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Reviewed September 4, 2016

Back in August we stayed here during our trip in Florida at Key West. The hotel in general looks OK, unfortunately I have two remarks which bothered us till now: never book the bedroom suite with balcony and try to stay away from the unfriendly front-desk guy or don't count on the hotel manager except if your family name is Waldorf or Hilton.

The photos of the bedroom suite with balcony looked nice on the website but either they lied to us or the layout is not as on the published pictures. The room was more square while in the floor plan it is rectangular (not that this was an issue), the sofa was a two-seater only and didn't have a corner seating and was rather a one person bed, two chairs and no bench as on the picture, also only two chairs on the balcony. The balcony view is a wall of the other building or if you’re lucky and are on the top floor the sky and the room of the other building. Yes you have some limited side view on the ... parking. And sometimes during the night you also have a rat running around as balcony pet. The room looked also older and had a dark wooden floor (pictures show a ceramic beige type of floor). As a bonus you can hear your neighbour, the room has a locked interconnecting door but doesn't keep any sound out so you hear what the neighbour from Texas was saying on the phone, to his wife and the TV program he was commenting on etc. I guess the same applied for them about us so we tried to be silent.

The main attraction was the front-desk guy or pitbull? called "Taj", he seemed to be trained to screw up people's holidays. I tried to stay calm but it is scandal for this type of hotels to talk down on clients and just walking away when things get too heated from his perspective.

What happened? First he gave a cold welcome and said that our travel agency only booked a standard family room, he explained quickly the path to our room and didn't give the info or explanation brochure of the hotel (my wife managed to go to another front-desk colleague from who she saw he gave more info), he pretended to be the boss and with a lot of experience ("top of the food .... hotel chain"). After the check-in we noticed that there was nothing to sleep on for the kids in the room. So when we inquired him he said that's normal, we do this overnight (so a hotel sends in each room a maid to prepare the sofa bed?). A guy came, however he managed to get away before I could say that we have two kids so one pillow (was only one in the closet anyway) might be a little short. The noisy room, was normal he could call security if the neighbour made too much noise (wow hotel security will beat him up?). Also we noticed that the room didn't look at all as on the website. Checked our booking we had (yes it said bedroom suite with balcony) and went back - only one guy at the front-desk yep him again- so explained that this doesn't seem to be the room that was booked as it was a suite with balcony and not a standard room. This was fuel to his engine so he shifted to another gear arguing that he never said we had a standard room and that this is the room that was booked, but he couldn't say or wanted to explain why it didn't look like on the website or why on hotel plan these rooms were indicated in the suite building and not in the main building?!

It is I presume part of his? or Waldorf’s? staff training scheme to argue with the client in front of others without hesitation (makes feel the client small and fragile against the strong forces of the hotel). As he could not explain, I asked his name that I wanted to speak the manager .... he simply walked away into the staff only area.

When we checked out we managed to have another front-desk person, we learned that this "famous" guy was a trainee. This guy that ran the scene left for school now ?????
Other front-desk persons seemed to be friendlier and assisting, however "Taj" was mostly the only guy around during our stay. What stroke me the most was that the hotel manager seems to be brilliant in absence, I believe he was around (blue shirt not the black shirt like the front-desk) but "Taj" was like a pitbull filtering away anyone coming to the front-desk so we couldn't catch anyone else. So I can only conclude that this behaviour is either tolerated or even promoted by the hotel chain?

My wife didn't want spoil our staying further so I didn't react too much to this treatment but for such a behaviour I cannot promote it either. I gave our feedback to our TUI group travel agency to no longer promote this hotel, I will also no longer privately nor professionally (nor any employee) go to this or any other hotel of this chain till this gets settled.

As the pictures nor layout nor on the hotel plan it didn't match with our booking I still believe we had THE WRONG ROOM and if it was the right room it was probably a non-listed room on the website which I don't know how you can book it anyway but that they explain why a "Bedroom suite with Balcony" is different (reduced) interior, view and layout while asking the same price! I had the feeling that the hotel was fully (over?) booked, as it felt like I entered one of those Disney hotels with crowded lobbies. May be they had an issue with the handling and attribution of the rooms. As a client I am willing to understand etc. but even then I would have expected first of all a client friendly host, honest treatment and in case of a dispute a manager that is present and not in post-mortem TripAdvisor comments !

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank erik456
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luke B, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2016

Thank you for your recent review of Casa Marina.

We are aware of the details of your stay, as they have been well documented within the hotel.

We wish you the best in future travels and would like to remind other readers, there are two sides to every story.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2016

Very nice accommodation. The area and staff were very attentive. Room layout a little difficult with bathroom and clothes closet doors hitting each other. Our room with balcony provided an amazing view.

