My wife and I stayed at Sunset Cove 15 years ago and had a very good time. Back then you could feed the manatees which swam under the pier and even get in the water and swim with and touch them. When planning our return to the Keys this year we asked Sunset Cove about the manatees and were told they still come by so we made our reservation based on that; needless to say, we didn't see a single manatee the four days we were there.
We reserved unit #9 for four nights, the bottom room of a 2-story unit. Because there were four of us, we needed the queen and single in the bedroom for the three girls, and I would take the pullout in the living room - no other units with a full kitchen could accommodate the four of us.
Rough Start - One month prior, we changed our plans and asked to arrive one day earlier and was told they would "hold it for us so no one else would reserve that extra day" which I took to mean we had it. Fast forward to our arrival day... am told after driving 12 hours from South Carolina our room was not available, that we had not reserved it, that someone had called that day and were given our room? I had called two weeks prior and mentioned we never received any type of confirmation phone call or e-mail and were told that was because the reservations were kept in her head and if there were any questions to simply call her (Sarah). The explanation we were given was there was a "hold" on the room and since we never called back to confirm it, they gave the room away. We were offered another room, but with the stipulation that we had to be out by 10:00 the next morning so the cleaning crew could prepare it for its next guest. I mentioned we planned taking a day trip to Key West earlky the next morning and wouldn't be back until later in the day but that didn't seem to phase them. Thank goodness Quad Kelly was on the job (Quad referring to not a triple caffeine, but a quad...) because she had the insight to go ahead and give us our unit #9 and she said she would apologize to the incoming party of two about double-booking "their" room, and she would put them in another room that had only a queen bed. Quad Kelly, thank you for your quick thinking.
Good Middle - you could get fresh towels and wash cloths anytime you returned your dirty ones, the rooms had all been updated since we were last there and overall were very comfortable. Keep in mind this is The Keys, and Sunset Cove is family owned and run by people like you and me - they are simple folk trying to earn a living. Overall, very relaxing, although the hanging/swinging chairs were no longer under the cabanas. Our two 14-year olds lived in the hammocks across from the office and the only restaurant we visited was Mrs. Macs (50 yards to the right as you exit Sunset Cove). They have hands down, the best key lime pie, and their meat loaf special is to die for - this is the real deal if you are looking for a Key West "diner."
Lousy Finish - One recommendation for the family owned and operated proprietors: You should occasionally stay at your own hotel to experience what your guests are doing. One family of about 10 took over the beach front cabanas two mornings in a row - sequestering all but two of your chairs and putting them under the cabana and laying their towels, floats and coolers on them all day then would wander off for hours at a time and nobody else could use the chairs or cabana (a comment to the office had no affect). Secondly, if you rent the lower #9 unit be advised that you will hear EVERYTHING going on in unit #10 above you - all three women and four children running around, loudly scraping chairs and tables across the floor, kids jumping off beds, and you banging on your ceiling with a broomstick at 12:30 AM having no affect; then hearing the four men from the same unit coming home from an all day fishing at 2:00AM emptying their coolers, leaning their fishing poles against your car (and by the looks of them you wouldn't dare say anything to them for fear of your life and no one in the front office after 11:00 PM), drinking beer and carousing in front of your unit, above your unit and out on the fishing pier until you collapse due to exhaustion at 4:30 in the morning. Thank goodness we checked out that next morning, and I didn't care that our doors happened to slam loudly several times while we packed up our vehicle.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.