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“Lush grounds and full amenities, sophisticated enough for couples and entertaining for kids.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cheeca Lodge & Spa

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Cheeca Lodge & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   81801 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 82, Islamorada, FL 33036   |  
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Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Islamorada
Virginia, USA
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Lush grounds and full amenities, sophisticated enough for couples and entertaining for kids.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

I recently came here with my mother and my 2 sons, ages 9 and 13 for a 3-night vacation. We drove down from Miami area and the first thing we saw were the lush grounds set back from the highway. The feeling is one of tranquil fun and sophistication.
Room: We stayed in one of the suites farther back from the main hotel and beach area. It's about an 8-minute walk to the beachfront, and hotel staff will gladly drive you from the main lobby to the building -- a real plus at the end of the day when we were loaded down with beach bags, etc. The suite had ample room and included a gorgeous marble bathroom, balcony with small table/chairs, one room with TV and King-Size bed, and the main living/sitting area with a sleeper sofa that opened up into a bed for the boys. We had to call the hotel service for extra pillows and blanket. They provided it, but I wish it were available in the room already.
Beachfront: It is thoughtfully laid out, with fishing dock, small cove, and the nearby swimming pool. Some reviewers knocked the beach, but this is unfair considering that beaches around the Keys are usually small and nondescript. (If you want long stretches of white sand, you don't go to the Keys.) Cove was a bit small and cloudy, but good for smaller kids. Water was calm and great for snorkeling. Cheeca books water sports, and this was a convenient process. My boys and I went on both the snorkeling and parasailing tours and enjoyed both, especially the parasailing. Note: Again, snorkeling is interesting here, but not as impressive as in a place like Grand Cayman. Since we'd been to Cayman the previous year, our standards got set high for marine life viewing.
Pool: Nice temperature, refreshing, with great offerings at the pool bar including smoothies, cocktails, warm sandwiches/burgers and fries. The deck gets crowded during busy holiday times, including while we were there (Spring Break), so deck chairs were often taken during the day. But I loved having the pool so close to the beach.
Spa: Oh, this was heaven. On our first day here, I enjoyed some body treatments with mud and Vichy Shower. My spa provider, Ariel, was amazing. Very professional and attentive. The spa has an adults-only pool that looks tranquil and a nice alternative to the regular hotel pool. And they stock some great Babor skincare products which are hard to find in general.
The only drawback I would give is that, while the roomservice staff were friendly, they often forgot items or brought the wrong order to the room. They usually tried to fix this, but as we were far from the main kitchen it would take them so long, it wasn't worth it. Maybe this is not such an issue if you stay in the main hotel area. We lunched at Atlantic Edge a few times, which did have yummy ceviche and mahi-mahi dishes, along with burgers and fries for the boys. Also we enjoyed the smoothies and casual food offerings at the hotel pool.
The resort does have a $39 daily fee, but that includes beach towels, amenities, and umbrellas/cabanas on the beach. It was worth it to be able to order drinks and food with attentive service and just hang out lazily on the beach for a few days. I plan on returning in July with just my husband for a quick getaway, and look forward to dining more at the restaurants and using the quieter "grown-up" pool then.
All in all a very enjoyable stay, definitely worth a return trip for a relaxing weekend getaway. I probably wouldn't return with the kids, because I think they have seen all they wanted to of this area. I'd take them for a week to a condo with washer/dryer and kitchen on the coast of the mainland. But for a full-service experience of dining, sunsets, water and spa with my hubby, I would definitely recommend Cheeca lodge.

Room Tip: Call immediately to have the sleeper couch made up, since there are no extra pillows in the room.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheecaSales, Director of Sales at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
We loved your review, and we thank you for your affirmative recommendation. We are delighted you will be returning this summer with your husband for a “full-service experience of dining, sunsets, water and spa.” That’s terrific! We appreciate your feedback that our grounds conjure up a feeling of tranquil fun and sophistication, and that your room was well-appointed. We noted your request for extra pillows and blankets being available in the suites.

