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“Beautiful location, just okay service...”

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Sunset Key Cottages
Ranked #20 of 51 Hotels in Key West
Certificate of Excellence
Californis
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, just okay service...”
Reviewed May 4, 2009

On small Sunset Key, just off Key West, this beautiful beach cottage hotel can't be beat for relaxing atmosphere on a beach with spectacular ocean views and comfy, pretty plantation style beach cottages. Our two- bedroom cottage overlooked the shore, with its' own hammock strung between two palm trees. Nothing was more satisfying or relaxing than laying in the breezy hammock watching the sailboats on the clear, bright blue waters of Key West. The hotel gardens and lawns are picture perfect with lush tropical flowers and greenery. The pool area is lovely as well, with a pretty waterfall and laid back atmosphere, where the drinks and appetizers are delicious (I highly recommend the stuffed shrimp!) and the wait staff friendly and accommodating. As for the cottage, the beds are comfortable, even luxurious and the place is well designed for relaxed enjoyment in an upscale setting. The launch that transport you back and forth to Key West is handy and available from morning to night, and the staff aboard the launch are friendly and helpful.
The only downside of this hotel is that for the huge price of a room in April, the service was less than stellar. It wasn't what I would expect from a 4 star hotel. When we arrived, the woman showing us around and to our cottage stated that we wouldn't get a reservation that night at Latitudes, the only restaurant on the island and where we had planned to eat. It was "slammed" with reservations that night, according to her. We called anyway to check, and they got us in. Hmmm... The coffee pot in our room was broken and the coffee that was available was enough for two people only. There were four of us in this two bedroom cottage. When we called to report it, after first trying to make coffee in vain, the staff sounded indifferent and said they would send someone to look at it. (How about "Sorry, we'll bring you a new one with enough coffee for 4 people" or "We'll send room service over with a pot of coffee"-- like we thought you said you were going to do in the first place, but apparently we misunderstood!) Anyway, noone came with a new pot or anything else, so we called room service and we were charged $20 for a pot with exactly four very small cups of coffee in it. Gee thanks. The fresh muffins and fruit that came in the morning were wonderfully delicious, but the lack of coffee was annoying. That afternoon we received a new pot, but we had to again request enough coffee for four people. It's like this--the pot was a ten-cupper. The coffee pods each made one large cup, according to the package, and there were only two of them. They don't know that? They never looked? They can't figure out that a 10 cup coffee pot isn't really compatible with a one cup coffee pod? Or that four people need at least one pod each or they will be very disgruntled when the $20 pot of coffee shows up? It was very delicious coffee for $20, I must admit, but a four star hotel with a high price tag should do better. If this were Travelodge I wouldn't even comment on it, but for over $1200/night, it's worthy of comment. To be fair, the restaurant staff and poolside sevice staff were great. The problems seemed to be with the hotel's office staff, concierge and room service, which seemed indifferent and were sluggish to respond, and often had to be called twice for the same request. The result was less than impressive sevice at a beautiful, unique beach hotel in lovely Key West.
If you can accept less than four star service, this hotel is memorable and enjoyable for it's beautiful location and well maintained, pretty cottages and grounds. The stay is definitely worth it, if you don't get upset over the glitches, which seem big at the time, but fade away when you are enjoying this gem in Key West.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ncydrw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2009

This place is a piece of haven on earth. We went there with two young children (11 and 9) and stayed at the Osprey cottage facing the beach and the sea. The cottage was great. The service was excellent and unintrusive. The ground was perfectly maintained and my children just love the pool. The landscape was amazing that they loved to walk around and explore it when they were not in the pool. The Latitudes restaurant has a nice setting where you can watch the beautiful sunset. The food was quite nice. The boat ride to and from the cottage was short and fun. We never have to wait for long for a pick up. Great place to stay when you find yourself at Key West.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zendude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
242 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2009

This is one of the more unique hotels I have stayed at, and I would definitely stay there again. Overall, the physical property is great, but the service is not what it should be. Though it is expensive, I think it is worth it. I would have given the hotel five stars, except for the service.

