We're back from our second trip to Hawks Cay in two years and we were disappointed by our 5-night stay this time due to the abysmal service we experienced. We paid for a first floor lanai room that overlooked the lagoon, so we paid good money for our room as we were on the second floor the last time and thought it would be a nice treat to have one of the best rooms in the resort. If you search for my previous review you will see I gave our stay 5 stars and was positively glowing about the place. I'm going to focus more on what went wrong than what went right as you'll quickly see why this stay was disappointing, esp. given that they charge a $25/day resort fee that covers the gratuities to housekeeping and valet.
1. Housekeeping - on our first full day here, we came back to the room around 4pm and the room hadn't been made up yet. I called down to service, they apologized, and when we came back from dinner (8pm) the room had been cleaned. OK not a big deal, but on the second day we were out all day and came back at 9pm only to find that the room was never cleaned AGAIN. Plus, across the way from our room (3114) the two rooms were propped open by the door latches like housekeeping forget to close the doors after cleaning and then forgot to clean our room. I notified the front desk and 5mins later I heard someone close those two doors and I told them not to bother cleaning our room as it was too late for that and we found two towels we could use for the next day. We also found a water bottle under the bed on our first day so housekeeping doesn't do a thorough check when cleaning rooms before the next new guest.
2. On day four the light bulb above the toilet went off so I called the service number, they said they would sent someone from maintenance to fix it, we went out to dinner, and low and behold when we came back they hadn't changed the light. This was annoying as the toilet is in its own little room so you therefore had to keep the door open to get some light. At that time I was so frustrated I told my wife we would see if housekeeping noticed the light wasn't working and would have someone fix it. Nope, the light remained broken the remaining two days.
3. We gave up on valet after two days as they are very slow in retrieving cars. On our second day I gave my ticket to the valet person and (no kidding) ten minutes later we still didn't have our car, even though the valet lots are literally a 30 second walk away. I asked another valet for some assistance and then he got my car. Huh? What happened to the first valet? I never did get my claim ticket back either. On the third day I went to retrieve my car and there was only one valet and he was unloading a car. Where was everyone else? I went into the valet room and found someone unloading some water so I kindly asked for his assistance and he got my car. Very poor and we self-parked after that.
4. At breakfast on our second day I had to chase down the waiter for the bill and a refill of our coffee by walking around trying to find him as after he served our breakfast he never came back. We ate an off-site places after that. We also sat around the pool and lagoon a couple of days and the servers (you can order drinks and food) would ask us if we wanted anything the first time (we always ordered a drink) and then they never came back. Well I saw them walking around but they weren't interested in asking us if we wanted anything else.
Upon check-out I asked to speak to a manager to give them a summary of our experience and the front desk clerk was annoyed as he wanted me to tell him what happened and when I requested a manager he gave me "a look" and ultimately found a manager. I explained what happened and got a "Thanks for telling us, we'll let everyone know" and that was that. I'm not one to demand things but it would have been nice if they offered to refund us the $30/day upgrade charge for the room, or part of the $25/day resort fee seeing we didn't use valet or get housekeeping for half our stay, but nothing was offered. I understand they must put automatic gratuities on everything as those from outside the US aren't used to the tipping culture in America, but if you're going to charge a $25/day resort fee and automatically put 18% on everything else, you better provide excellent service.
So, I give the property five stars as it's still beautiful (beautiful grounds, excellent fitness center, two clean and big pools, a really neat lagoon you can swim in, etc.) but one star for the service which equates in my mind to a average of three stars.
I'm going to send this note to Hawks Cay management as well.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sunset Villa 5005 located on Duck Key Harbor overlooking the Gulf. Expanded size bump-out provides roominess of a cottage villa. Huge master suite with balcony, 2 full baths up, 1 half bath down. Dining room seats 8, sleeps 6, big lower deck and sandy beach. Call Reservations to reserve 5005. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hawks Cay Hotel Duck Key
- Hawks Cay Duck Key
- Duck Key
- Hawk Cay Resort
- Hawks Key
- Hawks Cay Resort Duck Key, Florida