My family of four stayed at the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel for 5 nights beginning Aug 4. My wife is a platinum member and we used her points to book a 2 Bedroom Presidential Suite. We were in Room #623 which is a second floor unit (there are three floors in all for this hotel).
Presumably because it was an Marriott Rewards stay, they waived the $17.50/day parking fee. Parking was simple and ample. It was in a garage underneath the hotel. When we were there, we did not have any problems finding parking spaces conveniently located near the elevators. Your room key was required to access the units via the elevator or stairwell.
The layout of the hotel is rather large (a layout is in one of the attached photos). The restaurant and front desk are located in one building that is separate from all the rooms. Apparently the complex is part hotel and part residence which explains why there are so many suites with full kitchens. Some of the residences can also be rented from private parties that own one of the units at the site.
Our 2 bedroom suite was terrific. Obviously we had plenty of space for 4 people—1127 sq ft according to Marriott’s website. A floor plan of the suite is in one of the photographs I supplied.
There was a king sized bed in the master bedroom for my wife and I; and a queen sized bed in the 2nd bedroom which our daughter used. Our teenage son slept on the couch in the living room which had a nice big TV that kept him happy.
The suite was in very good shape and well appointed. We made heavy use of the well applianced kitchen (Subzero fridge/freezer, Kitchen Aid electric cooktop + oven, microwave, toaster, coffee maker) as we prepared and ate many of our meals there including fish that we caught on our fishing trip. Kitchen was well stocked with pans, plates, glasses, coffee cups, silverware, paper towel, even detergent for the awesome Kitchen Aid dishwasher (which ran very quietly). See the attached photos of the kitchen, appliances, and furnishings. There was a grocery store within easy driving distance of the hotel.
The suite had two full bathrooms which made things convenient for the 4 of us. The 2nd bathroom had a shower/bath combination. The master bathroom had a separate large shower and whirlpool bath. Both showers were strong and we never ran out of hot water (our unit had its own hot water tank). We did not try out the jetted bath tub in the master bathroom.
There was a washing machine and dryer in the closet which we made use of.
There were 3 flatscreen TVs--one in the master bedroom, one in the other bedroom and one in the living room. They came in handy for us to watch the Summer Olympics in the evening. Cable TV signal was OK but there were little if any digital channels to see to get the full high definition effect.
The suite had a nice balcony complete with a ceiling fan. We did not have a good view from the balcony--saw other balconies from the wing across the courtyard, but that was not big deal for us. According to Marriott’s website, none of their 2 bedroom suites had an ocean view. Some reviews mentioned the presence of a spiral staircase in the balcony for roof access. Ours did not, perhaps because we were on the 2nd floor.
Climate control in the suite was excellent. We had no problems in keeping the rooms cool. There were ceiling fans mounted in the living room and each bedroom.
Service was excellent. Front desk personnel were terrific. Check-in was quick, efficient and came with a glass of champagne. The Platinum member arrival gift was some kind of large plate of cheese & crackers along with drinks for the 4 of us if I remember correctly. A couple of days later, we went down to the small gift shop to purchase toothpaste; when we went to pay for it, the Front Desk substituted a complimentary tube of toothpaste instead which was a nice touch. The housekeeping staff did a great job and was generally unobtrusive. Any dishes that we did not have washed was put into the dishwasher and washed for us.
We did have a difficult time getting our checkout extended past their standard time of 11 am. I suppose I can understand this as the suites take a long time to properly clean. In the end we were given only an extra 30 minutes. As soon as we vacated, the housekeeping staff immediately went in.
At check-in, we were given coupons for free continental buffet breakfast every day in the "Tavern N Town" main dining room (danishes, croissants, fruit, cereal, bagels, toast, etc). There was an extra charge if we wanted the full buffet breakfast--which we were charged for sometimes, and other times not. The main dining room is expensive so we pretty much limited our visits there to the free breakfasts. We did have dinner there one evening. In general the dining room food and service were very good.
Internet connection was free for us. We had no problems with speed or with the connection itself.
The only complaint that I had was the shuttle buses were too small for the crowds of guests that wanted to go to Duval Street (and back to the hotel) during peak demand times which occurred mainly in the evening. Marriott ran up to two shuttle buses that had seating capacity for approximately 25 people each and there were times that they could not take everyone. The shuttle ride is about 20 minutes long depending on traffic. The property is on the east side of Key West while Duval Street is on the west side—they are definitely not within walking distance to one another.
We used the hotel primarily as a base camp as we went out each day to SCUBA dive, snorkel, fish, and we also went to Dry Tortugas National Park. Therefore I cannot give you any first hand observations concerning the pool, cabanas, grounds, or bar. The property has a very tiny beach area. Do not book this hotel if you are planning on staying at a classic beach resort (huge beach, pools, etc), but then again, I think that is true for most of Key West. I have also included scanned photos of the 8 page booklet from the concierge’s desk which detail out various activities that are available.
We also stayed in a two bedroom suite at Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort for 5 nights before we arrived at Key Largo. This is another nice property (although not quite as luxurious as Key West).
One last item, Marriott is raising this hotel’s rewards category from 7 to 8. Any redemption reservations made after May 16, 2013 will require 5,000 more points per night (from 35,000 points to 40,000 points per night). Similarly the other hotel we stayed at, Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort, is being bumped from Category 6 to 7 which will raise a free night from 30,000 points to 35,000. So if you are thinking of booking a rewards reservation for any of these properties, be sure to get your booking done before May 16!!
Definitely want to upgrade to a suite to get the extra space and the fully furnished kitchen.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.