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“Better than Cheeca Lodge” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Villas at Hawks Cay

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Sanctuary Villas at Hawks Cay
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61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, FL   |  
Hotel amenities
Dallas, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Better than Cheeca Lodge”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Nice staff, clean rooms, and awesome location. We enjoyed swimming with the dolphins and all the restaurants around the hotel. Our villa was spacious, clean, and cozy. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We will return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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24 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012 via mobile

villa was beautiful! Service was excellent.food in resort was good too, but expensive, it's a resort so you expect it. Great fitness center and pool area.i would definently recommend and I would stay there again

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

The house was great. The are nicely furnished. The resort amenities are what is lacking. If you use the pool at the house eat at the house and spend most of your time there you will have a great time. The exception is the cable tv, internet and resort personnal, there is a horrible iternet connection, it goes in and out of service. TV connection is also poor. Resort personnel are of little help. You can call but they do nothing for you, they tell you it is comcast problem and they can not do anything.

Room Tip: Stay out side the actual hotel in villas for good rooms and peacefulness
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

Our kids are 13 (boy) & 15 (girl), tough ages to entertain. They are only happy when they are with their friends, we decided to take a trip to have some (forced) family time! Ended up with one of our best vacation experiences ever. Main hotel has the ambiance of a large resort. We decided that a week would be too long to be restricted to hotel rooms. Decided instead on a Sunset villa, 2 br's, one with queen size bed, the other with twin beds. Patio off living room and master bedroom overlook pool. Very clean updated condo, stainless steel/granite full kitchen with dishwasher/microwave and basic essentials. Beds were unbelievably comfortable, to the point that we were checking who manufactured mattresses as we just replaced ours at home. Our unit, 5088, directly overlooked pool and a limited view of the ocean. Parking directly in front of condo. Unit has a washer and dryer, ours was not working. Staff responded same day, couldn't immediately repair so they took our laundry and delivered it next day, no charge. We mainly used the sunset pool, the pool at the main hotel was very noisy and crowded and this is July in Florida! I am sure that it would be very very busy during the cooler months. The towel service at the main pool was great, we were able to take the nice oversized beach towels back to our villa and change them out as needed. Hawks Cay is so large that it is almost a little town, with everything in walking distance. We never used the shuttle, it was a 5-10 min walk to main hotel, marina, ice cream shop, water activity area and general store. I was fine with kids walking over to the shops and main hotel during the day but this is a busy place with lots of people coming and going and I wouln't feel comfortable giving kids free reign. Our 2nd day here one of the kids had an earache, hotel gave us doctors name, he saw us within 15 minutes at his office, Walgreens right nearby for medication.We mainly ate at the condo, they have a pizza delivery service (delicious) and kids walked to hotel cafe for lunch. Gift shop in main hotel has Starbucks bar, general store also has coffee. We planned daily outings which helped to get us going instead of leaving it up to kids when they woke up at noon. Day 1: Dolphin Connection at hotel, 20 min lecture and 25 min in the water with the dolphins. I was a little leery of this as I'd hate to be a part of something that was in any way inhumane. The program here allows you to stand in the pool on a submerged dock with trainer while she signals dolphin to show different behaviors. We each had a chance to get a kiss from the dolphin and to swim out one at a time to interact. No holding on or riding dolphins which ethically worked for me. There are 4 dolphins, 3 are in their 30's and an 8 year old, you will immediately figure out which dolphin is 8, he is very active and you will see him off hours playing with fish, throwing them up in the air, etc Other 3 are still very active as well.The trainers take pictures which are around $16 apiece. Day 2: on recommendation of dolphin trainer we drove to the Bahai Honda National Park to snorkel. Sandy silky bathtub warm water, very shallow for almost a mile out. Once you swim over the seagrass there are some fish to see, great place to get comfortable/reacquaint yourself with snorkeling. There isn't a reef near the beach so you really need to take a charter to see the more interesting creatures. Absolutely lovely swimming there. In addition they have a main building with a great snack bar, water sport reservation desk, bathroom & shower/changing facilities next door. Day 2: Parasailing through hotel, kids and husband loved it, safe and enjoyable. Day 3: morning went to Turtle Hospital, interesting educational visit. There's a lecture session and then you tour the hospital tanks and pool for the lifers who can't be returned to ocean. Snorkel trip to Coffin Patch through hotel. Well run, saw a decent amount of fish but we had limited visibility due to storm. Day 4: jet ski tour through hotel, fun, nice to glide around the gorgeous flat water and take in a few sights. Day 5: Snorkel trip through Bahai Honda out to Looe Key, fantastic!! We saw a few sharks, around 5 feet, barracuda, goliath grouper, snorkeling easy enough for a novice, not scary at all, still very interesting for more experienced. Dolphins visible on trip out, saw a large sea turtle on surface on the way in. Favorite meal was at Island Grill in Islamorada, celebrated sons birthday there.
We all enjoyed it so much that we are hoping to return in the fall! If you are planning to snorkel I would recommend buying an underwater camera (probably disposable) & sunscreen because they are very expensive here. I would highly recommend making reservations for the water sports/dolphin connection far in advance if you will be traveling during the busy season/school vacations.Overall: A+

