on July 14, 2006
I had the opportunity to stay at Eaton Lodge for 2 nights while my parents visited me on Key West. To avoid the space issues in my own place and get them closer to the action on Duval, I decided to rent a suite where we could stay together. After poring over the dizzying array of B&B's and inns on Key West, I decided on Suite William at Eaton Lodge.The Lodge itself occupies a mid-19th century home on Eaton Street, only a few yards away from where it intersects Duval Street. Thus, the major advantage to staying there was location. The historic home has been decorated in a style that complements, rather than overwhelms, its original character. Period pieces and art mix with an eclectic array of modern-day furnishings to create a homey atmosphere. The grounds of the lodge also boast one of the few remaining mature gardens on Key West. We enjoyed eating breakfast on the patio and strolling amidst the lush vegetation.Suite William occupies two bedrooms on the second floor of the home which are connected by a full bath. We were instantly charmed by the clawfoot bathtub and old fashioned fixtures. One room of the suite has two beds and the other just one. I originally thought that the beds would be queen size, but they seemed more like fulls to me. I would not recommend more than one adult in each. Thankfully, there were only three of us. The larger room is equipped with a small counter-high refrigerator and cable television. The smaller room has a charming wardrobe with mirror. Each bedroom is cooled by a window A/C unit, which we found to be adequate for our needs on a sunny June afternoon. Staying at the lodge made us feel like we were getting a taste of the old Key West. Standing on the balcony overlooking Eaton Street, I was able to imagine the island that I had always dreamed of - before the days of Fantasy Fest and wall to wall T-shirt shops. As I closed my eyes at night, it was easy to travel back in time - until the bars began to empty. Though Eaton Lodge is surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden and a wall with a lovely wrought iron gate, the eternal party outside rages on. The proximity to Duval meant that we were periodically subjected to the whoops of all-night partiers running amok on the streets. If you're not planning to be asleep by 10:00pm, you'd best bring earplugs.Another interesting thing I encountered while staying at Eaton Lodge was the mysterious creaking of the hardwood floors at the foot of my bed. It was almost like someone pacing... Haunted? Perhaps. It is not beyond the realm of possibility in this land of pirates and pioneers.The breakfast was a passable continental affair, but I was a little disappointed. No baked goodies - just fruit, cereal, toast, yogurt. Overall, positive. Allergy sufferers beware: staff pets roam freely.
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