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“FUN N THE SUN!”

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Harbor Lights Motel
Ranked #19 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
LAKE PLACID,FL
Level Contributor
197 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“FUN N THE SUN!”
Reviewed March 12, 2013

TOOK a week to relax n fish even took my own boat and all went well!TODD and his wife Becky
went out of their way to make my experience very enjoyable.TODD helped me launch my boat in the 15 MPH wind gusts which was a great help!THE ocean front room was very clean and the boat dockage was included with stay..No hidden fee's ..most places charge $1.50/2.00 a ft. per day for dockage...A DEAL FOR THE BOATER!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank chazLakePlacid_fl
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 review, April 9, 2013
Charles,

We were so very happy to have you back. We wish we could have controlled the weather better during your stay!

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Tood & Becky Chandler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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372 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
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English first
Level Contributor
48 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013

A few of us get together for fishing in the Keys each March. As a frequent visitors to Florida and the Keys - we all know getting any decent hotel for less-than-Manhattan pricing is difficult.

We decided to get rooms at Harbor Lights thinking, no matter how bad it is, its just guys getting together to go fishing, no wives, no women, no children - - - and how bad could it be just to have a place to sleep at night?

Well it was bad. Bad enough even for tough guys that have camped out doors and endured all sorts of weather.

To start with, we were given first floor rooms adjacent to the boat ramp. Which means we had to deal with 4x4 trucks and their boats/trailers 24/7 all throughout the night loading and unloading boats. IMPOSSIBLE to sleep.

Secondly, all the doors seem to have been retrofitted some 20+ years ago with fire-rated, electronic locking doors (they didn't have these in the 50s when the place was built). Trouble is the door jambs were all installed crooked. So there's a 1 inch GAP across the bottom of each door and about 1/2 inch around the sides that lets air and noise penetrate. Not to mention any critter, lizard etc that crawls into your room.

From there it gets worse. Every thing is wrong, THe mattresses and box spring looked like they were yanked from a dumpster on garbage day. Yuch. The mattress squealed each time I moved or shifted (another noise to add to the orchestra music).

No Drapes. Only cheap dollar store blinds. Which fail completely to keep the bright Southern Florida sunlight out. It is in dire need of insulated light-blocking shades but then that costs money and who wants to spend money when you can dupe travelers each year without spending money?

There were what appeared to be section 8 welfare, permanent residents above us - the clue was all their furniture piled up out on the terrace. I could go on and on, open holes in the sheetrock, missing drains, no water pressure, by why bother.

You might get a little luckier on the 2nd floor but do not stay on the 1st floor as each room we checked had the same exact problems (we each checked each other's rooms).

WARNING - You will not sleep here!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Frank R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
We are very sorry your stay did not live up to its expectations. We can assure you that had you even just mentioned anything to us during your stay, we would have made it right immediately.

For the record (and for people using these reviews as guidelines) the boat ramp is not open 24/7. The mattresses and box springs are less than a year old, and there are no section 8 residents living on property!

Once again, we are sorry your stay was less than perfect. We just wish we had the opportunity to address your concerns while you were here. Since your stay we have had numerous people stay in those same rooms, and they have absolutely loved the value (less than $100 for an oceanfront hotel!) and convenience of the small first floor rooms.

Todd & Becky
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Travelers are raving about these Islamorada hotels

Kelowna, BC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Harbour Lights Motel is a property with little reinvestment being made in upkeep. It is rundown in a way seldom seen unless being held for redevelopment. It makes no sense for the owners to reinvest in infrastructure if they are planning to tear down the building and build something new. This is clearly the case with Harbour Lights, an unfortunate situation for a property with great potential.
 
The bones of the building are good, and suite 37 has a great view - top floor with an unobstructed view of the ocean and palms. Most of the other suites face an empty lot with only partial ocean views. The place is unfortunately over-priced for what is offered. On the phone it was said "the property is not new but is clean". I cannot agree - as my photos will attest.  The place does not seem to own a vacuum with the attachment to clean in the tracks of either closet or patio doors - the spaces of both were filled with various debris. The tub, surround, windowsill, and tile at the base of the tub were in poor repair and stained by mildew. The blinds were broken and the door in such ill repair you could see through a crack in the front door frame.
 
The managing couple were unfriendly and seemed ungifted with the people skills needed for a venture such as this. 
 
