I am very big on Tripadvisor and follow its recommendations as I did here and I am amazed at how different my experience was and is. I booked two nights to be in Key West so that I could meet up with my daughter and her friend who were staying elsewhere. Upon making my reservation I got an immediate email to reply to about my arrival time which I responded to with my time and they said good, see you then. When I showed up then after a 5 hour drive I was told my room was not ready and since it was horribly hot, back in the car I went for a hour. When I got back with my groceries and luggage to check in there were no parking spots out front of the hotel, first come first served! so I had to park a block away in horrible heat and treck my stuff there, not good. My room was a disaster. For what I spent per night I wish had gone elsewhere. Location is not good, a mile walk in August, crazy. No amenitys at the hotel at all, no pool, nothing. The room had dated furniture with indoor outdoor carpeting, peeling paint and the bed was very uncomfortable. There was one AC unit in the bedroom of the two room suite so freezing in the bedroom and hot siting in the other room where my daughter and her friend were for a visit! So we sat and sweat indoors at 180 per night! Honestly, I regret this stay and that takes a lot for me to say. Sorry guys. And one more thing, when you have nothing to offer at your place, trying to then charge for bikes is not cool, you should just let people use them, sad.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are very sorry that this guest did not have an enjoyable stay with us here at The Grand Guesthouse. We strive to make each and every guest's experience both pleasant, and memorable. While this guest's visit was certainly memorable, I’m both confused and slightly frustrated by how un-pleasant he felt his stay was. Additionally, I find that several of his unkind remarks are both unwarranted and simply not factual.
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First, I would like to explain in detail our check-in procedures.
Our check in and check out times are stated clearly on The Grand’s website, on the policy page you must click in agreement to complete an online reservation (as this gentleman did), and in our confirmation letter. Our normal check-in hours are between 3:00pm and 6:00pm (5:00pm on Sundays). We inquire about a guest's arrival time for two very important logistical reasons:
1) If we are notified by a future guest that they will be arriving at a time after our office has closed for the evening, we are then able to make arrangements in advance for a “late check-in.” This is a common procedure with small hotels, and bed and breakfasts, but explaining the procedure ahead of time to guests makes for a simple and problem-free check-in.
2) If a guest informs us that they will be arriving -before- our check-in time of 3:00pm, we will then try our very best to offer them the courtesy of an early check-in, by cleaning and preparing the room ahead of schedule. This guest arrived two hours earlier than normal check in. We try to accommodate each individual guest as best we can, but we do not ever guarantee a room will be ready before 3:00pm. This is why we do not state such a promise anywhere on our website, or in our confirmation letters.
As clearly seen in this situation, when a guest arrives under a false assumption, and consequently has raised-expectations, a disappointing and awkward situation will undoubtedly occur. I strongly believe this was the catalyst for the bitterness felt from the words of this review.
Parking: We have 6 parking spaces directly in front of the guesthouse. This free parking is first-come, first-served, with extra free parking spaces just 3 houses down from us (less than a 1 minute walk). Any visitor to Key West will find that 6 complimentary parking spaces located directly in front of a bed and breakfast is 6 more parking spaces than normal. Parking is extremely difficult in Key West, and almost never free. We are very fortunate to be able to offer complimentary parking to all of our guests. This is one of many great advantages of staying in a quiet residential neighborhood such as ours. Another example, is if all six parking spaces are occupied in front, and guests have multiple pieces of luggage, or possibly groceries, they are encouraged to park right on-street in front of the house, switch their hazard lights on, and unload their vehicle with ease.
Air Conditioning: Our A/C wall units are less than one year old, and work properly, and efficiently. Again, as this guest did not bring any issues of discomfort to our attention, I can only speculate as to the variables that caused his complete discomfort. If the bedroom was as cold as stated, but the living area was warm, it would seem to me that the A/C’s vents had been adjusted to face either at the ceiling, or the floor. We could have easily fixed this problem by readjusting the vents back to their original direction of the living area, followed by switching on the ceiling fan found in the second room. This would have cooled both rooms evenly, making for a relaxing and enjoyable August family visit.
On the subject of August heat, this guest’s numerous complaints about the island’s hot summer days leave me flabbergasted. We would like to take this moment to highly suggest that if a guest has an aversion to warm temperatures, that they should not visit Key West during the hottest month of the year. While our staff here at The Grand creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, we have yet to gain actual control of the weather.
This guest also makes several references to the price he paid for his 300 sq. ft. Suite. At one point he states that he paid $180 per night, when in fact, he paid $158 per night + 12.5% tax. Our rates are very competitive with other bed and breakfast offerings in Old Town, and this rate is one of the more reasonable rates in town for the level of room and amenities offered.
He also states “a mile walk in August,crazy”. In fact, we are, by actual measure, slightly over ¼ mile from the quiet end of Duval Street, and just over ½ mile to the Hemmingway House, the Southernmost Point, the Butterfly Conservatory and Higg’s Beach. There are at least 10 of the best restaurants in town within a 10 minute walk from our location. The raucous bars closer to the Gulf side of the island and the loud music that goes on until 4 a.m. are located a little over a mile from our location. We are proud to say that most of our guests choose to stay with us because of our location. We are in a nice, quiet, residential neighborhood, where a peaceful night's sleep is more important than an all-night party.
Pool: We have never had a pool, and we have never advertised such. I find it unfair to criticize a lodging for something like this, when a guest knows there isn't one at the time of booking. Had the guest mentioned his desire for a pool however, we would have explained that we have a partnership with a beautiful hotel about a 10 minute walk from us, which offers our guests day passes for use of their heated pool, and surrounding grounds.
Bikes: We are happy to offer our guests bicycle rentals right on property. They are not however, our bicycles. They are owned by a local company, who maintains them weekly, and who charges us accordingly each time a bike is used. Our prices are fair, and comparable to other rental companies on the island. To offer complimentary bicycle rentals would mean raising our prices year round. For those who do not wish to use a bike, and choose to walk, drive, skip, or teleport, this would terribly unfair.
Amenities: We offer many amenities at The Grand, such as property-wide free wireless internet, an expanded continental breakfast, free domestic long distance anywhere in the US or Canada, extensive concierge services, complimentary printing of boarding passes, and many more which can be found listed thoroughly on our website.
In conclusion, I feel saddened that this guest had such an apparently unhappy visit with us. But, I also feel that this gentleman would have had a considerably more positive Key West visit if he had simply communicated his complaints to us at the time. We are many things, unfortunately mind readers is not one of them.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.