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Reviewed October 17, 2010

This hotel was a great place to unwind. It is at the other end of Duval--far away from all of the normal tourist stuff. It also claims to be the only hotel that has a natural beach that extends into the ocean--which was a nice plus! We spent an afternoon on the beach with bar service and really enjoyed the time. We had chairs and an umbrella--perfect to do nothing. We arrived in the morning around 10 and there weren't many people there. We did walk by a different day later and heard people were upset that they were out of chairs/umbrellas (so go early). Also we had great drinks from the bar at first and then the bartender changed--to someone who though putting the whole lime in the blender made drinks taste better. Normally I'm not one to send a drink back--but I did and it was promply made--sans whole lime. Bottom line--great place to stay and if something isn't right they will fix it promptly.

Also when you check in--check for the "Key West Channel". Take the time to watch it--we found a neat little place next door called Louies backyard--and you will miss it if you don't know to look for it :) We didn't watch until the last day so we almost missed out...

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MisterSteveB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2010

I was married at The Waldorf Reach Resort here in Key West Florida on June 26th, 2010. My family has lived in Key West for 25 years and my husband’s family has resided here for several generations.

I wanted to write a letter to express my unhappiness at The Waldorf Reach Resort and Striphouse from my event.

This is not a short story but yet a long story of what I personally and my family went through.

I’m writing this letter to have some closure with all the feelings I have. I’m writing this letter to the people with who The Waldorf Reach Resort & The Striphouse have to answer to. I’m writing to those people, the ones that think everything is perfect and everyone is doing their job to the best of their ability at this resort and restaurant, because that’s just not true and it’s not fair to have worked so hard and planned and spent so much money and time to have these feelings.

Being a Key West local, operator of a Key West restaurant and associated with more than 300 weddings per year I thought it imperative that I write this letter.

My family & I started looking at location in January of 2009. We looked at everyplace in town and I was in love with The Reach. The Gazebo was perfect and I loved the idea of setting up a tent on the beach for a reception directly after the ceremony. You see we offer similar things here as far beach weddings and receptions. However, I was not thrilled to get married where I spend every waking moment. I wanted someplace special. I wanted a place that offered what I offer and could deliver what exactly I wanted.

I started speaking with Luke Vossen, Sales and Operations Manager, January 12, 2009. I explained what I was looking for: ceremony in the gazebo, a tent on the beach for reception afterwards and a customized menu. We went back and forth through email for a few months while he discussed with his bosses. He came back April 3rd, 2009 and said it was a go if we could start set up at 8am the morning of the June 26th, 2010 and break down immediately after. I was ecstatic; my dream wedding was going to come true!! I signed a contract with The Waldorf Reach Resort & The Striphouse on April 16th, 2009.

We are all in the same business here in Key West and I soon heard through the grapevine that Luke was leaving. The last time I spoke to Luke was July 24th, 2009 he gave me Cheryl Kahn-Brocco email address if I needed anything or had any question’s to contact her; she was based out of The Waldorf in New York City, which I have been to several occasions and actually had a phenomenal brunch with my family there one year. I did contact Cheryl a few times regarding alcohol packages and menus. She got back to me quickly and with the requested information.

September 17th, 2009 Cheryl emailed me Heidi Greenburg’s contact information and told me she was the new onsite contact that would replace Luke Vossen. My event was not until June 26th, 2010, I did not have the need to contact Heidi until I finished my menu. I secured other needed vendors, tent rental, photographer, flowers, specialty linens, DJ, etc.

March 1st, 2010, I completed my menu and emailed it over to Heidi with a cc to Cheryl. It took 2 months to get something in writing from the Striphouse regarding my menu. Getting closer to my event my mother & I went by introduced ourselves to Heidi and walked around the venue, going over set up & looking at hotel rooms for our guests.

