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“Fantastic property, fantastic time and all of us can't wait to go back!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 19 hotels in Islamorada
Arlington, Virginia
1 review
“Fantastic property, fantastic time and all of us can't wait to go back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2010

We were looking for a nice resort in Florida to please all of us - my wife, our 15 y.o. son, 12 y.o. daughter and 7 y.o. daughter - which is no small feat, but Cheeca did it for us. Between the pools, the fishing, the ocean kayaking, the beach, the tennis, the golf, the bikes, the free movie DVDs and the restaurant, we all found plenty to do. It started with a great greeting when we go there and just got better. We stayed in one of the 2 bdr, 2 bath units, which was very nice and well decorated (West Indies theme). The weather was really good and we're looking forward to going back next year.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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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Gatwick UK
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2010

Spent 4 nights in this lovely resort . Marsha was our hotel contact and she went out of her way to make our stay special ,she booked our evening meals at excellent restaurants locally and even organised english tea bags for our breakfast after i had mentioned in passing that the tea selection in the hotel was too specialised.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2010

Cheeca Lodge

Let me say first, that I had never heard of this resort, its storied past, recent fire and rebuilding before booking a last minute vacation here. I looked into Sunset Key, where we had stayed on another vacation, but it was booked. Cheeca was purely finding somewhere in the keys that had rooms at the last minute and didn't appear to be a dump.

After passing several frightening looking "resorts" on the way down from Miami we were a bit worried about what this place was going to end up being.

We were relieved as we pulled into the beautiful grounds and stopped at the guard gate. The grounds crew does a great job and was working from sun up to sun down keeping the place well manicured.

We drove up to the beautiful lodge and started the check in process. We had a quick tour by the bellman and then checked in. The whole process was very smooth and quick. You park your car under your room so that was very convenient.

That, unfortunately, is where much of the quality customer service ended. (More later)

It turns out that the area of the resort where we stayed was an older building but it was updated very nicely inside. It was considered a partial ocean view but besides a tree, we had a direct view of the ocean, especially from the screened in balcony. We watched the sunrise twice.

The shower was a nice, new tile-lined and there was a nice rain-shower head in it. There were two vanities with plenty of storage.

The AC worked great (a very important thing for my wife and I since we hate being hot at night).

The room had a 42 inch flat-screen which is what I expect at this price point but the signal into the tv was only SD which means the picture quality is pretty poor.

There was a revolving list of people who were in the room next to us during our week. For two of the days there were two men who were very loud until 1 or 2 in the morning that made it difficult to sleep.

The ice machine across from our building never gave me ice so I had to call and request an ice delivery whenever we wanted ice. That meant we had to plan 10-15 minutes before we actually wanted ice so it could be delivered. The first time we asked for ice an empty ice bucket was delivered so we had to wait for him to go back and actually put ice in the bucket.

The resort was full of families which created some irritations. There is an adults only fitness room and an adults only lap pool. People ignored both rule and brought kids into both areas. I mentioned it to a manager who said that they had a lot of kids and it was hard to control. Wrong answer!

One day it rained all morning and didn't clear up until about 2 p.m. The resort apparently let the person go home who was supposed to help guests at the adult pool. There were no towels available and the cushions were never put out on the wooden slat deck chairs. Again, that’s pretty poor customer service, especially when you are paying an extra $30 a day as a resort fee on top of the room fee.

The housekeeping staff was great. They got the room together in a quick manner every day and were very friendly. In another example of not getting things right, the housekeepers would put glasses outside of the room so they could be brought back to the restaurant but they would sit out there in front of the rooms for 24-48 hours at a time.

The thing that irritated me the most happened on our last night. It was our anniversary so I had worked with the restaurant to have a special cake to be made and delivered up to the room at an appointed time so I could surprise my wife. When it was 25 minutes late I finally walked down to find out what was going on. I was left waiting for 10 minutes while the guy I worked with went back into the kitchen. The guy finally ran out to say that the person just delivered it to the room. (Glad I was there for the surprise). I ended up having to walk back again because while they delivered the cake, they didn't deliver anything to cut or eat the cake with. Again, some common sense by the staff would go a long way.

