I have driven past this property many times on my way to Marathon Key over the years. I always take notice of the giant seashell in the front of the resort, with the torches and a sort of gaudy vitality. Being one of the first hotels you see as you enter Key Largo proper, it had me intrigued. In October, a week before hurricane Sandy struck, I was splitting my time between Marathon and Key Largo. I decided to finally give the Marriott a try. I read many of the reviews on Tripadvisor, and tried to guage my own middle ground between the pros and cons. Some cons mentioned noise, the view of the parking garage from a particular room, the overpriced restaurant on site, the fact that the building was "motel-style" in a walk-up sort of way...you get the idea. I am someone who does enjoy a clean, comfortable room with some charm to it. Give me a clean bathroom and proper lighting and a good bed and I am already tipping the scales to the happy zone. Upon arrival, I found that not only was the desk check-in staff friendly and efficient, but helpful in giving me an overview of the property. I had taken the advice of fellow Tripadvisor reviewers and booked a room with a sea view. As I ascended the stairs up to my room, (pleasant clean paint job on the stucco), I was taken by the beautiful view of the Blackwater Sound. I grabbed the camera instantly. The pool and grounds from this vantage looked inviting and the room met my needs perfectly. Clean, comfortable bed, two-sided balcony (I had a corner room on the uppermost level), Wi-fi, pleanty of space to use my stability ball for workout, fridge, Flat screen TV (never even turned it on) and probably the best shower I have had in a hotel. Big shower room and shower head that was a delight! The beach was pleasant and I was at first a little worried about swimming or wading in the lagoon. It does have natural plant life at its bottom. However, a clear path of sand was created to let you walk out unencumbered for snorkel activities. I loved swimming out to the float and felt like it was more a mountain lake than a saltwater brine body of water. It was clean! Iguanas roam freely on the beach and there are plenty of chairs. A simple system of two towels for one pass worked fine for me, and rarely did I need more than one at a time. The beachfront promenade was wonderful, with hammocks and benches for sunset watching. A dock and rope bridge added to the funky floridian vibe, and the bridge leads to the main restaurant, Gus's Grille. Yes, it is a bit pricey and honestly, I had just as good a meal for less up the road at Fish House. It was worth eating at Gus's Grille to experience it. Great view for lunch, as I sat outside. Aside from some noisy drunk guests next to my room, I experienced no noise that was the fault of the hotel. The gym was hard to find, even though it was right under my nose (It is in the front, next to the check-in area in an out-building of its own). It closed a bit early for my liking but I was able to use my key and still get in to do some simple curling. Not the kind of gym one will find extensive gear in but enough to work off some guilty dessert. I did not try the spa but it can be found atop a quirky little building by the pool. The pool had plenty of lounges and was quite enjoyable except some guests were smoking and I was downwind! Not sure if it is permitted but there they were, lighting up!. I took a walk to the conference center, where a wedding was due to take place in a day. It was a majestic looking spread in white and reminded me of a Miami Vice setting, in a good way! I would not hesitate to reccommend this hotel to anyone who wants to relax in close proximity to both pool and shore. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is just up the road, as is many shopping and dining possibilities. This hotel turned out to be a gem on my trip.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Hotel Key Largo
- Key Largo Marriott