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“Good for where it is but missing service elements” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort

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Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   245 Front St, Key West, FL 33040   |  
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Ranked #20 of 44 Hotels in Key West
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Good for where it is but missing service elements”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013 via mobile

We just arrived today at Sunset Key. The bellhop was nice but the woman who checked us in at the Westin Resort desk, while perfectly efficient, said she could not help with room upgrade questions as she only can check people in. Really? I can't imagine why if you have to register in one place why thy can't answer all room related questions.

Easy to find launch, captain was nice but there was no general announcement or courtesy discussion as to whether his was our first visit, etc. lovely boat ride over and they took care of our luggage quickly. The woman who met us (French or German? accent) started rattling off sites, locations and other logistics of staying there but really was rather cold. She didn't even show us around inside the cottage, which I usually find an annoying ritual, but it would at least have given us a basis upon which to it her. The beach was lovely and the water warm. I don't recall receiving a warning or reminder from the hotel to bring water shoes for the very rocky sand into the water. We got to the beach btwn 5-6pm, still prime time cocktail hour, and there were no signs reminding us that beverage service ends at 5pm. What a waste. I wanted to start vacation with a drink and the kids wanted snacks and we definitely would have spent money if we could. Same issue at the pool area with no sign at the empty bar to indicate hours or where or how one might procure a drink. (And I witnessed several people wander over ruinously looking for a bartender). I finally found an attendant and when I asked him if the bar was open he simply said, "no." I would have expected that a little corporate training would ave encouraged him to add "but the bar at Latitudes covers beverages after 6pm and you are welcome to bring your drink back here in a cup." I finally sent my kids to investigate to learn bout the other bar. At that bar he waitress was perfectly responsive and smiled, but not that effusively friendly and seemed more interested in the local guy at the bar. We just didn't feel that welcome.

Dinner was in a lovely sunset setting, more casual in attire than I had expected. Waitstaff friendly. Food was ok but nothing o write home about or anything close to the kind of food you can get in NYC. Reminded me that we are still at a corporate chain. On the way back to our room we stopped by the incinerate desk where the same young European woman who brought us to our room was sitting studying one bills. We had to say excuse me to get her attention. She didn't seem to recognize us or be overly friendly. Really, there aren't many guests on the island. When I inquired as to whether there were any beach bags or totes guests could use to bring boos, sunglasses, etc to the beach, she said no, they don't prove them. First of all, they should. Second, she could have been a little more gracious and introduced us to the boutique matron right net to her. With any bit of encouragement or sorry ness and effort to find an alternative solution, I again would have dropped money at the resort, even to purchase an overpriced beach tote. There seems to be a corporate hole in customer service that could e easily remedied. I'm not sure what they are selling here other than the escapist island itself. Cottages are perfectly nice and grounds are clean and manicured. I will, however, readjust my service expectations for the remainder of the trip.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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392 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

When on vacation and playing tourist, it's always nice to have recommendations of dining, entertainment, etc. from some of the locals. Two of the staff in particular, went above and beyond to make our stay perfect! Lou and Mandy both bartend at Flippers, the poolside bar, and in Latitudes, the main restaurant bar. They are the type of employees that all hotel chains should seek, as they will be responsible for my wanting to return to Sunset Key for another visit in the near future. These two made our stay thoroughly enjoyable! The were more helpful than the concierges, as sometimes I felt slightly patronized by those manning the front desk. (Had to seek help in arranging parasailing, fixing a broken ac unit, and fixing our hotel bill when checking out- and always felt rushed, or like they were in too much of a hurry to want to take any time to answer questions or help. Interestingly enough, when I asked about speaking to a manager to discuss how wonderful Lou and Mandy are, I was told to instead write a trip advisor review. Note to Westin management; be careful of what you ask a guest to do.... it could backfire). Lou and Mandy were friendly, accommodating to all of our group of 6, courteous, and never failed to greet us with anything but a smile and a way to make us laugh. They both went out of their way to learn and remember our names, assist the kids with anything they asked for without a moment of hesitation, and had the instinct to appear exactly when you needed them without ever being intrusive. They were charming, and engaging, and my kids haven't stopped talking about how wonderful they are since we've been home! I have been on many vacations to many different tropical locations and resorts, and have yet to ever receive this type of exemplary service from staff. I will definitely return to the Westin on Sunset Key in the very near future because of the level of service and kindness these 2 provided, and wouldn't even hesitate to visit a different resort if either one of them changed jobs. Make sure to stop by either of the bars and visit them, and be prepared to be charmed, pampered, receive great tourist information, and thoroughly enjoy their bartending skills! The Westin is LUCKY to have these two, and anyone who visits whether for sunset cocktails, or a tropical drink by the pool will be dazzled by them as well.

