a traveler from Travelocity.com
on February 28, 2011
If you're of a certain age and have a nostalgia for the Florida of the '50s and '60s (you know, Seminoles wrestling alligators and all that) you'll enjoy El Patio -- right down to the handles on the bathroom faucets, which have a Sputnik sort of look to them. Speaking of the bathroom, though ... it is entirely possible to sit on the john and wash your hands in the bathroom sink at the same time. It is that small. (The shower, though, is not as cramped.) If this will bother you, stay elsewhere. Our room was spacious enough, though a bit Spartan: a wicker dresser, bedside stands, a tiny fridge, a relatively small TV (no flat screens here) and a clothes closet. It had a rather noisy window air conditioner mounted in the wall, but the jalousie windows meant the room was cool even when the outside temperature was 80, so we didn't often need AC. The bed, though, needs to be replaced. It was comfortable enough, but it was noisy: Just sitting on it made the springs groan out loud. The pool is small but very pleasant, and El Patio's exterior architecture is a jewel. But what really appealed to us is the location. It's in a nice, quiet neighborhood yet close to the beach and close to Duval Street -- without the noise, traffic and drunks. If that's what you're coming to Key West for, stay downtown. Because we've been to Key West many times -- my first visit was in 1966 -- we've seen the sights and didn't even bother renting a car. The island is small enough that you can walk from the motel to Mallory Square in about 20 minutes. There is free wi-fi, but its range is limited. My iPhone usually couldn't pick it up in our room. All in all, we enjoyed our stay -- and while we're not supposed to say what we paid, the price was very reasonable. Two thumbs up.
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