The restaurant is ridiculously overpriced for the product. We ate one breakfast, lunch and dinner there purely for convenience, but if you can avoid them, try to at all cost. We actually got up and left one lunch because we were seated for more than 10 minutes and had never had a waiter stop at our table to even get a drink order. To give you an idea, breakfast for 2 ends up being about $50. I had to laugh that they charge $3 for a cup of coffee when, at the same time, they had free coffee at the edge of the restaurant.

There is a small par-3 course (short enough to only need pitching wedges) and nice tennis courts. There is also a nice little path that goes around the property that we walked one day.
We didn't try any of the water sports because the water was pretty chilly the week we were there.

So, to summarize, this place is immaculate and the staff is very friendly but, as a whole, clueless as how to provide 4 star service. If they can get their act together I'd recommend this place. With the current customer service I'd recommend going all the way to Key West and staying at Sunset Key, where they have their act together.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2010

I staye dhere for a week with my mother..it was great..the breakfast was good and the hotel itself was really nice..we had a really big suit and the pool was nice with great weather..We went several years ago but i would defineatly go again..We did water sports outside the hotel too which were excellent.. At night the hammock was good to relax on whilst the sun went down alone the beach. the are didnt have a lot of choice for dining out in the evening though, although there was a great fish place close by which I have forgotten the name of. I have fond memories of this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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scotland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2010

My wife and I had two highly enjoyable weeks at Cheeca.
The resort facilities and location were superb and the service we received from all staff, but particularly Marsha and J.J. made it a vacation to remember.
Our room in the new lodge was great and the food was very good.
We have very warm feelings of a tremendous holiday.
P and A.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dallas texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2010

I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for luxury accomodations in a lush, tranquil environment. The hotel was beautiful and the staff was delightful. We dined onsite and the food was stellar; the sushi was world class! The spa was amazing, the grounds reminded me of being in Hawaii. We booked a deep sea fishing trip offered by the resort and had a great time. Can't think of enough nice things to say about this place. My partner and I own a high end service company and we were impressed.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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
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Minnesota
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2010

Cheeca is a beautiful resort with a gorgeous (if hard as rock) beach. New main building is a lovely improvement over the old layout, with wonderful spaces to have a cup of coffee in the morning with your paper, or a cocktail in the evening. Food is expensive but very nice. We ate good meals in both the new sushi restaurant and the main dining room.

The big issue is the dining room service, and lack of clear management there. In fact, during our week there we never met a manager, which I think is a big mistake. It certainly doesn't cost anything for a manager or principal to take the time to walk around and check on guests, in fact it would go a long way there. The dining room was overwhelmed at both breakfast and dinner, and it wasn't even spring break yet. We had one smiling, charming waiter at breakfast one day who was delightful, but he was notable in the fact that he was the only one who was noticeably friendly. Most waiters were harried, inefficient or non-existent. One waiter for our $500 dinner at the main dining room was simply terrible. I will say that the servers on the beach were smiling, cheerful, helpful servers who work very hard traipsing up and down the beach serving guests very well. The problems were in the dining room, and while the food was delicious, a bad service experience kind of rankles when you are spending so much. This was our big disappointment.

Some of the rooms are a little tired, so check with reservations about the specific condition of your room. Our room in the newly built main lodge was spacious and lovely, and it is very convenient to be in the lodge if you have kids coming and going.

Snorkeling trip run by the lodge is very reasonable at $45.00. The reef is not far, but not fabulous. Don't bother if you expect a National Geographic moment, but it is a fine "beginner" reef especially for families. Boat staff is very nice and friendly, as are the beach staff at the watersports desk. Lots of nice options for activities on the beach. If you want to ride a bike around the property or surrounding neighborhoods, get one early or check back throughout the day because they go fast, but also get returned often.

One irritating thing- check out is at 11:00 am, and I was kind of insulted to find out that if you overstay past 11:00 their system will make your key inoperable and they charge a fee of HALF your daily room cost. That felt harsh and a bit insulting at $500. per day. You can whine to desk staff and they will rekey your key so that it works for a little while if you tell them you need a bit more time, but that is pretty un-guest-friendly.

These are not enough complaints to recommend against the place. You will probably not find a prettier hotel/property in the keys.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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Additional Information about Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Address: 81801 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 82, Islamorada, FL 33036
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:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Islamorada
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Cheeca Lodge & Spa 4*
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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