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“Rules, Rules, Rules”
Review of Ivey House

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Ivey House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I had to book the cottage as there was no room available for 5 nights. For the price and location I expected better furnishings. The coffee pot was cheap and leaked and the living area was furnished with a microscopic tv. It was quite basic but I must say, very clean. I was with my mother who enjoyed breakfast every day. The WIFI did not work well throughout the property and this included the cottage.
Though I am a smoker, I am accustomed to smoking outside. However there are signs and papers you have to sign saying that you will smoke ONLY around the block, across the street in a parking lot, on a bench of shame, or be charged $250.00 per event. They make you sign an agreement to this after you give them your credit card. I found that to be punitive as we had rented a cottage away from everyone else and it would not have bothered anyone if I smoked in the driveway of the cottage.
I signed up for the kayak trip, and had to sign a few pages of legalese saying that no matter what happened on the trip, I had absolutely no right to sue anyone. I would not have, but I resented the blanket protection they insist on, as if I had no rights whatsoever, and they had no responsibility. I have kayaked etc and never had to sign away my firstborn to take a simple trip. It gives you a bad feeling about how they view their customers.
There are other rules about towel use etc that you do not encounter elsewhere. Frankly, I think that most people use common sense and try to be good guests and that it is insulting to be told exactly how to be a good guest.
Anyway, kudos to the cleaning staff and breakfast staff and the staff who mailed me the book I forgot, but next time, I will likely stay elsewhere. I do love the Everglades.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank bostonjudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz M, Director of Sales at Ivey House, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2013

Thank you so much for your very frank comments and feedback regarding your recent stay at the Ivey House. Please accept our apologies regarding the extent of the "rules" present on property. I do believe this is a case where, in an effort to make the property clean, green, and accessible to all, we may have stepped over that very fine line into alienating, and please know that is absolutely not our intention. As a result of your comments, we will most certainly be revisiting some of our policies and signage.
We appreciate your comments, perspective and point of view, and truly hope to welcome you back to Everglades City again the in the future.

All the Best.

Liz M.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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430 - 436 of 1,119 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2013

My family recently stayed 1 night in the Ivey House lodge prior to a 4 day kayak trip in the Everglades. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The breakfast included was excellent with eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, etc. Plenty to fill up our college-aged sons prior to our paddle. The lodge rooms are spartan with a shared hall bath, but we had stayed here 2 years ago and knew what to expect. It was just what we needed for one night for 6 of us, since we weren't going to spend much time there. They have more traditional hotel rooms near the pool for those that aren't as budget conscience. We rented our 4 kayaks from them as well, which is a great value because they were in very good condition and at a discount for guests. I would highly recommend the Ivey House.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank TNgang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed at the Ivey House Inn as part of their two-night Everglade Adventure package. We enjoyed our stay and I think you can catch most of what there is to see in the area in two or three nights. The Inn itself is not on the water but is located in Everglade City. There is a large parking lot across the street for parking and there is even a 7-11 on the back side of that lot (closes at 11:30pm). There are roads on all sides of the building but I never heard any street noise…the whole town seems to shut down around 10:00pm. The Inn is accessed by a security code, but any number seemed to work while we were there. The staff was very friendly every time we talked with them. We would recommend to friends if they were staying in the area.

The place is very clean and relatively new looking. The area with the rooms surrounds a pool that has a pavilion over it and mosquito netting on the sides so you feel some of the outside air, but do not need to worry about the bugs. There is some nice landscaping around the pool and a small waterfall. Each room has a small table and chairs out if front of it so you can enjoy this area even if you are not at the pool. We were in room 35 and it had one king sized bed so there was good open space and it felt very roomy. There was also a writing table, a comfortable chair, a TV stand/ dresser combo, and a dresser. The room was equipped with a small refrigerator, flat screen TV, alarm clock, phone, Wi-Fi, ceiling fan, heat and AC. We had a window to the outside that let in a little natural light during the day. Overall we were happy with the room, but we spent very little time there.

They do have an ice machine, some vending machines, and a small Laundromat. There is also a good gift shop. We were able to get a few things for the folks back home. They do not have a restaurant on site, but they do have an area where they serve free breakfasts. I have been to many free hotel breakfasts and this one is one of the better I have seen. They had eggs and bacon, bagels, toast, cereal, fruit, juices, oatmeal, and good coffee. Tip: they only serve breakfast during certain hours…but the coffee machine is an on-demand type so we had had coffee in the late afternoons too. The manager is usually in the area and he is always happy to visit with you and help you plan your stay. He has connections in the area and the all keep each other informed of who is seeing what…so if you tell him your interests, he can tell you the best places to go. The box lunches that were part of the package were handy while we were out sightseeing and there was enough for lunch and a snack or two plus a bottle of water.

