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“Set realistic expectations, old school Keys "Fishing Resort"” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rainbow Bend Fishing Resort

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Rainbow Bend Fishing Resort
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Marathon
Certificate of Excellence
Spartanburg, SC
Level Contributor
129 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Set realistic expectations, old school Keys "Fishing Resort"”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2010

The reviews for this place could go either way depending on your expectations going in. If you want to experience the old style Florida Keys, Stay on the ocean, have a sleepy little getaway experience, use a boat but not have to bring your own, relax. This is the place. If you are looking for a swimming beach, high-end or even up dated accomodations, great restaurant, bar and nightlife, this is not the place for you.
We made our plans last minute and were only able to get 3 nights in a row if we were willing to move each day, we did, and that was actually very smooth and gave us the opportunity to see different rooms. For our family trip we really wanted to use a boat, but did not want to tow one this trip, this place was almost perfect. The rooms (even the ocean view suite) left something to be desired, however, in fairness they had everything that was advertised. The place is sort of thrown together and has not been upgraded, except the essentials, in years.
We ate the complimentary breakfast only once, the food was average to below average, and the restaurant management was not firendly to down right rude. We chose to not eat there again after our first morning. The evening menu prices were high, the place was hot, and we chose to eat at some other places in Marathon.
The beach is cozy, but does not offer swimming to speak of, and at low tide its a big wet smelly mess just off of the beach for at least 40 yards. The pool and hot tub were dated as well, but functional. We did not use either.
As for the boat fleet, they are old and small, but well maintained, the staff is very helpful and there is good bottom fishing within sight of the dock. The hook for me was the boats, and I have no regrets because of that.
Overall expectations were met with boat and beach, not with room and definitely not with restaurant.
I would recommend based on the expectation.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ChangingPlans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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717 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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Williamstown
Level Contributor
68 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2010

First, if you try to stay here, please verify your room rate and question carefully any additional tax/gratuity charges. Read this on the Rainbow's website...we missed it and got a big unfortunate surprise when we booked.

Second, don't expect any sailboats: they don't exist here. The Rainbow does have some older Whalers and kayaks (no canoes) that you can take out in the water. We were unable to enjoy these amenities because of wind and rain.

Third, our room, while spacious, wasn't the cleanest. I needed to put a blanket down on the sofa before I could sit on it. The kitchen was adequate and bright thanks to a nice sky light. The bathroom tub was very large and a jacuzzi though we never actually used it.

Fourth, the breakfast is good if you have a lot of time! Day one's service was woefully slow, though Day two was very speedy (50 minutes versus 10 minutes). The free options were fine and food quite tasty. We never dined at the Hideaway for dinner as the prices seemed very high even by Keys standards.

Fifth, if you go off grounds for dinner, be prepared to not have a parking place in the lot when you return. We came back one night and were lucky to find a spot which had just opened; otherwise we would have had to leave our car (not a rental) on the grass along the road. Not cool. :( We assume the flood of cars were from Hideaway diners--good for the cafe.

Sixth, the internet was virtually non-existent. We had to either sit outside our room by the office or, one day, went into the laundry room to check internet access. We saw one poor guest perched in a lawn chair outside the office door many times, trying to do some work online.

Finally, the staff didn't seem to really care if we were there or not. They shrugged off everything as "well, this IS the Keys!" as if that's an acceptable excuse for everything. This was not our first time in the Keys, and we found that attitude a little off-putting.

So, in short, if you can go with the flow like you're supposed to in the Keys, you may be fine here. We were quite disappointed with the accommodations, price and 15% gratuity charge.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KentuckySunLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2010

After reviewing dozens of hotels and resorts, Rainbow Bend was exactly what we were looking for. Out of the way, yet convienent, peaceful, very relaxing with activities. The accomadations were perfect: comfortable, clean, spacious and mostly private. I would pick a room away from the parking area next time. The staff, especially Tony and Carl at the dock, were very friendly and helpful. The beach, while not a swimming beach, was a great place to hang out and relax. The swimming pool and jacuzzi were fantastic. All around perfect we will make this an annual destination.
Teri and Dan, WI

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank teriowi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
detroit
2 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2010

My wife picked this place because they had a private hot tub spa in a gated patio as part of the room. We stayed there three nights and it was not until day three that they told us it would not work because the heater was burned out and parts were on order. I had been complaining for the first two days and was told just to keep trying. I finally got to the owner who gave us a whopping 10% off the bill. Big freakin deal. They supposedly have a gourmet dining room but their "free breakfast" was the pits and not worth the price even when it was free. When I ordered a second cup of tea with the same tea bag as the first, they even charged me a buck for that. They have these fishing boats that look like they are leftovers from the Fifties. I would never stay there again even at half their normal price.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gideon749
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2010

Just stayed there a couple weeks ago (2/22-3/1) LOVED it! Room #22

THE PLACE: is overall charming. Oceanfront with great views! The OLD KEYS style.

