If you are a diver planning to go out of the marina with one of the great, local dive companies, the location is great. The positives end there, though.
The lobby is decent enough, so a guest might have false impressions upon checking in. We had two rooms, one a studio with full kitchen and, the second, a connecting bedroom. When we settled into our rooms, we relaxed and took off our shoes. We soon discovered that our feet were covered in dirt from the tile floor that was not cleaned very well before we checked-in. Disgusting! We also found the overall room was not cleaned very well, but this is what bleach wipes are for.
When we checked-in, they asked us if we wanted pots and pans. We had a room with a full kitchen, so it would seem logical that we wanted pots and pans. We confirmed that we did want them, and the front desk called housekeeping to take them up to the room. After two days, we still had no pots and pans, so another trip was made to the front desk. Our eagerly awaited pots and pans finally arrived. Yuck! The pans were dirty with cooked-on debris. After scrubbing the pans, we attempted to fix dinner. Two of the stove's four burners did not work at all. The other two had hot spots that got so hot, anything directly above in the pan burned regardless of the stove setting. After eating, we went to load the dishwasher, but my wife soon discovered that the door to the dishwasher had no spring and it fell open, smashing her foot. After icing her foot, my wife then loaded the dishwasher and ran it. The dishwasher filled with water but never washed the dishes. So much for paying for a room with a full kitchen. We ended-up never using the kitchen again, but for the refrigerator, during our week-long stay.
Many other items in the room did not work, such as lights, the hair dryer, the window shutters, a sink with very low pressure, the Jacuzzi portion of the tub (water jets) , the shower head spray selector, the clothes drying line, etc. The connecting bedroom had only one lamp for the entire room. The crank handle for the shutter on one window did not work either, so the shutter was left shut, making the room dark. The main window in the studio was a sliding glass door overlooking the marina, which should have been nice, but the glass door was on a common walkway with moderate foot traffic, so the blinds (sliding louvered doors) had to be shut for any privacy, eliminating the view. Although smoking is not allowed in the rooms, guests do smoke outside of their rooms, so the smoke inevitably enters nearby rooms.
Many of the resort's guests are divers, but there are no lockers or areas provided to rinse, dry, and store dive gear. We were asked not to dry anything on the railings, so drying options were very limited.
The limited parking is an acknowledged problem. Overflow parking is several hundred yards away, which is not too bad unless you are loading or unloading. Curiously, while I watched guests parking far away, I also watched a hotel employee park right out front in a guest spot. Marina guests also were using hotel guest parking. Guest parking permits are required, but few cars parked in guest spots actually had the permits.
The night before we checked-out, we wanted to dry some towels so they wouldn't be wet for our long drive home. Using the guest laundry, we ran the towels through the dryer several times, but they never dried. Another waste of money.
Continental breakfast is provided each morning, but it is very, very limited, to a point that I would be embarrassed if I was hotel management. Then again, I really don't think hotel management cares. When I checked-out, I went over some of the issues with the front desk staff. Someone named Miguel overheard my concerns, but, for some reason, focused-in on the hair dryer not working. He immediately went to our room(s) and returned a few minutes later, proclaiming both hair dryers were working fine. First, I said only one was broken, not both. Second, yes, the broken one works intermittently and then apparently has a problem, emits sparks from the GFCI safety plug, and then stops working. In fact, the plug was cracked, but Miguel just wanted to argue with me as to whether it worked or not. For my inconveniences, the front desk clerk said she would take 25% off of our room. I felt this was fair until I reviewed my bill and discovered the 25% off was applied to only our last night, not the entire week-long stay as the clerk suggested.
For the prices paid, we expected a lot more. Overall, we found the resort run-down and dirty, lacking many of the common amenities and comforts travelers have grown to expect. The location is so ideal that with some refurbishment and a better staff attitude, Marina Del Mar could be a great place. I believe that management feels the location sells itself, so clean, comfortable, functioning rooms and a bountiful continental breakfast are wastes of money. The apathetic staff follows management's lead.
If you do decide to stay at Marina Del Mar, try to get a room overlooking the Marina. Do be aware, though, of the loud music coming from Coconuts next door at times.
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- Also Known As:
- Marina Del Mar Resort And Marina Key Largo Hotel Key Largo