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The Rum Diaries: Key West Style

June 16, 2015

The Gates Hotel is one of a kind…

By Rebeca Herrero

Key West, Florida

Key West, where sailors and writers lived in seclusion for decades, is also known as the southernmost tip point of Florida.   Here tourists view it as a destination incomparable to other cities that are surrounded by water, and just plain fun!

Decades old wooden houses give shelter to locals and visitors that come to escape their daily routine lives, and also to watch that incredible sunset.  As the expansion of specialty hotels take place in the area, one new property stands out, The Gates Hotel. With a fun vibe, and great décor, this unique destination located in New Town has a great volume of rooms, and is quite spectacular, for the record!

The Gates Hotel reminds us of boutique hotels in the world that must offer its visitors art, cleanliness, cool gadgets, fun themes, and most of all, a modern version of what sophisticated young adults are looking for in its accommodations.  The fun part has to do with its strategic partners….

The Rum Diaries, Key West Style!

If you happen to know Key West resident like Paul Menta (an import from Philadelphia), you can figure out he is one amazing attraction.

He owns the First Legal Rum Distillery near Duval Street, in what used to be an old Coca Cola Bottling Factory in the 1940’s.  Inside the distillery there are Coca Cola bottles that were hidden underground for decades.  His partnership with The Gates consists of rum drinks mixed at the Rum Row bar.  We tasted one of the cigar aroma mixed drinks, and oh boy, they were amazing!  Menta also happens to be a record holding kite surfer, too!

At Key West First Legal Rum you can taste the “Up in Smoke”, which is a nod to the cigar industry, or the Tomoka Mojito, named after a famous rum-running ship.  You can pair a drink with a Rodriguez Cigar, another partner of The Gates Hotel.

De La Gallery in Old Town was chosen to be a part of the décor at the hotel.  Here, Cuban artist and photographer Jorge de la Torriente exhibits digital editions of Key West images that are also available to its patrons.

Amazing food, the culinary experience trend

The Blind Pig is The Gates’ signature food truck serving tapas-style selection of regional Cuban, Bahamian, Caribbean and Floridian flavors- also known as “conch fusion”.  Spearheaded by local chef David Fuhrman of Great Events Catering, The Blind Pig’s menu is seasonally-inspired and constantly rotating with dishes, including conch salads, grouper sliders and a modern take on the muffuletta sandwich.

The cooking demonstrations at Isle Cook are a wondrous activity for the visitor who wants to enjoy leisure time with great food.  Whether you want to taste a heirloom tomato gazpacho with mango salsa, or baked spaghetti beef tongue in parchment paper with Mediterranean Anchovies from local super star chefs, the wine pairing is a fun experience for foodies.  The lessons are priced from $70 to $150 per person.  Worth every penny….

Many bars are located alongside the strip of Duval Street.  Here you will find plenty of old and new locations to taste a variety of beers and wines, or enjoy that mojito during a humid afternoon, ready to cool your taste buds already saturated with seafood and spicy new southern dishes.

Because Key West is the place to go, no matter where you live in the world…….


Other amenities

-Martone Cycling Company, custom-designed blue and white bikes exclusive to the hotel.

-Experience the sunset sail boats owned and operated by Fury Water Adventures near Sloppy Joe’s.


The Gates Hotel- Key West (rooms start at $249 a night) is located at 3824 N. Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West, 33040.  For reservations call 305-320-0930 or visit

You can also visit:  @GatesKeyWest on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and Gates Hotel-Key West on Facebook.

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