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Key Largo House Boatel
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Reviews (277)
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Reviewed January 11, 2014

This review goes for houseboat #1*, which I would avoid like the plague.

Pros:
1) It's a houseboat
2) It has a kitchenette
3) Gary, the on-site caretaker, is very nice and helpful

Cons:
1) Roaches: we didn't see any until the end of our last night there, but once you see one, you know there are about 1,000 lurking in the shadows. It was a great way to finish our stay, in other words.
2) An intermittent smell of raw sewage.
3) The bathroom was fairly disgusting, between the old astroturf floor and the...whatever brown crap it was that seemed to independently find its way onto the floor of the shower. Let's just say that it was flip-flop kind of bathing experience.
4) Beds were mediocre at best; sheets had stains on them. (I hear white-sheets and bleach make for a good hotel combo, hint hint.)
5) Ceilings are extremely low. If you're over 5'8 (1.75 m), this place is not for you.
6) The door is extremely difficult to shut; it is a crappy sliding door that clearly needs to serviced or, preferably, replaced.
7) The window next to the bed is impossible to shut all the way. This might seem trite but it was 50 degrees fahrenheit (10 degrees centigrade) one of the nights we stayed there.
8) George, the owner, is not in the slightest bit helpful. He himself is never there; nor does he answer his phone. Which might not be a big deal, except that we had severe difficulties getting to Key Largo. In fact, our original flights were cancelled and we did not arrive in Key Largo until a full day after we were meant to. Needless to say, it would have been nice to talk to someone besides his voicemail, on which we left several messages throughout the day. (And no, he did not get back to us.) We informed him (or his voicemail) that we would not be able to make it our first night by 5 pm that day (2 hours after check in...).

When we did arrive, he was certainly not there to let us in, although he did at least have the courtesy to answer his phone.

Finally, and I am in no way surprised at this, George charged us full price for the night that we missed, on the grounds that "if somebody had come" he would have had to turn them away. Now, I hate to be a skeptic, but I don't imagine that he had a lot of walk-ins on the first Monday of January when half the flights in the country were cancelled. Also there were other vacant boats when we arrived on Tuesday, thus making it even less likely that we would have "cost him money" by making him hold onto our room. Which, again, we had cancelled by 5 pm. He did offer us 25% off our next stay, so there's that. (Needless to say I won't be taking advantage of that...and you could tell he was well aware of that.)

It would have been nice if he'd cut us a break. In fact, given the fact that we booked for only three days and the cancellation fee in the contract is 25% of the total reservation cost, he's probably actually legally obliged to cut 10-15 bucks of the total bill. (This only came to my attention after our stay had finished, and I do not feel like getting in a fight over those peanuts.) All in all, his attitude and his lack of generosity were just another reason to hate on the Houseboatel

*we met a couple who stayed on another houseboat and it was so much nicer than ours it was not even funny. Dude should definitely charge about half of what he does for the piece of junk we stayed at.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank jlupo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed her last year and were happy with our stay so we decided to stay again this year. WOW! Big mistake. We had to sleep on the lawn chairs on the deck both nights we stayed there because the boat smelled like sewer so bad we couldn't stand to sleep inside the boat. When we arrived the walked us to our boat and opened the door. Instantly I could smell a horrible sewer smell. The lady I think her name was Elsa told me oh that's the ocean smell. I am sorry but I know the difference between Poop and Fish smell!!!! We told them that it was clearly a problem with the holding tank and we would like for them to have their maintenance man look at it. He said if we left for a few hours he'd have it fixed. He also mentioned he had been having the same problem with other boats there. We left and came back a few hours later and got a chance to get a better look at our Boat we were staying in #4. first of all the roof was leaking into the TV! the second Tv did not work at all. Infront of the frig they had layed flooring over a hole in the floor. Every time I stepped infront of the frig I thought I was going to fall through. The doors did not lock from the inside. To get to the deck on the boat you had to walk outside and along the very narrow side of the boat with no rail to get to it or you could crawl out the window in the front. Which was not very easy. There were also no table and chairs to sit at inside to eat. Not that I would have cooked there anyway. Stove had slop dripped down the sides. Not very clean at all! The boat beside us had a side dock that was attached to ours so if they walked to their boat it would rock ours. We will never stay at this place again. As I said I stayed here the year before and knew it was rustic and didn't expect more than that. But I draw the line at sewer smell and roofs that leak into a TV that is plugged into an outlet with about 5 other things. Very shakey. If you ask me the place is going down hill in a big way. BEWARE!

Room Tip: My tip is don't stay here!
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Chamelian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

The rooms are not the Ritz, but the view/ambiance of the property makes up for it. Plus they really try to make the rooms nice. Management is very nice and helpful. Great laid back location right in the Keys! Only downside is they don't have an ice maker so plan ahead!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Woj001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013 via mobile

A little run down but a good effort made to have it be decent. Clean inside though hardwood laminate floor consistently getting dirty by anything dragged in from outside. Easy enough to remember to remove shoes. Some circuit breaker issues threw power off from time to time. Small yet cozy and good for one. Can't imagine two people in here though. Considering how expensive everything else around keys is this was a decent value.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
Thank Deanne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2013

Came for something novel but too shabby too enjoy. I don't recommend it for couples such as us because it's shabby enough to ruin the mood. I'm sure you know what I mean. Management photos and description do not reflect the reality. The lady who cleans up has done a good job under a difficult situation, but it's the kind of place you could scrub until your hands are raw and it would still just feel kind of dirty. She does all that can be done but not only is the place literally, I mean literally, falling apart but the linens, towels, etc must have been bought at the dollar store along with the furniture. The mattresses however, must be second hand, just kidding, maybe they are just old. The location is very good, the decks are nice after you remove the water filled ashtray filled with old cigarette butts from the table. Many doors don't close including at least one exterior door. I don't care about the curved and tilted floor, light shining through the walls, lack of railings and wood rot here and there, but screws, brackets, ceiling rot and rust and other stuff that has fallen on the floor didn't help either one of us enjoy our stay which thankfully was only one day. Also we were a little cold and there is no heat.
And here is something odd. When we made our reservation, supposedly they were all full except for one unit a bit more expensive which we reserved. When we got there, there was just us and some friends of the owner. Did people who had reserved (and you have to pay to reserve), leave or what? Also, I really can't explain the good ratings and 74% overall this place got unless the friends staying there, perhaps for free in exchange for a good review, have something to do with it.

Room Tip: go someplace else
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CristoferPrado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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