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“Lovely little place, expected more for the money”
Review of Ocean House

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Ocean House
Ranked #1 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 6, 2013

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

Negatives
- 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.

Room Tip: Upstairs is best for views.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Chocolate74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
keystothegarden, Owner at Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2013

Your comments are much appreciated and important as we continue to improve our guest experience. Originally known as Ocean Dawn, the hotel was a quaint place that simply presented a nice room and personable staff. Over the past five years we have gradually transformed the hotel from these modest offerings into Ocean House, a hotel striving to meet the needs of more discerning customers and filling that niche in the Keys you described. Much thought went into designing the swimming pool and grounds to insure guests feel a sense of privacy, as if you were visiting a friend’s home. We are now in the process of upgrading other aspects of the hotel, including changing out the beds. Unfortunately your stay was a week before installing new natural latex mattresses which provide firmer support. Additionally, OH will close in September and October to install acoustical insulation between the first and second floor, which will substantially reduce sound transmission. Moreover, your comments regarding noise between the rooms confirms our intent to resolve that issue as well. As the hotel transforms, so has our staff. Due to our small size, all it takes is one person not doing their job to greatly affect our guests. We are in the process of building a staff that understands how important every detail is. You would expect nothing less as a guest in a friend’s home. Every person working at OH truly cares and if we have fallen short of your expectations, then please accept our sincere apologies. Our journey to establish OH as the quintessential boutique hotel in the Florida Keys will continue. Ultimately, we hope our guests leave feeling they have received good value and a magical experience. We welcome another opportunity to make this mark with you.
Mona

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247 - 253 of 400 reviews

Reviewed March 3, 2013

My husband and I spent a night at the Ocean House over President's Day weekend 2013. Islamorada in general was BEAUTIFUL and the Ocean House was a hidden gem that we want to share with everyone! Rod and Mike and the rest of the staff were wonderful, helpful, and kind! Rod and Mike took the time to show us around the grounds, tell us the best places to visit, and made us feel at home from the moment we drove up! They welcomed us with a glass of wine, showed us around, and took pictures of us when we asked. Our room was perfect and we felt we could have (and should) have spent a week here. The gardens are unlike anything we have seen before and the pool and private beach area were perfect for guests. The Ocean House is small, quiet, BEAUTIFUL, peaceful, and comfortable. Our only regret about our recent trip is that we did not spend more nights at The Ocean House. Enjoy your stay! Don't hesitate to stay here.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lauren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
keystothegarden, Owner at Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

It brings much pleasure in seeing our guests enjoying the Ocean House experience. As the owner, I have developed the property into something that I thought guests would appreciate. However, your experience is much more than a comfortable suite and nice grounds. I can also say that the staff at OH really cares about every aspect of their position. Working with such wonderful people has been a pleasure to me as well. Thank you for staying with us along with your recommendation. We look forward to a longer stay on your next visit.
Mona

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Reviewed February 28, 2013

We spent five incredibly relaxing days at Ocean House. When you are ready the staff brings breakfast to your room to enjoy on your private balcony, as you watch the pelicans fly past. Or for those who prefer, breakfast can also be served poolside. Each balcony is separated from those on either side by two heavy canvas curtains for privacy. Our room was large and very comfortable. Each of the eight rooms faces the ocean and the stunning tropical landscaping and the water garden with its soothing sounds. I can't say enough about the friendly staff who were so committed to making our stay perfect. The small saltwater pool invites languishing instead of laps. There are choices of lounges, cabanas, or a shelter out of the sun complete with chess and Scrabble boards set up. The ocean front also has lounge chairs and tables. I've never seen a property where most of the guests stay around most of the day because it is so lovely. Islamorada is well located with an abundance of excellent restaurants, and the staff were very helpful in their dining recommendations.

Room Tip: Our room was on the second floor which gave us a view of both the landscaping and the ocean.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mydeah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
keystothegarden, Owner at Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2013

It is wonderful to see a five night stay being "too short", and a great feeling knowing that so many people are enjoying our little hidden treasure. Our goal is to offer a place of tranquility and seclusion, providing many separate areas for guests to relax and unwind. The staff truly cares and goes above and beyond to make sure your stay is memorable. Thank you for your kind words and we hope to see you again soon for an even longer stay.

