Let me introduce myself as a seasoned traveler who has stayed in some of the most luxurious hotels of the world (Aman, Four Seasons, Banyan tree, Rosewood, Como, to name a few). When travelling, I like to pick my hotels by using websites such as Kiwicollection, Conde Nast magazine, Travel & Leisure (see my other reviews). So I only like the best of the best. This resort is not one of them (and should not be listed among the SPG category 7 hotels).
I expected my stay to be the grand finale of our Florida holiday (after stays at the W hotel south Beach and incredible St Regis Bal Harbor), but it was not. I cannot believe that SPG labels this as a category 7 hotel. Granted, the location on a private island is beautiful, and the on site restaurant is terrific (one of the best meals I ever enjoyed), but apart from that, we were confronted with an absolute lack of service:
- upon arrival at the island, nobody was there to greet us and we were completely confused as to where to check in.
- at the beach, service was non-existing for the 2 consecutive days that we were there. At a given point, we wanted to order some snacks, and finally after one hour a waiter appeared near our lounge chairs, but he told us that he had just finished his duty and could not take orders anymore. The staff absolutely needs more training.
- when we returned from the beach at 4 pm at our cottage, the room was not cleaned yet and the beds not made up. Totally not acceptable. We had to phone the operator to send someone over to clean the room. No apologies whatsoever.
- the sound of multiple lawnmowers immediately around the pool for more then 3 hours at midday during one of our 2 days on the island, was not acceptable. We came for rest, but we were totally irritated by this.
- wife was very variable (seems like a minor thing, but it is not when one is paying 100 USD resort fee per day).
- the pool decor is that of a mediocre 3 to 4 star hotel. Not 5 stars at all.
- to top things off, at check out, our bill included phone calls for more than 300 USD, while we had not made one single phone call while on the island. The staff at the front desk removed the charges (without apologies).
All by all, I think that this resort needs an urgent training of its staff and management. I also think that SPG should not longer include this in its list of SPG 7 category hotels (a category 5 hotel would be more appropriate). I spend more than 500 USD per night, and it certainly was not worth the experience at all (I even feel bad I spent that amount of money on this 3 to 4 star hotel).
If you do travel to the keys, and you want to stay on a luxurious island, your only choice is Little Palm Island. This will cost you a little more per night (100 to 200 USD) but the experience is so much more better, memorable and exclusive.
As an SPG platinum member, I can not recommend this hotel to my fellow travelers (except for its restaurant). I expect that the manager will comment on this review and stress the positive aspects of the hotel (restaurant) besides offering apologies for the bad experience, but it is such a pitty that nothing will be done to genuinly compensate for this bad experience, or to change the attitude of the hotel.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.