Room Tip: ask for a cottage close to the pool if traveling with kids.......
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
SheratonKeyWest, Manager at Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear Guest:

Thank you for this wonderful review! We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay on Sunset Key and the service you received from Lou and Mandy. We will make sure to pass this great review along to them in acknowledgement of their efforts! Thanks again and we look forward to your return visit!

Warm regards,

Lourdes Torbisco
Sales and Marketing Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belleair Beach
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

The cottages provided an ideal setting for a romantic getaway while having all of the lively activities of Key West a short water taxi away All of what you expect in a 5 star resort with a fabulous restaurant on the beach to watch sunset.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SheratonKeyWest, Manager at Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to write this positive review. We are so glad you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Warm regards,

Lourdes Torbisco
Sales and Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Wylie, South Carolina
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

Sunset Key by Westin, a beautiful island just off Mallory Square in Key West and accessible by boat service only, which runs each way every half hour. Half of the island is elegant residences and the other half is a First Class, upscale resort with cottages from 1 bedroom up to multiples. Having visited several times in the past, We made reservations for 2 couples to share a 2 bedroom, 3 bath beach front cottage. Making the reservation could not have been nicer for Shannon Lutz, in the reservation department, went out of her way to insure that we had the beach front cottage that we wanted during the dates that we wanted, even through i actually made the reservations through the American Express Platinum Travel Service. Why ?? Check it out, but part of the list of benefits, at the same cost were,; Early Checkin, Late Checkout, Room Upgrade (we already were beach front) $80 per day in breakfast coupons for 5 days, free internet, $100 credit, at the spa or upon checkout, plus we had Wine & Cheese in our cottage. With a Sunset Key reservation, checking in could not be easier as you check in at the Westin hotel and then along with your luggage and personal items you are directed to the boat docks behind the Westin hotel. If you haven't been to Sunset Key, then you are missing one of our top favorite properties in the USA. Elegent, relaxing, superior, beautiful, expensive !!! Sure it is truly expensive, but one suggestion would be to book a non-ocean front cottage, which is still only steps to the ocean, which will save a lot on your per day cost, but it is certainly wonderful to sit on your covered porch, drink in hand and watch the beach and water right at your front door. The beach is well cared for, with excellent lounges, furnished towels, drink service, etc. One word of caution is that this is a man made island so while the sandy beach is great just as soon as you step into the water, there are small rocks everywhere, so you need to either clear a path each day or wear some beach shoes. Their zero-entrance pool is fantastic with similar lounges, towels and a great bar and lunch area. The pool goes to about 4 ft in depth and there are also two jacuzzis to enjoy. Another point is if you love to fish, I believe that you can fish on the boat dock, which harbors huge schools of snappers and 5 foot tarpon. Please check on the availability of fishing, as I have seen folks fishing but they could have been residents of the island.

Sunset Key's restaurant, Lattitudes, is a very upscale, excellent restaurant with either inside or outside dining. Sand, palm trees, torches and the ocean, just feet away, compliment your eating experience. What a fantastic place to enjoy all of your meals, from breakfast to dinner. While seated at your outside table for dinner, you will be front and center for the famous Key West sunsets. Besides the extreme beauty of Sunset Key, what really makes it so superior is the staff that works there and while everyone was just great from the boat crews that take you back and forth to Key West, to the satff that are constantly working on the grounds, I would be very remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to single out Wendy, a Latitude hostess, Dan a Latitude waiter and Lou, a bartender extronair, These 3 persons, just as ???? in reservation, were so outstanding and helped make our 5 nights at Sunset Key ones that we will cherish for many years. I know that Ms. Diana Schimitt, has been the general manager of both the Key West Westin hotel and Sunset Key by Westin for years and the above employees and the properties certainly attest to the goals of Ms Schmitt and her management team. In closing 2 weeks later we spent 5 nights at Belogio through American Express Platinum Services with similar benefits but far different management attitudes at our breakfast. Please see my review of Belogio. One night, while seated at the outside bar, a lady resident came over to the bar, with her dog and I had a great time calling family and friends, saying, that I had drank so many adult beverages that I thought a guy sitting at the bar was a dog (see picture) So If you decide to visit Sunset Key,

Room Tip: You can save a lot by booking a cottage off water, but still be just steps to the beautiful beach
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
newport coast
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

We stayed in an beachfront cottage called "Coconut", which was situated perfectly in the corner of the little island of Sunset Key. We had the most perfect views and access to the beach as well as tons of privacy. While the location of the cottage was absolutely wonderful, the actual accommodations were not as lovely as they could have been for the caliber of this resort. They could certainly use a face lift and some updating. There were some really lovely touches like a breakfast basket delivered promptly at 8:15am with delicious muffins and pound cakes as well as oranges and bananas. So, even though housekeeping did not do a terrific job of cleaning the rooms daily, and there was really no turn-down service to speak of, we tried to overlook their shortcomings because of where we were...in paradise. Maybe next time we come back, which we plan to, the cottages will have undergone some redecoration, we hope. We will probably ask to stay in the Beachcomber cottage, with a slightly better location than Coconut.

