The Pier House

Travel+Leisure readers ranked the best hotels around the globe for sea-breeze bliss—whether they sit on powdery white sand, rocky bluffs, or bustling waterfronts.

No. 11: The Pier House Resort & Spa, Key West

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Sitting on the edge of Key West’s Old Town, this 142-room hotel with a private beach strikes a balance between sandy bliss and traditional Key West quirkiness—for instance, you can easily walk to Mallory Square for the nightly sunset ritual. Rooms come in sunny colors, accented with local art, and have views of bougainvillea, the dock, or the Gulf of Mexico. Keeping with the hotel’s mellow ambience, readers declared it a solid value, too. You can embrace its simple pleasures by partaking of happy hour at the hotel’s legendary Chart Room Bar, which still prides itself on offering free popcorn and hot dogs, and refusing to make touristy “blender” drinks.

The-Pier-House-Resort

World's Best Beach Hotels

No. 11: The Pier House Resort & Spa, Key West

Sitting on the edge of Key West’s Old Town, this 142-room hotel with a private beach strikes a balance between sandy bliss and traditional Key West quirkiness—for instance, you can easily walk to Mallory Square for the nightly sunset ritual. Rooms come in sunny colors, accented with local art, and have views of bougainvillea, the dock, or the Gulf of Mexico. Keeping with the hotel’s mellow ambience, readers declared it a solid value, too. You can embrace its simple pleasures by partaking of happy hour at the hotel’s legendary Chart Room Bar, which still prides itself on offering free popcorn and hot dogs, and refusing to make touristy “blender” drinks.

The Pier House

World's Best Beach Hotels

Feeling an ocean breeze is lovely. Enjoying it while also listening to live music and nibbling on a bowl of warm chips—that might be paradise.

Kelley Kitley used to live a few blocks from Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, and admits she often played tourist at the beachfront hotel. “They make the best mojitos and serve warm chips on the cocktail tables while a piano plays and a fire roars year round,” says the psychotherapist. “The entire hotel is airy and light, with great people-watching, and it’s just steps away from the beach. It’s perfect.”



Travel+Leisure readers concurred, placing the L.A. hotel in the top 10 among the world’s best beachy hotels. As part of the annual readers’ survey, the World’s Best Awards, readers ranked hotels, islands, cities, and even airports on their charms—including service, dining, and aesthetics. Within the hotel category, we looked at the properties around the globe that ranked the highest for their locations—and then focused on the winners that sit right near the ocean—or the sea, or even on a bustling city waterfront.

Indeed, not every great coastal hotel sits right on the sand. Some of the top 20 winners are perched on cliffs above the surf, or spread out against a harbor. But they all share the visceral joys of being in the path of those sea breezes, and many winners, not surprisingly, also ranked highly for their fresh-caught cuisine and their intangible romantic appeal.

Pris Phillips, a travel agent from Columbia, S.C., feels WHAT WAY? that way about another top 20 winner, the Pan Pacific in Vancouver. “Don’t we all love a nice hotel that overlooks the water?” she says. “Whatever body of water it faces, there’s no mistaking the soothing effect that it has—it’s truly a feast for the senses.”

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