Mona

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Reviewed February 26, 2013

My wife and I only spent one night here, but it was a very nice one. The room (salt water taffy) was large, comfortable and clean. The staff was universally friendly and the gardens were just incredible. The beach isn't much for swimming,etc., but there are chairs to sit by the water and watch the wildlike go by. The pool and hot tub make up for anything the beach is lacking. It isn't cheap, but it is worth the price of admission in our opinion.

Room Tip: The upper rooms have a great view of the gardens.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dale L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
keystothegarden, Owner at Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2013

We enjoyed having you stay at Ocean House. Although the Keys are not known for their beaches, sitting out on our point makes you feel like you are part of the ocean. We are pleased that you were able to enjoy our salt water pool and spa in the short time you had with us. You are invited to come back and stay longer allowing Ocean House to provide that personal service we pride ourselves on.

Mona

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Reviewed February 21, 2013 via mobile

Last stop of our Keys trip and after staying in some great spots, Cheeca, Tranquillity Bay, Island City House, we thought it couldn't get better...but it did. Ocean House is a small and immaculate B&B with a real attention to detail which we loved. The beach front and garden is the real draw here, so peaceful and relaxing...yet so close to the Overseas Highway and restaurants in Islamorada, which we thought were the best in the Keys. You won't regret your stay here.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank Jonnygun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keys73, General Manager at Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2013

Thank you for your great comments! We are the ideal "last stop" on a travelling Keys trip. It's a perfect wind-down to be able to relax in a quiet intimate atmosphere before having to go back home. We hope to see you return.

Ed

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Reviewed February 13, 2013

We spent a full week at the Ocean House and we couldn't be happier with our choice. It was a long overdue vacation and our first time in the Keys. The Ocean House was the perfect place for a much needed, quiet romantic getaway. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and well maintained, the rooms comfortable and pristine. Features such as the private beach, saltwater pool, hot tub, hammock, cabanas and palm trees surrounding the place are unmatched by any other resort in Islamorada. Ed, Ana, Rod, Mike and the rest of the staff were warm, welcoming, friendly and extremely helpful. It was the perfect vacation for us at the perfect time with the perfect accommodations. This resort is truly a gem for couples looking for a relaxing, peaceful vacation. We're already planning our next trip back! Thanks to the staff for a truly wonderful experience.
Karen & Frank

Room Tip: Loved the bottom level room with easy access to the grounds and beach.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keys73, General Manager at Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Thank you for your great comments! In addition to enjoying the solitude of our resort, you got to enjoy sport fishing that makes Islamorada famous. I am blessed to have a great staff that truly loves to go out of the way to assure that your stay is fantastic. Thank you again for staying with us and we look forward to your return.

Ed

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Reviewed January 29, 2013

We stayed two nights in the Sand Bar room - great view of the ocean. We chose Ocean House based on pictures and info on website and had high expectations. Ocean House lived up to our expectation!. If you are looking for a calm, quiet getaway, this is the place. The grounds are beautiful and the pool/beach area is relaxing. We loved the option of having our breakfast brought to us in our room or by the pool. We took advantage of the bikes to ride around Islamorada. Ed, Rod and Ana helped us feel at home. Agree with the comment about the lack of closet space. However, we managed just fine. Would come back to Ocean House in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Second floor room quiet with view of the ocean
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jeff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keys73, General Manager at Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2013

Thank you for the great review! The view over our grounds to the ocean from the second floor rooms is stunning. After enjoying the many activities of Islamorada including fishing, diving, and numerous very fine restaurants, you return to a very quiet resort with an intimate, romantic atmosphere to relax. Our staff takes pride in providing clearly outrageous service to our fantastic guests. We don’t have full size closets but feel that the wardrobes provide adequate storage for clothing used in our resort setting. Please come back. We look forward to your return!

Ed

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Additional Information about Ocean House

Address: 82885 Old Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036-3658 (Formerly Ocean Dawn Suites)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Islamorada
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range: $318 - $609 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ocean House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
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 
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Also Known As:
Ocean House Hotel Islamorada

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