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“A memory never to forget”

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The Port Hotel and Marina
Ranked #8 of 9 Hotels in Crystal River
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“A memory never to forget”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Yes the hotel does need a little T&C but come on you are not paying for the Ritz. I booked this hotel because I wanted to swim with the manatees and did not want hubby to have a lot of driving so when I saw that there was a hotel, restaurant and a FANTASTIC MARINA I thought great and booked. We drove down from Orlando, arrived mid-afternoon was given a room upstairs (yes they are a little unusual but perfectly safe). When we arrived and booked in the staff was very friendly and we went up to our room, went in and hubby said "glad it is for only one night", the room was plain but a good size, it had a large bed, tv and a bathroom all that we needed. When we went into the room the curtain was drawn and it looked very dark, but when you opened the curtain (yes only one, but it went almost the length of the room) the view was BREATH TAKING. Just looking out made you completely relax and the view was worth 10 times what we paid for the room. We did not have any insects (which I am very pleased about), I did not go round with a cloth and see if everything was spotless, it did not look dirty only tied and I would rather spend my time looking at what was outside the window or sitting on the balcony then worrying about the state of the room. We went to the Ale House for a snack and our evening meal it took us all of 30 seconds to walk to it and the service was A1. The girl (sorry forgot her name) behind the bar could not have been nicer and nothing was too much trouble. The snack in the afternoon was very nice and the portion was good. My hubby had the special that night which was blackened chicken breasts with vegetables (yes I really said vegetables - you don’t get them that often, it is usually salad), and he said it was one of the best meals he had all holiday. So again nothing to complain about only congratulations to the chief and barperson. Oh and plenty of seats and tables outside and in. LASTLY BUT BEST OF ALL the next morning (took 1 minute to walk from hotel), I swam with the manatees, there was only hubby and me on the boat, we had Captain Charlie and he was lovely, we went to 3 sisters nice and early I think I was the first person their and it was fantastic. So quiet and relaxing, I saw 15/20 manatees, stroked a few as they swam underneath me, I just lowered my arm and stoked the length of them. A lot of them was sleeping and they were eithr floating on the bottom or just under the water (I was told these were the ones that has swum in overnight - I did not bother these, just let them rest). It was nice having the people in the canoes there to give advice and watch out for the manatees - also to show me where the exit was as I would never of found it on my own. After about an hour I got back in the boat and we were then taken do different parts of the river, I was asked if I would like to enter and swim some more with the manatees in different places but I had such a great time at 3 sisters it could not be bettered (also hubby did not want to swim so I was doing it on my own), but Captain Charlie did not want us to think he was short changing us. The 3 hours we had on the boat was unforgettable same as the photos we took. I can only thank the owner and Captain Charlie for such an excellent experience, $84 + tax; it was worth so much more. So to round off: Hotel a little sad, but staff great, Ale House great and Marina - A place of dreams. Go and don't be precious, enjoy the quite, the views, and the friendly service without any artificial hype and store a great memory that you will smile about for years and years to come. Hubby would go to the Ale House and definately the Marina but not the hotel for more than a day - I felt I had to add this last line. The rating is for everything not just hotel.

Room Tip: We had a room on the upper floor (2nd or 3rd from the end)
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank LesleyG24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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328 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Jasper, fl
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 31, 2013

My husband & I, our kids and several friends have stayed at the Port Hotel & Marina on numerous occations. While we typically will stay for a week in the summer, my husband & I have stayed a night or two at different times of the year. The staff here is always friendly and they go out of their way to meet our specific request each year. We like the bottom floor rooms facing the bay(makes it much easier to access our boat (free boat slip with room) and we have a small dog) and we have always gotten our requested room(s). We love that the people are laid back and unprententious. No snobs here. I agree that the hotel is a little dated, but for the price what do you REALLY expect. We get great rates for our weekly stay and only a very small pet fee. Personally I would rather deal with the flowered bed spreads and window AC units that pay double or better on the rates. The food at the Ale House is always very good, the staff there also very friendly. Plan to be back this summer as well.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Donna J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pilton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
269 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

I echo the previous reviewer in that how can a place like this, in a location like this have been let go so badly. All the manatee searches leave from outside making it the ideal choice? The tiki bar bar was less than inviting and its dark terrace with almost nowhere to sit, borderline unpleasant. There are some VERY NASTY BITING INSECTS TOO and the bites, like sand flies are still itching like hell days after our visit! Be warned! The food in the main bar offers vast quantities of very average to poor food. A good selection of beers though at the more welcoming indoor bar! The motel room was dark, dank and unloved.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank WaterwaysExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Crystal River hotels

