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“What does it take to make a hotel great?”

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The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #44 of 51 Hotels in Key West
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
211 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“What does it take to make a hotel great?”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

We had done a lot of research before making our reservations at this hotel, and I'm grateful for the amazing reviews here on Tripadvisor. We had been warned that reservations often get botched here, but using a professional travel agency we didn't think it would happen to us.

Well, we were wrong, and our junior suite (precooked with baby crib and microwave oven) turned out to be a tiny room with neither, in the far corner of the property, with an amazing view of our neighbor's balcony. So far a 1* rating. We were of course furious, and in hindsight it's impossible to say who's at fault, our agency or the hotel.

Needless to say, we complained and as a platinum member, and an upset yet still cute baby, we were offered another room (in the category we had booked.) The next morning, a meeting with a hotel manager (one of the amazing people at this property who truly care for their guests) and we were offered to move into a suite for the rest of our 12 night stay (unusual with long stays here)

The rest of our stay was blissful and there were only a few glitches, all of which were worked out by engaged and lovely staff members at the front desk, the amazing bell captain and their truly miracle workers at the beach.

Into the category "not so good" falls the Internet connection (useless really, but I hear it's being upgraded in January 14), for which we didn't have to pay in the end. The concierge desk is friendly, but rarely follows through on promises, so be prepared to go back and double-check that things are done (exceptions apply and were duly noted), and finally the on site restaurant (separate review), which is a disaster, but sadly not under hotel management.

The beach is nice, although we stayed mostly at the pool, as our son is in his "eat sand" period. The spa is not on this property but 500m away at the sister hotel and it seems as if they're ashamed of even having a spa, as it's hidden away in the far corner in an ordinary suite, and the receptionist has to sit outside in the corridor (and so do waiting clients). Unacceptable for a hotel that uses the "Waldorf-Astoria" name. At least the massage was better than what you usually get in luxury hotels. Thanks Russ!

As a family, I think I might consider returning. Having said that, this hotel is carried solely on the shoulders of some amazing staff, while others couldn't care less about the service they provide. That is a risky proposition for anyone who books there. What if these people were to leave?

I need to mention a few team members here who really are amazing and who helped us with anything from pool towels to a baby bath to a last-second ride to the harbor after the baby sitter turned up late: Jenn at the front desk, Cindy, the front office manager, who went above and beyond on numerous occasions, Ricardo at the pool/beach and Chuck, the bell captain. It is staff members like that who carry this hotel on their shoulders and make you want to return. Without them, I doubt I'd given this place more than 2**...

Room Tip: Be absolutely sure to have the exact category you book IN WORDS, confirmed on your reservation. Thei...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hans H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
San Diego, United States
1 review
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Had a great stay at this hotel. The grounds are beautiful, and well maintained. All the staff are very friendly, and willing to go out of their way to help you. Loved the large chess board, and pool tables, lots of things to do on the property. Will be back.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

Helpful?
Thank Josh R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We stayed here back in October 2013. This was not our first stay at The Reach. To our surprise, the room was infested with cockroaches. Babies and adult size! We made reservations months in advance and were given a room over the trash compactor. We would wake up in the middle of the night and see many roaches on the fridge, INSIDE OF THE FRIDGE which was closed tight crawling around and on our food, crawling across the wet bar area and bathroom sink. Talk about disaster! Not only were they around during the night but also during the day! This occurred during the week of Fantasy Fest so the hotel was pretty booked up. We called and complained. They said they would send someone up to bomb the room. We had to leave the room while they were doing this. The guy was finished before we even got down the hallway! All he did was spray a light spray where we said the roaches were! This did NOTHING! That night they were back! We complained again. Said they would bomb it again and we would have to leave for several hours. We said no we want another room. We were given the option of a room with no view or a handicapped room with a partial view of the ocean. Ended up giving us the handicapped room which had a broken shower head. So we had another complaint and another inconvenience to wait for them to repair the shower, took 2 days!!! They told us we could use a shower in another room while that one was being fixed. Then they wanted us to move from the handicapped room, another inconvenience! So we checked out and went to another hotel on the island. This trip was a NIGHTMARE! I never would expect a Waldorf Astoria Resort to have roaches in the rooms. I still have nightmares. Thank God we did not take any of them home with us. We ONLY stay at Waldorf Resorts when traveling and this one was a big disappointment. The cost of a room ($350-$550 + 25 for parking per night) should have a full view of the ocean and absolutely no roaches!!! The staff tried to be somewhat helpful but perhaps they are not trained in the fashion that the Waldorf Astoria Name is recognized for. As much as we have enjoyed The Reach in the past, we have seen it slowly decline and we wouldn't feel comfortable staying at this hotel again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
6 Thank James Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cindy A, Front Office Manager at The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 11, 2014
We thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to The Reach Resort. Our goal is to provide our guests with great service along with a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the problems you encountered while staying us. We do work hard to establish high standards of quality and guest service, and we are sorry to learn that we failed to achieve these results.
Ecolab is one of the top multi-national pest control companies who services our resorts. Ecolab has already responded to the property, inspected the locations and ensured their extensive pest control system is intact and performing at optimal results. Also we have made these necessary controls less intrusive during first response situations by using Ecolab’s low/no odor product, which is very effective and safe.
We thank you for caring enough to share your experiences. It is the feedback of guests such as yourself that assist us in the training of associates as well as the continued maintenance of our facilities.
Cindy Acevedo Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