May 18th, 2010 I met with Heidi and I brought the local tent rental owner with me. You see I am a wedding planner at my family’s beach café and I understand there can be surprises. However, I wanted to make absolutely sure there would be no surprises because I could not be a bride and a wedding planner on the day of my event! So I put Heidi and the party rentals owner together. The three of us walked the site, talked it all through…..so there would be no surprises when the party rental showed up at 8am with tent in hand. Ha!

About two weeks prior to my event, my mother, me and a close friend whom is also a local business owner came over to The Reach and drew a layout on paper so all the vendors had a picture of the event I was trying to create in their hand. My mother gave Heidi a copy of the layout that day, I will attach a copy.

In my mind everything was golden. I had a fabulous menu, great bar, beautiful tent with special lighting, beautiful tables! Everyone is local we are all friends we do business together all the time The Waldorf Reach Resort & The Striphouse have approved everything, we are all on the same page! Right?!

No, Wrong!!!
June 24th, 2010 * Day Rehearsal

I had hired a close friend of my Julie Shreck-Fuhrman with Simply You Weddings to help me with day of coordination. On the day of the rehearsal Julie directed an entire run through of our event, Heidi was present at this rehearsal. Everything went fine.

June 26th, 2010 *My Wedding Day!

8:00am

With a preauthorized plan the tent rental company arrives. They are immediately held up by Heidi and told they have to set up on the opposite beach which at this time is underwater!!! Four hours later Kevin Speidel, General Manager for The Casa Marina & Reach Resort, totally unaware of our wedding and our plans that have been approved by The Reach and Striphouse. Kevin shows up at The Reach resort at 1:30pm and tells my vendors that they can absolutely NOT set up a tent on the beach. Not knowing what else to do, my friend, my wedding planner, totally distraught shows up at my mother’s house at 2:00pm.

Please picture this….You are the bride surrounded by your family and bridesmaids. You are drinking champagne, celebrating this joyous occasion. Everyone is getting their hair & make up done, taking pictures….CELEBRATING!

Poor Julie knocks on my mother’s door and takes her outside to talk and tell her they wonderful news! "Kevin Speidel & The Reach cancelled your tent! Nothing is set up and your daughter's wedding starts in exactly four and a half hours with 90 people attending." Can you even imagine that scenario?

I notice my mother outside talking to Julie and I walk out to there to hear what’s going on. I knew it had to be something big because Julie can handle almost anything. As Julie tells me the story of the day, I get nauseous! To the point I start drinking pepto bismal on my wedding day, thank you Kevin, Heidi & The Reach! What a fantastic memory.

At this point, my mother has to get dressed and go down to The Reach and sort things out. Can you believe this? My mother in the middle of our celebrating with champagne, hair, makeup, her first daughter getting married she has to leave to go sort out this CLUSTER!

My mother meets Kevin Speidel and begs him not to do this and he relents, thank goodness and my mother is back home forty-five minutes later.

So now we have exactly four hours to set up a 30 x 50 tent and $10,000.00 worth of lounge furniture, specialty linens, specialty chairs, extravagant centerpieces, etc. What a nightmare. My vendors are scrambling all over the place trying to get this done. What really upsets me is nobody from the Reach is helping them. You have this huge resort, that has a huge staff, and THE REACH has caused my team to be delayed 6 hours! You would of thought they could have pulled people together to get this done. Why did they not help out? I don’t understand? If I did not have rent specialty linens they would have set up white linens…why could they not put linens on the tables? Or put the chairs around the tables, or help with furniture? Why why why? It absolutely makes my stomach turn to have such a plan turn to crap because a “famous resort” cannot get it together or communicate with each other.

