We chose Loews to find out how the other-half lives...but we found ourselves reaching for our wallet, again and again. Everything is an extra charge; this is confounding when you consider the amount we paid per night. From the $6 bottles of water to the $24 comb (the brush was $240 in the lobby store, no exaggeration), staying at Loews is an expensive proposition. There is a charge to use a lounge chair on their section of the beach, and every time we wanted to use our rental car it was a 15 minute wait and a tip to the valet. No one informed my husband when he inquired that internet service was free -but only in the lobby- and he incurred a $14.95 charge for the day using the laptop in the room. Doormen rushing to open the doors did not make me feel privileged, or compensate for the constant cost of amenities.
The room was 2 double beds, not even queens for the price, and although the decor was pretty it was nothing special. In fact, the rooms appeared a bit on the small side compared with the other 2 hotels we stayed at during our sojourn through the Keys. The room, however, was very clean.
The best thing about the Loews was the fabulous location: access to the beach from the back of the hotel beyond the elaborate pool area, and close to Lincoln Mall and Ocean Drive. The staff appeared friendly with a particularly helpful concierge.
One note to the discerning traveler: we ate our first breakfast out of the hotel to avoid the hotel-outrageous prices, but wound up paying just as much at a restaurant on Ocean Drive. If only we had walked one more block, we would have come across a vast selection of lovely restaurants all competing for the tourist dollars with excellent breakfast specials.
As for staying at high-priced hotels again, we felt more vindicated with the bigger rooms and complimentary breakfasts at the moderately-priced hotels. Overall, this a very nice hotel if you don't mind the extra expenses.