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zionsville, Indiana
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

We rented a great Villa in the Sanctuary. I called the resort prior to our stay with a number of demands and questions, the resort took time and care to insure our stay was first class.

The villa was beautiful and clean. The linens are good.

Loved the floor plan.

The beds were comfortable.

Everything worked.

No issues with smoke. Professional staff.

Fun sunset cruise.

Nice pool that is clean and nicely maintained.
Great drinks by the pool (the one by the Sanctuary)

Spa too expensive...could not get myself to spend $$$$ and no package deals.

Our villa was quiet and private.

I would have preferred more house keeping. Perhaps and enhanced charge option for this additional service.

Pool lady was great and polite.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, Virginia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

This is a beautiful resort!! Very clean and the staff are very friendly!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2011

We stayed here for 6 nights in a water view room. The water view rooms overlook the adult pool and you can see the ocean through the palm trees so you don't get an 'ocean view' which i guess is why they call it water view - but the view was still lovely and there were great views of the moon and stars from the balcony - I even saw my very first shooting star :)

The room itself was to a very high standard. Beautifully furnished and very clean. The only negative comment i have regarding the rooms is regarding the air conditioning unit. It's extremely noisy. The unit starts up now and again at intervals to keep your room at the temperature you've set. So this made for a very restless night and made it difficult to sleep with the air con unit starting up every 10 mins or so through the night. Never heard an air con unit so loud in all my years of travelling - it really was extremely noisy!! Oh and our room had an inter-connecting door to the room next door. It was obviously looked but could hear conversations clearly by the guests in the room next door - really wasn't too interested in how many clean knickers she had left at 7.30 in the morning!!

The resort is stunning, immaculate even. Everything is landscaped beautifully and very clean. They have dolphins on-site and you can buy experience packages such as feeding them and and swimming with them. The were beautiful to watch. Couldn't help feeling a little sorry for them though as the enclosure is quite small and nothing fancy. They're very well look after though which is re-assuring.

There are two restaurants available in the evening. Tom's Harbour restaurant was closed for refurb during our stay which left only the Alma restaurant open. Lovely food but extremely expensive so we jumped in the car and drove into Marathon to eat for the rest of our stay. Alma do have a lounge / bar menu available though too which has some cheaper options like pizza and a burger.

There is a little beach grill / bar where you can grab lunch in the day. Fairly expensive i thought, about $15 for a sandwich and fries, but the portion is quite a decent size so me and my husband would just order the one and share.

We sunbathed by the lagoon pool during our stay. Very tranquil and serene if you don't get anyone too gobby nearby. There are loads of fish in the lagoon too. And if you hear a rustle in the bushes it's likely to be an iguana. Amazing to watch and seem to be friendly. I had one come and have a little chill next to my lounger on a couple of occasions in fact I think it was after a bit of a stroke and a pat but I just let it be and it waddled off after a bit.

You will need bug spray. I was wearing insect repellent (all over!) so no mosquito bites but was harassed by sand fleas. You get mosquitos and no-see-ums all over the keys though so just be prepared and take along repellent and some hydrocortisone cream to help with any bites, itching and swelling. (Don't think you can buy hydrocortisone cream over the counter in the UK, it may be an ingredient though for any bite creams that are available - you can get it from any pharmacy in the states).

We found all the staff we came across to be friendly and helpful.

We would definitely return (after a few queries about that air-con unit, maybe it was faulty?). I would love to stay in one of the sunset villas to watch the beautiful sunset every night but don't think it would be very cost effective for just the two of us.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Villas at Hawks Cay

Address: 61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, FL
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Duck Key
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty lodging in Duck Key
Also Known As:
Sanctuary Villas At Hawks Cay Hotel Duck Key
Sanctuary Villas At Hawks Cay Duck Key, Florida

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