6:00 pm

On my invitations my guests were told to arrive promptly at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm ceremony. My guests arrived and 60% of my event was set up. At this point my guests were all waiting in The Striphouse bar, from what my Aunt has written to me. There was no “Reach” point of contact. The bartender described by my guests, male, dark hair, was telling people who requested a glass of water “that they were not serving water today.” Just out of curiousity, those of you that are reading my letter, have you ever heard of a Waldorf Resort “not serving water today”. I find that pretty unbelievable. I’ve planned a $60,000 + wedding and the bar will not serve my guests a glass of water…WOW. Just a FYI, I was told by numerous guests how rude this bartender was to them. Why? Why was he so rude? I know my family was tipping him? Why? I don’t get it?

6:20pm

Everyone was directed by my wedding planner to the Gazebo and seated.

6:30pm

I pulled up with my parents and my wedding party in a limo and we all jumped out. Only to be told sadly that we were not ready. So we all got back in the limo and sat there for 20 minutes. Then my planner came and got us. We unloaded the limo and lined up on the side of the Striphouse and waited another 15 minutes. While we are waiting I’m watching my vendors…let me say that again…my vendors scramble with linens and equipment and centerpieces. Heidi was there and 1 guy from The Reach helping. So, the Reach & The Striphouse delayed my set up by 6 hours and then they only have 2 people helping. From what I was later told they did not do anything except set up the bar and put out some linen.

I started my processional at 7:15pm, forty-five minutes late. I had planned (for a year and a half) to walk by the tent and see everything set up & ready. This is why I chose the Reach & The Striphouse, I felt confidant that Luke could make it happen. He saw the vision. Well let me tell you, my father and I walked up and stopped at the tent and looked at it. The chairs were still in a pile, the linen’s weren’t on the tables the centerpieces were in a pile, the décor was laying in the bushes, but I have to say this “the bar was set up”. I continued my processional to the gazebo where my fiancé and my Pastor were waiting.

Julie, my wedding planner, could not attend the ceremony she had to stay and set up everything that The Reach & Striphouse Staff could not. Because of this, the microphone that was rented for the ceremony, so my 90 guests could hear the beautiful ceremony that my fiancé and I worked on for months could not be found. (we later saw it in the corner, but who knew?) So, only the first two rows (30 people) could actually here the ceremony. Very sad.

Ceremony was complete at 7:45pm. We took 30 minutes worth of family pictures. (a little rushed since we are 45 minutes late) then at 8:15pm my husband & I with our two photographers took off in the limo to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park to take some sunset photos. We did not return until 9:00pm. By this time everything looked beautiful.

My husband and had 2 hours to greet all of our guests, have our first dance, cut cake, etc. Nobody in my entire wedding party got to eat dinner because it was so rushed. I never even got a chance to sit down. I did have a few appetizers when we were taking pictures and the food was excellent. Absolutely excellent! All of my guests raved about how wonderful the food was. It far exceeded my expectations.

However, when we asked if we could get boxes to go, just for the wedding party we were denied. Which is unheard of, at our events we always set 3 bags aside for the bride and her family at the beginning of the event. As for my husband and I we went through thru at Miami Subs. I ate a philly cheese steak in my $5,000.00 dress on my wedding day. HA!

My parents purchased a very special case of Moet Imperial Champagne that was supposed to be set up at my table for my wedding party. Instead Heidi used this champagne for my champagne toast and never even chilled it. This interesting because I tried to cancel the champagne toast for the event. I have found with our events people don’t even drink the champagne they usually toast with whatever they are drinking.

Last year, I planned a surprise 50th Birthday Party for my mother at Atlantis in the Bahamas and paid extra for a champagne toast that nobody drank. So when I asked Heidi if I could cancel the toast 1 month prior to the event she said no. So in actuality I paid for champagne toast and provided a case of my own champagne! And it was warm!

Lastly, promptly at 11:00pm we had to leave. Even though weeks earlier we tried to extend for an extra hour and I had it in writing from Luke Vossen that we could for a fee, we were denied. We all stood and watched as one male staff member, blonde with a pony tail started clearing tables. Let me explain to you how he cleared up the tables before my mother and my friend who owns the specialty linen store stopped him.