It’s nice to hear you enjoyed some of the activities provided by Cheeca Watersports, as well as our beach and pool areas. We were particularly pleased with your review of the Cheeca Spa and of our restaurants. The issues you raised with our room service staff are now being addressed. The resort fee includes the items you mentioned, as well as tennis, golf, fishing rods, sea kayaks, bicycles, shade cabanas, fitness center, DVD movie rentals, in-room coffee, tea and bottled water, wireless internet, guest internet station with DSL and printer, local and 800 calls, guest fax services, daily newspaper delivery, local shuttle service and valet or self-parking.

We thank you again for your wonderful review, and look forward to your return visit this summer.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Michigan
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

I think I just set my expectations to high. The hotel is very nice and the service was great. We also like the room, but it was overlooking parking and in the distance is a large electrical tower which is just an eyesore. Pay more for the ocean view. We had breakfast included in our rate and that was fabulous. I also enjoyed the use of the bikes. It rained for the couple of days there, no fault of the hotel and it was nice that they had free movie rentals which we used. It was raining and we were watching a movie eating a pizza from room service and it was very tasty. We also enjoyed the gelato. There were a lot of kids here, so if you don't want to hear screams from children playing in the pool, you can go to the adults pool. The only bad thing about the adults pool is no view and the main pool you look out to the ocean

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheecaSales, Director of Sales at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
We value your feedback, and we are so sorry it rained during your stay. However, it sounds like you made the most of it and enjoyed your room/breakfast package, the bikes, movie rentals and the pizza! We strive very hard to live up to all of our guests’ expectations. We hope you will consider a return visit to Cheeca Lodge & Spa.
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New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

My wife and I stayed at Cheeca for one night in April 2012. While I had been to the keys before, and had some familiarity with the hotels there as being subpar versus other resort destinations, I expected really excellent service and facilities at Cheeca Lodge. At the end of the day, Cheeca is an upscale family resort, but is not for couples, and both the service and quality do not match with the room rates.

As an example, readers should know that the lovely professional photo on their website and on this site's profile of Cheeca is of the family pool without anyone in it - add the mobs of children and the resulting mayhem, and you might make a different choice. The adult pool looks nothing like the family pool, which is the only pool with an ocean view.

I expected really excellent service, and Cheeca fell short in this regard. There were not enough beach chairs or umbrellas available, and we were advised by the towel attendant when we arrived that one really had to get out there early in the morning to throw their personal items on a chair to reserve it in order to get a pair. Seriously? Shouldn't my wife and I just walk onto the beach and be able to readily find chairs without a hassle? I tipped the guy $10 and he ran and brought two beach chairs for us from somewhere else, and after about 30 minutes of waiting we were able to sit back and soak up the sun. But then the waitress to bring us drinks was nowhere to be found, despite serving others in locations closer to the bar area. We left, and deterred by the incredibly noisy family pool, went to the significantly less appealing (bad landscaping, lesser service, bad lounge chairs with metal bars digging into your back) adult pool. Gym was subpar with outdated equipment. I expected Precor or Technogym, not outdated Lifefitness or no-name quality. The gym was really more of a fitness room.

We had regular service problems with timely delivery of food. Examples being 45 minutes for a slice of chocolate cake at 9:30 at night (the hostess made good on this by crediting our bill), and bagels brought for breakfast without cream cheese despite saying on the menu that it came with cream cheese (and once it was brought, two little tubs with peel off tops were delivered on a saucer).

The place was overrun with children, and while we love kids, the resort encourages them to have the run of the place - it's really a family resort, with kids biking up and down the beach area right next to where one is trying to relax, screaming, etc. Just was not relaxing. This is an upscale family resort, not a place for couples at all.

Probably best hotel in the keys, but nowhere near a Four Seasons quality, for example. That's what we were expecting. The rooms are decorated in a dark, tapestry and drapery-laden style with tassles and dark wood. A mix of old Bavaria that seemed really incongruous with the setting. Beds were very comfortable, and the bathroom was really great. However, in all, I found Cheeca to be way overpriced for the experience, and will probably never go back.

