First of all this is a hostel, and run like one: communal meals, shared bathrooms, some very unusual travelers from all over the world. After staying on the Keys for a few days in pricey digs I wanted something less expensive for our two nights at the mouth of the Everglades. This hostel is run well. Rooms were clean, although it is an old 40's building and needs some repair, and honestly, its funky, but to me in a good way. Staying at a hostel is very different than a motel or hotel, you are thrown together with your fellow travelers to some extent and rely on their thoughtfulness in cleanliness in your shared spaces. We reserved a private room, one queen, although could have had one of their two shared rooms: two singles, or a dorm room: bunk beds. The shared meals were heavy on the pasta and grain, but okay and reasonable, breakfast is make-your-own pancakes and coffee. We stayed two nights. The highlight was a full day tour with Grahm. we had planned to drive to Flamingo, through the Everglades and return that evening, but signed up for Grahm's tour instead and we weren't sorry. We walked through knee deep water and mud to a cypress dome-magical. Walked a boardwalk trail spying many birds and gators, canoed in the mangroves near nine-mile lake, deep in the Everglades. Graham proved lunch: make-your-own turkey or veg sandwiches, which we ate standing up under a park covered picnic area while getting blasted by a torrential rainstorm. We were muddy, wet, tired and had big smiles on our faces when we returned. I took an outdoor shower at the hostel to end the exciting day. The back yard of the hostel is a crazy whimsical garden including 9' high waterfall, huge screened gazebo set up like a sultan's tent, a long bedroom tent with queen bed and bean bag chairs and pillows.The music goes on until around 11, then it quiets down. I met a few other middle-aged folks like myself and a number of friendly younger folks. All the folks in our tour (limited to 7) were staying at the hostel, you get a discount on the tour if you are, but can take it w/o staying there. If you're hankering for your hippy past, or familiar with hostels and comfortable with the lifestyle, this is a terrific place to stay. If the Hilton is your idea of travel accommodations, or you're uncomfortable being thrown together with your fellow travelers, pass this place up.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A cozy laid back hostel just 10 miles from the Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, John Pennekamp State park and the Florida Keys are just 45 minutes south.The hostel offers Guided Everglades Tours, canoe rentals and bike rentals. Close to Schnebly Redland's Winery, Robert is Here fruit stand and the Everglades Alligator Farm for Airboat rides! Plus Skydive Miami, R.F. Orchids and Coral Castle. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Everglades International Hotel Florida City