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Deer Run Bed & Breakfast
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Reviews (140)
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All reviewsvegan breakfasteach morningcupcakesgreat hostskey westvegan innanimal rightslonger staya wonderful stayprivate beachdefinitely stay here againsmall poollong beachharryjenangelutopia
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Reviewed July 18, 2012

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed both our first and second stay at Deer Run. The first visit, 2 years ago, we stayed in the Eden room which was large, private, and had a lovely view of the garden. This time we were in the ocean-front Atlantis suite which afforded views of the beach, ocean and wandering key deer from the large screened porch. We were enraptured by the fantastic, quiet setting, the beautiful ocean views, the lovely beach walks, and the gorgeous, filling vegan breakfasts! Jen and Harry were very helpful with advice on places to eat and visit in the area. Looking forward to a return visit.

Room Tip: Each room is unique, but all are lovely. Read the descriptions on their website and choose according to your likes.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank VeggieCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

My partner and I chose to celebrate our honeymoon at Deer Run. We thoroughly enjoyed staying here. We stayed in the Eden room which opened to a sweet garden that grew many of the fruits and herbs we enjoyed in various breakfasts. Jen and Harry were gracious hosts and were always willing to give advice on where to go and what to do. Each morning, we enjoyed the alternating savory and sweet breakfasts, conversing with other guests, sipping coffee, listening to the wind in the palm fronds, and planning the day's events. Our days were filled with activities like kayaking off the property's private beach, relaxing in the salt-water pool, engaging in conversation with Angel the rescued bird, giving Peri the neighbor cat a few snuggles and scratches, and watching the tiny Key Deer relax and eat mangrove leaves. We rode bicycles, drove into Key West to party a bit, snorkeled, visited a Turtle Hospital, found the No Name Pub, and ate an incredible vegan dinner at Kaya Island Eats.

Also, when they learned that we were on our honeymoon, Jen and Harry surprised us with a delicious vegan cake and a bottle of sparkling wine. It was exceptionally thoughtful and lovely.

In our experience, it is so difficult to travel as a vegan. My partner and I have never been on a cruise, and until this point we had never been to a bed and breakfast - why pay the money when you can't enjoy the food? Finding Deer Run changed that reality for us. Not only were we able to partake in the breakfasts, the food was DELICIOUS. And I'm not just saying that because I am vegan. During our stay there were also non-vegan guests. They loved the food and environment so much that this was their third visit! Jen and Harry also made finding vegan food around town easy - something we had been worried about before our arrival.

Before I wrote this review, I was curious to see what other people said about their stays. I noticed someone complaining about the room not being cleaned often enough and that there was a noise problem. Neither of those things were a problem when we stayed at Deer Run. No, our room was not cleaned every single day (though it was cleaned during our stay), but that wasn't an attentiveness issue, it was a way to reduce waste. Deer Run is a Green bed and breakfast, and both Jen and Harry take protecting the environment very seriously. Everything at Deer Run is environmentally friendly - my partner and I actually learned new ways to be good stewards of the earth while we were there. Jen and Harry aren't the type that pay lip-service to environmentalism. And the property is very clean and tidy. The other comment was about the noise - we didn't experience a noise problem at all; in fact, we loved how peaceful and quiet it was.

All in all, we had an incredible time. Our honeymoon at Deer Run far surpassed any expectation we had. If you are reading these posts and trying to make a decision about where to stay, stay here. Trip Advisor can be a valuable tool. Often people want to make sure they'll be spending their money wisely. As two people on a very limited budget, we had absolutely no regrets about a single penny being spent here. It was wonderful, just wonderful.

We can't wait to come back!

Room Tip: All of the rooms looked like they would be good. We chose to stay in the most affordable room, and it was still fantastic. All of the ocean view rooms appeared spacious and nice. If you are looking to have the deer walk by your room, choose a ground level ocean view room.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Meg Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

All of the same great stuff and service since the first two times my wife and I stayed at Deer Run Bed & Breakfast (see my reviews from June and November 2011). Jen and Harry were especially helpful with carrying our luggage (lots of it!) to our upstairs room since I was recovering from knee injuries. I added a few new photos of our stay this time.

I recommnd trying Kaya Island Eats (www.kayaislandeats.com) between mile markers 14 and 15 for lunch and/or dinner. The service is good and the food is awesome!

Thanks, once again, Harry and Jen for helping to make our stay quite enjoyable (as always!)

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Pardge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

We booked this vacation based on Trip Advisor reviews, which is why I feel the need to say that 5 stars was simply not our experience. (1) When we arrived, the room was clean and welcoming, but over the length of our extended stay, it was never tidied in our absence. Some people may welcome that level of privacy, but I was astounded that $200+ a night did not result in someone else making the bed and cleaning the bathroom daily. (2) As another reviewer has noted, sounds from other rooms and upstairs quarters are all audible. We made something of a game of trying to figure out the sounds (a vacuum? furniture moving? metalworking?). (3) Breakfasts are tasty but heavy: often baked goods and other breakfast carbs, and it seemed as if an hour in the morning had to be given over to talking with strangers. You'll be lucky to start your day of touring before 10 a.m. The setting is lovely. The many stellar reviews indicate that some people love the place and their experience. I can only say I wish we had had as good a time as we expected to based on previous reviews.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank LeslieK59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greenvegan, Owner at Deer Run Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded March 5, 2012

First, as always, we appreciate the fact that someone who guested with us took time to write a review about their stay. We were sorry to read that your stay was less than you hoped for. We strive every day to provide all guests with a positive experience. Not all modes of lodging fit every person. Bed and breakfast travel is, by definition, a more personal experience and for people who desire more interaction with other guests. We’re sorry that you were not satisfied with spending breakfast with “strangers.” Our web site is clear that the breakfast is served on our veranda at a set time. It is meant to be a social time, yet there is no obligation to talk with other guests; there is no obligation to stay for “an hour.” Many guests have early plans for the day thus they choose to eat & excuse themselves. No one is held at the table for any length of time, ever. Any socialization that takes place with us as innkeepers is typically our efforts to answer questions guests have and/or assist with travel plans and arrangements. There is no reason you have to spend extra time if this is not your desire.

