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“Most Fantastic Vacation Ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Melody Key

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Melody Key
1 melody key, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, FL 33042 (Formerly Money Key)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Summerland Key
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Most Fantastic Vacation Ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

My family had many reasons to celebrate and staying on Melody Island made it more especial! e arrived and Mike helped us get all settled. He gave us tuxedo service and a smile. The island was beautifully groomed. The lookout area was my favorite since I am such an early riser. I could watch the sunrise peacefully as well as watching the dolphins dancing in the water. I felt like this was my private castle with me observing nature at its best. We only wish we could return to watch the eagles nest on the bird tower by look out deck! Each room had its own private balcony which was very nice at the end of the evening to wind down.

The home was decorated beautifully and every corner had little touches with attention to detail. Kitchen was very nice with high end appliances. The breakfast bar and seating area was very open with lots of counter space. The kitchen had a porch attached to it as well as a wrap around deck for dining and living room area. All of the bedrooms were beautifully furnished. Of course, my favorite was the master bath with oversized tub and shower.

The pool area was clean and furnished with oversized lounge chairs with plenty of seating. We had a few bonfires, across from pool and relaxed on oversized hammock. Mike was very accommodating. Whenever we needed anything, he would go to store and delivered with a smile. He took us to a few restaurants during our stay and he seemed very happy to help us make this trip special.

We really loved it here and didn't want to leave. We look forward to returning again and again as long as it is still available! With teenagers and adults, we were all thrilled to experience this beautiful island. There is an area where weddings are performed and I can only imagine how beautiful that must be! FIVE STARS! *****

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Panama City Beach, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

We stayed on Melody Key for the last week in July during the mini lobster season. Wow! It was by far one of the best family trips we have ever had. The island, house and 360 degree views were breath taking. The service was impeccable. Anytime we called for a ride to or from the island Mike was there within minutes, and so friendly and helpful.

There were a few mosquitos at night but luckily there is a deck off every room in the house and always a great breeze and they never really bothered us.

I cannot say enough about how beautiful, relaxing and enjoyable it was. The kitchen is amazing and so fun to cook in. We were actually sad anytime we had to leave and made it a point to be back for sunset every night. Unbelievable!!!! Thank you Melody Key.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We stayed on Melody Key Island (it is not a hotel) for 2 weeks in June to celebrate a special occasion. It is a small house on a private island. The website boasts that they can arrange any catering, and the website together with emails before booking confirm that you will have a 'full concierge service'. It is important to understand this because the island has an unprotected dock. This means that you have no independence during the time you rent the house. You must arrange to be taken to the island from the mainland and collected every time you want to leave the house. The website says that you will be able to arrange transportation via VHF radio and cell phone. There are no VHF radios and the transportation is provided by the island caretaker who has a phone that can only make local calls. We travelled from the UK and did not have a local phone so this made life difficult! The website says that the island has full wi-fi internet. This was also not working. For the first day there was no wi-fi at all and thereafter there was patchy signal in one room only. We had arranged via email before arriving that we would be taken birdwatching in the back country by the caretaker. On arrival we discovered that the caretaker was unwell and this was cancelled. The booking agent was not interested in trying to sort it out. The 'contract' says you are booking a house and transportation between the island and the parking lot and this was his response when we asked for help. The island itself is very nice, it is a small flat island surrounded by mangroves. The water is very shallow and at no time was it possible to swim from the dock and the island has no beach however the pool is nice (but small). The island is turfed with artificial grass which is too hot to walk on in the sunshine so remember to take flip-flops.
We were there in June and there was a very significant biting insect problem. The island was sprayed on day 10 of our 14 day holiday and again on day 12 (too late to help us sadly).
Biting insects in the Florida Keys are a common problem during the summer (june to september) but it was worse on the island than on the mainland and none of the outside areas of the island are screened. (one small area used to be screened but there are holes in it).
The house is comfortably and tastefully furnished. The beds are comfortable and the air conditioning works well. The main living room is at the top of the house. This means that you have to carry groceries up 6 flights of stairs to the kitchen. The view is worth it if you are fit and well. During our stay around half of the lightbulbs in the room were not working so it was a particularly dark room (too dark to read). This would be okay at other times of year when you could sit outside.
This is the only rental home that we have ever rented that provided absolutely nothing by way of a welcome grocery pack. The website says you will be given a 'welcome drink'. There was absolutely nothing! Not a tea bag, a small jar of coffee - you get the picture...
This is a big deal when you realise that to get any supplies you have to call the caretaker, wait for him to drive to the parking lot from his house (10 minutes away), get in the boat and ride to the island then you have to make the trip in the boat to the parking lot, drive in your car to the grocery store (only 5 miles away and a good store) and then drive, ride in the boat etc. Then whatever you buy has to be carried from the boat up the dock, then up six flights of stairs. You need a drink by that time!
During our stay on the island the fridge and freezer stopped working repeatedly and we twice had to throw away all of the meat and ice cream we had purchased. We were told that the engineers have been out to fix the fridge/freezer unit 3 times over the last 3 months.....well okay but why not tell us before we bought the ice cream?!
We settled into a routine of leaving the island first thing to avoid the biting insects (call up the caretaker, wait for the boat etc), we then hired a boat locally and explored the beautiful area of Summerland Key, we would then change on the boat and have an early dinner out before returning to the island to sleep (still being bitten whilst walking from the jetty to the house). We became experts at finding public restrooms because it is too inconvenient to get to and from the island and remember that you cannot use the dock for any boat that you hire as it is 'unprotected'.
The website says that a catamaran is available for your use. We tried to use it and were told that we had to book it in advance and that it could only be used if the caretaker followed us around to check our safety. (we are experienced sailors and said this was nonsense). We asked for the catamaran to be available for us in the afternoon giving a full day of notice to be told that we could not sail after 3pm because of sharks! (also nonsense). I will attach a photo of the catamaran so that Trip Advisor viewers can judge for themselves if the catamaran is available for use.
Prior to making the booking, I saw the 3 positive reviews on Trip Advisor. It is important to see that the most recent of these was in 2010 and the island has 'changed hands since then'. The previous reviews talk about 'the couple who greet you' and 'the lady who looks after the island'. We saw no-one other than the caretaker and he was disgruntled about the 'new owner who wont pay for anything'. He also said that the island used to be only rented out occasionally whereas now 'he never gets any time off', this might explain the variation in the reviews. He was clearly unwell when we arrived and should not have been working let alone driving around in a boat without any cover. Be aware that there is no cover on the boat at all. Our review is a borderline 2 or 3 out of five.
I am not sure who I would recommend this island to... it has the potential to be private but jet skis use it as a marker to ride around, also the caretaker MUST visit the island each day to check on the batteries for the generator. For us we have had more privacy when renting a nice house in private grounds (easily available at this price).

