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“Great Thanksgiving stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1500 Reynolds St, Key West, FL 33040   |  
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Ranked #29 of 45 Hotels in Key West
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great Thanksgiving stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

My husband and I recently stayed at Casa Marina for 4 nights with our 2 college student children and had a wonderful holiday in beautiful Key West! We explored the island at length and decided Casa Marina is definitely the place for us. After reading on-line reviews, we decided to take the two hour wave runner tour starting on the beach in front of the hotel at Barefoot Billy's rentals. Despite some chilly, rough water and a pretty decent breeze (it was late November!), we had lots of fun and were so happy to have done it! We also rented stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and bicycles - twice! Bikes are definitely the way to get around the island. We also enjoyed the well equipped fitness center across the street from CM and great breakfasts and lunches on the outdoor patios. We ate all of our dinners at restaurants around town and found Louie's Backyard (a short walk from the hotel) to be the ultimate spot for a celebratory dinner. We also enjoyed Blackfin Bistro, the Rooftop Cafe (home of the original key lime pie) and Thai Life, a floating restaurant for the more adventurous sorts. All were well worth the effort. We visited the Hemingway house where we had a great guided tour and did the same sort of tour at the Little White House where we learned a lot about former President Truman. Both should not be missed. We thought the trip was, from start to finish, a great success!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4,962 reviews from our community

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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Niko , one of the beach attendants was a very friendly charming person who helped us a lot during our trip to key west. Two of our planned activities were cancelled and we were at a loss of what to do with all the time. Niko jumped in and planned our trip for us , making the most fun filled and memorable experiences ever. He is a very resourceful person that knows his way aorund the city and gave us some good advise on the local places to eat and shop. If you ever get a chance to visit the resort , you should ask for Niko to help you out with the plans !!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
37 hotel reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Stay on the top floor to minimize room noise.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve T, Manager at Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Dear FollowingtheEquator,

We appreciate your candid feedback and are glad you appreciate our beautiful grounds.
We have shared your feedback in regards to your expectations of Waldorf Astoria Resorts with our management team. If you would like to discuss your stay or if you should be in Key West again please contact me at steven.tresh@waldorfastoria.com for personalized service

Warm Regards,

Steven Tresh
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Hotel was lovely, nice setting away from the hustle and bustle of Duvall street but close enough to walk in if you wanted to. We stayed in an ocean suite and the room was fine. Nice lounge area, and bathroom. Bedroom not massive but ok. Walls where the adjoining doors was seemed quite thin on our last day, but did not cause major problem. The pools were lovely, albeit a bit cold! Waiters were fab at the bar and restaraunts. Loved the midday drink of the day, the 2pm Popsicle and the 4pm frozen towels!!! Nice touch! Beach was cleaned up everyday and although not the best beach for swimming, nice to laze around on. Not much to do in the evenings and very quiet, but that was also quite nice. Would recommend.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mooresville, North Carolina, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

We had fun on jet skis with Jake the tour guide around Key West. The 90 minute tour was fantastic. Our guide was knowledgeable, personable, and safety conscience. A 75 year old woman was in our group and she had a blast. Fun for all ages.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crofton, Maryland
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Could not give me the accommodation I asked for, and was promised by the VIP manager. Most of the beach sand was washed away leaving coral rock and stones to walk on. The beach chairs must have been free or on sale as they were impossible to get comfortable in. The rooms are tired and old, and with hard surface floors you can hear all the noise from furniture being moved and chairs sliding from the room above. The present owners need to put some money into the place if the are going to charge the rates, resort fees and attempt to live up to the former reputation of the Casa Marina

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
131 hotel reviews
507 helpful votes 507 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

This was my 3rd visit to the Casa Marina. In general my vacation was very enjoyable. However considering the Waldorf Astoria name and expense of staying there; I feel compelled to share the following issues:

However large and clean; room was minimumly furnished and not pretty. The only padded piece of funiture was a broken down/ripped easy chair.
Espresso machine sucked! Would of perferrred coffee.
Bathroom lighting is poor. Cheap, old hair dryer was burning out.
Visable rust on vanity and mirror. Signs of black mold on bath tile. No active ventilation/fan either.
Elevator mechanism is extremely loud and/or lacking any sound proofing. Heard all hours of the day/night...
Pool H2O service was spotty at best. never enouph drink samples, ice pops, etc... Abandoned towels everywhere left for hours.
Never saw any drink runners for guests around pool. Completely ignored by all staff while sitting at the fire pits???
Doorman/vales seem in short supply. Twice with luggage and no one to open doors or assist.
No visable security; anyone has access to the entire property, elevators and guest floors.

Comparred to other "nicer" island hotels and considering the gerneral relaxed standards of Key West; the Casa Marina works. However would never recommend to some expecting the higher standards of other Waldorf Astoria properties...

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 1500 Reynolds St, Key West, FL 33040
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Key West
#12 Luxury Hotel in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 311
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This Mediterranean-inspired hotel sits on a 1,100-foot private beach a mile from Duval Street. Our historic beachfront resort combines 1920s ambiance with a chic, contemporary flair, features sophisticated accommodations, complete with LCD televisions, iPod docking stations, and an in-room espresso, coffee, and tea maker. Amenities include: two tropical pools, water-sports activities, spa services, poolside cabanas, Sun/Sun Bar & Grill serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and The Lobby Lounge for tapas and libations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Key West
Waldorf Astoria Key West
The Waldorf Astoria Collection
Casa Marina Resort Key West
Casa Marina Key West

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