where you can sip spirits and munch hors d'oeuvres as your vessel carries you into sunsets like you've never seen before. A good guidebook will present you with more entertainment opportunities that you can possibly enjoy in one visit.
To know what's going on from day to day, check out Historic Hideaways' informative Area Guide/Events page at http://www.historichideaways.com/key-west-events/. Other information on the current music scene, movies, plays, gallery openings, and charitable events can be found at milezerokeywest.com (calendar section) or in the print publication Paradise, which is available at various locations around town every Thursday.
Free delivery and setup (over $75) of beer/wine/liquor is available from Kwest Liquors, 705 Duval Street. Historic Hideaways guests receive a discount on pricing. Order in advance and have your vacation home fully stocked upon arrival. Contact the Historic Hideaways office in advance for details.