Years ago, when we were still living in Europe, we were planning a trip to the Keys but gave up as we could not find a nice, reasonably priced place to stay. Now we live in the US and gave it another go. I spent weeks comparing places and was still disappointed with what the Keys offers as most places are just plain old and shabby or others way overpriced. In the end we chose Ocean House. At 500$ / night for Sand bar room, we found it still a bit dear but buoyed by the great reviews.we thought it must be worth it.
We stayed here in Match for 5 nights. It is not that there is anything disastrously wrong with this guest house. On the contrary, we had a good time. However , we have travelled so much so you cannot help but compare and look at price/ value and that is just not right here.
First the nice things about OH:
- great garden, with flowers, beautifully laid out pool and then view beyond to small beach and ocean.
- nice rooms with coffee maker, fridge, table, sofa, nice balcony with chairs
- bikes and paddle boards for use
- heaps of magazines to read
- very good sun loungers wih 2 cabanas. Never felt too busy although hotel quite full
- noise. I am not a good sleeper. We wanted to be upstairs to avoid noise ( see other reviews) but I was worried about interconnecting rooms and noise. OH assured me there would be no noise from neighbours. There is from both sides. I could hear neighbours TV, conversation, walking around, creaking of bed. This place is popular with honeymooners. Well, I don't think it offers enough privacy.
- beds: mattress too soft for my liking. This is very personal but the fact is when you stay in upmarket hotels, mattresses tend to be on the firm side with a soft topper thus pleasing all. This mattress seemed a bit old and saggy.
- bathroom is small and shower rail rusty. No holder for toothbrushes, combs etc.
- breakfast. I read in previous review the offering used to be even more meagre. Well I think for what we pay, we could have a bit more food, unless fruit is rationed in Florida.
I don't want cooked breakfast but for what we pay I think it is mean to just offer 1 bowl of fruit, which was only 1/4 filled, sugary yoghurt, a small sweet pastry and juice.
I would expect cereal at least and nice yoghurt with honey, and some more fruit please. We are 2 people after all. We ought our own cereal it really that does not seem right.
Also we were told, we can make coffee ourselves. Sure we can but what if someone has tea at breakfast?
- service: this was not the end of the world but every day we had to go to reception or ring up as something was missing: day 1 we had no coffee, day 2 no water, day 3 no bathroom towels.
Also I had read about the Malin and Goetz products and love them. I expected there to be body cream in the room but there was none and travelling with only handluggage I had not packed any. We went out and bought some. By day 4, body lotion suddenly did appear.
It seemed to me that either this place is run by amateurs ( The guy named Ed, people refer to,was not there. Has he left? Before trip I sent a few mails with questions. They were always answered within the hour. My last mail went unanswered, maybe they have some staff issues?? ) Otherwise the small errors can be explained that they try to save cost by only putting things in the room when customers ask for them. I don't know.
All in all. We enjoyed our time in OH as it is such a lovely looking house and setting but be aware of above and also that this is not a hotel but rather an upmarket guest house. There is no bar, ( we brought our own drinks so was ok) or other resort facilities.
Would I advice to stay: due to limited choice on the keys, yes but I don't think I would stay again.
Last year we stayed in a place in Cape cod where we payed about 325$ in high season and that place had it spot on, sheer perfection and that is what was missing here. The magic was not there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This intimate, upscale, and adult only hotel and resort houses eight luxurious suites. The right choice for those wanting to getaway and just relax. A perfect location for small weddings and groups. Newly renovated with a pool, beach, spa, cabanas and fire pit. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire and Orbitz so you can book your Ocean House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ocean House Hotel Islamorada