Our adventure package included an air boat ride, swamp buggy ride, tickets to a small zoo, and a kayak trip. None of these were run by the hotel, but they gave you tickets. The Kayak place is right across the street and they drive you in a van about 20 min. to your launch point on a small creek. We had a choice of an early morning, mid-day, or evening trip and we chose the morning trip. Our guide was knowledgeable about the wildlife and we saw a good number of birds, turtles, a snake, and of course lots of gators. This is an easy trip even for beginners. There are some cool mangrove tunnels that you pass through and a small pond at the end where you have a snack. Tip: Do not use a double kayak even if you are new. The creek gets tight in spots and the large kayaks are just too unwieldy. The other thing to note is if your group is larger than 6, put your patience hat on. I know they go out with 10 plus and I can see that being a mess.

The other activities were back east on the Tamanami Trail at Wooten’s. An air boat ride is something everybody needs to do once in their life. It is a very large air boat that can hold like 18 people. I did one years ago in a smaller boat and I think that was more thrilling. We still got a decent ride and saw a bunch of gators and the driver told us about the area. We did not go on the swamp buggy because it broke down. We did not ask for a refund…but it looks like it would be fun. We are not really into zoos but this one seems to be well maintained and the animals were mostly from the area. They have some real big gators and crocks and they certainly looked to be well fed. They also have a good collection of venomous snakes. I was disappointed to see that they have a few big cats. I would much rather see them in a larger enclosure with other cats. It is definitely worth the walk-thru while you are going for your airboat ride.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Bobo185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Recently my husband and I planned a trip to Florida. We decided to spend two days in the Everglades. We stayed at the Ivy House, and we took two kayak trips. The Ivy House and the kayak trips exceeded our expectations. The staff was helpful, friendly, and very accommodating as they answered our questions about what to do and how to prepare for the kayak trips. The kayak trips turned out to be the highlight of our entire vacation. Kayaking through mangrove tunnels was quite an experience. Both Tom and John ,our guides, were knowledgeable, experienced, and outstanding guides.

My husband and I highly recommended the Ivy house as a great place to stay in the Everglades. We also recommend the kayak trips, which are an exceptional way to experience the beauty of nature.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pajerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

We arrived in Everglades City in the evening after a long day on the road. We did not stop at any other hotel since we were very tired so we can not compare prices. The rooms with a private bath were more than we wanted to pay so we chose a room with a toilet and shower in the hall .We were shown one room which was acceptable but we could only have it for one night and we were staying for 2 nights. We would then have to change rooms. They had another room available for 2 nights which was further from the bathroom but we decided to take it. I assumed that the rooms were similar. We did not see the other room but checked in and then went to our room. The new room had an awful smell but it did not bother my partner and we were tired from the trip. We spent the night there but in the morning I told the receptionist about the smell. She informed the manager and he immediately spoke to us and changed our room. The smell in the room most likely came from people using insect repellent and not washing it off. I am glad we did not stay there another night since that stuff is poison.

If our room in the older part of the hotel had not smelled it would have been perfectly adequate. The 1st room we saw was fine. The common showers were old and need to be renovated. They could have been cleaner in places but were functional.

The manager apologized for the inconvenience and upgraded us without additional cost to a luxurious room with a private bath near the pool. .That room was beautiful and comfortable. There was a tremendous difference in standard between the 2 rooms.

My general impression is that the older rooms are highly priced for rooms without a bath but I am not sure of the general price level in Everglades City.. The newer part of the hotel is nice but with the tax it cost about $200.per night.Breakfast was good and the atmosphere was pleasant. The pool area was quite pretty and light with a glass roof. .

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank raela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We only had one night here just before our fabulous kayak excursion in the Everglades (ask for Russell as your guide - he's fab). The staff is so friendly and helpful. Our room was clean and ready for us, exactly what we needed. They are wonderfully experienced with visitors from all over the world and made us feel at home. Can't recommend them enough.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Berrygem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We came to Everglades, plannig to stay for a couple of nights, but founf thr town and especially the Ivey house to be so nice we stayed for four. The accommodations are basic in the lodge, but comfortable and the included breakfast was great. The staff here are VERY friendly,helpful and knowledgeable. When I come back here, this will be the place to stay. Wecame looking for birding and kayaking opportunities and the Ivey house staff were very well informed in these areas. They also have good information about the eating opportunities around town. Their box lunches were also good. Highly recommended!

Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Mike J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ivey House

Address: 107 Camellia Street, P.O. Box 5038, Everglades City, FL 34139
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Everglades City
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Everglades City
Price Range: $94 - $187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Ivey House 2*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the magic of this secret paradise located in the heart of historic Everglades City. The Inn is the first Florida Certified Green Lodging in Collier County and features free WiFi, a scrumptious breakfast, a relaxing pool, and a friendly staff available to assist you easy access into unique and breathtaking areas of Everglades National Park. For 30 years the Harraden family has provided travelers ways to explore this World Treasure. Make a Dream Vacation Your Reality! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ivey House Hotel Everglades City
Ivey House Everglades City, Florida

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