Welcome to the end (and the beginning) of the road. There aren’t many places in the world where you can say you’re both beginning and ending your journey at the same time. But when you rent this Heavenly Hideout at Key West Mile Marker Zero - Rainbow’s End, you’re spot on, and you can do exactly that.
This penthouse hideout is literally the first and last vacation rental in on U.S. Highway 1, where the route gently peters-out to become charming, historic Whitehead Street in Key West. In case you didn’t know, Highway 1 on the East Coast of the U.S.A. stretches over 2000 miles from the top of Maine near the Canadian border to the Southernmost Island City in the continental United States.
Popular Key West mythology maintains, “The end of the road promises new beginnings,” for all who capture the spirit of the rainbow’s end. It’s true that visitors from all over the world come for a photo opt of this charming scene which has become an island icon. Not just for snap-shots at the famous Mile 0 road markers, but also to admire the exotic grandfather Kapok tree standing proud in front of the steadfast 1890 red brick courthouse and the colorful vintage sign that reads “END OF THE RAINBOW – AND END OF THE ROUTE U.S. 1 KEY WEST FLORIDA – UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIES – TROPICAL VACATIONLAND.”
This place embraces the special possibilities of living an urban life-style on the tiny island of Key West. Nestled in the 2nd floor of a welcoming historic house with all the comforts of a modern 4-Star hotel suite, this hidden retreat is discretely situated in one of the most desirable and convenient locations. Plus, it has an unbeatable look-down view of one of the most fashionable urban corners on the island. A view of the gorgeous old brick courthouse and famous Mile 0 scene is out the front, an expansive deck and tropical garden overlooks the back, complete with a banana grove and crimson Royal Poinciana Tree.
Interior Design: In November 2012, the property received an inspired decorating effort took it over-the-top. A creative collaboration began with local artists and builders, both inside and out. The distinctive interior focal points are two custom life-sized hand painted murals by international folk artist David Wegman known for his Key West and Caribbean art. One piece encompasses a large wall in a living room/ kitchen area and features the Mile 0 monument with all its prominent characteristics; the other a fabulous fantasy garden mural is painted in a bedroom and gives a convincing illusion of sleeping in a magical tropical garden.
Throughout the apartment, vibrant tropical colors like ‘sangria red’ and ‘Florida Keys blue’ were paired with soft historic Victorian tones of 'Georgian Green' and 'Hawthorne Yellow.' An eclectic arrangement of imported and antique furnishings and original art work were carefully grouped to create a special mood of laid-back luxury for each room. Set against the dark hard wood floors and sisal carpets, the effect is beautiful. The end result is a captivating artistic penthouse with an authenticity reflecting a contemporary Bohemian Key West lifestyle.
The Layout: You’ll know you’ve left home far behind the minute you walk up the steps to the front door of this completely redone early 1900’s wooden island house. The pretty Caribbean coral color siding with light blue front porch ceiling make certain you’re staying in a little bit of Key West history. Entrance is through the front door that takes you immediately to the 2nd floor via a beautiful traditional wooden staircase.
Once upstairs, a colorful hallway leads you to the main open concept kitchen / living room overlooking the back deck, where you’re treated to the life-size mural of the Mile 0 scene that will beg you to stop and have your picture next to the lamp post. Furnishings for the cozy room were selected for their retro 1960’s style, complete with apple green davenport and oval shaped coffee table. Two side chairs with a delightful rooster print are a reminder of how much Key West fancies its chickens. Efforts were taken to find artwork and lighting fixtures reflecting tastes of the ‘peace-and-love’ decade. Afull kitchen offers everything you need to cook, and to assure you can sit and share a meal together, a drop leaf table can easily be pulled out and chairs placed around.
When you're ready to spread out, you can spill into the 2nd great-room space, that we call the ‘red room.’ Thoughtfully decorated with island imports, art work was chosen to bring the feeling of the outside indoors. A large original Dominican painting of a colorful parrot is prominently displayed on one wall, while a painting of a vase full of red hibiscus hangs on the other. Full of striking color contrasts of red and apple green, this beautiful room is set with a chocolate brown cushy loveseat, comfortable banana grass reading chair, and silky paisley slipper chair. It also has the added feature of an extra kitchen and eating island.
