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“Given a presidential seal of approval” 5 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
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Given a presidential seal of approval”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

I visited the Checca Lodge and Spa in August 2012, and had a wonderful time for the duration of my stay. The ground are well maintained and the complex is spotless. The Checca has bee visited by a number of VIPs and US presidents over the years, and it is easy to see what attracted them. I would happily visit again.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 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.
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1,713 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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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chicago
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Third time for us. Stayed over Thanksgiving week-Sunday thru Wednesday- had decent deal then. We love the rooms in the main lodge. Pool area is small, we never even tried to get a chair-too crowded for us. Our two boys ages 11 and 12 were fishing at the end of their pier every day All Day Long! My wife and I relaxed by the water on two lounge chairs. Everything expensive here. Did not get our money's worth with that high resort fee. We did play golf once and got two movies to watch in our room. Health club once. Even parked my own car. But knowing where your kids are, and not have to worry about it, that's what made it worth it. It is sill their favorite place to stay at.

Room Tip: Look for specials, stay at main lodge.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Islip, NY
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
183 helpful votes 183 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

You learn so much about a hotel from its reception. A well-executed reception should greet you warmly, get you and your luggage to your room as quickly as possible, and assure that, if you have any questions or special requests, they are addressed promptly. If a hotel successfully accomplishes these tasks when you arrive, that is a good omen. If when you arrive, they successfully accomplish these tasks and hand you a flute of quality champagne, that is a very good omen. On the other hand, alarm bells should ring when a hotel botches your reception: are they so badly organized they can’t even manage a good first impression?

Cheeca Lodge botched our reception. No one was there at the front to collect our bags, valet our car, or direct us to reception. Instead we parked ourselves and walked through a barren courtyard looking for reception. No signs directing us to a reception desk and no one to ask for help. Eventually doors under a mounted sailfish swung open, and we walked into what passed for a hotel lobby. No one greeted us. We waited for a minute or so expecting someone to walk up and offer assistance. Nada! I sought help from a young man sitting behind a desk. He picked up the telephone as I approached and brusquely pointed me to another young man seated behind another desk. Grudgingly the second young man found our reservation, handed us room keys, told us to eat at the Cheeca restaurants, and instructed us to ask a porter to help us move into our room. Young Man: I am paying you, so it is your job to arrange the porter, not mine! We walked outside to what looked like a parking attendant’s stand. No one was there. We waited for several minutes in the heat. Eventually another young man arrived and, at long last, he helped move us and our bags into our room while telling us, unrequested, his life’s story.

Things only got worse.

The room was small and dark with the feel of a motel that should have been torn down years ago. Highlights included broken light switches, towel racks falling off the wall, chipped paint everywhere, and broken light fixtures bristling with glass shards. Loose fabric dangled from the lampshades. The closet doors were made of cheap plywood. The furniture was a worn blend of Pier One overstock and cast-offs from a particularly dusty Maine fishing lodge. On the bed were foam pillows worn thin and lumpy after years of use. Like almost everything else in the room, they should have been retired years ago.

The bathroom seemed to have undergone several half hearted renovation attempts: none of them successful. The sink counter didn’t match the backsplash, which didn’t match the tiles in the shower. The tiles of the backsplash had been patched with either silicone or crazy glue (and quite poorly at that). The toilet featured cracked porcelain. The soaps, shampoos and other product were faux Italian distributed from Indianapolis by Gilchrest & Soames, the specialists in fake designer product. Part of a faucet came off in my hand while I was showering. No one bothered to repair it.

Housekeeping was a law unto itself – and that law had nothing to do with guest satisfaction. Dust gathered happily in the corners of the room. Two days into our stay I found cold coffee from a prior guest in the coffee maker. Some days housekeeping stowed coffee creamers in the fridge; other days they did not. Some days we were issued a shower mat; other days we were not. Towels were removed without being replaced. When I called reception and demanded new towels, I was told that they would pass my request to housekeeping, which would decide whether to act on it. People!! I am paying you hundreds of dollars per night and you are going to let someone decide whether I am to have fresh towels?

After our disappointing reception, my other interactions with the receptionists were happier. They provided useful suggestions on things to do in the Middle Keys and pleaded with housekeeping not to ignore my requests. The concierge was helpful and organized several pleasant adventures. The concierge service is not cheap. A few searches on the web revealed that we could have booked the same adventures directly for much less money.

The grounds were well maintained with a rich array of tropical flora. The beach was manicured every morning at sunrise and palm fronds and other debris were collected throughout the day (housekeeping should take lessons from the beach and grounds staff). On several nights I detected a septic tank odor near the spa. This significantly influenced my decision against a spa treatment.

The Japanese restaurant offered a range of imaginative sounding sashimi dishes and sushi rolls. They tasted okay, but the fish was invariably coated in flavored oil or another pungent sauce, which raised my suspicions about the freshness and quality of the fish. Tellingly, no local fish appeared on the sushi menu despite Cheeca’s reputation for fishing.

