We stayed in a 3 bed/3 bath townhouse from 7/17-7/24/12. There were 5 of us, with three kids under 15.
First, the good/great things about this resort:
1. It's beautiful! Great plants, nice pools, and great setting on Duck Key with lots of views of sunsets, sunrises, boats, etc.
2. There is a LOT to do here. Plenty of activities for all ages -- sports, massages, kids pools, adult pools.
3. Lots of food. Plenty of restaurants to choose from and a convenience store in case you want a few groceries or snacks.
4. Cable system with lots of channels and the ability to watch free movies! Not first run, but still nice for a rainy day (which we had only one all week!)
Now the bad:
1. Housekeeping was non-existent. We were there for 4 days and literally had no one ever stop by to empty trash or provide new towels or anything. We reused towels, which we were ok with, but after 4 days they were rank! I would have emptied the trash too, but there was nowhere to do that. We asked at the front desk and were told they do not do a full cleaning every day (which I'm totally ok with) but that they should come by and at least do trash and towels. They gave us new towels that night (never took the old) and I thought we'd be ok from there on out. The next day, still no housekeeping. We escalated the issue the 5th night to the manager. He assured us the problem would be solved. The next day, STILL no housekeeping to speak of (and we were there all day due to pouring rain). So we emailed every manager and owner of the resort we could find. Funny enough, we got 4 phone calls that night and our entire unit was cleaned! Which was great, since we had no more dish detergent, no towels and no clean dishes to use either. Sad that it took THREE complaints to get anything accomplished and had to involve higher up than a manager to see results!
2. Saw several people in our row of units that must have also had the same problems because one guy was begging a resort employee to take out his trash and another unit had a giant stack of towels and trash outside of the door.
3. There is no place to really swim in the ocean here. There is ocean water in the "lagoon" but it is very murky and a lot like swimming in a lake.
4. The food is ridiculously overpriced and not good. I expect the high prices at a resort, but the quality is usually much better than this. I am also a vegetarian, along with my teenage daughter, and there is not many options there for us. We ate one lunch at the grill by the pool and one dinner at Tom's Harbor House. After spending over $100 at each (for a family of 5), we ate most of the rest of our meals in our kitchen. I only ordered two cocktails and they were $10 each and I'm not sure there was really any alcohol in either of them.
5. Service at the restaurants is terrible. I assume this is because they already have 18% tip added, but it's no excuse for not providing adequate service.
6. Not sure if the resort can do much about this, but there are mosquitoes everywhere! Wish I would have taken pictures of our legs to post here. It was very uncomfortable to sit by some of the pools at night because of the bugs constantly biting you. And there were tiny ants EVERYWHERE that you had to brush off the chairs to even sit down.
7. Activities abound but none are very spectacular. Most are overpriced, as with most resorts, and you can get nearly all of the activities cheaper elsewhere. Try Sombrero Beach in Marathon for snorkeling/picnic/etc. plenty of diving and parasail tours if you research before you go.
8. The tram is great to get you around the resort, but the drivers were rude. I saw them completely blow through stops on occasion and not even wait to see if someone was coming. (we were 20 feet away once and he just kept going).
Overall, I really loved this resort when I saw it online and read the reviews. I am generally not picky when it comes to hotels/resorts, but for $350/night I would have at least expected to get trash pick up and towels every day. I've had better service at a motel 6 and better food at an applebees.
Location is great, but don't expect ANY customer service. When we checked out, the guy at the front desk asked how our stay was and we told him it was not good. We summarized our issues with housekeeping and managers and he literally didn't say a word. He handed us our bill, told us we were paid in full, and to have a good trip home. I think either he doesn't care or they hear this so much they are used to it. Either way, management needs to step up and train their employees better and/or fix the morale problem they seem to have.
I would love to bring my family back to this resort, as it could be fantastic if everything on the website was true and we LOVED the Keys, but not sure we will return if we keep seeing reviews like ours. I think we will just rent a house on Marathon and save the money.
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- Also Known As:
- Village At Hawks Cay Villas By Keys Caribbean Hotel Duck Key
- Village At Hawks Cay Villas By Keys Caribbean Duck Key, Florida