Sashaman said...I've stayed at Island House a couple of times and visited some guys we met while snorkeling on another occasion. The last time I stayed was about a year ago. In each case, the guys were mostly in their 30s and 40s with some younger and older. There seemed to be a mix of single guys and couples. There is a bar and restaurant on site so you don't have to leave to eat which is nice.
I also stayed at New Orleans House on one occasion several years ago but preferred Island House. But the plus of New Orleans House is that it is closer to Duval street which is where most of the tourist type things to do are. Island House seemed to be kept up nicer and was quieter than New Orleans House. But in all fairness, the last time I stayed there was maybe 5 years ago, so they might have spruced the place up a bit.
Definitely go to Key West. It is very relaxed and has its own special vibe.
Accurate observations, to my own experience. I would also recommend eating & drinking off-site no matter where you stay, though, since there are some interesting options on Key West. I'll often have the resort's free breakfast, then lunch in town, return for free happy hour, and go back out for supper. All on foot or via taxi; once I park the car (in a private off-street lot at New Orleans House) I rarely move the car again our entire stay. Same when we stay in P-town.
I don't think you CAN spruce up New Orleans House much - LOL! Yes, Island House is a bit nicer in appearance. NOH has a little more exercise equipment in their renovated gym, but IH has the cruisey indoor spa with steam room, sauna, hot tub and gang shower. Both usually have a good supply of naked men in the pool & bar areas, but in swim suits, too, in case you're shy. I feel so hedonistic sitting naked on a bar stool (with a towel under me, of course) having cocktails.
But we still enjoy NOH, for the Duval Street location and the regulars & staff we know, and the bigger poolside area with large garden bar, popular with locals who get complimentary towels and needn't bother bringing suits. On this trip alone we met 8 guys from Fort Lauderdale & Wilton Manors, several we already knew, and another who recognized us whom we met for the first time. But we also met a guy from Columbia, too, and that kind of thing is always fun.
We also like the authentic "Key West Ramshackle" atmosphere at NOH. If we're in Key West we want to experience Key West, not a generic US Marriott nor a Caribbean resort we can find elsewhere. In Key West we do Key West exclusively, not an idealized Disney-like theme park simulation. It's old, tumble-down and not always conventionally pretty, and that's what we like about it.
And above all we love the freedom of being clothing optional with other gay men, and having their company in a relaxed & accepting atmosphere. We mix enough with the straight tourists from Kansas everywhere else in KW (whom we can sometimes overhear whispering: "Look! There's some of THEM! They walk around right in the open here! Oh my God, see that? They're holding hands in public!"), so we like an exclusive place where we can enjoy some "us" time.