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“Missing that special something...”

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Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #41 of 51 Hotels in Key West
Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Missing that special something...”
Reviewed July 25, 2008

We visited Key West July 18 - 21 and chose the Casa Marina for the location and great beach view. We were down for the weekend to check out venues for our wedding next May.

I will start with the likes:
We loved the grounds-minus the seaweed, but this is the time when they do have a lot of seaweed. We liked that we could chill out on the beach in a hammock or a chaise. We also liked the large pool floats that we both could float on, which was relaxing and with all of the kids and adults playing around in the pool. We liked our ocean view from the room, especially at night. I liked the mp3 player/alarm radio (I don't say IPOD because I have a zen and mine worked just fine). The bed was comfy. The service was decent. The staff was helpful when you asked for help. I liked that I could be at a more quiet end of the island without having too far of a ride to get to the action of Duval.

Now, the dislikes:
The seaweed, which is not their fault it is a naturally occurance, but I thought the upkeep could have been better.

The poor service on the beach and poolside. I'm a small woman, and I can take care of myself. My fi would usually gather our chaises to lounge on the beach, since the beach staff never came over to offer help. One day, I had to get a chaise by myself, which I have no problem doing, except they were stacked a little high for me and I struggled a bit to release one..again, not a problem until I turned around a saw the hotel's beach attendant sitting down and looking at me as I was dragging the chair to my location without ever offering to assist me. He then gets up to remove empty chairs. Apparently, you have to go up to him and ask him for assistance. This would be an example of lacking that special something. Also, we never once had anyone take our drink order at the pool or on the beach. So, I never witnessed any of the staff going that extra step to provide excellent hospitality.

The drinks at the bar....SKIP THE BAR if you want a decent mixed drink. We're used to paying a lot of money for drinks and is not a problem when they have alcohol in them. The drinks seemed watered down and after two days I decided to watch them make the drinks and if they didn't give me the right pour (I've bartended before) I would ask for a remake. Which they would do, so not a problem except I shouldn't have to eagle eye the making of my drinks.

We did not like the shower stall in the rooms. I'm short so not a problem for me to push the shower head all the way back so water doesn't land all over the bathroom floor. But my fi is 6ft and this was not an option for him, so we ended up with wet floors, and having to ask for bathmats (which were not replenished) to clean it up.

Room service was ok. I ordered huevos rancheros with avocados, and the avocados arrived brown and mushy.

The thin walls. I could hear my neighbors. So I know they could hear us...Sorry to my neighbors :-). We are not loud people, but normal bedroom activities can be heard. I also heard a neighbor urinating in the toilet and then flushing.

Some other comments:
Saw two weddings at the same time. Which seems like a factory to me. The beach area was not cleaned up for the ceremony. I had checked out Casa Marina prior to my trip for wedding info, and I know that it is not an inexpensive venture to host a wedding there. So they could at least have made the area nicer. I decided when we arrived Friday, that I would give the Casa a chance as my venue, so I called and left a message with the wedding coordinator at the resort. 6 days later and still no phone call. I've chosen the Hyatt and I love the location, and as another reviewer stated the water is clearer. So Casa definitely lost out on business with me.

All this to say, we would probably stay again, but in the off season when the rates are less, as it's not worth it to pay more than what we paid. The view is fantastic, but I wasn't wowed. And if you drink alcohol, bring your own liquor and mixers and some plastic cups and enjoy them at the pool or beach. You'll save money and disappointment.

On a positive note, my fi left his running shoes, and called back yesterday and they said they would mail them back to us for free. So, that's a good thing.

  • Liked — The view
  • Disliked — missing something special to make it wonderful
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Joesluckygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Norway
2 reviews
Reviewed July 25, 2008

I will keep it short.... this was a fantastic experience for my girlfriend and I !

Very clean and up to date rooms, 2 large nice pools with their own open bars right next to them! :-)

You could hire scooters there, both on land and in the water and other nice in-water stuff.
Hammocks all over in the palms next to the water which we enjoyed at late evenings with a drink or two.

The people working there was a blast, giving us the best service we have to this day experienced!

Thanks Casa Marina for a fantastic stay!

  • Liked — The fantastic atmosphere this hotel had to offer
  • Disliked — Did not have a white sand beach and crystal clear water.
  • Stayed June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank OOB2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen-Norway
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2008

We stayed at Casa Marina Resort for eight nights this july and were really supriced that it was as nice as it looked in the hotels homepage. We stayed in the cheapest room possible,with no seaview, but felt therfeore, that we got really a lot out of our money. The room and bathroom was really classy. The pool was also very nice with enough sunbeds, but be in time in the morning if you want a sunumbrella. The seawater and beach was not as nice as the pool, but ok. We had some lunches and dinners at a restaurant between the hotel and The Reach resort. This was not so expencive and only 150 meter from the hotel at the public beach. We recomand this place for the food and since it was so near the hotel. The Casa Marina Hotel was the best hotel we have ever stayed at!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Liked — The staff, pool, Key West, room!
  • Disliked — The rocks between the sandy beach and the sea and the slightly muddy water near the shore.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank gjedden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
1 review
Reviewed July 24, 2008