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, MI
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2010

Melody Key is truly the perfect island getaway. Warm breezes, gorgeous views in every direction, and total privacy while still having all modern amenities including wireless internet. The most difficult thing about being there is trying to decide which balcony to sit on while you have your morning coffee (or mai tai later in the day). If you do want to go off of the island, Mike (the island manager) is seriously just a phone call away and always willing to help out. This was truly an extraordinary vacation and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2008

You simply cannot know what freedom feels like until you are inhabiting your own private island.

Melody Key is your own personal utopian experience... that you wouldn't believe! We spent our 5 year anniversary there with our closest friends and all of us felt that we could now die happy having satiated ourselves on sun, drink, and indulgence.

We spent 3 glorious weeks at Le Meridien Bora Bora when we were wed and found ourselves guessing as to which tropical island paradise was the greater bom-diggity. Of course, Bora Bora was exotic and intoxicating to the senses. Melody Key, though, was much closer and quite nearly as rich of a sensual experience. All modern conveniences that you could desire plus 360 degree Caribbean views that you don't have to share with anyone else.

First and foremost, a quick shout-out to the discreet and solicitous island caretaker. Let's make this clear, he is never there unless you request him to be, but you'll find him a lifeline to procuring everything from groceries to dining out to helpful advice while staying on your private island. He is a colorful and gracious character who is a vital part of the Melody Key experience.

Beautiful and relaxing, Melody Key is a respite for your world weary soul and a sublime place to get away from it all, where from chaos comes clarity. It's not for those of you who are needy or unable to entertain yourself. However, if you understand how to lounge in the sun and read a book while naked in your eco-friendly salt-water private pool... you'll fit right in and find yourself looking forward to your daily visit from Herman (the 5ft. iguana who loves grapes). Early morning coffee at 8:16am on your choice of 6 balconies while reading Yahoo news on your wireless internet connection, showering alfresco, or kayaking are just some of the satisfying activities you can pursue throughout the day when you're shipwrecked on Melody Key. Enjoy the multifarious fish, lobster, and rays off the long dock. The island is completely surrounded by mangroves that are host to many different species of birds. We watched the sun set to the west and the full moon rise to the east from the crow's nest with a gentle warm breeze comforting our sun soaked bodies while a million stars revealed themselves in the night sky.

For any couple, group or family you can't go wrong with a stay on Melody Key. It's truly a one-of-a-kind experience that will help you find your Mana (look it up if you don't know what it means) and bring out the Treasure Island/Lord of the Flies in even the most jaded of us. As 311 fans, it raised our experience to another level. We're going back in 2009 and look forward to more sunlit and uninhibited frolicking. These kind of trips are what makes all the hard work and catering to The Man worth it. Seriously, do yourself a favor and withhold X-mas and birthday gifts and treat yourselves to something special.