All-in-all I was very unimpressed with this property, and for the price it was a terrible disappointment.

Room Tip: Suite 37 on the top floor has the best view - we opted for the most expensive suite to avoid some of...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank 123HelloOutThere
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 review, April 9, 2013
Darryl,

Thank you for your recent review.

We are so very sorry that you felt that your stay was not up to standard. My wife and I are miffed that you feel we were not approachable or helpful, because as you can see by the overwhelming majority of the reviews we pride ourselves on being great hosts here in the Keys. We try and make everyone feel warm and welcome, and hope that you give us another chance to show you our hospitality!

As for the three inch strip of calk in the bathroom and the door tracks, we will redouble our housekeeping efforts to attack these areas ASAP. We just wish you would have mentioned it when you were here so we could have made it right ASAP!

Todd & Becky
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frenaros
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Pay extra and go elsewhere. The place smelled of bleach, the air con unit was so noisy it had to be turned off, the cooker was rusty, paint peeling, door rattling all night and had to be wedged shut. Place is in need of an urgent makeover.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank DebsFrenaros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Deb,

We are so very sorry that you did not enjoy your recent stay! We wish you would have said something so that we would have had a chance to make it right!

The individual air conditioning units we have here can seem loud to those people used to central AC, and we certainly understand this. We are not sure what room you were in and have not had another complaint about a rattling door. We assure you that when we are notified, we try and make it right immediately - that was all you had to do!

Todd & Becky
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamstown, MA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 3, 2013

What a great room we had here. 2nd floor with a screened porch overlooking the Atlantic. Our room had a full kitchen - fridge, stove, microwave, silverware and pots & pans. Made it a nice to get a little breakfast before heading out for the day. Todd and Becky Chandler (owners) are very knowledgeable and helped us out with dining and dog-sitting suggestions. Harbor Lights has a boat launch in a little sheltered cove right there and we got to watch day trips assembling and heading out for fishing and such. This is not a five-star motel using the rating system found at http://www.areatravelinc.com/star-ratings.html - it is closer to areatravelinc's 1.5-2.0 star rating. However we give it an "excellent" rating here because was such a pleasant stay, for us. "White-glove" travelers will not like this motel, but the value-savvy traveler who is tolerant of older motels that show a bit of wear but remain clean, comfortable and affordable, with accessible, friendly and helpful owners, and who perhaps are looking for a dog-friendly motel, will really like it here.

Room Tip: If you are able, get the second floor room with the screened-in porch.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank John and Jody G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
John and Jody,

We appreciate the great review! I think that future travelers will find your review very helpful when making plans to come visit.

We live and work here at the property, and we can understand that preferences and expectations can be as diverse as the people who travel. When booking (especially through the Internet) it can be a challenge to meet everyone's expectations, not matter how much we try and educate the travelers. We push hard to help people understand that this is a clean, but older style property where you have a million dollar view (literally) for less than half of what you would pay at most resorts. Your review absolutely nailed it, and we hope that it helps with our guests' expectations when they are travelling.

Thank you again for your kind words and frank assessment.

Todd & Becky Chandler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Great price for the view of the ocean in the Keys. If you remember Florida before it all tried to be south beach, this will take you back.
Make a point to meet and talk to Todd and Becky who make you feel welcome and have great tips for the the local area. Good place to chill and relax. We will return as it suited our needs perfectly.

Room Tip: Try to get room 37, best room in the property.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank tkkrueger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarborLightsMotel, Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
We are so very happy that you found us! Thank you for the nice comments!

We agree that room 37 has a wonderful view (one of the best in the Keys), and we have many more exceptional view rooms on the property.

We also agree that if you want the "low down" on Islamorada or the Florida Keys, feel free to bend our ear at any time during your stay. That is exactly what we are here for!

Todd & Becky
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Harbor lights is no frills, clean, and for the price you can't beat it...walk to local bars/restaurants, staff great, friendly. If you are looking for a place to sleep and relax after a day of playing, fishing, etc...this is the best deal.

Room Tip: I have stayed in the main building and the cabins...do perfer the cabins
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank 13bernb
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 review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for the great review!

The cottage rooms are nice, and are perfect for larger families and people who like a little more privacy and an ocean view!

See you again soon!

Todd & Becky
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Harbor Lights Motel

Property: 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:
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Harbor Lights Hotel Islamorada

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