In Key West, Mellow Ventures Backcountry Outfitters has unveiled three off-the-grid vessels for overnight accommodations. The new “outposts,” including a fully restored former cigar-maker’s cottage, are built on 50-foot catamaran hulls.
Customized Backcountry Eco Vacations include on-the-water stays, experiences, and healthy meals and feature three tiers: Eco Outpost with a Tiki boat dockside, Eco Sailing with a catamaran dockside, and Eco Adventure with the Sugar Shack 2.0, offering overnight trips to the Marquesas Keys. Three-, five- and seven-night stays are to be available as well as wellness, artist, and writer retreats. The backcountry charter company has locations at 1605 N. Roosevelt Blvd. and 201 William St. Its expanded and renovated Mellow Café & Gastropub on North Roosevelt Boulevard features outdoor picnic-table seating for up to 60. It serves vegan fare, artisan tacos, exotic meats, and craft beer. Visit www.mellowkw.com/eco-vacations or call 305-745-3874.
The boutique Grand Maloney Hotel — a six-bedroom property that dates back to the late 19th century — has opened at 529 Caroline St. in Key West after a nearly two-year restoration. Furnishings blend the hotel’s historic materials with luxury finishes and features such as a floor-to-ceiling yellow-tiled shower, an in-room original brick fireplace, and colorful botanical print wallpaper. A newly built swimming pool and outdoor space offer an additional area for groups.
The historic estate was purchased in 2019 by Key West-based Spottswood Hotels and named after Walter C. Maloney, a Spottswood ancestor who was elected Key West’s mayor in 1846. The hotel accommodates groups and property buyouts are offered. Visit www.grandmaloneyhotel.com or call 305-294-3265.
Kimpton Key West has added new weekly programming, offering guests “live like a local” experiences that include a welcome signature “Cayo Hueso” craft brew on arrival, live poolside music with local musicians, an eco- “show and tell” class, guided yoga sessions both on- and off-property and predinner tastings with local spirit makers. Other amenities include complimentary doggie menus with locally made pet treats for four-footed guests. The 219-unit Kimpton Key West collection includes five boutique properties in Old Town: Winslow’s Bungalows, Lighthouse Hotel, Ridley House, Ella’s Cottages and Fitch Lodge. Visit www.kimptonkeywest.com or call 855-546-7866.
In Key West’s Truman Waterfront Park, the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is scheduled to reopen in September. A state-of-the-art renovation includes a new free-standing main exhibit focusing on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary through multiple videos and hands-on interactive activities. Another exhibit is to highlight Florida Keys mangroves and allow visitors to crawl and climb through life-like mangrove branches. Visit www.floridakeys.noaa.gov/eco_ discovery.html or call 305-809-4750.
The Key West Woman’s Club offers complimentary summer tours of the 130-year-old red brick Hellings House Museum, the club’s home, Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
One of the few brick structures in Key West, the 8,334-square-foot home was built by Captain Martin Hellings and his wife Eleanor, a daughter of prominent Key West merchant William Curry, Florida’s first millionaire. Club members donate time and raise funds for charitable organizations in Key West. Tours operate Mondays through Fridays during fall and winter. The museum is located at 319 Duval St. Visit www.keywestwomansclub.org/saving-eleanor or call 740-274-9091.
The Shops at Mallory Square, a 26,000-square-foot indoor emporium at 291 Front St. in Key West adjacent to Mallory Square, is now showcasing Keys makers: local artisans and craftspeople, many of whom developed their businesses by selling wares at Keys artisan and farmers markets.
Most shops are working studios.
Keys-crafted products include handmade soaps, skin-care items, candles, resin artwork, original paintings, jewelry, totes, wallets, and accessories made from canvas sails, pottery, ceramics, screen prints, woodworking, and other items.
Cuban Coffee Queen and Whit’s Frozen Custard are food vendors. The historic brick building, built in the 1850s and formerly known as Clinton Square Mall, is open daily. Visit www.mallorysquare.com/shops-at-mallorysquare. ¦