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“Wanted to like it more!”
Review of Hawks Cay Resort

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Hawks Cay Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Duck Key
Certificate of Excellence
Baltimore
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wanted to like it more!”
Reviewed March 23, 2014

This place came highly recommended by several people as a family-friendly resort with lots of fun activities. All of that is true, but it disappointed on several levels. I was expecting a higher quality resort with higher quality amenities for the price.

Positives: The room was nice - stayed in Sunset Villages, which is quiet with a pretty view, but a bit of a walk from the main areas - loved the 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with kitchen option. Washer/dryer also very helpful. Downsides: AC very noisy upstairs, sheets were a little weird (no fitted sheet) and it wasn't as well stocked with kitchen items as I had expected, and I also would have liked to seen it cleaned and restocked daily (like a regular hotel would do) as we were paying over $500/night (I wasn't willing to pay an additional $35 daily cleaning fee, on top of the "daily resort fee", out of principle). The Sunset Villages does have a nice, quiet pool that we went to a few times. We also really liked the Indies Club (kids area) - lots of fun activities (basketball, mini golf, volleyball, ping pong) and a very nice pool that wasn't crowded at all. Downside: the "camp" isn't as advertised - we canceled our reservations for 9 and 11 year old. We also really liked the Marina area where you can get all the watersports (warning - kayaks are used up very early in the am!). We went snorkeling and loved it, but the water was a little murky that day. We also rented bikes from the Indies Club and went around the island, which was fun. We also did the Dolphin Connection, which was very good (better than one at Sea World) but also very pricey as expected.

Negatives: The resort facilities didn't seem to be large enough (or staffed enough) to accommodate the large spring break crowd - the main pool and lagoon were packed with people - lots of kids running around unsupervised (some very young) and lots of adults drinking heavily - very much a "scene" with women dressed to be "seen". No lifeguards and no staff managing or overseeing the chaos. The lagoon is pretty but looks a lot larger on the hotel website - it's tiny and we think the water gave my son a rash that lasted a few days. Not enough room for the kayaks and paddle boards they have to rent. After the first day, we mostly avoided this part of the resort (there are other good options thankfully). Also, the food at the resort was very average (which I expected) and the service very slow (again, mostly due to not seeming prepared for the large spring break crowds). We ate breakfast and lunch in our room everyday (good Publix in Marathon) and dined in Marathon every evening (Keys Fisheries, Franks Grill, Island Fish Company all good) - all about 15-20 minute drive.

Overall I would rate it a 3.5 out of 5 - we had a fun week but we probably won't be coming back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawks_Cay-FL, General Manager at Hawks Cay Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
We are grateful for your insightful review and positive feedback regarding our accommodations and breathtaking views in our Sunset Village. We regret if certain areas of our resort fell below your expectations. It seems that you were staying at a time when our resort was at full capacity due to spring break. We deeply regret that this impacted your time with us and we hope you won't let this discourage you from booking with us again. We hope we get another opportunity to welcome you back to exceed your expectations in all areas of your stay. Thank you.
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Delray Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
138 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2014 via mobile