Room tip: Ocean view with balcony
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Anthony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luke B, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2016

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at the Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. We are pleased to know that you had an enjoyable visit and hope that you'll join us for a return visit in the near future!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2016 via mobile

I want to start out by saying it's a beautiful property and the beach location is amazing. We loved the two pool system one being for the kids and one being for the adults. Part of the problem with his historic hotel is that it is old. Many of the design things back in the day were of a smaller footprint. As previously mentioned the rooms are very small and the walls are paper thin. We had to pound on the door next to us at midnight because of screaming kids playing way too hard. I could almost hear them breathing.

The food was great and the drinks fairly strong. But everything was way overpriced in that regard. I paid $15 for a whiskey and Diet Coke. After a couple of sizable tabs we learned quickly to eat in Key West. It was much less money and the food was excellent. The hotel is about a 20 minute walk to Duval street.

We loved Key West and will return just probably not there.

Date of stay: September 2016
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank jsn_beery
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luke B, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2016

Thank you for your recent stay at Casa Marina, Key West. We appreciate your compliments about our beach and outdoor grounds. When the build site was being selected for the Casa Marina in the early 1910’s, Henry Flagler chose our grounds due to its water front location. Still to this day, we consider ourselves lucky to boast the largest private beach in Key West. However, due to the age of the hotel, this does mean our historic building rooms are somewhat smaller by today’s standards. We do have rooms available in our West Wing and Suites building that offer a modern touch and traditional room configurations. We also have a sister property called The Reach, Waldorf Astoria that offers modern construction as well as a beautiful sandy beach. For your return visit to Key West, please reach out to me directly, I know that if given another opportunity, we can truly exceed your expectations.

Warm Regards,

-Luke

Luke.butler@waldorfastoria.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2016

We arrived for a five night stay at Casa Marina last week one the first leg of our honeymoon trip. I found the reception extremely unhelpful, and the cleaners were useless, we had to wait until 4.30pm each day to get our room cleaned and even then it wasn't cleaned properly, and the toiletries were not replaced, basic things such as toilet roll, our safe was broken and we had to wait in after calling five times for three hours before an engineer arrived! Every time you called to ask for anything including room service you had a minimum 1.5 hours wait. We were promised a room with a sea view, it was also our honeymoon, we received a disabled room. When I went to complain, a blonde last on reception said sea view rooms were all fully booked (which we later came out to find they wasn't!) and fobbed us off with a bad attitude, nice welcome! Overall overpriced and other than the lovely waiters and pool staff its really not worth your money, trust me, I never take the time to write reviews but I would like to ensure people see this before they book.

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Kim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luke B, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2016

Thank you for your review of the Casa Marina. We appreciate your kind words about our restaurant and pool staff, however I'm very sorry that other parts of your stay did not meet expectations. We do value your feedback, and your comments will help us refine our training processes and improve our resort. You should always receive the highest quality service at our resort, and the issues you mentioned should have never occurred.

In regards to your reservation, we show that it was a Standard King Room, reserved through Booking.com, and while we would have liked to have upgraded you for your special occasion, we did not have the availability for all five nights of your stay. We do encourage future guests to book direct when possible, with Hilton’s “Best Price Guarantee,” we guarantee the best rate available on our website, or we’ll match the rate and give you an additional $50. Our Reservations Team can also provide you with real-time occupancy statistics for your dates of travel if you prefer to phone in.

On behalf of the entire team, I would like to apologize once more. I am very confident we can exceed your expectations if given another opportunity. I hope we'll see you again sometime in Key West.

Regards,

Luke

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2016 via mobile

We booked a suite for 4 people. Check in was friendly, but the information was incomplete and done by a very unprofeessional girl with out knowledge so she had to ask a supervisor to help.
It took about 15 minutes. As Hilton Diamond member you expect more. We also stayed at Waldorf Orlando and that was very good and professional. Staff is friendly, breakfast good.
Sofabed for children was horrible, thin mattress so you slept on iron. I have complaint about it and NO action was taken. Beach is beautifull, but sea is horrible to swim in (dirty). there are 2 swimmingpools one for children and on for adults and older children. It is not allowed to have drinks in the pool, but the adultpool was full of people drinking alcohol!!!!! Restaurants are good. We had a nice time in Key West, but avoid this very
overprized hotel (€ 2.100,- 3 nights).

Date of stay: August 2016
Trip type: Traveled with family
5  Thank Gouden K
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luke B, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2016

Thank you for leaving a review of your recent stay at the Casa Marina. We appreciate your feedback, and your comments help us understand how we can improve as a resort. I'm definitely glad you enjoyed our beach, as our beach is one of the best in Key West. However, I regret that the rest of your time with us did not live up to the standards we set for ourselves. We value our HHonors members, and I'm sorry to read you did not feel the warmth we aim to share. Nonetheless, I know we can truly exceed your expectations, if given another opportunity, and I hope you will consider staying with us again.

Warm Regards,

Luke

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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