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.
- 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