The only reason I think most people come to Crystal River is to snorkel with manatees. Other than that, there is not much to see or do in this town, so be prepared.
Since there aren’t a lot of hotel options for Crystal River, we had easily narrowed down our choices to the Plantation and the Holiday Inn. We decided to try something different and stay at the Plantation. I think, in all, it was a good choice.
I will start by saying that the outside of the hotel is gorgeous and the river snaking around the back of the grounds is lovely. The restaurant looked nice but we didn’t eat there due to price and lack of vegetarian options. We really enjoyed the pool, although the bar and fountain nearby where run-down. The bar was not open while we were there (Wednesday afternoon/Thursday morning).
I've come to the conclusion that hotels banish those that book through Hotwire or Priceline to the least inviting rooms on the property. Since we booked through Hotwire, that is exactly where we were put. We walked around the hotel after we checked in and noticed that everyone else was in the Rose Wing (which according to reviewers below, is the updated wing of the hotel). We were in the Azalea Wing on the complete opposite side of the hotel. We did not have a mini-fridge like other reviewers said they had, and I’m guessing it’s due to the fact we were in the older side of the hotel. At one point, house keeping had the room across from us open and we saw that it was being used as a storage unit. Obviously, no one has stayed in that room for quite sometime. It was odd to me that they would use a river view room as storage instead of letting guests enjoy it.
Our room was fine enough, the furniture and TV dated but not uncomfortable. The bathroom had an odd sliding door instead of just a regular run-of-the-mill door. We had a view of the parking lot. Since we were in the outdated Azalea Wing, we were nearly by ourselves. It felt a little odd to be staying so far away from the lobby and all the other guests, but at the same time it was very quiet and we had no problems with noise.
There were some issues with the bathroom for us. The sink and tub had hairs covering them. Not some little hair that one can easily ignore, but long black hairs that housekeeping should have noticed while cleaning. Also, when my husband went to use the shower, it sputtered and spit at him to the point where it was almost useless to take a shower. It seems like those pipes hadn’t been used in years. After about 10 minutes, the shower finally pulled itself together and the water came out as it should.
In all it wasn’t a bad stay or a great stay, but at least it was a unique hotel that we will always remember. I would recommend this place for families since it is a large hotel with a kid-friendly pool and a lot of grounds for children to run around. There are a lot of lizards they would probably enjoy seeing as well.
If you are planning on snorkeling with manatees, I highly highly recommend the American Pro Dive shop which is on the main drag through town. They were very professional and we had a great time.
Please note that there is not a lot to do in Crystal River. There is an older mall and movie theater, but that was about it that we saw. Also, vegetarians try to plan ahead. We didn’t and had a hard time finding somewhere to eat for dinner. We finally broke down and got Pizza Hut after looking at a couple restaurants that either had no veg options or where very overpriced.
Pros: unique hotel, front of hotel beautiful from the outside, nice pool
Cons: rooms outdated, bathroom not clean, shower needed repaired, grounds in the back run-down
Tips: Ask for Rose Wing since that is apparently where the newer rooms are. Have activities and restaurants planned out before you get to town so you aren’t driving around starving and bored. Snorkel with manatees at American Pro Dive Shop.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Plantation on Crystal River A hidden gem located on the Nature's Coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, our beautiful 50-year-old eco-friendly and green luxury resort hotel's surrounded by the natural springs of Kings Bay. This bay, in Crystal River, is one of the largest spring systems in the state and home to more than 500 West Indian Manatees that migrate each year to the warmth of the springs. We sit on 232 acres of lush preserve land with emerald greens and grand oaks, and house hundreds of birds and wildlife that include: Osprey, Sandhill Cranes, Blue Heron, Red-Bellied Warbler, Yellow-Bellied Warbler, Neotropic Cormorant, Great Egret, Eagles and Grey-Horned Owls to mention a few. OUR HOTEL IS THE PLACE TO STAY & PLAY IN CRYSTAL RIVER, FL Centrally located from Tampa and Orlando, we are a great location for your next • Florida vacation • Corporate Meeting or Retreat • Florida golf vacation • Incentive Group • Florida Wedding • Family Reunion • Fraternal Groups Should you have frequent business in the Citrus County, we have corporate rates available. We have over 12,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor meeting space and beautiful outdoor locations with water views a great backdrop for your special occasion, team building event, or to simply relax and take in the Florida Sunshine and perfect weather. Remember to visit Spa Bleu at Plantation while staying at the Resort to experience a moment of wellness at our first class Aveda Spa. Offering facials, massage therapy,body treatments, Vichy shower, pedicures, manicures, and a full hair-care Salon. And don't forget we are a world class fishing destination as well. Our Adventure center offers guided fishing charters as well and many other water based activities. Including our Trip Adviser top rated "Swim with the Manatee tours". We are the place to play and stay! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Plantation On Crystal River Hotel Crystal River
- Plantation Hotel Crystal River
- Plantation Resort Crystal River