I was worried about staying here given the reviews but decided to give it a go as it was so convenient for the manatee snorkel trips.
The hotel is old, but service is good and the rooms well maintained, clean, have free WIFI (they also have a free terminal you can use in their lounge), free breakfast (can´t comment on this as I was on a snorkel tour both mornings when they opened at 6:30 AM.) My king bed was super comfortable and I slept well. (If you don´t want to be next to cars, ask to be in the upstairs bedrooms (they are Kings) rather than in the twins downstairs.)
There are two decent restaurants a few steps away.
If you want to snorkel with manatees, I recommend Bird´s Underwater. They are on the water a very short walk from the hotel. Crystal Divers leaves in front of the hotel, but Bird´s is the first boat out as they they get you to their shop at 6:15AM. Other dive shops were getting their folks to the site when we had already finished our snorkel. They also really care for the manatees and will tell people off for crowding them and even called the Wildlife Dept. when they noticed one manatee was not doing well. It was great having the springs to ourselves until American Pro Dive showed up with tons of kids who harrased the manatees.
Birds recommended a visit to the Homossassa Springs Wildlife Park which was great. It´s only 20 minutes drive from the hotel.
I´ve decided to come back to snorkel with the manatees with my nephew and niece and will definitely stay at the Best Western.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Overlooks the Crystal River, and has a dive shop on property. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Crystal River Hotel Crystal River
- Crystal River Best Western