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“Price doesn't reflect overall general atmosphere and cleanliness for a luxury resort...Meh.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hawks Cay Resort

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Hawks Cay Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, FL 33050   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Duck Key
Certificate of Excellence 2014
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Price doesn't reflect overall general atmosphere and cleanliness for a luxury resort...Meh.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012 via mobile

We had a great family vacation for Thanksgiving. We stayed at Harbor Villas, which wasn't what we booked but it worked out well because our sun loves to fish. So, he got to fish right out the back door all week. The kids loved the pool and it was great to use the marina for boating activities. The Dolphin Connection is run very well. But those extra activities are very pricey. The front desk, door and wait staff were very kind and fun to chat with.
The tram ran on time and the staff were very courteous and fun.

The reasons I can't give an excellent review is thw simple fact of cost. The overall look is tired. The furniture is in need of a thorough cleaning. The daily resort fee must not cover housekeeping. Our villa was under ok for cleanliness. The one time during a six night stay they cleaned, the staff said he could change the bedding. You assume they will do the other standard cleaning as well. I'm not even sure our beds were really changed. New towels were left on the flirty bathroom floor in a folded pile. A let down for a 'luxury' resort. All of us have tiny red bumps that itch from our Fl. Stay but cant exactly pinpoint where we got the itchy bugs. For part of our stay I realized we had other guests, cockroaches, big ones. Being from Colorado, the kids were entertained, since they only see them at our butterfly museum. Gross. Our trash was taken out 3 times during our 7 day stay.
As a side note, there were no salt/pepper or kitchen towels. I was told to grab salt and pepper at the small market they have on site. When I asked for another box of detergent, I would have walked to the front desk myself for the $20 delivery fee?! Which I was not told over the phone. They also charged the $20 delivery fee for dessert we ordered over the phone and that I personally picked up inside the lobby!

The pool was lovely for the kids to enjoy. The seagulls were a problem as they landed in the pool to hang out often and then swoop and steal food right out if your hand.

The firepit area, poolside, is awesome and the best atmosphere besides the lobby. It was a little gross to wade through 1-2 inches of standing water by the end of the day at the firepit area though. You just know there is bodily fluids and food mixed in.

It would have been more fun if the bikes and water gear/kayaks were free to use as part of your stay, or for a small charge. You felt like there was nothing just given to you, for being their guest. They did give a lot of smiles.

The Indie club for kids is great, it just looks older, a bit run down. The basketball court severely chopping its paint. But my kids and I had a fun time shooting hoops.

The saltwater lagoon I expected to see fish or sea turtles, like our stay in Hawaii. You could snorkel all day and see beautiful sea creatures.
Lack of sand, too.

There's 2 buildings that are near the Indie club that must be for staff. It looked like a slumlord owned it. Window screens torn or dangling. Buildings needed paint. The grounds not primped or pretty. A lot of personal items astrewn; bikes, lawn chairs, bbqs. It just didn't 'fit' in the resort scheme.

The food is ok. Drinks overpriced and 18% gratuity added to all. Even one drink that my husband got for himself at the tiki bar! The breakfast/brunch overpriced for what is on the buffet, however the omelette station is nice. There is no menu to order anything else, other than that, at breakfast.

Due to the non-exciting food choices, and lack of ornate, pretty paths to just walk through at the resort, we totally enjoyed driving to other local establishments for fantastic fare and atmosphere.. We had a great day trip to Key West, which is where I would stay if we ever venture to the Keys again.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Whitefish, Montana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We just got back from our wonderful stay at Hawks Cay Resort, We were in Key West for a family wedding and spent several days post wedding ready for some chilling out before heading back to our home state of Montana. We had a suite by the adult pool and enjoyed the quite surroundings. It was great to have the beachside bar/dining around the corner. The bartenders and staff were friendly and the tropical drinks were great. The views were stunning and the sandy cove is like nothing I've ever seen before. Our room was stunning with great furniture and amenities. Nice flat screen tv, comfy bed, private balcony. Will definitely return!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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Hampshire, Illinois
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I will preface this by saying that we are not high maintenance travelers. All we need to be happy with a hotel or resort is a room that is clean and functional. After all, how much time do you really spend in your room anyway. The Marina Villa we just returned from at Hawks Cay was neither clean nor fully functional. The carpeting was stained and smelled moldy. The tile floors were so filthy that the bottoms of your feet or socks were black after walking around for 20 minutes. Dirt and dust hung out of all of the air registers. Even the walls were dirty as if someone walked around rubbing the walls with dirty hands. My favorite was the toilet paper holder in our bathroom that had literally been torn out of the drywall and was hanging on by one corner, leaving a gaping hole in the wall for lord knows what to crawl in from. Housekeeping replaces the toilet paper so how can they not have noticed this? I reported this one to the front desk shortly after we checked in and we were told maintenance would fix it but they never showed up. We knew going in that we would have limited housekeeping service but they were supposed to collect garbage daily and we only saw them once in 6 days. I would say that our experience might be an isolated experience but my sister and her family stayed in a Harbor Villa with its own set of maintenance and cleanliness issues. The bottom line is, I have stayed at far better properties for far less then than what I paid for this resort. As for the resort overall, the grounds are beautiful and the location is great. We only used the main pool and that was fine every time we used it. We didn't eat at any of the restaurants as there are so many other great restaurant options nearby. In general, I would be very hard pressed to recommend this resort or stay here again in the future.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012 via mobile

Great resort.The rooms were very nice and clean. The pools are great and the staff was very friendly. My only complaint is that there are not a lot of options for dinner with young children after the beach grill closes at 5. The pizza is terrible. Try the sunset cruise very entertaining.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

In summary: A 5 star location, 4 star amenities and 3 star service. We visited over Thanksgiving weekend with our kids (both under 8 years old). Overall we enjoyed the weekend and while we would not likely return we would suggest you try it at least once.

