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“Sort of quirky -- we had a good time there” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dream Bay Resort

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Dream Bay Resort
Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Sort of quirky -- we had a good time there”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2011

We booked the deck house for three nights in August and travelled with two teenagers and two tweens. Our initial thought when pulling up into the property was, "what the...?" The main thing that catches your eye at first is that the resort is in the same parking lot and shares the general area with an RV park / resort with about five RVs/trailers and a few houseboats. The house also was not exactly "luxury," more like a 70s-80s cabin. The master suite had an old, creaky bed; there was a separate bedroom (which shares a wall with the master) with two old twins. The master bath has a giant hottub which is used in the colder months only. There is also a fold-out couch (poor quality) in the living room and a futon in the hall. Needless to say, I would not recommend this place for "romance," especially if the kids are there (the super-squeaky bed alone might ruin you).

So...I got all the bad stuff out of the way. Here are the good things that made the stay overall positive (my kids really like it and thought it was very cool). First, it's a very quiet place, at least when we were there. There are two other smaller villas in the "resort" and they were both filled by small, nice families from Florida. It's quite peaceful overall. Second, and if you've been to big resorts in the keys you'll appreciate this, they have multiple kayaks and a canoe which are available 24/7 and don't have restrictions (e.g. another place we stayed required you to be 18, you could only take them out for an hour, and they were only available 9-4). We kayaked quite a bit, including to a neat little mangrove island a few minutes away. Third, despite the previous reviewers disdain for the "beach," it's actually the best set-up of the other three resorts we've stayed at in the Keys. Most places don't have an easily accessible bit of water (usually, you have to climb down rocks). Here, there is a nice sandy place for the kids to play (with interesting snorkeling right there with starfish and such) or to launch a small boat. There is a very tropical vista right there with mature palm trees and tropical chairs that is quite beautiful. My two little kids stayed down there for hours. Near the beach, there is a clean bathroom area for the houseboat people or for others hanging out. Fourth, there is a giant cement dock that wraps around and provides a nice place to hang out, take pictures, or chill.

The location is very near all the main things in Key Largo (you could easily walk to the scuba diving section and several restaurants) but is far enough from the highway that you don't have much traffic noise (another big plus in the Keys). It is also next to several cool, quiet resorts (such as Key Lime Sailing Club) and there are numerous sailboats in that area to add to the ambience.

We had interactions with two of the employees, a nice gentleman who's the groundskeeper, and one of the managers who lives in a houseboat. He's English, very friendly, and extremely mellow and accomodating. All in all, it's just a laid back place.

Would I go there again? Probably not, but I'm glad we ended up there and gave it a try. I definitely wouldn't want to go there for a romantic weekend, so buyer beware. But, with kids or teenagers, it's a pretty sweet place. FYI, the Key Largo Hilton is right down the road and seems to be a very nice, romantic place, but is pretty crowded and I'm sure they nickel-and-dime you (kayaks are like $23 an hour!). They have a great property, though, so I'd probably go there for a nice weekend without the kids.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank adrian_ok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2011

As we came down the drive to our accomodation, passing garbage, broken down tractor and equipment, we arrived at our accomodation. The manager was "out of town on business" and the office closed (always) We moved in to what we thought was our place, unpacked and started to clean and set up. Late that night, someone was banging on the door. It turned oout to be the 20 year old son of the single lady owner. He said we were in the wrong unit (there are only two) and demanded that we move immediately or before 8AM. So, late at night we re-packed, loaded our groceries back up and 2 hours later (with no assistance) were relocated.
Next morning at 7 AM the same young man was banging oin our door and would not leave until we had paid the balance in full
It was filthy by any reasonable standard. So many things were wrong *toilet wouldn't flush *vacuum stuffed and broken *electrical outlet sparking (reported by the previous tenant * half the light bulbs burned out * Only two ceramics in the main bath were in one piece. When we complained about the large branches broken and hanging across the doorway, we were told that the maintenance staff only worked "from 5AM till 9AM so if we wanted someone crawling on the roof at that time, they would fix it.
We were later e-mailed (impossible to meetr in person except once even though she lived next door) telling us that her manager son had resigned due to extreme pressure we put on him. Give me a break! For $3,500 per week plus $500.00 tax we wanted clean and tidy and not the marine like attitude of a young inexperienced manager.
NEVER AGAIN! We tried to leave early and forfeit some money but were refused.
A resort? It's a glorified collection of old and run down buildings and an owner who apparently doesn't give a damn.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank KeithinAberfoyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tcln, Owner at Dream Bay Resort, responded to this review, December 27, 2011
I had previously written a response to this guest, and also another guest, who was there at the same time, wrote a response describing how disagreeable this particular guest was, and what a great time they personally had at Dream Bay. Somehow, these comments have been removed.

This guest was obviously expecting a 5 star resort, which we are not. We are a funky, keysey place. We tried our best to address all his concerns and demands, but part of it was simply that he was incapable of relaxing and going with the flow. They hadn't taken a vacation longer than a week in over 30 years, and they booked a month, which I think they realized was too long, so they were miserable in general (the other guest mentioned overhearing his constant complaints and how he berated his wife).

Unfortunately, we did have a cleaning crew problem at that time, which I wasn't aware until later. That crew has been replaced. Also, the Deckhouse has been completely renovated this fall, with new paint, decor, and furnishings, so much of what he complains about has been remedied.

We do have some RVs on the property. They belong to some wonderful people, such as a Cuban family who often throws impromptu pig roasts on the beach for all the guests, but I understand the sight of "trailers" upsets some people. So, I'm sadly vacating those sites, due to this, but the reality is that many of the guests have gotten to know these tenants and had a wonderful time with them. We aren't a "trailer park". We're more like an eclectic collection of interesting characters. Those who live here call it a family. But it isn't what everyone expects or is comfortable with, so I've been gradually changing it into a more antiseptic environment, for lack of a better term.
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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 Dream Bay Resort

Property: Dream Bay Resort
Address: 4 Woodward Way, Key Largo, FL 33037-2427
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key Largo
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Key Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dream Bay Resort is a small, family-owned resort and marina located in Key Largo, Florida. We offer a limited number of vacation rentals with dockage and spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico. For many of our guests, one of the truly memorable parts of their vacation at Dream Bay is meeting all of the colorful locals that reside here. Friendships are made and guests often wish to stay in contact. Pets are welcome, trailer parking, and boat slips on site. Wireless internet is also available on the entire property, including the beach.Our friendly "compound" includes four rental houses, plus a small marina, which allows for a boat to kept here at no additional charge. A fishing jetty, tiki, picnic tables, and a small assortment of other residents and guests add to the laid-back, "keysey" charm. We are also convenient to Key Largo's main attractions, like John Pennekamp Park, many fine restaurants, sport fishing fleet and shopping. ... more   less 

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