My husband and I are in our late 30s, pretty active, and accustomed to staying at nice places. I write this only to give you some background as the type of travelers and age we are may impact our review of this resort. We travel well but usually keep to boutique hotels and B&Bs. This time around we opted to stay one luxurious day at Cheeca to celebrate our second anniversary. It was a pleasant stay to be sure, but not the height of luxury. I'll give you a flavor for the good and the bad.
- The adult's only pool next to the spa is quiet, with lovely music playing along the background.
- The spa itself is great, but does not rank amongst the best.
- The outdoor tubs in the main lodge are fun, as are the amazingly large double-person showers.
- The bedding was quite comfortable.
- Our dinner at the Atlantic's Edge was just okay for the spectacular price, but the waiter was so nice and responsive and the mussels were amazing.
- The view of the ocean from the oceanfront rooms is fabulous. The pier is great. The grounds are well kept with nice lighted paths at night for walking.
- Service was questionable from the very beginning. We checked in early at 1PM and they took our bags, letting us know that they'd call us as soon as a King was available and have our luggage waiting in our room. By 3:30 we still had not received a call (check-in is at 4PM). We called the front desk from our lounge chairs and were told the room had been available. When we arrived at the desk, we had to wait behind a bunch of folks just checking in. Now annoyed at the lack of a courtesy call and the lack of staff at check-in time, we arrived to our room to see that the bags had not arrived there before us. We had to take care of that as well. We would expect a resort of this nature to have the staff available to handle guests well, respond to them graciously, and make the extra effort of contact when promised. By way of another example, when we ordered lunch poolside, a staff person came by and dropped off the food, but did not say one other word to us and failed to also drop off plates, napkins, water, drinks, or silverware.
- The outdoor tub in the main units is a plus and touted repeatedly in literature for Cheeca, but it's really only a fairly small tub. There are no jets or other "hot tub" or jetted features, no comfortable seating options. It's round, you sit it, you try to curl around your partner comfortably. I would have liked to see some additional features here.
- There is a TV and a DVD, and the resort fee affords you the ability to get DVD movies from the staff for free. But there are no other high-end features to the TV like I see in other hotels and resorts. I.e., you cannot rent movies from your TV, check out resort features, play games, etc. It's just a TV.
- The man-made beachfront area is easy to walk along and looks lovely in pictures, but this is not sand. Instead it feels well-crushed gravel. You need shoes.
- The main pool is a disaster of children. We have a one-year-old and love kids, don't get me wrong, but at a resort it was a bummer to have the main pool, and the only one with views to the ocean, jam packed with kids the whole time. Not relaxing, but I'm sure it is nice for families.
- The hotel has an outdoor hot tub but it is at the same location as the family-friendly pool. This makes it a less than great spot to hang out quietly during the day. More frustrating, the pools and hot tubs are off-limits after "dusk."
- The rooms with "Island View" really look out the road along the front of the hotel, and the garden palms, etc., along the road. Unhappily, I had misunderstood all of the various names for the rooms. I saw "Lagoon," "Oceanfront," and "Island." I mistakenly thought that the Lagoon view rooms must be those that look out at the grounds, the Oceanfront were those that were along the first floor facing the ocean, and the Island were those on the second/third floor facing the ocean. I was wrong. Island View and Lagoon View are basically the same thing -- it means you don't look at the ocean. Ah well. I should have been more careful. But a warning that you need to read the descriptions well and understand if you have an Island view that your room isn't particular private as there is a road that abuts that side and it is traveled by staff, etc.
- The main breakfast offered is a buffet style. You can also order food from a menu.
On the whole, this is a fine location if you are looking for a pretty view and grounds with your family. I'd say it's less ideal for couples, and lacks some of the style and service of a true resort spa locale.