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“Unfortunate lack of regard for guest - not a luxury experience”
Review of #1 Island Hideaway

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#1 Island Hideaway
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Service: We were assigned the "Sunset Suite". We arrived at the property in the evening of a holiday weekend. As per the instructions there was no one there to greet us. This did not pose too much of a problem other than the lighting outside the property is poor and it is hard to see the entryway to the units. We had to search around for some time and still were not sure that the unit that was left open "windows and sliding glass doors" was actually assigned to us. It would be helpful for the owners to post welcome sings for guests arriving, particularly since they have a very skeletal staff and apparently, from what I've read of the reviews, are frequently not onsite. The unit we rented seemed clean and very well appointed on the surface, until we entered the bathroom. The shower floor and bathroom perimeter were infested with carpenter ants. This naturally left me with the feeling that the property had superficial decorating appointments but lacked attention to maintenance which is crucial to property management protocols. There were also "ghost ants" crawling over the kitchen counters and sinks. Nonetheless we decided to make the best of it and place a maintenance call for a quick extermination. We called the numbers provided for help and left messages at both the reservation line and the on the cell phone number provided by Rhonda and Phil. Our calls went unanswered until the next day.

What was more appealing was the discovery that the unit had no running water. We discovered this while waiting on a return call and after using the facilities (toilet). It would not flush. We then realized this property was attempting to pass itself as a 4-5 star luxury resort but our experience was quickly shaping up to be very disappointing and bordering on breach of contract based on the website description and rental agreement provided. My fiance has manages a multi-million dollar catering company with corporate clients and has directed hundreds of functions, including lavish weddings and private parties for wealthy clients for over 35 years. He is adept at the hospitality industry and we understand that mishaps can occur. What we will not accept is the disdain and lack of regard in which we were treated. We called the property owners numerous times (per the rental agreement Phil "lives upstairs" but the upstairs unit was not occupied and no one was around to assist us. We had to drive to town to use the bathroom. We could not shower, wash dishes or any other function that requires water. This would NEVER happen at the Peabody, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, J.W. Marriott or any other true luxury properties.

Further, to add insulting to injury, Phil finally called us the next day with a combative and defensive posture. He did not apologize initially but instead made excuses such as (this is an island, there are ants everywhere, good luck with getting rid of them or my cleaning lady accidentally turned the water off to the unit, you guys got a good deal on this through Groupon didn't you, etc...). He argued with us rather than presenting a sincere and humble apology and offer of corrective measures. Phil did not seem to be familiar with the terms of his own rental agreement which stipulates that guest are required to launder the sheets upon departure. He argued with us that a washer and dryer were not included in rental, yet sent us a rental agreement instructing us to wash, dry and fold his sheets! He seemed to imply that we wanted launder our own garments. Nothing could be so absurd. We intend to spend the weekend relaxing and enjoying what was advertised as a "luxury property". We had no intention of washing bedding, exterminating, sanitizing kitchen counters and dishes nor being confronted by a belligerent and ungraceful owner. When I asked for the property licenses to report the incident to the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants to file an incident report, I was told all the information was on their website. This was not true at the time and Phil refused to cooperate with me in providing the license information which may be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Consumer Protection Requirements.

The saving grace for our otherwise spoiled holiday weekend was the fact that Christy the cleaning lady, came and explained the situation the next day. She was apologetic, kind, sincere and asked us how she could make it right. She offered to move us to another unit and we obliged. She placed us in the "Sand Castle Suite". She was attentive, professional and honest. We ended up staying the remaining weekend only due to her attempts to turn a horrid experience into a positive one. Going forward we will be renting from Christy when visiting Fort Myers Beach for holiday.

Value:Under the terms of the Groupon agreement and the property agreement this would have been a good value. Given the severe shortcomings and lack of regard for paying guests I would say the value is not commensurate with the overall experience, despite the discounted rate offered by Groupon. The property is advertised as luxury, and it is apparent that great pride and investment was made by the owner in the decor and furnishings, yet I also noticed places where they skipped on items such as the scratches and dents in most of the stainless steel appliances (likely obtained from a scratch and dent reseller), the sofa in the "Sand Castle" was advertised as high-end but it was hard and I could feel the frame in the center of it when seated. This appears to be a DIY special remodeled and updated in very good taste but falling in disrepair in numerous areas. The pool was dirty and unusable, the BBQ appears to be a yard sale relic, rusted and filled with old used charcoals. The fire pit had discarded cigarette butts and the spa that is advertised was unusable. Apparently it has been in need of repair for sometime based on the reviews I have read. Finally, on our last day of vacation there was a power outage yet we never received a call from the owners to find out if we were okay. I certainly recognize they cannot control a transformer power outage, but a simple call or email checking on us would have demonstrated their level of hospitality professionalism and prowess. The cleaning lady did come over after a bit to check on us.

