Southernmost Beach Resort – Sanctuary in Key West


“Key West’s Southernmost Beach Resort—aptly named for its location at the southern tip of famed Duval St.—has debuted an extensive $15-million renovation to its exterior facade, breezeways and 243 guestrooms. This comes on the heels of the recently completed refurbishment of the resort’s lobby, Pineapple Pool and Bar, and the addition of an exterior patio at the signature Beach Café, creating a completely fresh and modern resort experience.

The renovated Key West island resort is inspired by Key West’s charm, rich history and laid-back ambiance. Capitalizing on its historical and organic past that is uniquely Key West, Southernmost embraces the island’s heartbeat and personality.

“The property had not seen a true ground-up or down re-styling for over a decade,” said Callin Fortis, founder, Bigtime Design Studios. “With travel most recently at an all-time low—followed by an all-time high—this magical gem that sits on some of the country’s most beautiful and coveted waterfronts, located at the ‘tip’ of Key West, was more than ready to acknowledge what was, what is and what will be.”

Noted TV personality and Chef Anthony Bourdain inspired Fortis in his design approach for the renovation. “Local color—both perceived and real—local architecture, music, art and the local heartbeat—this is what inspired Anthony Bourdain to be Anthony Bourdain. He brought the experiential nature of a location into your living room—not by focusing first on food, but by focusing on the larger context that provided inspiration for the food. Key West has an identifiable color palette. It has its own identifiable soundtrack, as well as a recognizable architectural ethos. All of which made my design process simple: understand and acknowledge Key West in a manner that is an homage to every detail and cue that places you in a time and a space. Travelers want to know where locals eat, sleep, dance…and what Key West sounds like, what instruments imbue the natural sound and visual scapes that welcome you to experience the Keys as if it were your second home.”

Warm sand tones and muted nautical blue shades reflect the ombre patterns of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a sense of harmony with the resort’s idyllic surroundings. Fabric headboards are centered on a soft cadet blue wood-paneled feature wall, while various settee and armchair seating options in complementary shades and patterns offer space to lounge. The architectural cues and beach-inspired look are seamlessly unified by decor, artwork and wall hangings featuring elements found in a coastal location that easily fit within the setting.

“Classic architectural cues spanning decades of Key West design were incorporated in a fresh and refreshing way,” said Fortis. “Nautical cues were subtly provided, as board and batten walls finished in the palette of water and sky. Sun-kissed wood floors underfoot provide warmth and the sense of time-worn travelers that came before them.”

The guestrooms’ oversized bathrooms were not overlooked in the makeover process. White subway tiled walls and showers create a bright space, and vanity mirrors and sinks featuring wooden shades and clean lines are offset by turquoise chevron pattern tiles. Chrome detailing and contrasting tile patterns in the shower delivers an elevated look and feel.

Southernmost Resort’s renovation will be complemented with a final phase in 2023, focusing on its four guesthouses. In December 2021, two adjacent guesthouses, Avalon and Duval Gardens, were acquired and will be refreshed along with the resort’s existing La Mer and Dewey buildings.”

Bray Whaler has been fortunate to collaborate on many phases of this beautiful sanctuary in Key West.






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