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Find Cuban heritage and Papa’s haunts at Hotel 24 North in Key West

 

It’s getting easier for American tourists to travel to Cuba, but it’s still a hassle. Want the next-best thing? Try the 24 North Hotel in Key West. Located on North Roosevelt Blvd., overlooking the Straits of Florida, 24 North Hotel provides guests with a taste of Cuban life as well as life in the Conch Republic.

“People do like to come here because of the Cuban influence,’’ said Hotel 24 North General Manager Eugenia Simons. “We’re the only hotel in Key West that’s highlighting Cuban (heritage) in Key West.’’

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The hotel is resplendent with Cuban-themed art – with murals planned – and features two pools and bright, airy rooms. And unless you stay in the middle of the Duval Street madness, the location can’t be beat.

Parking is free for Hotel 24 North guests and the hotel provides a shuttle to Old Town Key West every 15 minutes, meaning a Mallory Square sunset in only a few minutes away.

“That great because we do see more families here,’’ Simon said. “Our rooms a lot more specious (than most in Old Town) and you can be in Old Town in 15 minutes.’’

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For first-time visitors or Key West regulars, Hotel 24 North, which celebrates its first anniversary next month, is a terrific headquarters for everything Conch Republic – from Ernest Hemingway house to Duval Street to Fort Zachary Taylor to President Harry Truman’s Southern White House.

The hotel has an array of packages that fit just about anyone’s budget. My favorite?

The “Cayo Hueso y Cuba” package (starting at $5,828) for a minimum two-night stay. Okay, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s a great opportunity see live the Cuban and Key West lifestyles Papa loved some much.

Here’s a look:

  • Two-night stay at 24 North Hotel
  • Hemingway’s Old Man in the Sea inspired half day deep-sea fishing charter
  • Self guided walking tour and site map of historic Cuba sites on island, including lunch for two at El Meson de Pepe, San Carlos Institute, Cayo Hueso y Habana in Mallory Square, the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden and “A Los Martires de Cuba” in the Key West Cemetery
  • Jorge de la Torriente autographed photo from De La Gallery depicting Cuban scenes
  • Tour and cigar rolling lesson at Rodriguez Cigar Factory and a cigar box of Rodriquez’s finest cigars
  • Old Man in the Sea turn down amenity

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