Cleanliness: Infested with ants, some dishes in the cabinets were visibly dirty. Otherwise the linens and bedding appeared to be clean.

Overall: Due to the lack of adherence to rental agreement and deviation from published process for check-in, maintenance emergency, and epic failure to present as a professional hotelier and hospitality professional I cannot recommend this property.

Room Tip: The ground unit appears to be more susceptible to ant infestation. If after reading the negative rev...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank StarLiteWishes51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FreeIsland, Owner at #1 Island Hideaway, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

We regret when any guest is less than satisfied with their stay at our property and will do everything possible to address any concerns brought to our attention. We are a vacation rental property and not a hotel, we do inform our guest that when making a reservation they will receive the information needed to access the unit. Although we do live onsite we travel extensivly, all of the units are clearly marked with the address and we have equiped the entry doors with code locks that are changed for each guest. We do respond as quickly as possible to our guest and their concerns. Once the issue was known (less that 12 hours from checking in) we sent in the pest control company within the end of the day. The water to the unit was accidentally turned off by the cleaning crew after they had washed down the side entry to the unit.

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21 - 27 of 66 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2012

Just back from a quick trip to Ft Myers Beach. Island Hideaway was perfect. The bungalow was well equipped..dishes, towels, wi-fi, cable, even napkin rings! Lovely decor, friendly people and so close to the beach and restaurants. Went to a terrific sushi place called Zushi Zushi. Island Hideaway provided beach chairs and beach towels...comfy beds and it was super clean. I would definitely go there again!! They also accommodated our beautiful dog, who became the hit of Ft Myers!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank AmyLondon44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

I found this place while searching online for beachside rentals. I'm was really pleased that it offered everything they advertised. It was beautiful, affordable and a great weekend hideaway for me and my sweetie who live in northern Florida! We would definately come back for a longer stay! Oh also the bed linens will make you not want to get out of bed!

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank Valencia E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2012

I should have known what to expect from the previous reviews but the pictures sold me. The area is a little rough. It's not very well taken care of. Service is not their best quality and the place is just ok. It is upgraded but it's also a little thrown together. There's random silverware, plates, etc. nothing matches so I wonder if it's a collection from past guests. Also in the bathroom drawer is remnants from other visitors like earrings and razors. There was someone's half used bag of ice in the freezer so it makes me wonder how thoroughly they clean everything else. The pool and spa are gorgeous but we couldn't figure out how to turn it on and there were random tiles in the walkway so maybe it was "under construction".

The best part was the bed. They rave about their sheets and they are nice and the best was very comfortable.

I probably would not stay here again.

Room Tip: I don't think you really have a choice on rooms.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank jhb1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2012

My husband and I bought this off groupon expecting a little romantice place to stay for our 10 year anniversary , we arrived to find we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom since the AC went out in the one we were supposed to stay in , so we walk in to a little beach house which was very cute and cozy , but it took us several minutes to lock the front door since it was a very old lock , and there was no toilet paper , the guy who checked us in said he would go grab some, he came back with a half of roll and said he would get more , we never seen him again , also on the groupon it states bike rentals for 2 hours , well there is about 5 bikes in the shed half not working and you can ride them whenever. its a very cute place and would go again with the family if they would get it together a little more plus when it was time to check out we couldnt find anyone and called about 20 times and never heard back from them so we left the key on the table and left.definitly not the way to run a buisness !!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank shannons88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

We arrived at 9 PM, there was no office and we had no idea how to check in. So we called the number and left a message. With it getting late and us being sleepy, we decided to call it a night. We got a room at the Hampton Inn several miles away.

We woke up and decided to move around while waiting for the phone call. We went and had lunch and at around 1:30PM we received a phone call back. We had not received the check in information that told us our room number and how to get into the suite. They told us our room number and that the key was under the doormat. I decided to let that be that and move past a miscommunication, I thanked them and we went to the unit to get settled in. We went to the unit and found the key under the doormat. The key, however, did not work. I called and left another message, but after waiting a couple of more hours, we decided that the vacation was a wash. We had only booked two nights for a weekend getaway. We drove home. It is now later that evening, we are home and have not received a call back.

