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“OK -- That's all”
Review of Island House

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Island House
Certificate of Excellence
Amityville, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“OK -- That's all”
Reviewed August 19, 2005

Me and my partner were warned about the reputation of Island House before we decided to stay there, but we decided to stay there anyway. We have been to cruisy places in the past, but this place takes the cake. If you are looking for a meaningless "hook-up" with a faceless/nameless guy, this is the place for you. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation after a year of working hard -- forget Island House.
A few good and bad points -- we stayed in one of the higher end rooms that face the pool. Be prepared to bring (or buy) Clorox to clean the mold off of the bathroom shower walls and floor. Although the bed is made on a daily basis, and the towels are changed daily, the staff clearly does not spend any time really cleaning. The mold in our shower ranged from black to pink depending on its age. Thirty minutes (and a bottle of Clorox later), the mold and its smell were gone.
Second -- there are a lot of little bugs (yes, insects) that were in our room. You need to learn to co-habitate with them -- If it's not your style, then skip this place.
Third -- The "video room" with "seven screens" as advertised is a pretty small hook-up room above the "gym". The "screens" are 20 inch or so TVs that are mounted into the walls of four seaparate little rooms. It looks like a back-room in any gay bar -- again, nothing special.
Fourth -- The food is absolutely first rate at really good prices. The staff can tell you what is particularly good on any particular day -- take their advice.
Fifth -- The bar staff and wait staff are very nice and do their best to make certain that everyone is having a good time. If you are lucky enough to have Donald on duty at the bar, you will get great service and a friendly attitude.
Sixth -- Good thing and bad thing -- depending on what the guests look like when you are there -- most people spend part of their time naked.
Seventh -- Very nice second floor sun deck away from the cruisy pool.
Eighth -- Although the pool is advertised as being the largest in the gay guest houses in Key West, it is still very small (especially when there is a large crowd od guests).
Ninth -- There is not a lot of chair space around the pool -- somewhere around 14 lounge chairs.
Well, I hope this helps if you are traveling down to Key West.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
32 Thank Chris32NY1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2005

I must say, starting off, you need to be aware of what this hotel is before you go. If you are looking for a nice private hotel that is for couples to enjoy each other (in isolation) and one that affords a lot of privacy, this is NOT your hotel. Saying that, it was a lot of fun, and certainly opened some interesting discussion for us as a couple. This hotel, we found out, used to be a bath house, and has since been updated (although it VERY much still has that feel). They have done a beautiful job at it, and the rooms, bar, restaurant, etc., are VERY nice. Mattie (who works at the bar) is GREAT and can recommend what to do and see. Should you check out there website beforehand, be warned, contrary to their video this is not a hang out for young attractive gay men (at least during our stay). Most all the men were at least early 40's (and overweight) and VERY few were remotely attractive/in-shape. It went from being a very sexy/hot place (had it been younger attractive men/couples) to being a sort of creepy/gross atmosphere. No offense to older/less attractive persons, it just wasn't a great experience. Being younger and somewhat attractive, my partner and I felt like we were constantly being looked at and watched, and approached by others. It was uncomfortable in that regard. I must say they have done a great job with the place, though, and was a nice room/amenities. It is about 9 blocks walk from Duval Street (where everything is), however, we enjoyed it as it let us get out and see the neighborhoods. The desk staff varied, some were very friendly, others were rude and arrogant (old and bitter in my view). Anyway, be warned, it is VERY expensive, and could be quite a suprise if you don't know what you are getting into. It is reminiscent of a VERY POSH bathhouse for older men. If that sounds good to you, go for it. They didn't seem to like us late 20 year-olds (we didn't even get a thank you or come again), so we wondered if they would prefer younger men didn't come. The food is great, and Mattie is cute and very nice (at the bar), so take some time to talk to him should you stay. It is what it is...but not at all like any typical hotel, so be warned.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
27 Thank brickbark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2005

