Spent four nights in a Harbor villa with our children ages 7, 4, 2. It was a mixed bag...
>Check-in. We arrived at 2pm and were not allowed into our villa until 7pm. It was hard since our 2 year old skipped her nap and was overtired. The polite front desk offered to take $100 off our first night for our trouble (which was great until I heard him tell someone else they would get $150 off! They must have complained louder than me).
>Lagoon. It looks a lot nicer in the pictures. It is a murky lake-like area with concrete. Although my son loved the kayaks, etc....it is quite dangerous to have kids kayaking and paddleboarding in the same area with young children swimming. There were several times my kids almost got whacked in the face with a paddle. Plus, the kayaks and paddleboards are an extra charge.
>Indie Kids Club. We were very upset to find out that the facility (which includes the pirate ship, playground, mini golf, pool, etc.) does NOT OPEN UNTIL 10am! This seemed very late to us for an area that is geared towards young children. Our kids get up early....like 6 or 6:30 so we had hours to kill each day before this area opened. And then, the snack bar at Indies does not serve until noon. Again, young children usually want lunch around 11/11:30. Disappointing.
>The pools overall. They are very standard...none are zero entry, no water slides, no infinity, etc. Just basic pools. For a first class resort with these prices, we expected more.
>Housekeeping. We paid extra for daily service (who wants to clean on vacation?) and they did not show up until 4pm each day, and did the minimum. On the last night, we discovered at bedtime that my daughter's duvet had disappeared. Annoying.
>The bugs. Terrible ants everywhere. At the pool, in our villa, and the worst mosquito bites my kids have every had (even though they wore bug spray every night). And we saw a few cockroaches in the villa.
Our villa. We loved the Harbor Village. Gorgeous views, so fun to watch all the boats and my kids went fishing every night off the dock. Perfect size for our family (2 BR upstairs and a small room downstairs with a daybed). We had a "preferred villa" which meant everything was renovated. Our villa was by far the best thing about our vacation.
-We did the dolphin activities at the nearby Dolphin Research Center, which saved us some money. They have all of the similar swimming with the dolphins, dockside play, etc. And there is a coupon online you can print out to save even more.
-Our best meals were away from the resort. Try "Island Fish Company" in Marathon (awesome and they do breakfast, lunch and dinner). Also do Robby's in Islamarada...which is really fun for the kids (to feed the tarpons) and had the authentic, funky Keys vibe I was looking for (not touristy at all). There is a cool bar and restaurant, and a little open-air market.
We had a fun vacation, but with the resort fees & tax, it was almost $500/night...and I just did not feel like the facilities and service matched the cost. And we really missed having a beach. :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for writing about your experience at Hawks Cay Resort. Unfortunately, you did not reserve a spectacular Villa with Village at Hawks Cay by KeysCaribbean. All our Villas are meticulously maintained and our guests love our Villas as their home in Paradise. KeysCaribbean guests receive a daily pass for the private members only Cabana Beach Club, only a 9 minute drive from your Villa. Beautiful beach, lounge chairs, Pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Game Room, Activities, Food & Beverage for half the cost of Hawks Cay, showers and changing room and VERY FRIENDLY STAFF! Next time book direct with Village at Hawks Cay Villas by KeysCaribbean for a better experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.