Beach front property with two beautiful pools, docks, water sports
on site (I recommend the day trip to Ft. Jefferson, known as the Dry Tortuga's); jet ski's, scooters, bicycles, etc. The rooms were very clean as were all of the common areas. The staff was extremely accomodating, delivering drinks and lunch to us on the beach. The had activities for families (I didn't partake) but could see there was a "Dive In" Movie night out by the pool and several other related activities. The history of the Casa Marina is also charming and has an "F. Scott Fitzgerald" feel. It was close to the happenings on Duval Street and shopping. The food was excellent, especially the breakfast buffet. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Liked — Beautiful Property
  • Disliked — I couldn't have stayed longer!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank belladonna5656
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clark, NJ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2008

Third time to Key West, first time at the Casa Marina. I stayed at their sister resort a few years back, the Reach Resort (it costs less, but was much better in my opinion) We travel often for business and pleasure, so I'll give you the good, bad and the ugly about the Casa.

The Good: beautiful architecture from the early 1900's, has a private beach, but it's covered in smelly sea weed (most of the island is.... there is a small private beach next to the Hyatt that is all gulf of Mexico water and you can see the bottom, no seaweed), Nice big gym across the street, decent food even though it's overpriced (but all hotels are), Ipod clock radio in room, wave runner and other water sport rentals on site.

The Bad: No bathtub in ocean view suites, Our first room smelled of thick mold and we got moved to a smaller room, Wedding guests get first priority, Staff with thick accents or non-english speaking which was very frustrating, they do not clean your room every day unless you remember to leave the "service please" tag in your door, modern upgrades to room were inconvenient (for example, no glass door on shower or shower curtain, only one exposed socket for electronics), Pool has no deep end, so the water was actually hot, giving no relief (you have to walk out on the pier into the ocean to cool off), the staff puts large rafts in the pool and allows paddle ball and other sports in the pool leaving very little room to swim (not to mention it's obnoxious having balls flying past your head in the pool, one almost hit us)

The Ugly: There is a resort fee of $20 per day on top of the parking fee (self-park is $12 per night or valet is $20 per night), Valet is not always outside to fetch your car either! The breakfast staff is super slow - better off going to IHop on Truman/Rt 1 or going to the Banana Crepe Cafe on Duval St. for breakfast, also the hotel is not in walking distance to any nightlife or restaurants.

Our next trip to Key West is next summer, we will probably stay at the Hyatt Resort and try that one out. We will not return to the Casa and I would not recommend it to my friends. Key West is a great, fun place with many options. Don't get sold on the pictures from the Casa web site, the entire island is gorgeous no matter where you stay. Also, if you're thinking of a wedding there beware, we saw one take place on the beach - they didn't even move the beach chairs or trash cans and there was smelly seaweed in the backdrop (you'd think they would rake it up!) Also, the best restaurant to visit it A&B Lobster house -- it's dressy and a pricier meal, but I can guarantee you won't find a better seafood meal anywhere in the country. Happy travels!

  • Liked — The view
  • Disliked — The staff, the room and the hidden fees
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank krcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
97 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2008

This place is truly beautiful, dont get me wrong but there were some downfalls to this place.
First, you get the usual parking fee which is always a bit of a bummer, but then upon check in we noticed that we also get charged an additional $20 per day for things like the workout room and concierge! Since this place is not cheap, I kind of thought we would get that for free since we paid $300 per night!

The morning breakfast was pretty crummy as well- another $20 and service was horrible. I had to beg for some coffee!

And last but not least, this is not close to the town activities. Which could be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes. For a cab ride to town $10 each way. If you decide to rent a scooter, dont do it at the hotel- they charge around $35 per hour, when you can walk a block and pay $35 for the whole day!

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
4 Thank txwv2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2008

My wife and I booked the Casa Marina for a brief honeymoon stay in mid-May and it was incredible! The grounds of the Casa Marina are second to none from what we explored in Key West. They are pretty much done with rennovations and have excellent service and ammenities! From the hammocks under the palm trees to the free popsicles and cold wash clothes, the resort continued to impress. They were extremely responsive to upgrading us due to our occasion and even sent champagne and strawberrys to our suite upon arrival. We would love to go back, but it will be difficult to top our first trip there!

Stayed May 2008
Helpful?
Thank gopherstateguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Property: Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Address: 1500 Reynolds St, Key West, FL 33040-4768
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Key West
#10 Spa Hotel in Key West
#17 Luxury Hotel in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 311
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This Mediterranean-inspired hotel sits on a 1,100-foot private beach a mile from Duval Street. Our historic beachfront resort combines 1920s ambiance with a chic, contemporary flair, features sophisticated accommodations, complete with LCD televisions, iPod docking stations, and an in-room espresso, coffee, and tea maker. Amenities include: two tropical pools, water-sports activities, spa services, poolside cabanas, Sun/Sun Bar & Grill serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and The Lobby Lounge for tapas and libations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Key West
Waldorf Astoria Key West
The Waldorf Astoria Collection
Casa Marina Resort Key West
Casa Marina Key West

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