OK, I realize I am one of the lone dissenters here but there are some things that definitely need to be noted. This hotel is heavy on pros for many of the reasons listed. But there are some distinct drawbacks that should be pointed out and I hope this review helps illuminate some of these issues. *Excuse the length!*
I don’t have to go into detail on any of the pros as the other reviews capture these well, but will definitely agree the Orchid Key Inn wins BIG points for the following:
+ LOCATION – accessible to everything, away from the height of the craziness of Duval
+ VIBE – fabulous South Beach oasis feel
+ COMFORT – rooms have many high points (i.e. exceptional bed, robes, plush towels, great décor)
Some of the cons I list seem very nit-picky. But when the hotel website states it “offers all the amenities you would find in a luxury resort” then I think it should try to live up to that – especially given the luxury prices being charged. I also feel that some of the praise for certain aspects (ahem, breakfast) are waaaay overblown here and hopefully the critiques listed below help temper some of that.
- POLICIES – while it *is* stated in the midst of a long non-HTML text confirmation email as well as in one small area of the website, note that the entire balance of your stay – plus incidental charges – is due upon check-in (not just a nominal hold). I vacation multiple times per year, staying in resorts, chain hotels, boutiques, etc. I have never once – not one single time – had a balance due upon arrival (perhaps others have and this policy isn’t unusual). This caused us some issues on a Sunday evening when we really only had our debit cards. Luckily host Brandon was accommodating and the situation was remedied.
- “FREE” BREAKFAST & HAPPY HOUR – so obviously this is covered in the (steep) rates. Only beer and wine are offered for the free HH, so I asked for a Pinot Noir and my boyfriend requested a Stella Artois. Oh no – just merlot or cab for reds and Bud or Miller for beer with the free ticket. OK, not what it was made out to be but fine – we can live with that (but skimping on that stated luxury…). The bartenders were less than enthusiastic, warm, or helpful, though. And the breakfast – what are people thinking?! This is light years away from being a B&B offering (not that I expected that) but it can’t even compare to a Hampton Inn offering. A few cereals, yogurt, unripe fruit, and baked goods on par with Sara Lee mini pastries/Lender’s bagels/Thomas English muffins/Wonder bread. Oh and hard boiled eggs (sometimes). Barely edible. But most infuriating was the tip bowl left out for the two women who were restocking the spread. No B&B or hotel I have ever been to has prompted guests for tips for stocking the provided breakfast. It was garish.
- AMENITIES – I love Bath & Body Works, but they’re hardly luxury bath products. Same goes for the sandpaper toilet paper and weak hairdryer. The non-personalized, coffee-stained welcome letter that clearly remained in the room for multiple guests exemplified the lack of attention to detail.
- ROOM SET-UP – some of the space-planning in the king deluxe room was off, such as the paltry dresser space (only enough room for me to unpack; my boyfriend lived out of his suitcase for a week), the odd use of cabinet space (a small microwave in a large cabinet that lacked shelving for any personal storage), and the otherwise beautiful faucet that was approximately 3 inches too long making washing ones face or brushing ones teeth a bit awkward.
Other annoyances during our stay: the free internet was down for three days; the $8 per day parking is clearly stated but still reflects a petty nickel & diming; and our room was located near the road and was pretty noisy (I tried calling on five separate occasions leading up to our stay – various days, times – and never once got someone live on the phone; I had been calling to confirm our reservation and to request a room by the pool – oh well).
My opinion was that the hotel was nice, but not to the level of praise being described here nor to the level in which the high prices are justified.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.