There are four beautiful bedrooms to choose from, each with an en-suite bathroom. All bedrooms provide wall mounted flat-screen TV’s, and each has a unique décor theme which is described below in the order presented on our slide show.
Bedroom One, we call the ‘Beach Room,’ and it was designed to feel like a luxurious island beachside room. Set with a sea-grass headboard, white cottage-style dresser, sea inspired art work and sand-tone accessories, this large ‘L-Shape’ bedroom provide a king-size bed and large walk-in closet. A beautiful white vanity / computer table with elegant blue fabric chair is nicely tucked away in the corner, the perfect place to catch up on some work or browse the net. A private en-suite bathroom that provides a double size shower and free-standing sink.
Bedroom Two, we call the ‘Garden-Room,’ feels like a ‘Still-life’ garden painting you walk into, and it is definitely the wild-card in the design of this penthouse. The owner loves the enchantment of Key West gardens and it was her idea to make it possible to sleep in the garden while comfortably staying inside. To accomplish this, a custom ‘picket-fence’ was anchored on the wall as an art piece headboard. Then the artist painted fantasy tropical garden as the background, complete with hand painted bricks you would swear are the real thing. The en-suite bathroom provides a bathtub with in-tub shower (with hand wand), and vanity sink.
Bedroom Three, we call the ‘West Indies' room. It feels very island-opulent with a grand dark wood four-poster king-size bed and dark wicker dresser set against historic green and tan walls and fancifully framed artwork. A dark wood vanity / computer table and beautiful chair are nicely tucked away in an alcove, set as a place to get some work done or … do up your hair, whatever your passion may be. This bedroom has an en-suite bathroom provides a double size shower and free-standing sink.
Bedroom Four, we call the 'Love Birds' room. It has a queen-size bed, and reflects the owner’s feminine love of dreamy cozy bedrooms done eclectic style in lavender, turquoise, and blue. Starting by painting the walls a color called ‘Dreamy Cloud,’ she combined wicker furniture of white and natural, a small white cottage dresser, and a precious wood patina night stand. This bedroom offers an en-suite bathroom with bathtub and in-tub shower.
Grounds: At the back of the property is a spacious sun-deck set with lounge and deck chairs and an outdoor table with sun-umbrella. At the time of this writing, (November 2012) we have just completed the first phase of a remodel, and it does not provide a water feature. In the near future we will be adding a large Jacuzzi tub or possibly a small swimming pool. Enjoy this unique property for its four-star interior amenities, and explore nearby Fort-Zachary Taylor Beach for your sun time and water play.
Bedding Summary: Bedroom One: 1 King size bed; Bedroom Two: 2 Twin size beds; Bedroom Three: 1 King size bed; Bedroom Four: 1 Queen size bed
I've had a love affair with old historic Key West houses for nearly 30 years. For 25 of those years, I have been renovating and decorating historic houses in Key West and the Florida Keys.
Mile 0 is a Key West is landmark and monument, tied with island mythology that says, 'the end of the road brings new beginnings,' for all those who capture the spirit of the Rainbow's End.
For a Key West 'urban island' experience you can't beat this location. I love being located at one of the most fashionable corners on the island with a private down-look view of it all.
Downtown Old Town Key West at Mile Marker 0, historic monument location on Whitehead in the 500 block. One short block from Duval Street, one short block from the Green Parrot Bar. We consider this one of the best places to view the Fantasy Fest Parade as this event is staged just around the corner at Fort Zachary Taylor, and this location is the very first to see the floats! From here you're down the street from Fausto’s Fine Foods for grocery shopping, Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, Mel Fisher treasure Museum, Ernest Hemingway Museum, Custom House and Lighthouse Museums, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, and Key West Aquarium are all in the neighborhood. You’re also perfectly situated to walk to excellent internationally recognized downtown restaurants, night life, popular clubs, the Historic Seaport, and tropical shops.
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