Covington, Louisiana
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This place is an enigma to me. It has one of the best and most picturesque locations in Crystal River, it has a restaurant, and marina on grounds. There are boat and kayak rentals available on site. Sounds great, right?.....Wrong. This place could be great, but it is just standing in its own way. We reserved two rooms, and they were both awful. We opened the doors to both rooms, only to find them dank, dark, and smelly. It was sort of a combo between old cigarette smoke, mildew, and stale a/c. In one of the rooms, aside from just looking and feeling dirty, the door jams had been replaced but not painted. Additionally, the ceiling light had no cover. It was just an exposed bulb. The walkways in front of the rooms were just ugly and in need a attention. It is a budget priced hotel, so I wasn't expecting the Ritz. However, I was also not expecting a dump, and that is what this place is. On the up side, the desk clerk was nice, we felt safe in this location, and there were no problems with our bill. I cannot understand why the management would let this property go into such disrepair, because it has AMAZING potential. Rent a boat or a kayak here, but stay someplace else.

Room Tip: A good room would be at another hotel.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank rjadventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We rented a kayak here so that we could paddle among manatees. The staff was really friendly and offered helpful info. The kayak rental was a good price (3-seater for $55). One thing in particular I really liked: While out kayaking, we picked up a couple pieces of someone's garbage from the water and brought it back to put in the hotel garbage can. Not a big deal. But the staffer who rented the kayaks to us seemed to appreciate it a lot. And I really liked his reaction because it showed that he cared about what he does for a living - which I'd define as more about helping others experience the bay and marine wildlife and less about renting kayaks. It also showed that he respects King's Bay. This is an ecologically sensitive area, so if I'm going to tread there I want to be around people who respect it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scott B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New London, Connecticut
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed December 20, 2012

If you are a fan of the way Florida was many years ago you will love your visit here. Crystal River is uniquely situated 8 miles from the coast and surrounded by tropical woodlands and bayou. If you are looking to spend time here it is likely because of the Manatees. The Manatees are plentiful, the springs are clear and the hotel staff are exceptionally accommodating and friendly. The hotel boasts larger waterfront rooms, a dive shop, a waterfront restaurant, a marina, and reasonable pricing on rooms, snorkel tours and food. It is simple to get to from Orlando and a great place to decompress. Exceptional value for the price! I will stay here again!

Room Tip: All rooms have a nice view of the river but the "a" wing has an unobstructed view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, TN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Headed back to the Port Hotel this December / 2012 - after Christmas to snorkel with the manatees. This will be my 4th stay in the last 5 years. Great location on the water; I rent my pontoon from the dive shop and head out to King Springs and Three Sisters. From what you will read in the other reviews - this is not a new place, but very clean, comfortable, reasonably priced and YES - Elvis did stay here - even though that section no longer exist.

I have taken my sons here and now taking my grandkids here. Excellent location to everything.

If you are looking for a room with a great view of the sunset, this is the place. To counter some other comment about not being per friendly, I did not find that to be the case. My nephew, his wife and son joined me here two years ago. They brought their dog and there was never an issue. The front office was very friendly and welcomed the dog in a warm manner.

Just understand this is not a 5 Star hotel or intended to be. What was 5 Star was their service and attitude. Good Southern hospitality. You should expect nothing less. Enjoy - I did and will for the years to come.

Diver0529

Oh - make sure you eat at Dan's Clam Shack - best shrimp in the area and you have to have breakfast at Granny's - but go hungry!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Diver0529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Port Hotel and Marina

Property: The Port Hotel and Marina
Address: 1610 S.E. Paradise Circle, Crystal River, FL 34429
Location: United States > Florida > Crystal River
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 9 Hotels in Crystal River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — The Port Hotel and Marina 1.5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Port Hotel & Marina is a bustling Waterside Resort Located On Florida's Outstanding Waterways.This resort located on 7-acres has provided a scenic hideaway for the last 50 years.Tourists come to the waterside resort to dive in the fresh springs and experience some of the most exciting manatee diving in the world.• Dive Center• Manatee Tours• Boat Rental• Boat Ramp• Swimming Pool• Ale House Restaurant• Tiki Bar ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Port Hotel Crystal River

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