Even if you're an experienced vacationer, The Mermaid's Garden will hold you in its thrall. As the name promises, the chaperone of this four bedroom, 3 full, 2 half bath Truman Annex estate is a life-sized brass mermaid sculpture installed in a garden bursting with tropical ferns and palms. A few steps further lead you directly to a private cerulean blue pool, its curvy Riviera perimeter landscaped for beauty and privacy. The home faces the pool lengthwise, so you get a full view from the veranda, from the balcony above, and from all front-facing windows and French doors on top of the eclectic environment and central location of the prestigious gated Truman Annex community.
The pool is picture-perfect with natural stone deck tiles, a lovely rock waterfall at one end, and comfy chaise loungers at the other. Take a plunge in the temperature-controlled water and then stretch out on a recliner under the legendary Key West sky. Nearby is an outside shower and half-bath perfect for pool guests. Behind those is a large garage. Whether you've come to relax or party or both, this lovely outside oasis makes the ideal spot.
Up one step from the pool deck is the covered grand veranda, which stretches the entire width of the house. Here are deep-seated couches with blue cushions and a small table with two chairs. This gracious space is ideal for conversations, for playing cards, for morning coffee or evening cocktails. Maybe you'll even sit here to watch a cloud burst and then a surprise rainbow as the sun quickly returns. Multiple sets of French doors open from the inside living room and kitchen area onto the veranda.
Once inside, you have three floors to explore. The first has the living room, the dining room alcove, and a study with a desk and ceiling fan, a half-bath, and an all-amenities kitchen including a small table and two chairs. The living room has colorful shag carpet, ceiling fans, and multiple windows with Bahama shutters. Two large couches facing the TV make watching a movie easy and comfortable. One theme in this residence is "storage," and there's plenty of it. The interior decorator has placed coffee table trunks of varying sizes in strategic spots throughout the rooms. You can easily put things conveniently on top or inside out of sight. Another house-wide theme is art by Jeremy Balthazor, color photographic prints face-mounted to acrylic with aluminum backing. If during your stay you become particularly attached to one or several, all are for sale. It goes without saying that wireless high-speed Internet, cable, stereo, and a DVD player are at your fingertips when you want them.
Although the kitchen traditionally doesn't get much use during a vacation, especially in Key West, which offers over 200 eating/drinking establishments, this one is ready for whatever you desire. Prepare a five-course meal here, heat leftovers in the microwave, or use the BBQ grill. You'll find everything you need-including a dishwasher-you just need to supply the food.
The ascending hardwood staircase starts near the kitchen. The second-floor landing features a washer/dryer closet and two bedrooms. Both bedrooms open through elegant French doors onto the back balcony that, like the front veranda, runs the entire width of the house. This outside area overlooks the back patio and native trees. A table and chairs is on hand in case you decide to have morning coffee or a bedtime aperitif here. The first bedroom has a double bed, a ten-drawer chest for foldable items, plenty of windows overlooking green foliage, and an en suite full bath. The next bedroom is the master, which featuring a king bed with wide storage drawers underneath. It also has two generous walk-in closets, and a five-drawer dresser with a TV placed strategically on top for viewing from the bed. Again, French doors open onto the balcony. Along with the usual full-bath amenities, the en suite bath includes a luxurious Jacuzzi tub for relaxing among massaging whirlpool jets at day's end.
The third floor also features two bedrooms. One contains a full size bed and a standalone single bed. This room shares a full bath with the king room next door. The king bed here also has wide drawers underneath accompanied by bedside tables, a TV, and more. Even on this floor there's a generous storage closet. Windows in both rooms look out into leafy green treetops.
Once you've explored your new home, unpacked, and applied sunscreen, it's time to explore. World-famous Duval Street is only two blocks away. Stroll through the manicured landscaping, verdant palms, and interconnecting pathways that give your Truman Annex neighborhood its park-like atmosphere. Then head out through the wrought iron privacy gate to find yourself immersed in the sights and sounds of Duval's tourist attractions. Check out the tours, museums, shopping, bars, and restaurants, many with open-air seating, some right on the water. If you're interested in watersports, there are all kinds: diving, fishing, parasailing, snorkeling, and jet skiing to name a few. Don't miss the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, boutiques, and especially the nightly sunset celebration at Mallory Square, where visitors and locals alike gather to applaud as the sun slips below the horizon. After sunset, stick around for the festivities that follow.
If the arts interest you, you've come to the right town for music, movies, plays, art galleries, lectures, artists in residence, and more. If you like beaches, your accommodations are close to a favorite locals' beach, Fort Zachery Taylor, where you can rent chairs, umbrellas, and snorkeling equipment. Bathrooms, showers, and picnic tables are also available. If you get hungry beachside, there's even a snack bar serving up sandwiches, cold beverages, beach sundries, and souvenirs. When you've had enough beach, you can explore the adjacent Civil War era fort, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. If this is your first trip to the Conch Republic, a guidebook or stop at the Chamber of Commerce Information Center will help make sure you don't miss anything.
10% DISCOUNT for Monthly/Seasonal (30 nights or more) stays! This home requires a 7 night minimum year round,
To know what's going on from day-to-day, you should also 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.