Room Tip: If you must stay at Cheeca, get a room in the high-rise main building facing the ocean.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
CheecaSales, Director of Sales at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
We were glad to hear you call us the best in the Keys, but we are disappointed that you felt Cheeca is just an upscale family resort. We certainly do host a number of families here, especially during the busy Spring Break season when you were here. But we also strive very hard to be the perfect romantic backdrop for couples. We feel there is enough room here to accommodate both, so we apologize that we did not meet your expectations.

We agree that you should be able to obtain a beach chair whenever you walk out to the pool, and we just purchased a large stock of new beach chairs. We are so disappointed you had trouble finding one – we are sorry! We appreciate your feedback about our pool servers and our room service staff and we are working to correct these issues. We are also working diligently to improve our fitness studio. We greatly appreciate your comments, and we truly hope you will consider a repeat visit.
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Stratham, NH
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
150 helpful votes 150 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

My husband and I stayed in a beach view room for 4 nights. When we arrived, our room was not ready. They called me on my cell phone when it was ready and we were given keys for Room 503. There is almost no view of the beach from Room 503 so I called guest services to see if we could switch rooms. The representative did not seem surprised by my call. I was told we could switch to another beach view room and the second room had a beach view. I really think they should not be charging room 503 as a beach view. The staff was very nice during our stay. The hotel appeared to be fully booked as we were staying over Easter. It was difficult to get an umbrella or chaise lounge on the beach as many guests put their belonging on the chairs early in the morning. The adult pool was a much better option. There were not enough bicycles and we had to go back three times before we were able to get two bikes. The hotel supposedly has a company that services the bikes but the same bikes with flat tires remained there for the four days we were there. The exercise room has 3 outdated elliptical machines (only one of which has cross country arms), 2 treadmills, and 2 bicycles. All machines were in use early in the morning. The kayaking was great and there were plenty of kayaks. The maid service was hit or miss. They would either forget to leave water bottles, or toiletries. The resort grounds are beautiful. We ate at Atlantic's Edge Restaurant one night and had a terrific meal. We would stay here again because the property is beautiful, the staff are very friendly, and there are so many activities on site or nearby. We will try to plan our stay when it is not an holiday weekend though.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheecaSales, Director of Sales at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
We value your feedback. We are so happy you found the grounds beautiful, the staff very friendly and that you had a terrific dinner in the Atlantic’s Edge. We are also glad we were able to move you to a room more suitable for you. We apologize that all of our bikes were not available – we have addressed this problem. We are also working hard to improve the equipment in our fitness studio. We hope you return again soon, and welcome you with open arms.
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1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I booked a long weekend at this property. This was our first trip to the FL Keys. While the hotel and surrounding property was very nice, there was a number of things that did not meet our expectations, especially based on room rates for this property.

We booked a delex beach front room only to placed in a room that overlooked the back of the hotel outdoor kitchen/grill and the back of another set of rooms. We could not even see the beach. Very disappointing. After complaining they finally put us into another room with a better view. Once we got to our new room, there was a car parked underneath our unit. Each unit is supposed to have its own parking spot. We called three different times over two days to voice our displeasure but the hotel management team did nothing to get the owner of the car to move it.

Nice property but not worth $500+ per night. The last irritating item was the noise of the AC unit. When the AC unit kicked on, it sounded like a jet engine taking off in our room.

Stayed March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheecaSales, Director of Sales at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
Thank you for your comments. While we are delighted you found our resort and grounds very nice, we were disappointed that we did not meet your expectations with regard to our room rates. We also apologize that there was a car in your parking spot – we are investigating how this happened. We are also sorry for the air conditioning noise.

Cheeca Lodge offers a variety of value-packed packages and promotions during the off-season summer months. We hope you will consider returning sometime soon, and we will do our best to make you happy.
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Miami, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

What a great place to celebrate an anniversary. The facilities were beautiful and well kept. The staff was very inviting and warm. Try the restaurants on site also, they are all very good. The chef helped arrange a semi private table for us to celebrate our night, and a specialized 5 course dinner with a personalized menu....very cool. Overall we would rate our stay as very good and cannot wait to go back!!

