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“Great property not great service” 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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Ranked #22 of 41 hotels in Key West
Morristown, New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great property not great service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

My husband and I stayed two nights here this past weekend. We booked through our American Express Platinum Travel. We were supposed to get noon check in when available. It was even requested on our reservation. We arrived at 1:30 pm, hopful that we would be able to check in. We were told that our room wasn't ready. Our room wasn't ready until 4:45 p.m. I checked in with the front desk at 3:30 and they said 10 more minutes. At 4:30 p.m., I finally went back and pestered the front desk. They were able to give me a room at that point and said that the person who was in our room paid extra to stay till 4 pm. We were very happy with the rooma and all the resort facilities. The outdoor areas were beautiful. The food from the pool bar/restaraunt was great. The service at breakfast was awful. Both days our server disappeared mid way through our meal and my husbad had to go get the coffe carafe to refill our cups. We also waited a long time to get our bill both mornings. Another couple who was sitting near by us complained about the same thing as they had to refill their orange juice themselves from a carafe on the server's station. The server at the pool was okay. The pool/towel attendants would put towles on all the chairs that had sun the first hald of the day by 8:30 am and would say they were reserved. Most of those reserved chairs stayed empty until mid day. I am not sure if certain guests or members there paid the attendants extra do do this but it made it difficult to get a seat at the pool, especially a seat that was in the sun. The bartenders were also hit or miss. We spent a lot of time at the pool bar and it wasn't always easy to get service. This place is worth a visit...you will enjoy the views and the facilities, just dont expect to be catered to!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (842)
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

One of the things that really became an irritant is the smoking policy. They allow it on the balconies and the beaches. That means if you don't smoke and you get one or more of your neighbors who do it isn't pleasant. We mostly tried to work around it but then some guy lights a stogie up on the beach. Thirty years ago when everyone smoked around you I got that you had to suck it up but in 2013 and you're paying almost $400 a night to stay here I'm just not liking it.

This is a resort that does have a nice view. Somewhat small so once you've walked the roughly 2 football length of the rear that's what you get.

The rooms are ok but a bit on the small side and while some of the resort looks nice other parts of it look like it could use a wee bit of touch up.

The location is within walking distance of Duval Street which is the main tourist attraction after dark. Casa Marina is closer to the quieter side of Duval so if you prefer the wilder bar side it might be a consideration since you have to either hoof it back or have been insightful enough to have rented a scooter and not forgotten where you parked it.

Casa Marina being a resort expect resort prices. Count on breakfast being $20 per person with tip. A much better deal is to walk over to Duval and have breakfast at someplace like the Banana Cafe. We had omelettes and the like that saved us upwards of $15+ dollars and the amount of salmon they provided was impressive if you like salmon that is.

Dinner is not really much of an offering at the resort so be prepared to hike over to Duvall or other streets for dinner. Actually that's sort of the charm as far as I can see is to go looking and find a place to eat that matches your tastes and wallet.

Room Tip: Our room is facing the ocean and it seems a good many do. It's a fairly nice view so even if you...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

I am a regular to Key West, but usually stay in gay, clothing optional hotels in the old town. Not this time. I was travelling with my mom and brother, neither of whom had been to Key West in decades. I chose the Casa Marina as it was the only place that would take three adults for one night only over a holiday weekend in February. I was glad I did. The Casa is a full service resort with its own large and private beach sitting precisely on the Atlantic Ocean. Regulars to Key West know that there are few beaches; they're paltry, artifical, and not that nice (compared to Miami). The Casa's beach is rich and plentiful with white sand, chairs, hammocks, umbrellas, full service bars, two pools, refelcting pools, outside dining, jet ski and bicycle rentals, etc. For anyhone looking for a romantic time at a resort on the ocean, this is the place to go. On the other hand, it is also a stone's throw to the "Southern Most Point" a popular photo op place on the edge of an air base 90 miles from Cuba. It is also an easy walk to Duval and all the local shops, galleries, and restaraunts that Key West has to offer. The Casa is about a mile from the sunset famous Mallory Square, but it is a fun walk past all the shops of Duval street. The many bars and restaraunts at the Casa are all first rate. The food is pricey, as you would expect. And I was dissappointed to have ordered a spiny Florida lobster tail at $37.00 only to get something scarcely larger than a prawn, more like a langostino if you ask me. The breakfast was just the oppisite. Portions were large and delicious, easily big enogh to share. The room we had was a double looking towards town. Ocean side rooms were about a $100.00 more per night. Since we were already paying over $500.00 a night for our room, including a "resort" fee, whatever that is, we opted for a stroll along the private beach and piers jutting out in the ocean rather than the more expensive room with a view. The rooms were spartan by Waldorf standards, probably to accommodate bathing suit glad, sandal wearing tourists rather than business folks wearing wingtips. All in all, the hotel was fine. I would recommend it to anyone who prefers a full service resort on the ocean rather than staying in the older parts of town in a most likely much smaller cottage with a window air conditioner. Some of the older places in Key West do have fantastic tropical courtyards though; quite a contrast to the Casa. It is all a matter of taste, time and money.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, ask for ocean side and watch the sunrise over the Atlantic ocean. Then, in th...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We really enjoyed staying at the resort since it was a great location to get away from the hustle and bustle of Key West, but also to be able to access the good dinner locations and nightlife through either a short cab ride or walk. We only have a few minor suggestions regarding our stay to improve the property. When we come back to Key West, either this resort or the Westin condos our on Sunset Key will be our only choices.

