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“Not bad for the money...”

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Harbor Lights Motel
Ranked #19 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Reviewed November 15, 2012

While traveling through the Keys, my buddy and I needed an inexpensive place to stay for the night. We're musicians, so paying over $100 for a room takes a big bite out of our travel expenses. A quick search on one of the discount web travel search sites (Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity... I can't remember which we used) provided several choices, although not much under $100 for the night. I imagine the season may affect the prices, so for informational purposes, this was the end of October 2012. I think we wound up paying somewhere in the $70 range for the night.

Usually when you let a low budget decide where you'll stay, you pretty much get what you don't pay for. In this case, we were pleasantly surprised. The exterior isn't much to look at, but it's located right on the water with what I remember as a crude boat ramp out back. Don't come here expecting a view from the rooms. This ain't that place. This is a place to stay for the night (or nights as the case may be) and not much else. Just what we were looking for.

The interior was clean, functional and comfortable. We didn't care about the pool and the only place you can get wi-fi is outside at a table on the ground floor. That part kinda sucks, but for the price, I'm not complaining.

Inside, they had an old TV set but the cable worked fine, so we had the news or ESPN to entertain us until we fell asleep. The decor is simple and dated, but clean and in decent shape... at least it was in our room. The AC worked fine (so important in Florida). The bathroom was consistent with the rest of the decor, but the water pressure in the shower was very good and there was plenty of hot water. In fact, now that I think back on it, the room even had a little kitchenette, although we didn't need one. Standard musician groceries of a bag o' chips n' dip with a 6 pack of beer, and we were fine.

It was after dark when we checked in and the owner/proprietor was amiable enough... not falling over themselves to please us, but not rude as another reviewer put it. All in all, I'd stay here again for the price. I wouldn't book it for a honeymoon or anything, but for an inexpensive and clean place to stay for the night, this works just fine.

Oh yeah... one more thing. The parking in front of the ground floor rooms was pretty much taken, and there's a large enough lot attached to it, but watch for the palm tree right dead center in the middle of the lot. Don't forget it's there and back into it when you're leaving...

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank RegularGuySanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Thank you so much for your review! We love musicians!

The only thing we could add is that we do have plenty of ocean view rooms (most of the hotel's rooms have an ocean view) for just a few dollars more than the standard rooms and kitchenettes.

We appreciate your business, and look forward to seeing you again soon!

And yes, watch out for that palm tree!

Todd Chandler
General Manager

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256 - 262 of 386 reviews

Reviewed November 13, 2012

Good location, but was disgusted by the attitude of the owner. Trying to find someone on arrival and went looking round the back as suggested on a sign only to be abused by the owner. I peered into a window to try and locate someone - this was the staff quarters, but shortly heard a yell from behind... the owner screamed from his boat to yell at me to go away and then threatened to track me down to see how I would like someone looking at my house. This was entirely unprovoked as I stepped away from the patio doors and apologised immediately as soon as I heard a yell - no customer service and did not feel safe enough to stay in the motel.
Shame as the place looked great.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
3  Thank FionaFacey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

It is very unfortunate that this website allows people to give bad reviews like this. This couple ignored numerous signs and was found with their faces pressed against the sliding glass doors of our private residence (which is clearly marked) while our dog went crazy barking. Whether this was our private residence or not, we do not allow unregistered guests to go around the property peeking in any windows, and we are not even sure how this could even be construed as acceptable behavior! Defending our privacy and the privacy of our guests is not rude, but violating this privacy most certainly is!

Sincerely,

Todd Chandler
General Manager

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Reviewed October 26, 2012

Great for overnight stay. Had to go outside near reception to get internet connection. Pool although small was nice and clean and not too cold. Just off overseas highway so easy access. The Dolphin Research Centre is a must.......fantastic experience.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank RorysRavers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2012

We are so very happy that you stopped in!

Thank you for your great review. We hope that next time you cross the "pond" and visit, you will stay with us again! We see that you stayed in one of the smaller queen rooms. Remember to book the larger kitchen units for your next stay, as they are twice as big!

Thank you again for your patronage and kind words.

Todd & Becky Chandler

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Reviewed October 16, 2012

Celebrating our 27th wedding Anniversary, we decided to try a new place after going to Islamorada before. The place was old, rooms were okay. The price was too high for the rooms. We DID NOT enjoy it. Yes, the hammock was nice. Just wasn't welcoming enough for $274..! Stove not clean, had to ask for our room to be cleaned. Just not for us. You be your own judge, ijs.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank gwendolyn7270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2012

We are so sorry that you did not fully enjoy your stay. We would like to point out to the readers that we do not have any rooms priced at $274 per night! Perhaps the traveller was referring to the price for the entire stay (two or three days it sounds like) with taxes included. We pride ourselves on being a great value and we do offer a clean and comfortable room for a fraction of what other oceanfront resorts charge here in Islamorada.