He threw the centerpiece on the ground, took the 30 inch mosaic mirrors that were rented, through them on a table behind him and proceed to take the chocolate satin linen with the gold beaded overlay and all the plates and silverware in the middle!!! Do you understand he bunched the linen’s up with plates and silverware still inside!!! When my mother tried to stop him, in front of my planner and numerous friends, he started to swear at her!! $60,000 Event and I have a staff member in my mother’s face swearing at her. Julie, my wedding planner immediately went and got Heidi. My friend and her boyfriend started breaking down my tables, so the linen’s and the equipment rentals wouldn’t get ruined. I do not know if this employee was reprimanded or not but as a small restaurant owner I am very embarrassed for the Striphouse. I cannot imagine one of my staff members cursing at the Mother of the Bride at one of our events. That incident is remarkable!

Overall, because of and only because of my friends and my vendors my event was a success. However, it still breaks my heart to think about everything my family went through to make this event happen.

Why could we not start at 8am like we were supposed to? Why did Heidi stop us?
How could the GM Kevin Speidel pull the no tent card 4 ½ hours before my wedding started?

How could no one at The Waldorf Reach Resort know that there was a lunar high tide and try to move us to the beach that would be underwater?

How come no one at The Striphouse communicated our event to the GM?

Why was The Reach staff so incredibly rude to my guests?

How can you not serve a glass of water at a restaurant?

Why did the wedding party not get to take a meal home?

After the time was taken away from us on such a memorable day, we should have been given meals to take home. We should have been granted more time even without music. The Reach Staff and Striphouse staff should off joined forces and made this event happen gracefully and they should have been overly nice. It was a wedding!

I needed to write this letter to have closure, because all of this unfortunate stuff cannot be changed. I cannot go back in time….this was my wedding day.

My friends and family all describe this event as, “intimate affair, full of genuine love and natural beauty” I need to remember that and that June 26th, 2010 was happiest day of my life.

However, in reality The Waldorf Reach Resort and The Striphouse caused a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. The Waldorf and The Striphouse let me down and for the amount of money we paid it is absolutely ridiculous. I believe we are owed compensation for this event, if not 100%, it should be significantly close.

  • Stayed: June 2010
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7  Thank beachfan123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2010

The hotel is slightly off the beaten path at the opposite end of where all of the "action" was but was exactly what myself and my newly acquired fiance was looking for as we wanted some peace-and-quiet! We actually preferred the walk to the the bars, restaurants and nightlife and when we wanted too, had the bicycle taxis ride us back and forth. Very nice pool area and beach and the staff was very accomodating with setting up chairs and towels for you. Although the prices were very high for drinks at the pool, it wasn't a surprise as most resorts are like that. The room was very clean, nice and the bed was super comfy. The best part of this resort was that we were able to go out onto the pier and see the sunset as well as the sunrise. It was fabulous!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank lmheick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2010

I spent two nights here with my fiancee in April. Although we travel a lot, we had never been to Key West before and did not know what to expect. Friends had told us that the town has great Bed and Breakfasts, but we wanted something a little more upscale since we were celebrating our recent engagement. The Reach Resort was absolutely perfect! Elegant, clean hotel with very friendly staff and luxurious feel. It has the only natural beach on the island, and though it's small, it is really nice and private. The buffet breakfast were wonderful! The veranda overlooks the beach and the food was excellent.
The hotel is about a 10 minute walk away from the main street of the island, but we liked the fact that it was a little more quiet, but still within walking distance from all the bars, restaurants and shops.
I fell in love with the friendly, laid back atmosphere and the coziness of Key West, and if I ever get a chance to go back, I'd definitely stay at the Reach again!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank BigAppleGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2010

The Reach spoiled us during our stay in Key West. The rooms are very clean and plush, and the beds are comfortable. All the employees cater to your every need and are very friendly. We had a great stay.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank halfpint919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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