Room Tip: Get a beach bungalow.
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 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.
CheecaSales, Director of Sales at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
Happy anniversary and thank you for your great review! We’re pleased you enjoyed our resort and our restaurants. We look forward to welcoming you back for your next anniversary, if not sooner.
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

Cheeca is an amazing place - outstanding service, great facilities, gorgeous landscaping. It's a little piece of paradise. Now for the tips: (1) Once there, you don't really need a car. Most watersports are accommodated onsite and the resort will shuttle you to nearby restaurants at no charge. (2) The buildings closest to U.S. Highway 1 are impacted by road noise, despite what the front desk may tell you. All other units should be fine. (3) The quality of the snorkeling was much better than expected. We went to Looe Key via Bahia Honda State Park. Very clear water and abundant sea life. The resort can arrange trips to other reefs that are closer. BHSP is about an hour away by car. (4) Recommended nearby restaurants: Lorelei for nightly live bands, sunset views and a laid back vibe. Morada Bay for a little more upscale experience. Would avoid Wahoos and Islamorada Fish Company (though the latter has nightly entertainment on the weekends - steel drum music, fire throwing, etc). (5) There is a small grocery store just across the street from the resort entrance. Open 24/7. (6) The service is excellent. A couple of examples: Our waitress Dawn took us on a late night banana hunt when she got off work one night. Also, my wife took a coconut found on the beach to the staff for help in opening it up. Because they weren't sure if the coconut was good, they provided a fresh one from the kitchen.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheecaSales, Director of Sales at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
It sounds like you had an amazing stay! We’re sure that other Trip Advisor readers will find your tips helpful and informative – thank you for including them. It’s a pleasure to hear you found our service outstanding, our facilities great and our landscaping gorgeous. We agree – Cheeca is a little piece of paradise. Please come back soon, and Dawn will take you on another banana and coconut hunt.
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Additional Information about Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Address: 81801 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 82, Islamorada, FL 33036
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Islamorada
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Islamorada
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Cheeca Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 214
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The "Queen of the Florida Keys", Cheeca Lodge & Spa, an exclusive hideaway for generations of celebrities, business leaders and U.S. Presidents. Set on 27 private oceanfront acres in Islamorada, Cheeca – reopening Dec. 15 - is has been constructed with its original porte-cochere entrance, traditional Florida Keys architecture, chic West Indies décor, and spirited tradition of “barefoot elegance” -- a term coined at Cheeca – all intact. Along with a new Lobby Bar. Cheeca will boast two distinctive restaurants - Nikai Sushi Bar offering the Florida Keys’ freshest sushi, Asian-inspired fare and a unique selection of Japanese sake and wine, and Atlantic’s Edge with a seasonal fine-dining menu of fresh local seafood, prime steaks and organic local produce. The new Cheeca Lodge & Spa will also feature 2,400 square-feet of new retail shops with a Cheeca Signature store featuring Tommy Bahama products. An expanded roster of activities will include on-property flats boats with seasoned local guides for backcountry fishing, sightseeing, eco-tours, kiteboarding, and a junior angler program for teens.The resort’s signature features – classic 525’ wooden fishing pier, tropical gardens, crossing palms archway, saltwater snorkeling lagoon, nature trails, Tahitian-style Spa Lagoon, spectacular purple sunsets, secluded white sand beaches, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, Camp Cheeca children’s environmental activity program, and access to world-class sportfishing – will remain intact.Located just 90 minutes south of Miami International Airport in the Florida Keys, Cheeca Lodge & Spa is just a few hours by air or drive from major East Coast U.S. and Canadian cities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cheeca Hotel Islamorada
Cheeca Resort Islamorada
Cheeca Lodge Florida
Cheeca Lodge And Spa
Cheeca Lodge Islamorada
Cheeca Lodge Spa

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