THE ROOM: was very clean (I did the "White Sock" test and it passed!) It had a comfortable bed. The kitchen was adequately stocked with Pots, Pans, Utensils etc.....(Needed a Toaster) we had a Jacuzzi Tub in our Bathroom. The Couch & Love Seat in the living room were a little more "rustic" than were used to at home but hey, it's not home! We also had a Private Patio and there was not a bug to be seen anywhere...inside or out!

THE BOATS: are not 40' cabin cruisers, but have a motor, a steering wheel, an anchor and, are at your disposal pretty much anytime you want one anytime of the daylight hours. Tony gave us a map, showed us places to catch fish (and we did catch!) He made sure we were all set whenever we wanted to take a boat out...$12-$24 per trip in gas was well worth the fun we had. How great is that??

THE HIDEAWAY CAFE: was the breakfast that's included with your room every morning! Eggs, Pancakes, Bacon, Ham etc...The usual suspects but always delicious.
We didn't use the restaurant for dinner (although the smells wafting out nightly were awesome) only because we were either to tired to go anywhere after fishing all day or out somewhere else having them cook our catch. (Only drawback is that the Hideaway does not offer to cook your catch like the other places in town) They should think about it!

THE BEACH: is a typical Keys beach. Not good for swimming but loaded with comfortable lounge chairs, wooden "couples swings",tiki huts and sand (what else do you need!) If you want to swim, use the Pool & Hot Tub! Which were nice and clean as well.

THE STAFF: Be it housekeeping, the office, the restaurant or the docks, All the staff was friendly, helpful, courteous and always greeted us with a smile. Who wouldn't be happy, you live is the KEYS year round!

If you want "trendy and plush" go to Hawks Cay or Cheeca Lodge and pay their ridiculous nightly rates and then get no "swag" at all. (like a boat or breakfast included with your room!)

*They do include a 15% "gratuity" on your bill (which we were made aware of ahead of time) but our feeling was that we didn't have to tip the staff while we were there. Tips had been already calculated into our bill. It left no "surprises".

We enjoy staying in Marathon above all other parts of the Keys we've visited.
Rainbow Bend is definitely where we will continue to return (I hope for years to come!)

Thank you guys, we had a ball and we'll see you next year....
Sooner if at all possible!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hatterasbound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2010

We just got back from our trip at the Rainbow Bend. Had a great time. The octagon upper level was very clean and spacious. The view was out of this world, with big glass windows all around. Deborah was our housekeeper and she was super friendly and did a wonderful job. We had a total of six pillows to use if we wanted, and an extra blanket, clean towels each days, and a clean dishcloth each day. A Full size stove, fridge and microwave, all VERY clean. Full size glass table to eat at overlooking the ocean. 2 tvs, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.
The pool was too cold to swim in, but it was kept very clean and looked inviting. The hot tub was great to relax in after a long day of sight seeing. We played giant checkers on the beach. We took one of the free boats out one morning to do the million dollar house tour and it was fun, the men at the dock were very helpful. The gas cost us $ 24.00 which we thought was a bit expensive for just that hour, but we had fun. In the mornings we went to the hideaway for our free breakfast, we had our choice of 4 or 5 breakfast items. It was good and there was no wait, which was really really nice. Josh was our server each day and he was the nicest guy, we looked forward to seeing him every morning.
We loved watching how far out the tide would go out each day and then to see it come back at night. It was fun to explore what the tide had left behind. There were plenty of places to sit and relax on the beach too. I wish we had better weather because they had kayaks and paddleboats to use too, it was just too windy for us.
Our only cons were thats parking was limited, each unit should have its own parking assignment. There was no Wifi in the our room, just in the courtyard which was a little bothersome. All in all, we are glad we came to the Rainbow Bend Resort, we decided to try it because of the other reviews and glad we did.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sher B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2010

It was what we pictured the Keys was years ago and we loved it. Wonderful beach area on the ocean with Tiki umbrellas. Several bldgs of rooms and patios. Boat rental included was a nice addition. Breakfest was super and early sitting in restruant was affordable and tasty. Rooms were turned down and straightened up daily. Our room was under the restruant kitchen and noisy until 11 pm. A 15% gratuity was hidden from me until the reservation was made on booking.com. That left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rascalnorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rainbow Bend Fishing Resort

Property: Rainbow Bend Fishing Resort
Address: 57784 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050-5626
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Marathon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Marathon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 23
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Rainbow Bend Fishing Hotel Marathon

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