This is my last morning here and I am checking out in a few hours. I decided to sit on the balcony and write this as it was one of the truly pleasant parts of my stay at this hotel. You will find objectivity in this review despite its ranking. In short, really think about wasting the money prior to booking a reservation here. I could name you a number of other options around Key West that you would find for less expensive prices. Please know I hate giving bad reviews because some who do on this site clearly have a bone to pick - I do not. Here is my run down:
Rooms: This is a Waldorf brand hotel. There are certain expectations that come with that name, as well as the price you pay to stay here. As a point of reference I travel quite a bit. I have stayed in $39 a night interstate hotels and $1000+ a night middle eastern hotels – ie I am indiscriminate. When you start reaching a $250-300 a night price range there is a certain level of expectation of service and room quality that come with the stay. We paid $400 per night (staying for a wedding) – it is not even close to reaching that level of quality. The room did not even reach the level of Hampton Inn quality, which is the middle end of the Hilton chain. Overall the room was an averaged sized hotel room. The bed – the mattress was comfortable, pillows were nice, but it had a metal base that it sat on. When you moved there was noise. Use your imagination. The walls – paper thin, you could hear everything above and to the sides. Now think of how the noise of the metal frame on your bed, and others is compounded. The room did not have carpet or rugs, it had tile. For a beach hotel that is not unexpected or, for that matter, unwelcomed – until you combine that with the noise of the hotel – people move chairs, walk etc – it is very loud. The bathroom – standard but in sore need of maintenance - the shower handle was broken, the sink had a slow drain (which was fixed after day one), and the toilet was of questionable operation status. The room did have a balcony which was very nice and probably what we were paying for. It was a very good size and had furniture and a little table. Other perks – internet was included (and it worked well) and there was a nespresso machine in the room.
Staff: Overall the staff was friendly but several examples need to be pointed out. Housekeeping – marginal at best – they were very loud and in the hallway all day. There seemed to be two supervisors and one person cleaning. One morning they came to the door prior to 9am – it happens – I asked them to come back in an hour. We left for the beach and put the please service tag on the door. We came back at 4 pm and the room had not been cleaned. A housekeeper knocked on the door a little after 430 and I asked her to wait for 10 minutes as we were getting ready to go to out, so she literally sat outside our door and made random noises until we came out. I give these folks the benefit of the doubt, they do not have an easy job, but that was a little over the top. Others in our party had to call housekeeping to have them clean their room as it was not serviced. They allowed their supplies and supply closets to stay in the hallways or open with items piled in the doorways all day. They seemed very short staffed. They were pretty noticeable, that is why it bears mention. It looked pretty rough. Another example, my girlfriend went to buy coffee downstairs - what came out of the self-serve machine was gray. She asked the attendant (who was running the convenience store and manning the lobby bar) for a new cup so she could use another pot – the attendant simply washed the paper cup out and handed it back to her. The coffee is over $4 per cup here, she could have at least provided a new cup. Bellhops – for the most part were great, good service and very helpful and quick to hail a cab. The whole facility seemed short staffed, and considering it is peak season down here - bad sign.
Grounds – very nice, well-appointed and well maintained. It was a private beach with a kid friendly play area. Key West does not have the greatest beaches in the world but they make the best of their area. Chair set ups were easy. There were general staff around to help. Every hour or so they brought a complimentary cocktail, Popsicle, etc. It was a nice touch but what you would expect for the price. There was wait service on the beach – they were great but were pretty short staffed, you usually can tell when that is the case. The waiters and waitresses kept a good attitude about it and were very helpful. Workout facilities, very nice – it is in a building across the street. Large, a number of machines clean - pretty good for a hotel gym. The hotel is also very close to a shore walkway by higgs beach which trails down A1A. Interior, you have my review about the room. The halls – at least outside of our room was pretty rough, the carpet needed to be replaced and clearly was not very clean. Self parking is very convenient but expensive – street parking is free, easy, and safe.
Food: Very good food here but very expensive. I had two meals here in the four days I was here. Both lunches – they were $50 for two, each time. I understand you are paying for convenience but if you have a family, it will be expensive. Drinks – ok – I stayed at the Biltmore in Miami before this so I saw how good things could get, I was jaded about it.
Overall – if this hotel were around the $200 a night range, in season, I may stay here. You are clearly paying for the beach and the view. Keeping in mind, there are public beaches readily accessible in the Key West and you can walk down the street on this island and find a view, there is no need to pay for it. It is not worth it at the price we paid and clearly has some management issues. I was looking forward to trying out the Waldorf in NYC at some point but now will not. If this is the standard they put their brand on then they would like people to pay for the name and not the experience or the service. That is not right and borderline fraudulent – especially when you consider families take their one vacation a year to places like this. That thought drove this review, usually I would chalk this up to a live and learn experience but knowing this is an island people tend to plan and save to come to really annoys me that this place would fall so grossly short of expectations. I hope they get their issues either cleaned up or they recognize their is a problem here.
Stay on the top floor to minimize room noise.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.