After reviewing several properties in Naples for a five night stay, we chose Naples Bay based on the amenities offered and the value for the money. I think many past reviewers have been unfair in their assessment of this property and simply failed to do their homework when evaluating the best location for their budget and needs.
WEBSITE and PRE-CHECKIN EXPERIENCE
The website was easy to use, the photos fairly depicted the resort and the rooms. The map shows the layout of the entire resort so you understand what you are booking and where. The resort fees were disclosed and I was able to request a room on a high floor which we were given. We received an email from the property several days in advance of our stay to advise us of the concierge services and to offer personal assistance with reservations prior to arrival.
ARRIVAL AT RSW
Checkin is at 4:00, but due to our flight we would arrive closer to 3:00. I called the resort from the baggage claim area to see if our room was available and after waiting a few minutes was told it was available and we were welcome to check in anytime we would like.
CHECK IN AND ARRIVAL
Upon arrival we were greeted by a friendly valet who offered baggage assistance. We were greeted at the front desk by Britton who inquired about our journey, welcomed us and helped to orient us to the resort. Our keys were provided in a folio which listed all the amenities available to us. It included business hours for pools, restaurants, spa and gym, as well as information about beach chairs, umbrellas and the shuttle times were listed. I really can't understand how other guests claim they didn't know what was available to them when all that information is given to you WITH YOUR KEY. There was no towel lecture. We chose to self park and appreciated the underground garage to keep the car cool.
We opted for a one bedroom suite with a marina view and were very pleased with the choice. It was clean, well-appointed, and had everything we needed for a comfortable stay. Coffee and tea were provided, along with kitchen linens, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and paper towels. Ice and water dispenser in the refrigerator door tasted filtered which was appreciated. The kitchen also had a blender, microwave, smooth cooktop and plenty of counter space. Impressed to find a wine chiller in the cabinets! The only kitchen item I didn't find but could have used was a pair of scissors.
The washer/dryer were Duet front loading stackables and laundry detergent was provided. It was difficult to find since it was placed on top of the dryer. The 6'5" husband found that one.
The balcony was generous and had two padded, sling style chairs with ottomans and a small cocktail table. The ceiling fan helped to keep the balcony cool. No issues at all with biting insects in the evening out there.
The bed was comfortable as were the pillows. Bath linens were of good quality. The bathtub was a bit on the small side, but would be nice if you have small children to bathe. The shower had a rainshower style head. A hook for towels closer to the shower might have been helpful.
The room was quiet at night. No hallway noise or noise from the marina.
I won't go into detail about where the shuttle goes because if you do your homework you'll easily find this information. Our driver Tony was kind, smiling and friendly. He loaded beach equipment in for us and dropped us one easy block from the pier. He picked us up exactly when he said he would. On the day we drove ourselves to the beach, he gave us all the same items to load into our car. The shuttles always ran on time which was appreciated. Naples Bay uses Mercedes shuttles and they are clean and comfortable. You can also book these shuttles to locations other than the ones included in your stay for a charge. The zone map is at the front desk. Yes, this property is about a 5-10 minute drive to the beach, but if you did your homework you would know that. A room with just a bed and shower at the Ritz Carlton, which is on the beach, is at a minimum 2.5 times more expensive.
The walk to the club is very easy. You can opt to walk along the main road which is the most direct route or take a walk through gardens which is a little less direct. We chose the main road. Some reviewers have complained about this walk which we found amusing. If you are under the age of 75 and find this walk difficult, then perhaps you should evaluate your fitness. It is along a divided road with three lanes on either side. I believe the speed limit was 40 or 45. There is a high curb, and the sidewalk is flat, wide and in good condition. The people who are intimidated by this road must hail from Mayberry. You do have to cross a street, but there is a light and a crossing indicator. It takes LESS than 5 minutes to walk. Even if you are carrying a tote bag, it is not difficult at all. If you can't walk, the shuttle will take you to the club and all you have to do is call the front desk when you want to come back and they will pick you up anytime.
We used the gym facilities which were clean and in good repair. The standard cardio (ellipticals, bikes, spinning bikes, stairclimbers, and treadmills) were available along with weight machines, three adjustable benches and dumbbells to 65 pounds. There was a Smith machine with a total of four 45lb plates and also cables with attachments that I believe went to 110lbs. No power rack or Olympic bench. Pilates, spinning, yoga and other classes were offered but we didn't use them. The locker rooms and showers could have been cleaner, but lockers were available as were a sauna and steam room. Towels and water were available, but take your own bottle.
Pool area was clean and maintained. Chilled water was available in various locations around the pool and there are some seats that are shaded if you desire. There are a few noodles and pool toys to share. The waterfalls help to drown out the sound of the kids screaming. I felt that the grill staff should have circulated more often to remove dirty dishes and offer drinks. The whirlpools are not hot. The pool water temperature was comfortable.
I can't even believe I'm writing this. Towels are provided and not policed. Towels are available at the front desk, the valet station, the club pools, and even at the ship's store if you rent a boat.
Excellent experience here which I'll review on their page. If you have interest in this, do not hesitate.
We found a nice little grocery called Oakes Farms Market for our food and beverage supplies for our stay. Lots of beautiful, fresh local produce, gourmet food items, and over 600 wines to choose from. If you need something to nosh with your balcony cocktail you can find it here along with lots of options to prepare an easy dinner or breakfast. It is walking distance from the hotel, but since it was 90 degrees and we had dairy items, we opted to drive.
Tin City is also easy walking distance. If you become weary of dining with the swells on 5th, you can get a decent meal here for a much more reasonable price. The ambiance couldn't be more opposite though.
One day prior to our checkout, I visited Britton at the front desk to determine if we could check out at 12:30 instead of 11:00. She told me that the owner of our unit was coming on the day of our departure so we couldn't do that. She did offer us a key to the club so that we could use the pools and locker rooms there prior to our departure for the airport. Upon checkout, we were provided with an itemized bill to review prior to the charges being applied to our credit card.
My suggestion to Naples Bay would be to follow up with guests in the form of a survey at departure. Other similar properties we have enjoyed have done this in electronic form which is helpful. Other than that, the only additional service I've appreciated at similar resorts is evening turndown service. I didn't request it, and I don't know if it would have been made available to us.
We appreciated Naples Bay Resort and all of their smiling, helpful employees. We look forward to our next visit!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of one of Florida's most exclusive beach city destinations on the Southwest coast, this AAA FOUR DIAMOND Tuscany-styled tropical luxury resort is like no other.Nestled in a waterfront setting on Naples Bay, Florida at the gateway to energy and excitement of Naples' famed Fifth Avenue South, white sand beaches and to the Florida Everglades, Naples Bay Resort is a hotel that features an amenity-rich environment that includes chic waterfront shopping, Euro-style spa, an expansive activity center with four crystal-blue resort pools, meandering lazy river, state-of-the-art fitness and tennis facilities, along with a complete Captain's Lounge and 97 slip marina.Come experience why "Life is Different Here" at Naples Bay Resort! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Naples Bay Hotel Naples