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“What you need to know about staying at this historic resort” 4 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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Summer Rates from $249
Ranked #22 of 41 hotels in Key West
New York
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“What you need to know about staying at this historic resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

If you are like me, you've read all the negative reviews of this place and if you are thinking of booking, you aren't sure whether its worth the money. I will try to explain both the good and bad about this hotel, but in my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives in this lovely resort.

Even the nastiest review admits the grounds here are gorgeous, so clearly, positive number one is how lovely this hotel is. What I didnt know was how historical this place is, that it was built by the legendary Mr. Flagler himself, that the design mimics his overseas railroad and that several presidents and notables have stayed and partied at Casa Marina - if you stay here, you are truly geting some lovely Key West history for your money. There are gorgeous, gleaming hardwood floors and lovely, bahama-style decor throughout the common areas, two large outdoor pools and a gorgeous walkway to the beach with reflecting pools. Bear in mind, the beach entry here is coral, so if you plan on going swimming, bring your aqua socks or walk over to the Reach, which is a sister property and has a sandier, beach. Now for a negative - we stayed in the "newer" section of the hotel (which I think was built in the 1970s) and our room was entirely lacking any of these charms. It literally had a cold tile floor (and not italian, marble style, more institutional in nature), four white walls and a motel feel. Now, I am pretty sure we got the worst class room as I used my Hilton points for our stay and while I could complain (as many others have), that I wasnt treated fairly as a "gold" member, I wont. The housekeeping service is fantastic (they come twice a day), the bathroom was pretty updated, and there wasnt anything wrong with the room - it just doesnt match the rest of the place. (My note to management - why dont you put up some crown molding, paint it a historic color scheme and maybe add a little carpet around the bedroom?). My advice is try to stay in the older sections of the resort.

The next part of the hotel I think worth detailing is the fantastic service you get at this resort - I honestly don't know how anyone can complain about the service anywhere. The front desk is very pleasant, the pool guys are super helpful (it was sold out the week we were there but they will help you get chairs by the beach or pool), the valets were nice and as I mentioned, housekeeping was excellent - they were running a free kids program when we were there and my son had a blast making necklaces, swimming in a "race", hunting for shells and playing on the lawn (Thank you Vivian, you were wonderful). While I am on the subject, this hotel is super kid-friendly - they have a little scavenger hunt the kids can do on their own where they collect bands by using a treasure map, then when they get them all, they get a free gelato in the gift shop. One thing I noticed was a lack of bars and restaurants, but since you are in Key West, getting something to drink and eat is not a problem (and famous Louie's Backyard is very walkable). The pool area has a bar and outdoor restaurant and we enjoyed the food and drinks there (my husband was a particular fan of the Mumbai splash), but I noticed the lobby bar was empty - a shame because its a lovely little spot and had bottles lined up, but there was never a worker there (and since we were there on a sold out week, I suspect its only used for private affairs).

If you aren't familiar with the layout of Key West, let me explain this location. Its near the Southern end of the island, very close to the Southernmost Point, the Butterfly Museum (which is a must-do in Key West, in my opinion) and near Smathers Beach, but relatively (like 1.5 miles away) from Mallory Square and the craziness of Duvall Street. It is so worth it to be on the beach and be able to see both sunrises and sunsets (I mean seriously, name another hotel where you can do that). The Old Town Trolley makes a stop at this hotel (although I think you are better off taking a cab to the other side for about ten dollars) and there is generally plenty to walk around and do from this place. We rented one of those elecric cars (which was insanely expensive in my view - about $250 for two days, but my kids loved it) and the valets charged it up for us at night.

Lastly, for all the comments about how this place is too expensive - I think a standard room was about $450 per night (even though we used points), so I am hard-pressed to argue with them, but then again, Key West is an insanely expensive place to begin with. I have stayed at several B and Bs in Key West and Casa Marina is on par with the expensive ones - you can stay at a decent one (like the Eden House) and save yourself $75 or so a night, but there are not a lot of good hotels on the island - B and Bs are a great way to experience Key West (not for those of you with kids, however), but they don't offer a gym, large pools, and all the other amenities you get at a full resort like this - the bottom line is, if you want a great, historic hotel with unbeatable service, you reallyshould give Casa Marina a try.

Room Tip: Try to stay in the original section of the hotel.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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Okoboji, Iowa
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

This was our first visit to Key West. We enjoyed the Casa Marina very much. The view is awesome, the grounds are beautiful, and the staff are great. It is a wonderful setting and away from the craziness of Duval Street. We will likely stay here again when we return to Key West. Our room was facing the parking lot and although it was nice I will upgrade next time to the ocean view. I wish the Casa Marina had a shuttle service to downtown. The walk is doable but at the end of a long day it would be great to catch a shuttle. Cab service is available and affordable.
My only negative is the walls between the rooms must be very thin. On one of our mornings, we had a small child next door who was crying and quite loud. It was a good thing we were not planning to sleep in as it would have been quite difficult. The beach staff were awesome!