MCHJ in Cincy, OH

Stayed April 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2006

Melody Key (formerly Money Key) is truley a slice of heaven! The feeling of tranquility sets in almost immediately. Accessed only by private boat, you are the only one on the island, leaving your stress and chaos of every day life at the dock. I visited with my 6 year old son, brother, father and his girlfriend. The owner (the lead in a famous rock band but I won't say who) prefers not to rent to children and had me sign a waiver but I can understand why. It is very easy for a child to wander off and end up in the water very quickly. This was not a problem for us at all since my son is very well behaved and can swim, but I would not recommend this for younger children, unless maybe an infant. The caretaker greeted us along with the woman who manages the place at the dock exactly on time. They were very kind and accomodating without being intrusive or in the way. They said they would make themselves available at any time during our stay as they were only a cell phone call away - and they were. The house itself was very nice. Since it is on an island it is self sustained with generators and solar panels but you could never tell! The central A/C worked great! The house has been under some renovations recently, but we were not affected as it was beautiful and there were no signs of construction. 3 bedrooms, all with their own private baths and balcony with great views of the sunrise and sunsets. Only down side to the bedrooms is that they are on the second floor, beneath the living area so if you like to sleep in and the others with you do not, you will hear them walking above you. The caretaker told my father that the floor was going to be replaced upstairs, although I thought it was gorgeous, and it would be better insulated. This could easily be true because he told us today that the island is closed to guests for the next 2 weeks so he could finish up his projects. The great room was nice, fish tank built into the bar, plasma tv, sound system and high speed internet connection. Internet connection was not quite the high speed we are used to, but it did the job well enough. We shouldn't have brought work with us anyway!!! Kitchen was a nice size, very well equiped. Gorgeous views from everywhere, including the crows nest accessed by a spiral staircase on the west deck off the kitchen. Pool was nice. A little on the small side, but good enough for a small number of people. It is salt water which was a surprise, but was refreshing none-the-less! Because the hurricanes did some damage to the island in 2005, there is not much shade on the island but they did install a great umbrella that you can open over the pool to give you great shade if you so desire. The boat provided was a lot of fun and the fishing was great right off the dock! My 6 year old even caught a shark - very exciting! We saw stingrays, barracuda, hundreds of Snapper and even found some lobster for dinner (luckily it was lobster season!) Nice outside barbecue that we made good use of and there is also a fire pit on the other side of island. When there is no breeze, there are lots of mosquitos and no-seeums but not a problem with a little bug spray! Looking up at the stars at night was amazing! Almost forgot to mention "Herman" our nickname for the "giant" iguana on the island! Definitely did not want to leave. We had a wonderful week and will have life long family memories made on beautiful Melody Key!

  • Liked — THE VIEW
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Melody Key

Address: 1 melody key, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, FL 33042 (Formerly Money Key)
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Lower Keys > Summerland Key
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Summerland Key
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Melody Key is a private island accessed only by boat from Summerland Key. The Florida Keys are totally unique and what you find here you will not see anywhere else in the United States. The Keys are famous for their natural beauty and nature: One hundred and twenty miles of overseas highway connects more than 1700 islands and are there to be explored.However when all you want to do is relax: Melody Key Private Island is the perfect place to put your feet up, lay back and observe the beautiful sunset from one of the several balconies which circumference the house.Why not sit watching the sun setting with a cocktail, feast on fresh seafood fished from the surrounding waters, or just recline on a hammock suspended between two palm trees, simply unwinding and letting go with the outgoing tide. You will be, after all, on Melody Island time.When the heat gets too much, be assured that cooling off in the sea water is only a footstep away. Or perhaps have a refreshing dip in your private plunge pool.If you want to explore the neighbouring waters why not take out one of the kayaks or take a sail in our 14ft Catamaran.On Melody Key Island, the temperature is around 70 degrees farenheit (21 degrees celsuis) in January, rising to 84 degrees farenheit (29 degrees) in July.Melody Key, located near Key West, Florida is totally off the grid with solar inverter and a on-demand muted generator. Water is amply made through a desalination system.The heated pool, Jacuzzi, central air-conditioning, satellite TV, great sound system, Wi-Fi, Washer-Dryer, 5-burner pro Grill and Kayaks are some of the conveniences, but if you require anything else, it can be arranged.Transportation is provided to and from the Island 24/7 (stay in Key West as late as you like!). The parking area is the closest point of land to Melody Key, located one mile east on Summerland Key with parking for 5 cars.Communication with caretaker can be made through VHF radio or cell phone (caretaker lives only 5 minutes away) and monitors 24/7. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melody Key Hotel Summerland Key

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