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“Barefoot Relaxation Perfection”

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Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Marathon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 7, 2014

I write this on our last night at Tranqulity Bay! We have stayed at Tranquility Bay for a total of 5 nights (2 nights, from February 1-3, 2014 on the first part of our "baby moon" in the Keys, and then 3 nights from February 5-8, 2014 after 2 nights in Key West at the Hyatt Resort and Spa - also reviewed on TA). During both legs of our trip, we stayed in a 3 bedroom water view house (houses 66 and 60) which had great views and was convenient to the beach and "relaxation" pool (i.e. adults-only pool).

The GREAT
Customer service is amazing. The front desk is very helpful and super friendly (even when we decided at the last minute to change our room after we had already technically checked in). The resort and the houses (both 66 and 60) were amazingly clean. And I'm really picky about that sort of thing - I don't ever want to see any reminders that any other human being stayed there before me :-) The bathrooms and kitchen in both houses were spotless. No issue with any bugs inside (or outside the house for that matter - even the porches were clean). I even saw one of the maintenance guys clearing away a spider web in one of the trees lining a pathway during the day (away from the house) so they seem like they really care about upkeep (although I did feel bad for the spider). The two club chairs in the living room in both 3 bedroom units were upholstered in a light fabric so they did show some wear and tear and there was one spot on the rug covering the stairs (in both houses, strangely enough) but both houses were exceptionally clean.

The houses were very spacious. On our second stay, we had actually booked a 2 bedroom water view, but once we checked in, we realized it was significantly smaller (and a little shabbier) than the 3 bedroom we had stayed in earlier in the week, and we ended up upgrading to the 3 bedroom. Even if you don't need all the extra space, the kitchen, living, and bedrooms are all more spacious in the 3 bedroom and there wasn't a huge price differential when we initially booked so if you can spring for it, definitely book the 3 bedroom water view! Both houses had nice views of the water and the grounds - if/when we return, we would think about getting the waterfront (which is right on the beach). If you want to avoid all road noise, ask for a house away from the street. We actually liked being able to park right in front of the house (helpful when bringing in groceries and the like) and the road noise wasn't noticeable.

FYI, I think each unit is privately owned (although managed by the resort) so there may be some variation in appliances, decor, wear and tear, etc., which may or may not explain some of the inconsistent reviews I see on TripAdvisor. I suppose if you check in and you're not 100% happy, you can see if you can check out any other units. Note that both of the three bedroom units we stayed in were largely consistent.

The decor has a fresh, crisp coastal beachy vibe with white painted furniture, light woods, and blues, greens, some coral colors. The dining area had a roomy table and chairs for 6. Each bedroom had ample closets (not that we used them) and televisions. The living room and master bedroom had DVD players as well. There were 2 balconies and 2 porches with adirondack chairs at both houses, which were great for drinking our coffee and relaxing.

House 66 had 3 bedrooms (including one on the ground floor that has a handicap accessible roll in shower and bench), and 3.5 bathrooms (2 on the main floor and 2 on the upper floor, one attached to the master bedroom, and the hall bathroom had a bathtub). I can't recall if House 66 had an elevator, but some of the houses seemed to have an outdoor lift to the porch). The bedroom on the main floor had a full/queen bed, there was one large bedroom upstairs with two full beds, and one large master bedroom.

House 60 had 3 bedrooms (all on the second floor), and 2.5 baths, one connected to the master bedroom, and one full hall bath with a bathtub. One of the bedrooms had 2 twin beds, the other had a full/queen bed. Note that House 60 had all bedrooms on the same floor (which might matter to families with young kids).

Towels were plentiful and replenished daily, as were toiletries. There were a pile of rolled beach towels for use in the house., which were a little thin but generously sized. Bath towels were soft and thick. The bed linens were very crisp and smooth. The toiletries smelled nice ("Archive" brand) and weren't too strongly scented.

