From the time that we arrived until we left all of the employees at the front desk and also housekeeping were very friendly and accommodating. The room was small but very clean and well put together and worked well for my wife and I as we had great weather and didn't want to waste it in our room. The grounds were very clean and well maintained and somewhat picturesque with all of the well groomed foliage. We enjoyed the location which was maybe a mile from all of the tourist area so it was more relaxed. All in all my Wife and I were very pleased with the Southwinds Motel
The entire time I was in Key West, I was wondering to myself "How WOULD I review this place?" On the one hand: The price was right, the location was good (not great, as a lot of the "touristy" areas are on the North End of the island) and the bedding was surprisingly comfortable. On the other hand, since I figured this was a ‘bargain motel’ kinda place, I'd ‘pop’ for the biggest room, which was large, with two Queen beds, but I found it lacking in several regards: The “area that almost looked like a kitchenette” (I refuse to call it a kitchenette, because while it DID have a countertop with four kitchen stools, a coffee maker, microwave and small refrigerator) it did NOT have any plates, glasses, utensils or anything else one might find in a kitchen or kitchenette. It didn’t even have any drawers in which to put these things if it DID have them. So while (as a Seasoned Traveler) I did bring my own bacon maker and egg poacher to use in the microwave, there was no dish soap, sponge or dishwasher, so … again … not a kitchen/ette. Not a problem, I thought, because another "nice" thing was that breakfast was included, and when I checked in, I did notice the breakfast "area" in the lobby, where I tried to keep a realistic expectation of what would be offered in the morning. The next morning I will admit that I was slightly disappointed to find out there were cellophane-wrapped muffins … and coffee … and juice. Which, again, is kinda nice (I mean, there were three different KINDS of muffin) but some cereal, or toast and jam or a package of instant oatmeal, or – perish the thought – a waffle iron, would’ve added immensely to the livability of the accommodations. Since we did buy our own breakfast fixins to eat in our room, it would’ve been nice to even have ACCESS to a toaster, but … no. So, while the room was clean (and the bedding …VERY comfortable) it lacked certain amenities one expects in a motel/hotel room. First, there was no programmable safe in the unit, which I generally take for granted when traveling. I had brought my work laptop, which, while not a very expensive model, has a LOT of confidential information on it, so leaving it in an unsecured environment caused me a fair amount of worry as I wandered about the island. Secondly, there was no room phone, which, I guess, really shouldn’t be such a surprise, since I don’t know ANYONE who actually has a landline phone anymore, but if you wanted to reach the front desk, you actually had to look up a phone number and dial it from your cell phone, so … yeah, it was a little inconvenient. Because there WERE issues we needed addressed: The exterior light by our door was out (and while we requested it be fixed at least twice, it remained out for the entirety of our five-day stay) and the refrigerator froze all our groceries solid (they DID replace the refrigerator the second day) Most hotel/motel rooms have some sort of a desk, or table and chairs which makes it easier to watch TV, especially while having breakfast or enjoying a drink at night. However, In opting to make our room “look like” it had a kitchenette, the Southwinds Motel opted for an immovable high counter affixed to the same wall from which the Television was mounted on a dresser. And while you could swivel the TV, and perch on a backless stool on the other side of the counter whilst eating your microwaved-but-non-toasted-breakfast-sandwich, a small table and chairs would have served the space much better and provided some much-needed functionality. The air conditioner was another matter entirely: It was a pretty noisy wall-mounted unit, and while the droning noise probably actually contributed to some of the very best sleep I’ve had in years (did I mention how comfortable the bedding was?) it also had a very gurgly watery sound, and could not be adjusted. Luckily, I was fine with “Arctic” and it was unbelievably humid while we were there, so at least there was a good reason it sounded like Paul Bunyan was gargling. The front desk staff was friendly and pretty good (would’ve been VERY good if they would’ve had that lightbulb replaced) and the “resort fee” was actually WORTH what we paid for it. Because in addition to having four small pools scattered about the various buildings (this obviously used to be several different businesses in years gone by) as a guest at the Southwinds, you were entitled to two beach chairs at the VERY nearby South Beach. (You could also take the Pool Towels to the beach.) And while South Beach is probably the smallest beach on the island, I would rather walk a block and lie on a Chaise lounge there than to hoof it a larger beach half a mile away and lie on a towel. It would have been VERY nice if the umbrella would’ve been included (there’s an extra charge of either $5 or $10 for the umbrella, depending upon which Eastern European Muscle Man is working the beach that day) but again, you get what you pay for, and at $22.50 per day, I found the resort fee to be pretty darn reasonable. Another welcome surprise was the bar/liquor store next door to the lobby. While you could buy packaged beer and wine at dozens of places, getting a bottle of Captain Morgan’s would have been harder to do had the “Tipsy Rooster” not been next door. In addition to package sales, the Tipsy Rooster features a walk-up bar with outdoor seating, a friendly bartender, and even had a pretty decent singer/guitarist playing his own reggae-influenced arrangements of past and present Top 40 hits on Friday night. (Rock On, Peter!) So, while it may sound like I emphasized the negatives over the positives, it’s only because I had a very NICE time here, when I COULD HAVE HAD a Fantastic Time. Would I stay here again? Yes. But I’d bring utensils, and I’d opt for a smaller room, one with tables and chairs.…
We checked in late when Eta was on its way. Shara greeted us warmly from the start! We were so happy w/the location, the awesome customer service (Shara) & the room. The room was clean & equipped w/everything we needed. The grounds were beautiful w/all the flowers & shrubbery. Because of the storm we didn’t use the pools but they were clean & well maintained. I’m so glad I found this place, the three of us agreed, whenever we come back, we’ll be staying here!
We stayed here October 20-25. The location is perfect. A block off Duval and 2 block from the Southern Most Point. The rooms are small but they are clean and neat. The pools are clean and well stocked. The motel has its own bar and that was also a great place to begin or end the night. We will definitely stay here again. Oh and free parking and no resort fee.
We loved this motel. It is perfectly located in a quieter location only a block from Duval. Parking is included in the room charge so that was nice not to worry about. The room was clean and quiet. My only complaint is that the bathrooms are SMALL. I'm 5'9" and could have used more shower space. Other that, great motel, staff, and location.