Let me start with the property itself. The island is beautiful, truly unique, and the cottages are very nice and spacious. Each morning you get a muffin basket around 8:30, which is nice. Internet is free in the rooms, and I found the prices of things (e.g., laundry, minibar, etc.) to be reasonable. The pool and beach are nice with towel and chair service, and neither was very crowded. There are tennis courts on the island and you can get racquets and tennis balls from the concierge. For any spa services or the fitness center, you have to go to the mainland Westin. The “spa” and “fitness center,” however, are not really worthwhile. The fitness center is tiny (only a few machines), and there is no spa (only a small dinky massage room off the fitness center).

The boat ride back and forth is fun, but make sure you pay attention to what time it is! The boat leaves on the hour and half hour from the island and on the 15’s and 45's from the mainland. If you miss the boat, you will have to sit around for a half hour. After hours, you must call for the boat, but no big deal. The boat ride is about 5-6 minutes, and is quite fun. When you check-in, the bellmen take your luggage in a wrapped-up cart on the boat, and the concierge meets you and escorts you to your cottage.

My biggest upset was the service. As other reviews have said, when you are paying over $1000/night, you expect things to be perfect. First, there seems to be a disconnect between the mainland Westin and Sunset key. Certain things are handled by the mainland, and some are handled by the staff on the island.

In one situation, we booked a couples massage and it was completely screwed up. The mainland concierge told us that no second masseuse was available, so my wife decided to get a massage alone. Apparently, the concierge was able to find a second masseuse but forgot to call us back to tell us about this. My wife only found this out when she showed up for the massage. It’s not like I could just run downstairs and join my wife, given the boat schedule! When I talked to the mainland concierge about the situation (who arranged it), they seemed indifferent and didn't care. The concierge on Sunset Key appeared to care, but only offered me a few hundred Starwood points (which amounts to about $5).

A second incident came when I asked the concierge to put rose petals on the bed on my wife’s birthday. They were able to accommodate me, but they managed to completely blow the surprise for my wife when they called the room about it!!! You have to be kidding!!! Though, to be fair, once they actually did the rose petals, it came out very, very well (candles, rose petals throughout the cottage, etc.)

Lastly, and I realize this won't apply to 99% of the people reading this, but I had a box delivered to me for work while staying there. I had proof that FedEx delivered it, but none of the staff could find it for two days. The mainland kept blaming the island, and vice versa. Completely disorganized.

I realize most of these sound like nits, but when you stay at a place like this for a special occasion (wife's birthday), and you pay the high rates, you expect certain things. And, when you do bring it to their attention, you expect a sincere response, not a blow off.

I notice that the management responds to these reviews on occasion. If the management contacts me through my Tripadvisor account, I will change my review.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tacostuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SMKennedy, Marketing Manager at Sunset Key Cottages, responded to this review, March 20, 2009
We appreciate our guests' honest opinions and reviews and would never ask that they be changed. We are always seeking ways to improve our property and services, and honest guest opinions are one of the best ways to do so.

We are so glad that overall, the guest enjoyed their stay at Sunset Key Guest Cottages.

Please note that when the rose petals were requested, one of our associates came in on her day off to accommodate, as we love to create special experiences.

The reviewer then asked to change the time the rose petals were needed, but the associate was not available at the new time, it being her day off. The concierge then had to call the guest to notify him that the the rose petals would have to be placed at the original time. They spoke to the reviewer, not the wife, so we are somewhat unsure of how the surprise was ruined.

The other issues mentioned have been addressed with the applicable departments and the General Manager.

We make every effort to grant our guests' wishes, as we know that each stay at Sunset is very special to our guests.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermont, USA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Just returned from an 8 day stay at Sunset Key Cottages with my wife and 16 yr. old son. We loved it. The cottage we were in (Bahia) was spacious and had wonderful details. Everything was fresh. It was "garden view" but we could still see the ocean. The entire island is nice. Beautiful homes, great flowers and plantings. Service was always with a smile. the convenience to Key West was perfect.A 5 minute boat ride and you are 2 minutes from all the action. Don't miss BO's fish truck for fresh fish sandwiches or the Half Shell raw bar for great fish and oysters. For an elegant dinner try Opera italian right off Duval. Or stay right on the island and go to Latitudes....really good. If you fish, book Luke through the concierge for excellent "back country" or flats fishing. Great vacation all around.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joeandfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 2, 2009

The service at Sunset Key was amazing - we were able to just relax and enjoy every minute of our stay...granted it can be a little pricey, we had never spent this much on a vacation before but it was worth it! My only regret is that we didn't stay longer.

