Having visited Key West and Big Ruby's a total of 4 times in the past thirteen years I feel I have a bit of knowledge of the goings on of "gay" key west.
We always come to Big Ruby's for the service, attention to detail, friendliness, gourmet breakfast, location, clothing optional and ultimately that it is(was) gay oriented for both men and women. Well, that all is about to change come November 1st, 2013.
We understand that the hotel has been sold and taken over by a Swedish conglomerate. Gone are the days of nude frolic, impeccable service, personable hosts and awesome made-to-order breakfasts.
Our experience this last trip (labor day weekend 2013) was disheartening.
To start off, the host that checked us in was less than enthusiastic to be working at all. We did appreciate the fact that he informed us on the news that the hotel had been sold after so many years. The rooms are nice but are in need of some upgrading and repair. Out of the seven days that we always stay in key west, the breakfast was late to start 6 of those days. To add insult to injury somedays the specials for breakfast weren't even ready until 9:00-9:30am when breakfast is supposed to start at 8:00am. or they were out of toast ("our food supply order doesn't come in until later") and you could tell they would refrigerate the cream for coffee without changing the container for a few days, leaving a film in the container. Makes me wonder what else they keep for long periods of time and what other corners they will cut just to save money. Also, the breakfast seemed to be much better and tastier in the past.
In the past the decks, pool, hot tub, poolside tables were always clean and impeccable. This trip, no towels were ever readily available, ALL the guests had to continually ask for fresh pool towels. One gust asked the host for towels and was told "i can only do three things at once". Towels were left out all night and lounge chairs left in disarray. The hot tub was blocked off or out of service one day because no one took the time to clean it. No music was playing in the pool area as it usual was in the past and all the plants around the pool were moved so the "lagoon like" feel is totally gone. The poolside bathroom had "c"-fold paper towels just thrown onto the back of the toilet still in the package. You can just look around and see that the attention to detail and concern for guests have already started to slide downhill.
Many other guests that we spoke to here had also been here multiple times before. We ALL were in agreement of how much things have already started to change and that we will be locating alternative lodging for our next visit. I really felt like the staff was just "putting up with us" until November 1st when the "all welcome" theme starts up. Sadly there are many resorts here turning to that same theme.
Just be aware of the location that you are staying in and exactly who they are catering to. There are other places to stay in gay Key West that are nicer and slightly less expensive than Big Ruby's.
Find another resort
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.