The Reach has a fine location with a private beach; guests are entitled to the amenities at the Casa Marina next door. I stayed in what they call a "traditional suite", which is, in reality, a very large room with a kitchenette (no micro or cooking) that included a table and two chairs, so it was indeed big. The bathroom/dressing room was enormous. The bedroom/sitting area was quite large and had a very high ceiling. Also, there was a double balcony which looked out onto tiled rooftops and trees. Very pleasant. Bottled water, wi-fi, and a daily delivery of the New York times are gratis, part of the $25 per day resort fee. I had no issues with housekeeping service, but a carpet shampooing is in order for Suite 457. The furniture is showing normal wear and tear but not anything offensive. Hotel associates were, for the most part, pleasant and helpful. Unfortunately, it only takes one or two grumblegusses to knock a star off of a guest review. One other thing irritated me. I was one for a breakfast buffet, which was $23. On my check I was surprised to see an automatic 18% gratuity added on. Uh, this is a buffet, Mr. Hilton. I served myself, except for a fruit juice. Best to wander across the street for breakfast at Ana's, or down Duval to the very lovely Banana Café. Danny, Belinda, and Darren at poolside (Casa Marina) need to be commended for their wonderful personalities and attention to guest comfort.

Room Tip: An upper floor is better, at the end of the block is best, or ocean view if you're feeling flush...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 63RetiredTraveler63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2014

1 st disappoint we booked trough otel services. Never again. We called a day in advance , had booked 2 nights , they only had us for one. After a few emails to Otel, seemed to be resolved . We got there at 130 and still had problems with the reservation. Many other we're checking in and going right to there rooms. We got in ours at 415. To late to change and get to the beach. Day wasted. Our ocean view room ended up being a room facing the back side of hotel absolutely no view. Called and asked for a cot for our teenaged son, when we were eating at 8pm , and got back there was a crib in the room. We did a makeshift bed of the sofa cushions . When I asked the next day for a cot , I was told for fire reasons no cots. Why couldn't they say that the night before. Clean room , pay for WIFI, dirty old facility. The staff was not very helpful Altho Chris at the beach was very helpful. This hotel is very expensive for what it is. Don't let the name deceive you, go somewhere else. Very expensive for what you get.

Room Tip: I'm in my 50s and this is my 1st review. I travel a lot and understand things do happen, this wa...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cindy A, Front Office Manager at The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Our goal is to provide our guests with great service along with a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere. Please accept my sincerest apologies for the problems you encountered while staying with us. We do work hard to establish high standards of quality and guest service, and I am sorry to learn that we failed to achieve these results. I assure you that we are using your feedback constructively with our management team to rectify the absence of follow-up from our management team. Training is a continual process for us; therefore your feedback is being used directly with the teams involved. We thank you for caring enough to share your experiences. Cindy Acevedo Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY, United States
1 review
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Just like its sister hotel the Casa Marina, furniture and furnishings in the room are old and dirty in the rooms we stayed in. Maid service left alot to be desired. The front desk and the pool/beach people are friendly and great. Being a Diamond member, we were given champagne on arrival and upgraded. If you are handicapped, I would not stay in this hotel (it was the only room they had available after our flight was cancelled) and it smelled like a hospital room. You are pretty much paying for the location (close to Duval and Louies Backyard) of this hotel. If your room isn't facing the ocean, you can stay anywhere in Key West.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

Helpful?
Thank Michael I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Other than the beautiful grounds, the hotel has serious problems. The staff wasn't very helpful on more than one occasion. The restaurant's décor isn't suitable for children. My boys, 17 and 13 felt uncomfortable and didn't want to eat there. We didn't get menus for quiet some time and then got up and left. The next day we dined on the terrace but the food took forever to be served and I had to ask for water (which everywhere is brought to the table at once) several times before it was served. My hotel reservation was made for three adults and a child because my sons are not young kids and can NOT share a sofa-bed. We did not get any correspondence prior to arrival but upon checking in we learned that the hotel does not have roll away beds. My husband and I were forced to share the king size bed with my 13 year old which was not comfortable for any of us. Finally, I left behind a silk pajama pants. I called the hotel and the receptionist said I should leave a message with "lost and found". I never heard back from anyone and this is two days after checking out. For a luxury resort and for the amount we paid, all of that was disappointing!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

Helpful?
2 Thank Rinat L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cindy A, Front Office Manager at The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, January 11, 2014
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Our goal is to provide our guests with great service along with a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere. Please accept my sincerest apologies for the problems you encountered while staying with us. We do work hard to establish high standards of quality and guest service, and I am sorry to learn that we failed to achieve these results.
We have shared your feedback with our operating teams, helping them identify specific service breakdowns. Training is a continual process for us; therefore your feedback is being used directly with the teams involved. We thank you for caring enough to share your experiences.
Cindy Acevedo Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Property: The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Address: 1435 Simonton Street, Key West, FL 33040-3116
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Key West
#11 Spa Hotel in Key West
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Key West
#18 Luxury Hotel in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Key West's only private natural-sand beach, The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is an intimate, elegant destination for those seeking a casual retreat with the highest level of service. A warm sense of hospitality, gracious staff members, a beautiful shoreline and breathtaking sunshine all provide the backdrop for a memorable and romantic travel experience at our Key West hotel, just steps from Duval Street. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reach, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Key West
Waldorf Astoria Key West
The Waldorf Astoria Collection
Reach Resort Key West

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