The island was very peaceful - the tropical landscaping is beautiful and you don't notice the other cottages even though they are pretty close together. It is easy to get back and forth to Key West, although you might never get around to it! You do need a reservation at the Latitudes restaurant, but if you are flexible about times shouldn't be a problem. The restaurant is expensive but no more so than any other nice restaurant, and the food was outstanding! They do room service too in case you are just too lazy to walk the 100 yards or so...

Shoes are definitely a must for swimming at the beach - the swimming area was fairly small but no one was swimming when we were there (the water was 70 degreees in Feb, guess that is cold if you are not from Maine!). And the grocery service is great - all of our food was waiting for us in the cabin and it made everything very easy!

The concierges are great too and can set up any activities you might want - the vendors will even come to the dock at the island and pick you up!

Definitely recommend for a relaxing tropical getaway, whether or not you care to spend time in Key West itself.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mainelobster01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SMKennedy, Marketing Manager at Sunset Key Cottages, responded to this review, March 3, 2009
Thanks so much for taking the time to review Sunset Key Guest Cottages and sharing your experience.

We are so happy you enjoyed your stay with us.

It sounds like you utilized our numerous amentities to the fullest, which is great.

We look forward to your next visit to key West and Sunset Key Guest Cottages!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2009

The Hotel: Amazing Location. Beautiful, private, and romantic. Perfect for anyone wanting a quiet retreat or a romantic getaway. The bungalows are charming, the bathrooms are spacious, the beds are fantastic, and the kitchenette is a nice added benefit.
The Service: Overall the service was far below what I would expect from a luxury hotel. None of the items listed below are reason enough to be upset, but the service just was not as special as the setting.
• Check in was terrible. The line for check in was long and slow. They ask you what time you expect to arrive, but apparently they do not staff the front desk based upon this information.
• The hotel advertises “turn down service”. This basically meant that they placed chocolate and water by your bedside, but they did not include any other traditional turn down services. Also, on our first night the attendant arrived with the chocolates and water at 6pm - a little early for turn down service.
• The hotel advertises that they mail you a package 2 weeks prior to arrival. The package includes hotel info, shopping lists, and other items. We never received the package.
• Many times we walked by hotel staff and they never acknowledged our presence. At luxury hotels I am accustomed to friendly greetings from every staff member. A simple "hello" or can "I help you goes a long way".
• Our room was not cleaned until after 3pm. This seems very late. We had to wait to shower after our day at the beach for the room steward to finish cleaning the room. When we walked in on him he did not acknowledge us at all – he did not even say hello or let us know how long he would be.
• At the beach they did not have any staff available to help you set up your lounge chairs, towels, etc., even though they advertise an attended beach.
• One night we went to the restaurant / bar and waited for over 10 minutes while the waiters and bartenders helped other guests and walked right by us several times. No one ever said hello or even acknowledged our presence. We finally left.

Overall: We LOVED this hotel. We just wish the service matched the setting. I would stay at the hotel again, simply because the setting was soo amazing.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rbach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 22, 2009

The main attraction is the location - a private, secluded island with white sand beaches and turquoise waters, but just minutes from Key West. Key West is famous for watching sunsets, but watching the sun set from the pier on Sunset Key is clearly superior. Our cottage was beautiful and the resort itself offered it all - great pool, 2 hot tubs, lush gardens, and superior customer service (just ask for it - they'll get it for you).

The only negative reviews I read referred to wear and tear in the cottages. I did notice some, but definitely not enough to take away from our enjoyment of the place. Also, the furniture has an intended "worn" finish, which some may have confused for unwanted wear.

  • Liked — Location - secluded island
  • Disliked — High price tag
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank JulesandJakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunset Key Cottages

Property: Sunset Key Cottages
Address: 245 Front Street, Key West, FL 33040 (Formerly Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort)
Phone Number:
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 ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Key West
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Key West
#6 Spa Hotel in Key West
#8 Luxury Hotel in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sunset Key Cottages 4*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunset Key Cottages is a secluded tropical island sanctuary located just 500 yards off the coast of Key West, featuring private cottages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Key Guest Cottages, a Westin Hotel Key West
Westin Key West
Key West Westin
Sunset Key Cottages Guest

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