When Casa Marina Key West opened on New Year's Eve in 1920, it welcomed in a glamorous resort to the southern Florida destination. Now the Waldorf Astoria property is celebrating its 100th anniversary by launching its 100-night giveaway contest, in which it will award 50 guests three-day, two-night stays.
To enter, those who are 21 and older and have enjoyed Casa Marina over the last century are invited to submit photos, videos, memorabilia, letters, or any items that show their favorite memories at the property.
The selected winners will then be treated to the stays between Feb. 1 and June 30. Entries must be received by April 10, 2021, either by email at [email protected] or snail mail to Attn: Marketing, at 1500 Reynolds Street, Key West, FL, 33040. (Note: Materials may not be returned, and submissions may be used in marketing and promotions with no compensation.)
Casa Marina has long been a celebrity favorite, with Rita Hayworth and Gregory Peck having stayed there. But it's the resort's century-old legacy that truly sets it apart, especially with the names behind its construction. Casa Marina was designed by architects John M. Carrère and Thomas Hastings, who were behind the New York Public Library and Metropolitan Opera in New York City, as well as the U.S. Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
The hotel also marked the final project of businessman and industrialist Henry Flagler, who built The Breakers Palm Beach (originally called Palm Beach Inn) back in 1896 and also founded the Overseas Railroad out to Key West. Though Flagler died during the construction, his vision was honored in Casa Marina's grand style. Part of its design also features the same Germany-imported concrete as the Seven Mile Bridge, which makes it a hurricane shelter, thanks to its 22-inch-thick walls.
It has also been converted into a U.S. Navy office headquarters from 1942 to 1946, and the U.S. military commandeered it in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Nowadays, it's known for its long stretch of private beach — 1,100 feet reserved just for its guests. Last fall, Casa Marina hosted sand-sculpting workshops in conjunction with its sister property, The Reach Key West.
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