Key West cottage architecture has been thoroughly "time-tested" in "island life and culture" in this somewhat infamous little wooden "cigar maker's" cottage located on famous Duval Street, at the "classier upper-end." Since its original construction in the early 1900's this note-worthy Cockadoodle Cottage vacation rental has been recreated, redesigned, adapted and reformed, reflecting the ever-changing yet ever-inspired persona of the enchanted island of Key West.
Key West Culture: Like most historic Key West houses, over the course of 100 years this special little gem-of-a-cottage has be...en home to many different island dwellers - most of whom were "regular residents" - but some who were down-right colorful... and infamous! If you've visited Key West within the last five years or so, you know what I'm talking about and will definitely recall that until the most recent major makeover of this charming cottage - it was famously known and operated for awhile as "The Chicken Store." And indeed it was at one time the home of the "Rooster Rescue Team (RRT)," a volunteer group devoted to preserving some of Key West's more notorious cackling cockadoodling dwellers - orphaned and wounded gypsy chickens who previously wandered the streets. When some Key West "newcomers" tried to ban chickens from the island, the RRT stepped in to defend them... and put them up for adoption!
Well, in the year 2007, change was one once again in the air, it was time for The Chicken Store to move along to a new home. Now don't fret chicken lovers - the entire contents and mission of The Chicken Store were moved off Duval Street to a larger and more appropriate country-side location where the rescued chickens now safely roam free under the care of their devoted guardians awaiting new homes.
A New Beginning: The family that owns the cottage has had it in their family for generations and once they reclaimed it, they gave it a loving and stunning transformation. New architectural plans and building preparations were immediately made to completely remake the cottage to meet first-class accommodation standards of its twin-cigar cottage next door known as, "Havana Moon." So in January 2008 the latest renovation began to compliment its next-door twin, striving to balance the new layout making it possible for the two cottages to function either separately or together as one - equally as well.
Keeping with the romantic minimalist renovation design and decorum, that is set in the Havana Moon cottage, this cottage is also appointed with classic island furnishings, subtle colors and quiet artwork to set a tone of calmness and relaxation. The floors have been tiled throughout this cottage, using a soft earth-tone. High ceilings and recessed lighting give the rooms a more spacious feeling. Even though the interior is completely re-mastered to make two luxurious bedroom suites, a full kitchen, and master bath with Jacuzzi tub, the owner retained the original interior structure enough so that you can still enjoy the authentic flavor of the single "shot-gun" design. The classic "shot-gun" layout of the cottage essentially mirrors its twin, the "Havana Moon" cottage.
Cottage Layout: We can begin our description of the "Cockadoodle Cottage" at the front entrance which is set to the left of the front of the house. Upon entering the front door you step immediately into the common "hall room" that heads straight away to the back door. Off this main common room, on the left side of the house, a symmetrical row of interior rooms proceed from the front of the cottage to the back.
The first door on your left leads to the front bedroom and beautiful en-suite bathroom. The front bedroom is elegant and luxurious and provides a queen bed. Furnishings are tasteful and elegant.* (see notes)
The next room is a brand-new modern "U-shaped kitchen," complete with top-of-the-line appliances and recessed lighting. The kitchen is open to the wide "sitting hall" which at this point becomes the interior gathering and common seating space for the cottage.
The last room down the hall at the back of the house is the spacious back bedroom and en-suite bathroom with Jacuzzi bath tub. The back bedroom suite offers a king size bed and is appointed with beautiful bedding and furnishings. At the end of the hall the back door opens to the small back porch.
Back outside and around to the front of the cottage, is the covered front sitting porch where you can catch a view of the ocean and a soft salt southern breeze. Pretty wicker furnishings have been placed for guests to sit and watch the world of Key West go by.
Activities: Elegant Upper Duval St. - Close to the Southern Most Point of the United States. South Beach is visible from your front porch so "mozy on over" for some sun and good food. There is a great open air beach side restaurant there with a full bar and excellent beach side menu. Cafe neighborhood features art galleries, wonderful eateries and internationally famous fine restaurants, fine gift and clothing stores, Grand Vin wine tasting, home made ice cream. Here you start at the top of Duval St. near the Atlantic Ocean and can take the 20 min "Duval Crawl" to the Gulf of Mexico (remember it takes 3 to 4 Key West streets to equal the distance of a typical city block). Sailing, boating, diving, museums, nightlife.
Area: Upper Duval or ‘Uptown Key West’ has evolved into the “elegant end of Duval” and offers an exceptional variety of restaurants, beautiful boutiques, and art galleries. Close enough to South Beach that you can see it from the porch and the Southernmost Point of the United States, is just around the corner. Walk to Mallory Square Sunset Celebration in 15 to 20 minutes.
Parking: There is off-street parking for one full size car, but from here you really never need to get in your car. Upper Duval Street is right out your front door, so forget the hassle of parking and enjoy walking or biking everywhere. Enjoy the island to the fullest.
Restrictions: Smoke free house. Only well behaved children. Smoking permitted outside only. As with all private vacation homes, occupants of this property must adhere to the Sound Control / Noise Ordinance of Key West - ARTICLE IV Sec. 26-191. Absolutely no pets please.
If you love this cottage and are interested in having access to the swimming pool, it is possible to rent the twin-cottages together by including the Havana Moon cottage. Please see description of this twin-layout in our Key West Villa section where the property is identified as Twice As Nice.
Additional amenities include: catering can be arranged, linens and towels are provided, washer / dryer, amenities: upscale renovation and luxury furnishings.
This was a fantastic place to stay - I would definitely recommend it! The location is great - at the north end of Duval Street, just blocks from the beach. The cottage was very clean and had everything we needed, down to a couple of beach towels.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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