We are still sore about the experience, that I can safely say makes my worst vacation experience yet. Move on and find something more reliable. Them not being responsive appears to be an experience common based upon the negative reviews here.

Room Tip: Find another place.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank Geoff L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2012

My husband and I booked our unit back in March of 2012, 3 months in advance, looking forward to a relaxing long Memorial Day Weekend. My husband is a Navy Pilot and we found out last minute that he would be flying late Friday and that we would have to leave Jacksonville late afternoon. We reserved our unit from Fri - Mon. Rather than arriving Saturday afternoon and lose a day of our trip to traveling, we decided to leave Fri after he landed. I informed Rhonda at Island Hideaway that we would arrive late Friday evening. She told me this was not a problem and that the porch light would be on for me. After driving 6 hours and 350 Miles we arrived to the unit at a quarter to midnight with the check in directions emailed to me.

Upon unlocking the electronic lock with the code given to us and walking into our respective unit we found 2 pairs of shoes at the front door and other peoples belongings inside! Another couple was sleeping in the bed inside! We left the unit immediately and walked around the back of the building in hopes someone would be outside that we could talk to. We weren't sure what was going on and called Rhonda with no response about 20 times. I also called the Island Hideaway reservation line with desperate hope someone would answer! It was obvious that they gave us the incorrect check in instructions. (which by the way, were emailed to me - not once but TWICE!) Finally at 1230am we decided to leave the property with nowhere else to go and drove to the East coast of Florida where we have family. I did not want to spend another penny on our trip and book a hotel room. We then drove another 150 miles and arrived in Boca at 3am!

It was not until 9:30 Saturday morning that we finally heard from Island Hideaway. Phillip (who I had not dealt with once in the 3 months of correspondence with Rhonda) contacted me from a new phone number I had not seen before, asking where we were and told me that they were waiting on us. He told me that they had upgraded us to a 2 bedroom unit. I thought this was a joke or prank call from a family member who had heard of our insane experience. I was told that this was no joke... The audacity of this man had me shaking! After our horrible travel experience and lack of sleep from the nights adventure I was in no mood for this mans attitude. I am almost certain he knew we had walked in on one of his occupants in what was supposed to be our unit. I asked him what would have happened had the couple inside thought I was breaking in? They could have harmed me! He told me that that would be a "separate issue". He told me that he lived on the property and we should have found them? How in the world was I to know where they lived? I then asked him if he wanted me to knock on all the doors in the complex and wake up his other guests. He said YES! He then asked us to come back and that they would extend our stay. He said that now since we had left, they were stuck with an empty unit on a Holiday Weekend. Are you kidding me? It was obvious they knew they had made a mistake and rather than apologize profusely, the blame was shifted to my inconvenienced husband and I. I understand these mix ups can happen but to not have another phone line or way to reach the property manager is inexcusable. Especially as they knew we would be arriving late. They were more concerned with having an empty unit over a busy weekend than our troubles.

We were refunded our money already so that is one positive from the "vacation". What a mess. These people need to get their acts together and learn a lesson in customer service. I am appalled at our experience, even more so that since we are a Military Family my husband's days off are far and few in between.

I would NEVER recommend this rental company to anyone. Not because our unit was occupied, I honestly do understand that these situations can happen, but because of the way I was spoken to after everything had happened. Thank you for treating your Military members with respect, especially on Memorial Weekend. Disgusted.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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21  Thank babyglitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about #1 Island Hideaway

Address: 165 Anchorage St, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931-3843
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Fort Myers Beach
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Fort Myers Beach
Price Range: $143 - $278 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — #1 Island Hideaway 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your luxury home away from home. A great weekend getaway to relax on our white sugar soft sand. #1 Island Hideaway has just been remodeled inside and out. Each suite has a king size pillow top bed with linens used only at 5 Star Resorts, spa like bathrooms, fully stocked gourmet kitchens, flat screen TV's, cable, wireless internet. Several outdoor sitting areas to relax in with waterfalls, fire pits, tiki torches and beautiful tropical landscaping. New pool and spa coming summer 2010. Just bring your clothes and food and toiletries. Come spoil yourself. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Hideaway Hotel Fort Myers Beach

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