The Italian restaurant served up pasta so gummy and thick as to almost be inedible. The smiling ignoramus who served us did not know the first thing about Italian food.

During our stay Cheeca attracted a range of loathsome guests. Inconsiderate moneyed youth (everywhere and swarming the Tiki Bar). Baby-mooners convinced the world revolves around them and their bump. Packs of overfed, over-indulged, undisciplined and noisy children raised by parents who started too late. One young lady with more enthusiasm than brains almost speared me with a fishhook. We shared the beach with one expectant princess with such a rich sense of her own entitlement that she instructed her puppy dog husband to steal my beach chair while I visited the ladies. My Dearest claims that the ensuing short, but nonetheless intense, exchange of views between the pregnant princess and me was the highlight of his stay. Thank you My Dearest. I appreciate your support.

Despite all this, we had fun lounging on the narrow Cheeca beach. The beach service was fine offering a wide selection of beverages and food in the comfort of my own beach lounger. If the weather is nice, it is difficult not to have fun in the Florida Keys.

In short, Cheeca charges five star resort prices for a beach motel service. Shameful!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, January 15, 2013
Thank you for your review. We were very glad to hear that you found our grounds well-maintained with a rich array of tropical flora, and that our concierge was helpful in arranging some pleasant adventures for you. We were also happy to hear that you thought Nikai offered a range of imaginative dishes, and that you had fun lounging on the beach, enjoying fine beach service with a wide selection of beverages and food. You are correct – it is not difficult to have fun in the Florida Keys!
You are also correct that first impressions are critical to a guest’s overall impression. Your description of a proper guest reception in the first paragraph of your review is exactly what we strive to accomplish at Cheeca. We are so very sorry that we failed with you. We are investigating why our front desk and valet staff were not available to help you upon your arrival – we agree with you that this is unacceptable.
We were devastated by your comments about your room. Your experience was so very different than what we are used to hearing about our accommodations and we are hard at work fixing all the problems you had. All of Cheeca’s accommodations underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2009 so your comments were surprising to us. We are addressing your housekeeping issues as well.
Each of Cheeca’s five food and beverage venues, including Nikai sushi and Limoncello, our Italian restaurant, takes great pride in providing the finest and freshest menu items available. We apologize that we did not meet your expectations there.
Again, thank you for your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Just got back to NYC after 4 nights at the Cheeca Lodge. Everything was excellent. The room was gorgeous, the food was delicious and the service was excellent. Facilities were clean. Concierge was very helpful in arranging a great day of fishing. Very relaxing - I highly recommend a visit to Cheeca. I would go back - I wish I was still there now!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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, January 15, 2013
Your review was like a breath of fresh air, and we thank you for it! We are delighted you found everything at Cheeca “excellent.” We greatly appreciate you recommending Cheeca to our Trip Advisor readers, and we wish you were here right now, too! Please come back and see us again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Our family of six had a suite with two rooms and a kitchen/living area, it worked beautifully as two oldest boys had the beds, next had a fold out sofa and youngest (14 yo) slept on the floor on a mattress procured for him! We were quite far from the water but that really did not matter. There are many rooms but you don't feel like you are amidst huge buildings . There is lots of lush plantings and small walkways. Tennis courts are well maintained and the small golf course is fun. There are lots of spots to hang out, two pools, expansive water front "beach", upstairs deck, upstairs bar, secluded hot tub. We had dinner at the hotel only one night outside, on the beach. Food was good though expensive. The spa/excercise area is small but well equipped and enjoyed the free coffee and tea in the outside main lobby after morning work-out. The concierge was very helpful.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Gurnee, Illinois
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Me and my girlfriend made our first trip to the Cheeca during Christmas week....As soon as we entered the property we felt like we had entered a tropical paradise. Our room overlooked the family pool and that was nice although, you could hear the kids playing in the pool all day and some could find that annoying. After the first day, we loved the place so much we upgrade to an ocean front suite for the rest of our stay. The service we received there was top notch...When we first wanted to upgrade rooms we were told they only had a suite available for 1 night during the rest of our stay. I spoke with Brooke at the front desk and told her I was going to propose to my girlfriend and she was able to get us into an ocean front suite for the rest of our stay. The Cheeca is a little pricey but, we felt like it was worth every penny....We loved it so much that we've already booked another week there in the spring and we are looking at having our wedding there.

Room Tip: The ocean front suites are INCREDIBLE!!!!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013 via mobile

Great location and a beautiful resort with lush gardens and a very nice beach. The pools are great. The chip and putt golf course was challenging and fun. Love the fishing pier. I highly recommend this resort. My wife loved the Spa. We'll be back.
Joe p
Woodbury, NJ

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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