There's a reason this place is rated second-worst in Key Largo, although I suspect it's not long before it takes the last spot. It's an old, unappealing motel with the least comfortable beds I've ever slept on in my life. The "continental breakfast" they advertise is just a heap of cheap packaged muffins that you'd find in a convenience store. But none of this is necessarily a deal breaker for a place if the price is right.
The initial price on this place seemed right, and we weren't expecting anything above and beyond the very basics. Where this place really fails is the customer service. The owner has absolutely zero respect for his customers. When we arrived, he ignored our presence while the girl up front checked us in. When he realized there were two of us, he pulled the girl into a side room, whispered to her, and she came back to inform us there would be an additional $20 charge. We asked why, and she said because we never told them there would be two people in the room. Mind you, we weren't being charged for a second person, just for not disclosing the second person up front. Who the heck has ever heard of something like that? We explained that when we called, the woman who answered never asked us how many people would be staying in the room. After putting up a fight, the owner finally waived the additional $20, but he looked absolutely furious about it. I remember thinking at the time, "this guy has a really strange way of running a service-based business."
But the real kicker came later that night. After returning from watching a sunset, I pulled a chair out of the room, sat out front with a beer, and lit up a cigar. Now, to be fair, the woman who checked us in did warn us not to smoke... in the rooms. In fact, she mentioned it three separate times, and I thought, "wow, they are really serious about this no smoking business." At no point did anyone mention that the entire compound was non-smoking. Nor are there any signs posted. Is it written in the contract like the owner says? Maybe... but who the heck stops to read the fine print when paying for a motel room for one night? Is it on the website? Again, maybe. But we never visited the website. We got the number off tripadvisor.com and called to make the reservation.
So there I am enjoying my cigar when the owner walks by and says, "there's no smoking." I said, "Doesn't that just mean in the rooms?" He said, "no, the entire facility is non-smoking." I apologized profusely and immediately put out my $15 cigar... which did not make me happy. Then we return home from vacation to find we have been charged an $80 fine! EIGHTY DOLLARS! My wife called and explained what I've written above, and was basically told, "tough s&!t." I've never heard of anything like this in my life. The owner says below that the policies are explained to everyone. They are not. If it had been explained to me that I could be fined $80 for smoking OUTSIDE, would have really pulled out a chair and kicked my feet up with a cigar not more than 50 feet from the front office? Hell, if I knew I was going to be fined anyway, I certainly wouldn't have put out an expensive cigar! Apparently it counts for nothing to the owner that I apologized and put the cigar out as soon as he informed us of the policy. And it baffles me that he can't comprehend how customer service that horrible will affect his business.
Even if the customer service had been flawless, I still never would have stayed at this place again. But I certainly wouldn't have taken the time to write a negative review either. My recommendation, whether you smoke or not, is that you not give this place a second look. There are far better accommodations throughout the keys, for roughly the same price, with infinitely better customer service.
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- Also Known As:
- Key Largo Hotel Key Largo
- Key Largo Inn