As far our breakfast selections, every day we vary our entrée between a “sweet” option, and the next day a “savory” option. Meaning, if one day there is a breakfast like pancakes, the next day will be a protein entrée like a tofu scramble, a frittata, something made with tempeh, etc. Additionally, fruit is a side dish to every entrée presented, as is juice or smoothies, every day. Yes, there is also a scratch made fresh baked good every day. If one finds too many carbs on a plate, it is your choice to eat all of it, or not. We work exceptionally hard to provide a varied breakfast that is almost entirely organic. Further, we always work with our special needs guests concerning illness or allergies. If any prospective guest finds a need for ordering off a menu, we would have no choice but to suggest a large resort where one can do so. We’re sorry you feel our food feel short; this is your opinion, which we shall respect. However, our opinion is that we offer some of the finest quality food in the Florida Keys, being that it is organic, plant based, with local ingredients, and prepared daily from scratch. We put more thought and effort into that single meal than many people put into their everyday dining habits. Preferences cannot be accommodated, as the meal planning and preparation is done entirely by Jennifer. This is one of the reasons we do serve such a large breakfast, hoping there essentially is something on the plate every day that would most likely appeal to everyone, including someone with an aversion to carbohydrates.

As far as cleaning of rooms, I’m sorry you were also not happy with our style. Rooms are serviced thoroughly between guests, and we were happy to read you were satisfied with the cleanliness upon arrival. While guests are here, we service after every 3rd night. Everyday we make an effort to ask if anyone needs anything in the room. We make a point upon arrival to inform guests that we live on site, and advise how to find us so that if something is needed we are available. We even leave our cell phone number posted when we are off site, and we also inform guests during breakfast of our plans if they will take us off site during the day. If something was needed, we expect it should be asked for.

We work to afford our guests privacy here, something that many are seeking during their stay. Again, if customary bed and breakfast care is not in line with expectations, we would suggest a large resort offering daily maid service.

Regarding the noise complaints, we have sound proofed the rooms several years ago. This is a house, not a resort, and we have done our best to address this issue in years past. Your comment of “metalworking” we think is meant tongue in cheek, but if it is not, let us assure you that there is no “metalworking” in progress.

Our bed and breakfast rates include our full organic breakfast daily, saltwater pool & spa, bicycles, kayaks (including a glass bottom kayak), aqua bike, and park passes. Every room is decorated with care and also appointed with organic linens and bedding, cruelty free bath products, a private bath, heat & air conditioning, small fridge, flat screen TVs with satellite service, Wi-Fi if you have your own device, blow dryers, iron/ironing board, beach towels & safety equipment. We are mortified that you feel our bed and breakfast merits a “one” on the “value” portion of your evaluation, and we would have to say to anyone reading this that we do not agree, and would encourage anyone to consider what a bed and breakfast customarily offers in its rate. There are no hidden fees here. There are no amenities fees, usages fees, resort fees, parking fees or any other charge other than our room rate and tax.

This is a true authentic working bed and breakfast. All bed and breakfasts are different and unique; this is part of the overall allure to the bed and breakfast traveler. I am sorry that we have fallen short of your expectations, as honestly that is the last thing we would ever desire. However, as seasoned bed and breakfast travelers ourselves, we believe we offer a very good inclusive value for our rate at an unparalleled oceanfront location. Plus, our entire business model is based upon a mindful eye towards the impact our business, and the impact every single traveler passing through, has on the environment.

It is our privilege to host our guests; we take nothing for granted, and constantly strive to exceed one's expectations. We stand strongly by our business model, and sincerely hope that should you return to the beautiful Florida Keys that you have a more positive experience with lodging choices you make.

Jennifer DeMaria and Harry Appel, Owners and Innkeepers

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

We just got back from our stay at the Deer Run Bed & Breakfast in Big Pine Key. Harry and Jen were wonderful hosts with lots of information about the Florida Keys. They provided a book in each room that gave specific information on attractions, restaurants and things to do. Any questions we had were answered during the exceptional breakfast each morning.

Our room was great with it's own screened-in porch, ceiling fans, a/c, television and refrigerator. Filtered water was available on the premises. There were coolers, snorkeling equipment, bicycles, kayaks, a water bike, books and games available for guest use. There was also a swimming pool and a mineral tub (like a hot tub just not heated). Wireless internet was available but our Verizon cell phones did not get a signal until we were out on the road (not a big deal to us).

As for the wildlife, we enjoyed talking to Angel, the resident cockatoo and watching the key deer make their way across the property. We also met Peri and Isla, neighbor cats who came by to say hello every once in a while.

The beach was calm and shallow but had a lot of sea grass. By kayaking out a ways we were able to do some snorkeling right off the beach.One of our favorite times was at night when you could stand on the beach and look up at hundreds and hundreds of stars. Each night we were there we made time to check out the sky before going to bed - what an incredible sight!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank bulldogesq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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