We will review your comments about the stove with housekeeping, so that we may better serve our future guests!

Thank you again for your comments.

Todd & Becky

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Reviewed September 24, 2012

Affordable, clean motel. Nothing fancy. Good location, off overseas highway, easy access to hotel. Small beach outside, nice to relax in hammocks and chairs provided by hotel. Clean swimming pool, for a morning dip.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank ander349
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2012

We thank you so much for finding us, and are so very glad you enjoyed the stay! We are proud to say that out pool is heated during the winter months as well, so that you can enjoy relaxing year round!

Todd & Becky Chandler

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Reviewed September 10, 2012

We arrived late in the day, the girl at the front counter was very nice. We got a small cottage over looking the ocean, it was old and in need of alot of work as you have read in other reviews. But non of that mattered to us, just a place to sleep, We paid $169.00 way to much for the quality of the room. We stayed at new resorts in Key West for less, but at the last moment had to do it. Anyway my advice is GET OUT ON TIME!! Check out is at 11:00 and at 11:02 they were knocking on our door, give me a break they wouldn't leave until we opened the door.
I mentioned this to the girl in the front and she said that they had rules to follow, I just dropped $169 there and a few minutes wouldn't kill anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2012

Bob,

Thank you for your recent comments. We are so very sorry that you felt that you were inconvenienced. However, we are pleased to have the opportunity to respond so that future travellers may make informed decisions.

First, we would like to remind you that when you checked in we mentioned our check out time several times. In fact, you acknowledged and initialed the time on the registration sheet. You also initialled that you agree that at 11:01 you would be subject to additional charges for a late check out. Note: We did not charge you for a late checkout even though you left nearly an hour past our posted checkout time. Our staff does not enjoy waking up guests that feel that the checkout times do not apply to them, but it is a necessary part of our job to insure fairness to all.

Second, the time that your door was knocked on was closer to 11:45, not 11:02. Please understand that with a small staff, it is a considerable strain to turn over rooms in such a short amount of time. We do our very best to accommodate all of our guests. On the holiday weekends (like Labor Day when you stayed) we have a great deal of incoming reservations, and many of them try and check in even before the standard time. We run on a very tight schedule these weekends, and an additional hour can be quite a strain on our small housekeeping staff.

Finally, you chose to travel to the Florida Keys on one of the busiest weekends of the year (Labor Day) without any reservations. We can guarantee that Key West and any other location in the Florida Keys did not have a $169 oceanfront kitchenette room on this holiday weekend! We know this because we keep an extensive list of area hotels' availability and rates during the busy weekends. At the time you checked in (7:02 PM on Saturday) there were only a handfull of rooms left in Islamorada, and every single one was over $275 per night!

We are very sorry you felt you had to give us a bad review based on your recent experience here at the hotel. We strive to provide clean, comfortable rooms located right on the Atlantic Ocean that will not break your wallet. We have rules and policies in place so that all our guests have the same opportunity to enjoy the resort, and we strongly feel that we are fair to all of our guests.

Todd Chandler

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Reviewed September 9, 2012

My boyfriend and I recently stayed here and we had a wonderful time. The room was clean and the bed was soft. We had a great view of both the Atlantic and the Gulf. The owners of the motel were very nice and accommodated us in every way. The only thing that I would suggest is the walls need a little paint and the pictures need updating.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank pocket72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2012

Thank you so much for your recent review and stay here at the Harbor Lights!

You will be happy to know that we are already halfway done with the third floor walls (re-texture and paint) and the paintings have recently arrived as well! You read our minds! We very much appreciate the comments, and strive hard to provide a comfortable, clean room without breaking the bank!

We hope to see you again soon!

Todd & Becky Chandler

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Additional Information about Harbor Lights Motel

Address: 84951 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Islamorada
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range: $70 - $529 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Harbor Lights Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Harbor Lights Motel in the gorgeous Florida Keys. We are located at Mile Marker 85, which is right in the middle of the best fishing, diving, dining and entertainment in the area. The motel offers standard rooms, efficiencies and cottages. All our guests enjoy the fabulous water views, free boat ramp, dock, barbecue area, private tropical pool and beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harbor Lights Hotel Islamorada

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