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This or That: The Laureate Key West & Belleview Inn

In December, Opal premiered two new Florida properties – one set in a restored historic property a stone’s throw from Clearwater Beach, the other embodying a classic island lifestyle in one of the Florida Key’s most colorful destinations.

When it comes to your next vacation, are you looking for something easy and all-inclusive or somewhere that encourages you to explore and experience? Here’s our guide to Opal’s two newest Florida properties: Belleview Inn, located no more than four miles south of Clearwater Beach’s famous stretch of sand, and The Laureate Key West, overlooking the Atlantic on the eastern side of quirky Key West.

Overall Property Vibe

suite at The Laureate Key West

The Laureate Key West

With bayfront views, this all-suite resort combines the casual, tropical attitude of Key West with its literary history. The 64 suites are designed to make you feel right at home, so you can live as the laureates of the mid-century did: Immersed in the vibrant lifestyle of the island. The hotel’s central location makes it ideal for exploring the food, art, and music that makes Key West one of a kind.

Belleview Inn Lobby

Belleview Inn

This 38,000-square-foot restored section of a historic Henry Plant hotel brings Gilded Age grandeur back to life. Originally opened 120 years ago, she retains all her original charm, including heart pine wood floors, Tiffany Glass, wide shaded verandas, and grand staircase. The 35 original guestrooms have been updated to reflect modern tastes, which blend beautiful classic architecture and design with modern amenities like mini-fridges and Keurig coffee makers in every room.

Active Amenities

The Laureate Key West

The Laureate Key West

The Laureate was designed to inspire travelers to experience Key West, but that doesn’t mean there are no creature comforts on-site. The pool is the perfect way to relax and take a break from the high-energy atmosphere of the island by sinking into one of the lounge chairs or taking a refreshing mid-afternoon dip.

Belleview Inn

Belleview Inn

Perhaps, the most noteworthy amenity are the two historic Donald Ross–designed 18-hole golf courses, part of the neighboring Belleair Country Club. Designed in the early 1900s and considered some of the oldest – and most storied – in the state, the East and West Course (as they are known) today are essentially as Ross designed them. Take, for example, the West Course’s 4th hole, a par-3 that is elevated and entirely surrounded by a sand moat. These extraordinarily scenic courses also feature chipping and putting greens, a full-service Pro Shop, and full-time PGA golf professionals that are only available to club members and Belleview Inn guests.

Dining Scene

The Laureate Key West

The Laureate Key West

For such a small island at 4.2 square miles, Key West sure packs an expansive dining scene, offering everything from seafood shacks to intimate rooftop cafes to iconic watering holes. After preparing some of your own meals in your suite kitchen or taking advantage of The Laureate’s grocery delivery service, check out some of the amazing and varied eateries around town. We suggest Bistro 245 with its front-row seat to the famous Mallory Square sunset; Incas, home of the best ceviche in town; Kim’s Kuban, serving up the most authentic Cuban food north of Havana; or Latitudes at Sunset Key Cottages, offering fresh, flavorful island cuisine amid ocean breezes and gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico.

 Maisie’s Marketplace

Belleview Inn

The inn’s connection with the Belleair Country Club means you never have to leave the property to find a good meal. The Clubhouse offers two unique dining options: 19th Hole, with casual patio seating, and the Main Dining Room, with its white linens and palatial furnishings. For quick grab-and-go options, Maisie’s Marketplace, located on the first floor of the inn, serves coffee, ice cream novelties, smoothies, and beer and wine.


Hemingway House in Key West

The Laureate Key West

Key West has been known as a literary haven since the mid-century, having played home to such greats as Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost, and Shel Silverstein. In fact, today, this small island paradise claims more writers per capita than any other U.S. city. You can immerse yourself in a bit of this literary culture by visiting the Hemingway Home and Museum, taking part in Hemingway Days or Mystery Fest, or meeting some of local and touring authors at Books & Books’s regular meet and greets.

Chihuly Collection in St. Pete

Belleview Inn

Just a short ride from Clearwater and St. Pete’s robust art scene, the inn is a perfect home base for exploring the city’s galleries, museums, and street installations. Pinellas County is home to seven art museums including the Chihuly Collection and Salvador Dalí Museum. That doesn’t even begin to take into account the mural tours, galleries, and funky arts festivals like Geckofest.

Where to Stay The Laureate Key West | Belleview Inn

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