First, our room was great. We were upgraded to a room that overlooked the resort in the Flagler wing that had a private deck that included lounge and sitting chairs as well as an umbrella and a table. This was a nice way to start the morning. The room was generally very quiet, but at times you could hear the people above if they were stomping around (this was not an issue at night) and the room kept out 95+% of the noise that came about from the three weddings that occurred while we stayed at the resort (if I were going next time I would ask that my room not be near any of the weddings or wedding party - our friends were kept up until 1am on a Friday). Second, the staff tries hard as you would expect from this type of resort - polite and courteous - also there are a few nice items that is included with the resort fee: beach chairs and towel layouts, free daily drink tasting, free fruit by the pool, free popsicles, frozen towels, and plenty of little things such as ping pong on the sand, ladders, or cornhole and floating things for the pool. Third, you are away from the craziness that can be Key West (our stay included St. Patrick's Day weekend), but are within a short 10 minute walk or brief cab ride. Fourth, my wife enjoyed her spa visit, although the room for the spa she said was not that great and a bit noisy since it is located on an exterior wall - traffic at times can be heard over the music. Fifth, as with all resorts, the cocktails will be pricey, but that is expected while on vacation - the drinks tasted good anyway. Finally, there are a heck of a lot of great excursions and events that one can do all while at the resort or within a short ride – biking, kayaking, wave running, etc.
A few items that'd we'd like to see: 1) a hot tub, 2) a nicer area for the spa, 3) a changing room or hotel room for guests with a shower so that guests can check out late and shower before flights (the Waldorf in Maui offers this great option), 4) better understanding by the bartenders on how to make virgin cocktails (my wife was pregnant and typically all the bartender had was 1 idea), 5) more consistency in the wifi operation, a6) a broader menu for lunch at the restaurant – food was good, not great. In addition, our experience with the concierge was mixed since the ball was dropped for our fishing trip. We had a receipt saying that we'd head out Friday at 7:30am (so an early day), but when we arrived at the marina we were told it was Saturday even though our receipt said Friday. Therefore, we ended up paying a round trip cab fare unnecessarily and then had to wake up at 6:45am two days in a row to go fishing. I would hope that the concierge next time would double check for people about these fishing trips.

Finally, the only other comment is that I would like to see a change in the amenities for Hilton Diamond Status members at all Waldorf Astoria resorts. Typically, breakfast is included in all stays, except at Waldorf properties. The breakfast was pricey at the Casa Marina resort and the better option we typically found was walking to get a crepe or beignet. I would like to see Waldorf locations include this option for breakfast going forward since it is a common amenity at all other properties.

Room Tip: We had a great room in the Flagler Wing with a private deck that had two lounge chairs, two sitting...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I have stayed in the hotel 3 different times. This is an excellent property, I would not hesitate to return.

The staff is excellent, very helpful and responsive.

The rooms, are great. However, it must be taken into account that was opened in 1920, so the rooms carry a certain charm. They have been remodeled since brought into the WA family of hotels.

The pools, and beach front is very nice, particularly for the crowded Key West scene.

It is far enough away from the action to be peaceful on the evening that you would like to have some tranquility, yet close enough to walk to Duval Street.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Key West has scene better days as a whole, but the Casa Marina is probably one of the nicer better hotels on the island. All the staff is very nice, the food was real good and things were mostly clean everywhere. The cost was extremely expensive for what you get and there are areas that you wouldn't think would look the way they do at such an expensive resort. Such as the stairways needing fresh paint and a good hard cleaning, the water holder in the in room coffee maker could use a dishwasher. Little things that aren't that major... Our waiter by the pool one afternoon had an insane amount of energy, which made our experience pretty fun. The only negative was on our last night. We had a long dinner at the hotel restaurant and when we got back the housekeeping staff had come to turn down our room; They didn't just turn down our room, they took a horrible smelling dump in our bathroom (one of those dumps you'd normally take at your own house in the guest room). The minute we opened the door we were overwhelmed by the smell. I called to see if someone could bring up some spray or disinfectant, and the guy who came, Peter, from Serbia was more than apologetic. I jokingly asked him if it was him that took the dump and he laughed it off saying no, but that he was so so sorry. He insisted on bringing our room a bottle of wine, even after I said his apology was enough, so I said yes. Within minutes an experience that really ticked us off turned into a funny positive.

I'd say this. If you are a younger couple, under 35 or so, consider a destination that offers a bigger variety of places to go and things to see. If you have kids I'd also recommend a place that has kid specific areas for them to play rather than be with the other guests. If you are a retired couple with money to burn, then come here and chill out. Don't come to Key West looking to golf either. The course doesn't look anything like the pictures on the web site, and its the only course for hours. Key West is a cool place to stop and would be fun for a day or two, but by then you've scene it all and will have to do things over and over again, walking the same streets, looking at the same galleries and shops.

If you are here and are considering the hotel you wont have a bad time. As I said earlier, the staff is very nice and helpful. I doubt you'd have a bad time at the hotel, you just may leave wishing it didn't cost as much as it does.

Room Tip: Secure a double bed ASAP. We stayed when the hotel was nearly booked solid and the option to upgrad...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Steve T, Manager at Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
Dear ManFromMinneapolis,

We regret that you had an unfortunate experience during your stay. I appreciate your speed in bringing this issue to my attention and allowing me to follow up with our housekeeping team to ensure that you and future guests are taken care of. I'm glad that Peter and another member of our team were able to help make your stay more enjoyable. If I can assist you further, please let me know. Thank you.

Steven.Tresh@waldorfastoria.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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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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