- A great property well maintained and very conveniently located with excellent views.
- Large rooms even in the hotel section, with nice and modern bathrooms.
- Alma Restaurant which served an amazing dinner (try the skirt steak) and a high quality breakfast buffet.
- Kids activities (games at the lagoon, kid’s area).
- Very good tennis facilities including 4 “clay-like” courts.
- The lagoon and dolphin centre are great.

- Food choices outside of Alma are of very poor quality, specifically the Beach Grill and even worse Tio’s which is to be avoided at all costs.
- Spa is horribly overpriced for the services received ($340 for 2 one hour massages)
- Gym equipment is in need of a serious refresh including the cardio machines and free weights
- Maid service in the room is not thorough (no face towels available for 2 days we were there) or speedy (front desk said the rooms are only cleaned before 5pm).
- While the rooms are nice overall, the beds and specifically the mattresses need replacing.
- I am going to share more info below on the two biggest issues that plague the resort. Firstly, the overall staff service levels and secondly the daily resort fee.

I want to cover my final point in more detail. I can explain it most easily by saying that I really wanted to love Hawk’s Cay. Again, the location was great and while the other reviews that referenced the high cost of the resort are true (our 3 nights in a standard room with a couple of meals, 1 spa treatment and a few drinks = $2000) I am perfectly comfortable spending this kind of money for quality.

The issue we really had was that the service from staff was at best a 3 star level with 5 star prices. I want to note some exceptions, specifically Garfield at the valet, Craig at the lagoon, Nicole our waitress at Alma were all really fantastic. However, they were the exception and it really felt like the automatic 18% gratuity on everything + the $30 resort fee resulted in many of the staff just not caring.

There were some really specific cases, a bartender at the Beach Grill from Montauk or Roger the host at Alma who were just plain grumpy. The baristas at the Starbucks – where you have to prepare your own food when you buy it – and the phone operators at guest services were also just not easy to deal with. The overriding feeling is that as a guest you are an annoyance. A perfect example was our dinner on Thanksgiving night. We called Tio’s for a last minute table at 6pm. We were told the restaurant was fully booked and that there would be no room. They then said if we could come right away we would be accommodated. When we arrived and until 8:00pm when we left the restaurant was never more that 50% full. Yet the host acted as though we were lucky to find a spot with them.

Lastly, there is the $30 daily resort fee. This is positioned by the management as a convenience fee to for the fitness and kids centre, wireless + valet parking and most importantly so that you don’t have to tip staff. In my opinion, it is a way for the resort to post a rate on line and then tack on 10%-15% more through the fee. I used the valet twice, the bellman twice and that’s it. I would have been happy to pay them directly so that I could recognize those that really did a good job. The resort fee is unnecessary and should instead be built into the price. If you are going to be a 5 star resort then paying for wireless and a fitness centre is just not right.

To close, in my opinion you’ll enjoy the resort and probably like me be frustrated at the price versus service equation. However, if the management starts by eliminating the $30 resort fee and the automatic 18% tip I believe that an immediate improvement in service can be had. The stars (like Garfield, Craig or Nicole) that must be frustrated by some of their colleagues can get the recognition and pay they deserve. The others will probably just leave once the tips dry up.

Get it together and this could be a great Keys resort. For now, Hawk’s Kay is just average.

Room Tip: Be careful of rooms described as "Island View" as this means parking lot.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Had a great time at this resort even though it was a bit cloudy and cool. The staff was great except for the young snotty host at Alma restaurant (the other , Ocean was undergoing refurb and all had to dine at Alma). Also, Roger seemed a bit upset most of the time.

Room Tip: Go for the ocean view
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We drove down from Orlando after a busy week. We didn't arrive at the hotel until 10pm so we were very tired! Check in was very swift and we used the valet service which was good all week.

There were positives and negatives to staying here.

The room was spacious and comfortable. We had a great night sleep most nights, despite the fact the walls were quite thin.
We found the pizza delivery a really nice touch. The pizzas are large and good quality. We used this facility twice.
The swimming pool and lagoon were great, we stayed on the sunbeds by the lagoon, as these were a lot quieter than the main pool. There is a new tiki bar by the main pool which is a nice touch and was nice to sit in the evenings.
Reception and concierge service were very good, and helpful. When my boyfriend was keen to watch a UK football game they gave us a couple of options to try.
The hotel in general looks great, and the staff are friendly.

Unfortunately when we went, they are working on a new dining option and Tom's ha our was closed as it has been sold off. This limited our dining option for the evening to in room dining or Alma which we could not afford to eat at everyday. The location of the hotel meant that you cannot walk to local restaurants, and there are not many options nearby. We went to one local restaurant which was about 15/20 minute drive. We did have lunch at the beach grill, but I wouldn't recommend it, it was over priced and average at best. Tom's harbour reopened as Tio's promising fresh Mexican food. We went
T on the first night. My boyfriend are big Mexican food fans, and we found the food ok. But this was the first night..
The maid service wasn't great. We found that they didn't turn up until about 4-4.30 and when your visiting late in the year, the weather turns cooler at 4 and you would like to get in your room, but cant .
The rooms were nice, but the bathrooms were dated. There is fridge, but a chiller which must be a pain if you have young children or medicines to chill. We did manage without this. The walls were thin and this loud! But luckily our neigh ours went to bed early that this didn't disturb us.

All in all the hotel offered us a relaxing week by the pool, but the limited dinning options and location may mean this isn't the best hotel choice for everyone.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Hawks Cay Resort

Address: 61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, FL 33050
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Duck Key
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Duck Key
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hawks Cay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 400
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

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