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- Schooner Wharf
- 202 William Street - Key West
- Florida 33040 - United States
- (305) 292-3302
Schooner Wharf is an innovative environment in which meeting attendees are free to generate fresh ideas and where fun is always on the agenda. Whether you'd like a beach barbecue, private island party, sunset cruise or traditional banquet for your group, our professional catering department and event planners will take care of every detail. All you'll have to do is relax and enjoy our breathtaking sunsets.
Business is always a pleasure at the Schooner Wharf, where a separate dedicated conference center ensures privacy. Our unconventional meeting facilities offer 3,000 square feet of flexible space accommodating up to 175 people. The Schooner Wharf is ready to assist you with complete audiovisual services. Formal banquets or classroom settings can be easily accommodated. Plus, you have the option of housing your attendees in our exquisite spa guest rooms conveniently located adjacent to the conference areas.
The world famous Schooner Wharf, covering an entire Key West city block, perched at the edge of the azure blue Gulf of Mexico has come a long way since its humble origins in the early 1960's. With a perceptive eye towards the future, builder-designer David Wolkowsky believed in preserving the past by making it work for the future. Wolkowsky, a Key West native, returned to the island and began buying up parcels of land in 1962-starting with the rescue of a condemned bar, once the original home of "Sloppy Joe's" of Hemingway fame and the site if the country's first wireless station. Having received acclaim in the North for his renovation of a slum area in Philadelphia into the fashionable Rittenhouse Square development, Wolkowsky arrived back here just as a restoration movement was beginning to stir on the island.
After developing property on lower Duval and Front Streets, which included "Pirate's Alley" and the Original Cigar Factory, Wolkowsky moved even closer to the island-tip where cargo carrying clipper ships used to dock. In 1963, he quietly accomplished a major coup with the purchase for $106,000 of choice waterfront property near the Mallory Square docks. Key Westers watched as the hometown boy lifted the 1890 Porter Steamship office off its foundation on the old Cuban Ferry Dock and moved it 300 feet out, setting it on pilings in 40 feet of water. And so, this once deserted area where the homeless slept, had now become the genesis of a top flight tropical resort and what was to become the city's largest private employer.
Into the restored building on the Gulf went a seafood restaurant, "Tony's Fish Market", and a cocktail lounge where guests could leisurely watch shrimp boats plying the channel on their way into port. Wolkowsky then decided to build a motel around the eatery to attract more people to Old Town. His year long search to find the perfect architect for this task ended with the discovery of Greek-born Miami resident Yiannis B. Antonidis, who began the major design in 1966. Construction began in 1967. Antonidis, who also designed the Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove, originally designed the Schooner Wharf with 50 unique rooms and then added 50 more rooms facing the ocean.
At this time, many local people strongly objected to the design, calling it "too modern". Built of struck-block construction, the tin roofs of the building followed the same slanted lines of the restaurant: eye catching but also resistant to the area's tropical storms. The original Schooner Wharf, which cost $370,000 to build, also included the Chart Room, a cubbyhole of a bar where Jimmy Buffett is said to have begun his career. In 1969, the Schooner Wharf was called one of the ten most interesting commercial buildings in the nation by Rene D'Harnocourt, former curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
By the mid-seventies, the fine dining restaurant, now known as the Schooner Wharf Restaurant, had become the number one dining destination for tourists and locals alike. Celebrities such as Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Peter Fonda and "A Chorus Line" creator Jimmy Kirkwood, could be found there almost nightly, feeding on stone crab claws and yellowtail, washed down with wicked potables while listening to the live piano music of Sylvia Shelley.
Major changes at #1 Duval Street began in 1977, when the original developer sold the property to New Orleans financier Clancy Dupepe for 4.6 million dollars, resulting in the largest real estate commission ever earned in Monroe County. After some renovation and expansion, which included moving the restaurant over the water, the resort was sold just a few years later to Rahn Properties of Ft. Lauderdale who ran the hotel for seven years.