Room Tip: Go for the ocean view!!!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We traveled to Key West in Dec 2012 with our family (kids 3, and 5) and had an amazing time. We loved the hotels beautiful beach, loved walking on the hotel's pier and feeding the fish, searching for creatures, even saw a sting ray swimming about. The pool was absolutely perfect, we went night swimming and enjoyed complimentary smores by the fire pit. Everyone was so friendly and the hotel staff was so helpful, and the hotel grounds and our room were impeccable. We wanted to do family photos at the resort, and had the concierge refer us to Bond Fire Studio and we took family photos on the hotel grounds. The pictures turned out amazing, we were so happy with them, and we will treasure them forever. We still get lots of compliments. The concierge also referred us to Hurricane Hole Marina where we did a self guided tour through the mangroves, which was a perfect family adventure. We did enjoy a lot of Key West on our trip, but the hotel was so amazing, we could have just stayed there the whole time! One thing to note, however, there was no Jacuzzi.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Roanoke, VA
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

As an HR Director, I have helped plan 3 separate meetings here over the past 3 years. Each one has been better than the last. The Casa Team truly takes pride in keeping their guests happy and will go out of their way to help them. I also love the fact that this is not a mega resort that requires huge hikes to get from one part of the property to another. I have also stayed here with just my wife and I and have experience the same level of great service. It's also a beautiful hotel with two great pools and a nice beach area. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Mount Zion, Illinois
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

My wife and I just returned from Key West this week. This was the second time we have stayed at the Casa Marina. Our first was in November, 2011. Our first visit, we booked a 2-room suite that overlooked the ocean. There is nothing quite like waking up and going to bed with the sound of the ocean. Since the rates were higher in March this year, we just booked a standard room, which was still very nice and spacious enough for the two of us. It overlooked the front of the property (parking lot), but the noise level was not noticeable from outside as it is much quieter on the south side of the island. When we visit Key West, we will continue to book our stay at the Casa Marina.

The staff is pleasant and very hospitable. The rooms are spotless, and cleaned very well by housekeeping each morning along with turndown service with chocolates at night. The rooms also included some pretty high end shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, etc. and housekeeping does a nice job of replenishing them every day.

The cabana folks from partner Barefoot Billy's make your stay by the pool or on the beach a relaxing experience. They do the work of getting you set up with lounge chairs and towels. Throughout the day, they bring by cocktail samples (noon), Popsicles (2pm), and frozen eucalyptus towels (4pm). The poolside bar and grill will come by and take drink and food orders as well (I highly recommend the conch fritters and the fish dip). There is also a play area in the sand with lawn games, volleyball, etc., so perfect if it gets a little breezy for the water during the day.

Barefoot Billy's on the property rents out jet skis, snorkel gear, bicycles, kayaks and such for those of you who want to explore in the water as well.

The property is situated on the south side of the island, so it is away from the Duval Street madness if you're looking for something quieter. Again, I can't say how much we enjoy staying here and will return again when we visit Key West the next time.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
channel islands
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I felt i had to write a review even though it was last year that we went. I have no idea why there is bad reviews for this hotel and im guessing that people are just blinded by the Waldorf name...just chill and enjoy this fantastic beach hotel. We had a basic room and although the view was not the best who cares we only sleep in there..it was clean and comfy. The staff were great especially Patrick the beach/pool waiter he sat down with us on our first day on the beach and told us all about the hotel and where to visit whilst in the keys..great guy we missed him when his shift changed. The food although a little expensive was very good. Its a good 15 mins walk to Duval Street but you can get a taxi or hire bikes from Barefoot Billies agreat way to get around and take in the sights of KeyWest. Have just booked to go back again in 2014 and i cannot wait.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Beautiful and relaxing, away from the Duval Street activity, yet close enough to walk.. Largest private beach and two wonderful pool areas. If you are looking for a place to relax, this is it! Mark Gray and his staff at Barefoot Billy's pool concierge staff were wonderful. Bob, Constatine and Austin really hustle, bringing towels, making up the chaise lounges, delivering cold water, fruit, drink of the day, popsicles, cold cucumbers for the eyes by Mitchell and Mark and then the frozen eucalyptus towels late afternoon.(be sure to tip these guys) Patrick is our favorite and best poolside/beach bartender. Visit Robin, Jan & Darren at the Sun-Sun bar, lunch is always great. See Tom, Matt or John Carlos @ Barefoot Billy's for water toys (jet ski tours, etc) We witnessed two beautiful beachside weddings, made new friends and saw old ones who are there same time every year. We continue to return to this wonderful oasis! We did notice more young children than in previous years, maybe they missed the Disneyworld exit!

Room Tip: 311 rooms, ask for ocean view. I personally like a walk out patio.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Amenities:
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Key West
#7 Luxury Hotel in Key West
#8 Spa Hotel in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a $43 million renovation complete, this Mediterranean-inspired resort sits on a 1,100-foot private beach. The historic beachfront resort, combines 1920s ambiance with a chic, contemporary flair, features sophisticated new 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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