This was our first visit ever to Key West and The Reach was a great way to start. Very few Key West hotels have a beach, but this hotel does, married up with a fabulous location that is within walking distance of nearly every good thing to see and do on the island. This makes the hotel very versatile, particularly if you and your traveling partner happen to have different vacation priorities.
This hotel is probably best for couples on vacation, or families with elementary school-aged children (younger or older may find less to keep them occupied). Overall, this is a hotel that seems to focus on the basics of beach resort life and gets them right. Everything that would likely be on your list of things to ask for on vacation are things The Reach will have available – bellman, concierge, bar, pool (towel) service, valet parking, bike rentals, watersports etc, etc. It is not at the very pinnacle of luxury, but it isn't priced that way, either, so you do get your money's worth.
We had a standard king-bed room facing away from the beach with a no-particular view out the back of the property. We stayed for six days. The room itself was fairly large and modern and met our needs just fine (though even a few dresser drawers and more than one towel rack in the bathroom would have made a big difference). The pool is of decent size and well maintained, and there are various games strewn about the well-maintained courtyard to stave off any boredom -- bocce, billiards, human-sized chessboard, etc.
There is a full service restaurant and room service, although we ate at the hotel only once for lunch because the nearby Key West restaurants are so outstanding (the hotel restaurant closes at 10 p.m., anyway). The bartenders were uneven – new hire Zach was great but some of the others were gruff, and the drinks were expensive but well-made and service was fast.
Housekeeping was particularly good at this hotel and it made a big, big difference to the experience. We were never bothered when we asked not to be, and yet the room was promptly and expertly cleaned soon after we stepped out each day and put out our tag requesting service. Moreover, we had numerous small special needs that were all quickly and very generously attended to (e.g. extra towels, tissues and coffee). Definitely 5-stars Waldorf Astoria quality in housekeeping!
The concierge was able to hook us up as needed, making outside restaurant and scuba diving reservations for us before arrival, and renting bicycles directly to us once we were there. Unfortunately, the restaurant she recommended was extremely expensive (though very good) and the scuba diving on Key West was rather mediocre (but the dive company nice). Like all the staff at The Reach, the concierge (we dealt with two) seemed to drop everything to attend to each guest, which is great when she is helping you, but not so good when you are the third person in line and needing to ask a simple question. They probably need a second person working there at peak times.
If you stay here do not miss watching the fabulous Key West sunsets from the hotel pier, as we did all but one night.
Yes, the beach is small, there is lots and lots of seaweed, and there are quite a number of rocks underfoot. If you want great beaches, don’t go to Key West! But if you (or your spouse) want to get at least a little sand in between the toes, this beach is perfectly fine for sunbathing or a little wading.
A few warnings: no one told us that roosters run wild on Key West and if you have an outward-facing room they will likely wake you up a few times. We got used to it after two nights or so, though. Also, the “hallways” on the way to the rooms are very, very, very “Motel 6” rather than “Waldorf Astoria” in appearance: you will likely walk through or over an exposed parking garage and around stacks of linens as you enter and leave each day – along with bantering staff on the floors below. Our balcony was just four feet above several peoples’ cars. This aesthetic problem alone prevents the hotel from ever being a 5-star facility. Once the room door is closed, however, the soundproofing is great and aside from the roosters you will see and hear little else. The bar has quite a few “classic” 1920s era photos of very topless women, which helpfully keeps the children out of the area but wasn’t our favorite kind of decor. And then there is the “resort fee” of (usually) $25 per day, which is mandatory for most guests who don’t have some kind of special status or arrangement with the hotel in advance. But, this includes all sorts of "free" stress-reducing amenities, including in-room espresso machine, daily New York Times, excellent wi-fi, local and long-distance calls, towel service, etc. As a vacationer, I prefer everything to be “included” in this way, so it seems like a fair trade.
We would recommend this hotel to others who want to get the most out of a Key West vacation.
Only a few rooms have a good view. But if you can't get used to the roosters, pony up for an in...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.