In 1987, Rahn transferred all of its ownership to the principles of The Schooner Wharf Joint Venture. The last ten years have been an exciting time for the Schooner Wharf with the addition of the world class Caribbean Spa, built on a corner lot which once housed the factory and shop of Key West Hand Print Fabrics. Now under the management of Carnival Hotels of America, the most recent improvement to the property is the refurbishment and new construction which has totally transformed the Beach Building. Rave reviews for this breathtaking combination of luxury waterfront suites and guest rooms have helped set the world famous Schooner Wharf above others for discerning visitors from around the globe.
Surrounded by waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, Key West is a tiny two by five mile island, 120 miles west of the mainland. Travel to Key West by car or bus on the Overseas Highway, boat or cruise ship by ocean, or airplane. The Overseas Highway is a series of 43 bridges and islands built to support the East Coast Railway, a labor of love built by Henry M. Flagler and completed in 1912. The old tracks were converted to a highway in 1938.
Cayo Hueso (Island of Bones) is a beautiful little jewel sparkling in the middle of the ocean, the Southernmost city in the United States and the county seat of the fabulous Florida Keys. Key West has something for everyone. A laid back yet cosmopolitan city set in the beauty of dazzling sunrises and sunsets on the horizons of the Gulf and the Atlantic.
You can choose from one of the largest selections of vacation rental properties in the Florida Keys with over 500 short and long term rentals from Key West to Key Largo. Each of our five offices has rental agents who specialize in finding you the home or condominium that you are looking for and making your stay in the Keys pleasant and carefree, whether you stay in a historic conch home in Key West, a canal bungalow in the Lower Keys, a houseboat in Marathon, an oceanfront compound in Duck Key, or in a beautiful and relaxing property on the ocean or Gulf Of Mexico in the Upper Keys. Whether you are planning a family reunion, a wedding, a fishing vacation or you are moving to the Keys call for our full color brochure which depicts many of the properties we have to offer from a week to a year. Our rental agents will also help you find a boat rental, fishing guide, recommend restaurants and points of interest.
Key West Featured Rental - Spectacular home in Old Town! Beautiful tropical grounds, private pool with waterfall. Quiet and serene yet steps from Duval and the Seaport sunsets. Off street parking. Truly, a unique Key West opportunity.
Lower Keys Featured Rental - This is it - location, location! Enjoy incredible Sunsets from the pool or deck overlooking the midori green waters of the Ocean. Close to restaurants and shopping. Only 17 miles to Key West and the world class restaurants and nightlife.
Marathon Featured Rental - Great 2 bedroom, two bath home plus den on a canal with Ocean views! Nicely furnished and comfortable, central air, dishwasher, microwave, washer/dryer. Large deck with Jacuzzi on waterside from which to enjoy the breezes and the views. Concrete dock with step-down for easy boat access. The house is only 2 blocks from the public beach and park!
Key Largo Featured Rental - Kawama Yacht Club - Relax in this great ocean front complex in Key Largo, MM 100, with many amenities to enjoy, including 2 pools (1 heated), private beaches, tennis courts, marina, playgrounds, gated community, security 24/7, fishing jetty, swimming lagoon. Centrally located near restaurants, shopping, resorts, Clubs, and more. The Kawama Yacht Club offers 3 bedroom Ocean Front Villas, 2BR/2BA condos, 3 & 2 bedroom Lagoon Front townhouses fully furnished to accommodate weekly & monthly rentals.
Caribbean Featured Rental - Villa 66 - Breeze Haven: Set hillside to capture ocean views and cool breezes, this unique property is comprised of two separate and complete three bedroom homes joined in the center by a private and sunny pool, and surrounded with exquisite tropical gardens and flower beds. Looking south from the various vantage points at Breeze Haven, mesmerizing views of the many British and U.S. Virgin Islands beyond are framed by sparkling blue seas. Comfortable, very well equipped and just perfect for two families or a larger group vacationing together, these two casual residences embrace traditional design with a tropical flair. Explore Tortola's charms and enjoy the golden sun and blue skies from this large, well located and very secluded property.