We stayed for 6 nights, including new year's eve. Overall, I would stay at this hotel again but it is not without issues.
We stayed in the tower building, in a room with a beautiful view of the ocean. It was away from the Tiki Bar which probably cut down on the noise. We also appreciated the "free" wifi and DirecTV with plenty of channels, but there is a $15 resort fee - I'd rather see the room rate reflect this fee. The room's decor and furniture were pleasing, as shown on the website. The beach and pool are lots of fun, especially for our 8yr old. There are fun activities and excursions available onsite, and the staff is helpful in terms of planning activities away from the hotel. The restaurants are pretty good, if a bit overpriced. We enjoyed Shula Burger in particular, despite the cluelessness of the young staff there.
On the downside, I called ahead to find out whether there would be a small refrigerator in the room and was told that there wouldn't be. Not wanting to eat every meal out for 6 days, we bought food to eat some meals in the room or as a picnic assuming there would not be a fridge (which limits food choices). I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was indeed a small fridge in the room (and in the second room, more on that later). It would have been nice to have the correct information to begin with (better yet, make this clear on the website) so that I could have enjoyed a wider variety of my own food.
Similarly, we were told of the NYE party on site that would be 21 and older. They also wanted another $40 to attend, on top of the much higher room rate for that night. We declined and decided to watch the festivities from our balcony. But then when NYE rolled around, we saw mostly children (and attending parents) at this party until sometime close to 11pm. And while more adults started arriving after that, the kids never left. We also went down to the party with our 8yr old, and enjoyed the band for a while. Nobody asked us for a ticket or told us kids weren't allowed. So it turned out to be great, but again the information ahead of time was incorrect.
Finally, it must be said that the bathrooms are terrible. The fixtures are cheap (except speakman shower head) and difficult to operate. The tub, tiling, toilets, sink, door, window, etc. are barely being held together. On the last night of our stay lots of water began coming into our bathroom through the ceiling and vent. It was like something from National Lampoons. Maintenance arrived promptly but we were told to wait while the woman upstairs finished her shower! After dinner we came back to find the bathroom a complete mess and the ceiling still leaking. I called the front desk to find out they would have to move us to another room. They gave us an upgraded room on the first floor where you can walk out directly on to the beach. (However, the bathroom in this room, while not leaking, was no better than the other.) Too bad the bathroom didnt fall apart earlier in our stay since we left the next morning. They also gave us half off the rate that night and waived the resort fee. So while it was a big inconvenience to have to move the night before departure, the staff and management handled it well. They just need new bathrooms in that place!!!
All in all, pros outweigh the cons and we would stay again. Especially if the bathrooms get remodeled. Also, I don't think anyone would miss it if one or more of the many bars on the property were converted into some other use. We never saw them full, even on NYE.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greetings Jon M, Thanks for spending your holiday at our Islamorada resort. We're glad that overall you and your family enjoyed our facilities and amenities. While we were sold out the week of Christmas to NYE - it's a predominently family crowd in the Keys that week, and locals spending time with family - and therefore less activity in our bars. I'm glad you got a chance to be a part of the NYE event and we wish you and yours a terrific 2013! Come back and see us again soon! Wish You Were Here, Jason
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.