Room Tip: If you can afford to stay in the beachfront cottages, DO! Or at least ask for an upgrade if you don...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SheratonKeyWest, Manager at Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay on Sunset Key. The three bedroom cottages were recently renovated and the two bedroom cottages will be remodeled in the future. Thanks again for taking the time to write this review and we look forward to welcoming you back to Sunset Key!

Warm regards,

Lourdes Torbisco
Sales and Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nyack, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

We splurged and decided to stay here for 3 nights following a stay in Islamorada. After getting off the ferry, we were quite impressed by the feel of the island, the lobby/bar area, and the service. The cottages are in a beautiful setting and we enjoyed exploring the island. However when we arrived at our cottage we were a little disappointed w/the accommodations given the amount of money we spent per night. The living area, bedrooms, small kitchen and baths were really nothing special. The water was really lovely and the beach was never very crowded which we enjoyed. It was a nice experience overall and we had a great time but given the very high price tag for what you get I wouldn't return.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
SheratonKeyWest, Manager at Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your stay on the island. I am not sure which cottage you stayed in but we have a variety of cottages including the two bedroom, three bedroom, three bedroom deluxe and four bedroom cottages which feature larger accommodations. We are happy you enjoyed your time on the island and in Key West.

Warm regards,

Lourdes Torbisco
Sales and Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

This was our first family trip to the Keys and although the weather did not cooperate (it rained every single day) we had a nice time at the Sunset Key Cottages, a Westin property that is a 5 minute ferry ride away from the hotel and other activities of Key West.

PROS:
- The cottages are away from the cruise ships (and their associated passengers, who can be loud and obnoxious) and the loudness of Duval and Front St., but if you want to go out and do touristy things or dine, you still have the option of doing so. This seclusion is important for us and adds to the sense you are really "on an island" and away from it all... sometimes I forgot we were in Florida!
- We had an ocean view cottage and could see sailboats going back and forth- very picturesque
- Cottages are very quiet (impt if you are a light sleeper)
- Our cottage had 2 bedrooms- 1 room with 2 full size beds for the kids and 1 with a king size bed. For larger families, they also have 3Br cottages
- Every morning they bring you a basket full of pastries and some OJ/water- nice touch.
- Fitness facility is decent sized with a few machines, weights, medicine balls, elipticals, and treadmills- better than I would have thought.
- Bathrooms are not super spacious but decent. Adult room had standing shower only, kids' room had a standard size tub- impt if your little ones take baths and not showers.
- Free wifi (although it didn't work the first night we were here)
- Spa is small but nice with the general tea/fruit at check-in and decent sized treatment rooms and therapists- nothing special, but pretty good considering they have to bring the therapists in "from land" on the ferry and everything.

CONS:
- No breakfast buffet at Latitudes so you have to order a la carte. Buffets are always easier and faster with kids,
- Only one restaurant on premises, which is good, but not super kid friendly and not good if you are staying more than 2 nights as the options are not plentiful enough. So you'll need to take the ferry into town for dinner, but that can be a little adventure if you make it one.
- Pool is large but very shallow (<4 ft at deepest) so I was uncomfortable letting my kids do cannonballs (maybe that's a good thing!). Also there is a bar next to the pool but no one there so we couldn't have any beverages or poolside snacks. Also no attendant to bring you towels, bottled water, open the umbrellas, that sort of thing. So it's not like we had BAD service by the pool- there was NO SERVICE.
- Beach is rocky so that you can't really play on the beach that much. I think this is more a criticism of Key West in general, but don't come here thinking you'll play on the beach and dip in the ocean.

OVERALL
- Expensive but if cost is no matter, I'd definitely recommend this place if you are on a family vacation and want both serenity (cottages) and activities (just take the ferry back to the touristy part of Key West).

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
SheratonKeyWest, Manager at Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your stay on Sunset Key. There is usually a bartender at the Flippers Pool Bar as we serve food and drinks there. All reviews are passed along to staff for training and improvement purposes. We are happy you enjoyed your stay and time in Key West and look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Warm regards,

Lourdes Torbisco
Sales and Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort

Address: 245 Front St, Key West, FL 33040
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Key West
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Key West
#7 Spa Hotel in Key West
#9 Luxury Hotel in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunset Key Guest Cottages is a secluded tropical island sanctuary located just 500 yards off the coast of Key West Old Town historic seaport district featuring private cottages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Key Guest Cottages, a Westin Hotel Key West
Westin Key West
Key West Westin
Sunset Key Cottages Guest

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