I just returned yesterday (May 27, 2005)from my first visit to the Island House. The magazine reviews on their website were favorable, so I was not expecting to be disappointed. This was one of the best and most relaxing vacations I have ever had! From the moment I checked in until the moment I checked out, I never left the place! There was no need, because it had everything, including a poolside cafe with excellent food--there was never any need to go out to a restaurant. My room was beautifully appointed, comfortable and clean. The staff were attentive and helpful. The bartenders were as cute as could be and were nice, friendly and flirty with all of the guests...not just the young and cute ones. All of the guests were sociable and pleasant and everyone talked to everyone else. The clothing optional policy makes one's stay even more enjoyable. Imagine sitting around the pool having cocktails or a meal with only a towel around you...or nothing at all, if you're not shy. What could be more comfortable!? The grounds of the Island House for Men are just beautiful and well maintained--and the whole setting is as peaceful and quiet as it could be. All in all, you couldn't get any better than this! I can't wait for my next visit...I didn't want to leave in the first place!

Stayed May 2005
15 Thank H��kan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Wight
Level Contributor
94 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2005

Perfect - probably just about sums up this place! I stayed at this gay resort for 7 nights with 2 friends, we had one of the apartments which is located next door to the main hotel. The apartment was spotlessly clean and well equipped. Attention to detail in this hotel is excellent, everything from the endless supply of fresh towels for use around the complex to the free wireless internet access and complimentary bar between 5.30 and 7pm each day. The staff were simply lovely, always available and always happy to help.

Island House may be a little further away from Duval Street than some of the other gay hotels in Key West but its definately worth the walk (probably no more than 15-20 minutes, or a short taxi ride).

An earlier post refers to the quality of food served from the poolside bar which is just delicious. We ate at the hotel 5 out of the 7 nights and every occasion was perfect. Whilst it would be silly to travel from the UK and spend the entire week in the hotel it would have been very easy to do so, we did however manage 3 nights partying on Duval Street and some late dips in the pool (average temperature 94F) on our return!.

You'll certainly have fun at this place, clothing is optional which most patrons seemed to take advantage of. The hotel has in addition to the main pool, 1 outdoor jacuzzi, 1 indoor jacuzzi, sauna, steam and gym. Theres also an adult video room should you feel so inclined!. Wireless internet is free and theres a PC in reception which allows you 10 minutes free access per day. Everything you buy can be charged to your room so there no need to carry money whilst relaxing in the hotel, bar drinks and food both day snacks and evening meals are very resonably priced.

Stay here - we'll definately be going back!.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank tonyiow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2005

I stayed at Island House for the first time in May 2004 and had a blast. I had never been so catered to and felt so 'at home' at a resort before. The food at the restaurant was superb and the service was impeccable, having the wait staff respond to your need to be waited on or to be left alone when desired. The locals have use of the restaurant/bar and gym so you get to meet locals as well as fellow guests. Duvall street is about a 15 minute walk, but I found myself not wanting to leave the premises because it had everything I wanted. However when I did venture out of the seclusion of Island House for a night out at Duvall Street, it was fun to return to Island House and hang out at the pool (which is open 24 hours a day) and have a late night swim and there is always guests up and out and about the resort. Even though the facilities are open 24 hours a day, everyone was respectful of each other and kept the noise to a minimum. The resort is clothing optional and most take advantage of this. Definitely a great place to escape and let go of your inhibitions.

9 Thank all25sir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west midlands
Level Contributor
183 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2005

stayed here oct 04 first impressions are great, we had excellant room at a great rate but when we looked closer, the room was very dusty, attention to detail was missing did not use kitchen area as had ants but they were promptly dealt with.
on the whole staff were friendly if a little "clicky" myself and partner are only early 30`s, but felt the staff gave more attention to the younger hunkier guys, the guests were really great though and the spa and sauna area were alway spotless on the whole a good choice
just let down by lacklustre housekeeping in room

10 Thank Robbie/stourbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island House

Property: Island House
Address: 1129 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040-6997
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine.... a place where everyone is gay.... where it’s easy to make friends.... where you can really be yourself.... where you can enjoy yourself 24 hours a day..... in a secure locked compound, safe from the outside world...... where a friendly and capable all-male staff are on hand to make sure you enjoy your vacation...... in a tropical paradise. Well that place is waiting for you. It’s called Island House in Key West. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Island House Hotel Key West
Island House Key West

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