Stayed for 3 nights in a garden room . Made our reservations 9 months in advance and actually stopped by on a previous trip to check the details... However when I was there in person they told me to call the 800 number. A bit odd but all was ok. We checked in about 2:00 and I had phoned earlier that day to ensure we would not have a long wait. Check in was quick and they had free valet with a very nice valet staff. We actually had two cars as I met my daughter and that was included as well. The pool was crowded but plenty if room at the tranquility pool. Food adequate for the breakfast buffet, kinda cold atmosphere. Enjoyed the poolside bar. Really liked the big fire pits late at night. The resort has a dive shop , & fishing boats available . All in all a nice resort, they seem a bit under staffed but it was a busy time of year.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cheryl b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawks_Cay-FL, General Manager at Hawks Cay Resort, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
Thank you for sharing your Hawks Cay Resort experience. We do deeply regret if you felt we did not deliver exemplary customer service during your visit with us. It seems we were very busy due to peak season and we apologize for any inconvenience that you encountered. Our goal is to deliver a truly memorable experience for each and every one of our guests and we hope you will allow us the opportunity to welcome you back again.
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We just returned from a 5 night stay at Hawks Cay and had a great time! There were 3 families in our group 5 adults and 8 kids ages 6-13. We rented 3 villas (one for each family). The villas were located in the sunset village. The villa my family got was very worn looking, but it served it's purpose and let all 5 of us stay together in one place without having to split up in two rooms. We appreciated that we had a kitchen (although we never cooked in it) and a washer and dryer. The villa had a nice back deck both downstairs and upstairs, but they is no barrier between the decks on the villas so you may be sitting out there basically with your next door neighbor. Our villa looked out over the water so it was a pretty view with a beautiful sunset.
As for the food we ate lunch at the beach grill and the other outside restaurant almost everyday for lunch and we thought the food very good with a large variety the appetizers were especially good. We actually ate dinner at one of the outside restaurants our first night. I found the prices to be just what you would expect at any resort. The drinks were good too! We did do the buffet at Ocean one night and it was good and reasonably priced for a buffet especially for the kids. We did go to Sparkey's in Key Colony (about 15 minutes away) for dinner 2 nights and it was great! Live music and they cooked the tuna our group had caught deep sea fishing to perfection!! One night we ate in Islamorada at Lazy Days but it was not good.
Our group tried most of the activities offered at least two of our group did kayaking, jet ski tour, segway tour, and swim with the dolphins. We tried to go snorkeling, but they cancelled it both times. One was St. Patrick's Day and I think the crew just wanted to party because it was an absolutely beautiful day. The other was for weather which I totally understand. We ended up getting a snorkeling trip out of Islamorada. We called about renting a boat for a 1/2 day but they were all booked up. Part of group did two 1/2 day fishing trips out of Islamorada and caught a ton of yellow tail snapper one day and tuna the next.
The one thing that was very disappointing was that they give you a sheet with the activities for the week listed i.e. flag football game, pick up soccer game, volley ball tournament, etc. We never saw any of that happen and I think our kids would have enjoyed playing in them.
The main pool was nice although very crowded and the lagoon was great. The kids loved renting the kayaks and paddle boards and playing in the lagoon.
Overall we had a blast!! The Keys are absolutely beautiful with a ton to do!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hnwmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawks_Cay-FL, General Manager at Hawks Cay Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
We are happy that our villa met your expectations! Thank you for sharing your detailed review of your stay at Hawks Cay Resort. It seems that you and your group truly made the most out of your getaway but we regret that your snorkeling trip was cancelled. We apologize if you missed the opportunity to enjoy all of the activities that we offer and we hope you'll have the opportunity to visit with us again to experience all of the exciting family-friendly activities, including a snorkeling trip!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallahassee, Florida
1 review
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Wrong hotel room and had to move twice, approx 700 room charge error, wanted to hold 1700 dollars for incidentals, tv broken. Only thing this place has going is its restaurant, the saltwater lagoon and the location!!!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carolinehab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawks_Cay-FL, General Manager at Hawks Cay Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
We can understand any frustrations that you must have been feeling at this time. We apologize for any inconveniences that you encountered with your room accommodations. We are disappointed to learn that your stay did not meet your expectations and we appreciate your honest feedback regarding your stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
Level Contributor
334 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2014 via mobile

We arrived at Hawks Cay around 3p.m. and were informed that our room wasn't ready but to come back at 4p.m. We were quite happy with this and went to beach bar for a drink and a snack. We returned to reception at 4.30 to what I can only describe as a set of headless chickens trying to run around and keep some very angry customers at bay. We waited for ages in a queue to find that they still didn't have a room for us. I said that this was not acceptable and receptionist disappeared for some time and then came back and said they had a room for us but no key. The key machine had broken and staff were having to take everyone to their room and let them in with pass key. The staff were doing their best but there was nobody co ordinations things. All that was needed was a manager to take control instead reception staff had to leave the desk to take people to rooms which held things up even more. We were then taken to our room at 5.15 to find the cleaner was in the room! We were so fed up we just sat on the balcony till she had finished. No one offered to send us up a key later so I had to stay in the room while my husband went to reception later on! Some guests were going to a reception in the hotel and were late for it and not very happy. This was a very bad start to what should be a relaxing stay. We noticed in general during our stay that staff seemed unhappy and lacked direction. Even getting a Starbucks coffee the next morning was difficult. The queue was very long as there was a new member of staff who couldn't work the coffee machine! What about staff training ?
This hotel is in a lovely location with good facilities and could be fabulous with improved management. Our room was lovely and we did enjoy our stay hence the 4 star review but it should have been 5 stars.
Hopefully our experience was a one off. A great hotel would have sent us up our keys with an apology and perhaps a bottle of wine for our inconvenience as problems do happen it is how you deal with them that matters.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank weelassieScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawks_Cay-FL, General Manager at Hawks Cay Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thank you for your review. On behalf of our entire staff, I would like to extend my sincere apologies for the unacceptable wait time at check-in. We trust that our staff did their best at this time and we sincerely regret if it was not enough. We are working hard to improve our property and are looking forward to many exciting projects that will be taking place at our resort throughout the year. We hope you will consider visiting with us again sometime in the not so distant future.
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Stacy, Minnesota
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

We stayed at Hawks Cay on Duck Key March 15 - 17. I wanted to stay in the middle of the keys so we could explore the first half of the islands on the first day, Key West on the second day and any other attractions near the area on the third day. Hawks Cay proved to be the perfect location for us to explore.

I liked the location, our hotel room was clean and recently redone, and the food and service at Alma was fantastic. We are a family of four with twin 13 year olds. We were celebrating our 24th anniversary. The reservations associate asked me if we were celebrating something special and I told her about our anniversary. We didn't receive anything in our room for the occasion. This surprised and disappointed me a bit. When you spend $1400 in 2 days at the property I thought a little something was called for.

I didn't like the sheer number of people/kids in the pools, on the chairs, etc... It was so crowded in the main pool you couldn't even move. We are used to The Four Seasons and Grand Hyatt properties. This was a few steps down in service and your experience. The concierge told us we had to have long pants and button up shirts for Alma. When we saw people with shorts and t-shirts going in. Thankfully the guy at Alma let us in with pants and golf shirts.

The check-in had 3 people working at 4:00 p.m. which resulted in a long line extending across the lobby. For a property this size and expensive I don't want to spend 25 - 30 minutes waiting in line to check-in. Your only options to eat are at the property. There are not other places to eat on Duck Key.

We were going to stay at the Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada and at the last minute I changed my mind in booked at Hawks Cay. I am sorry we did. We stopped at The Cheeca Lodge and it was beautiful! Free bike rentals, free kayaks, free 9-hole golf and close to a lot of places to eat. If we go back to the keys again we will stay at the Cheeca -- it had more of a Four Seasons feel!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KellyandKeith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawks_Cay-FL, General Manager at Hawks Cay Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
While we are honored that you chose to celebrate your anniversary at Hawks Cay Resort, we deeply regret that our staff missed this opportunity to make your occasion extra special. I'd like to extend my heartfelt apologies for the inconveniences that you encountered, especially the length of time that you waited to be checked-in to your room. Your comments will be used as a training opportunity to ensure a better experience for our guests in the future. We are always looking for new ways to improve our property and are pleased to announce that we will be making several exciting changes to our resort throughout the year. We hope you will someday allow us another opportunity to welcome you and your family back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
44 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Located in the middle of the keys, it is somewhat far from local restaurants. The resort food is very expensive. They were very short staffed and we waited 40 minutes for a "Keys burger". They sent a regular burger which would have been fine if it was prepared the way we ordered it but it was very well done and dry. I waited another 20 minutes for a burger that was slightly over cooked but I ate because I could not wait any longer.
The breakfast buffet is expensive but not unreasonable. The selections were good.
Make sure you sign up for any dolphin encounters ahead of time as they are limited and sell out quickly.
The grounds are a tropical paradise. There were several issues but I feel some of this was related to staff shortage and things not being followed through. Our room key worked inconsistently, the maid could not get in to clean. I'm not sure if we were suppose to have turn down service and she could not get in. The fire pit quit working on our second night. Disappointing! Also there were 3 hot tubs that were all hot but no bubbles... More disappointment!!!
I really feel most issues were a reflection of a very busy season with not enough staff!
The resort is beautiful and caters to families! Hopefully they can get the kinks out because this really is a spectacular place!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank eileen b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawks_Cay-FL, General Manager at Hawks Cay Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thank you for letting us know about your dining experience, as we are disappointed to know that your experience did not reflect the high standards we wish to achieve. Please accept our sincere apologies for the length of time that you waited to be served in our restaurant. It is disappointing to know that your burger was not to your liking and we regret if you left our restaurant feeling unsatisfied with your meal. It seems that we missed several opportunities to impress you and we hope you will allow us another opportunity to welcome you back to restore your confidence in our services.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hawks Cay Resort

Property: Hawks Cay Resort
Address: 61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, @ Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, FL 33050
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Duck Key
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Duck Key
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hawks Cay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hawks Cay Hotel Duck Key
Hawks Cay Duck Key
Duck Key
Hawk Cay Resort
Hawks Key
Hawks Cay Resort Duck Key, Florida

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