I was impressed that whomever manages this place thought of almost everything you would need for an easy stay. Having stayed in condos/self-catered places before, I'm always annoyed by things like dull knives, crappy pans with scratched non-stick coating, not enough silverware, etc. Here, the stacked washer dryer (located upstairs) worked perfectly and came with three boxes of laundry detergent. The kitchen was well-stocked with nice heavy utensils and proper glassware and dinnerware (from Crate and Barrel), sharp knives (Wusthof), heavy duty steel pots and pans, a clean cutting board, beautiful stainless steel new appliances and small appliances (side by side fridge, dishwasher, oven, microwave, drip coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc.), dish towels, paper towels, large stainless steel SimpleHuman trash can, and paper towels and a dish towel. There was also a little basket of Seattle Best coffees and assorted teas, creamer, and that sort of thing. Automatic dishwasher liquid was below the sink, and there was a nice sized bottle of dishwashing soap on the sink. The sink had a garbage disposal.

Wifi was good, depending on where you were in the house and the time of day. It's free and simple to get on (no passwords necessary) - the computer simply picked up the wifi automatically and takes you to a website where you click "continue" to get immediate access.

The grounds are beautifully maintained, and I saw several workers doing maintenance while I was there (so it seems they take great care of the property). Workers were touching up paint, sweeping paths, etc. The main lobby and restaurant (which we did not eat at) are beautifully decorated and there is a small computer room (with one computer) in case you need computer access on vacation. There are small putting greens and two pools (three if you count the small pool in the newer part of the resort with single rooms). One is a very large lagoon pool which was full of families with kids. The pool furniture was plentiful and comfortable. The second pool is a smallish and shallow (5 feet deep at the deepest) relaxation pool right off the beach. It was not crowded and we always felt like we had enough space to relax. We didn't try the Tiki Bar but it seemed quite popular. There is a bathroom off the lobby near the main pool which was the nicest, cleanest pool bathroom I have ever seen at any resort. The beach is very wide and large (compared to other beaches we saw in the Keys). There is some seagrass which has a definite sulfur-y odor, depending on where you sit (and whether you're up wind) but it didn't bother us. There is also a free public beach which was very clean and had nice facilities (ample parking, bike path, outdoor showers, clean bathrooms, etc.) about 5 minutes away (Sombrero Beach) which has nice calm waters and white sand.

I couldn't get over how much you get for the money at Tranquility Bay - the house was literally less than half of the cost for our room at the Hyatt Key West that we stayed at for 2 nights (we actually had booked for 5 nights but ended up coming back to Tranquility Bay for the remainder of our trip in the Keys!) Given the quality of the furnishings and everything else, I was amazed. It would be very affordable if you were sharing a 3 bedroom house with another couple or had a family with kids.

The whole atmosphere is very relaxing (even with lots of families with kids around, thanks to the separate adult only pool area), which is why we ended up leaving Key West early and coming back to Tranquility Bay for the rest of our stay. The entire property is non-smoking which is nice (particularly if you're pregnant and sensitive to smells!) The resort has lizards including some iguanas, and some resident outdoor cats which were very cute. In some ways Tranquility Bay reminded us of our last vacation in Kauai. The resort was lush and never seemed too crowded. Just laid back and relaxing...

The area:

There is a nice Publix (supermarket), Winn-Dixie (supermarket) and Walgreens less than a mile away, a Kmart (good selection of cheap beach stuff) as well as a health food store (both of which had a decent selection of books), restaurants (pizza, thai, etc.), small movie theater, Turtle Hospital, and a nature center/museum (Crane Point), post office, etc. There's also beautiful Sombrero Beach a few minutes away (we thought it was actually nicer than Bahia Honda) and several lovely parks nearby. There's an ER/urgent care hospital a few hundred yards from the resort, FYI. Our goal was to lay about in the sun and swim and relax, so we didn't do any water sports or activities. If you're looking for lively nightlife or a full-service resort type of place (where they bring you drinks at the pool and have a 24 hour concierge and that sort of thing), it may not be the right fit for you. But if you're looking for sun and sand and casual, laid back barefoot relaxation, it's just about perfect.

Things that would make this place even better:
It would be great if they could get different locks on the back patio doors of the house. You can only lock them from the inside, which means that unless you want to leave the house unlocked, you can't head to the pool/beach without going through the front door and taking a somewhat circuitous route around (at least if you're in one of the houses closer to the road). It would be great if they had the same keycard locks on the front doors, on the back doors.

Drapes or blinds that cover the patio doors leading to the back in house 66 would also be nice - there are small drapes that cover the sidelights only so there was no privacy in the evening. House 60 didn't have the same issue (full coverage drapes)!

The kitchen was incredibly well stocked but it would have been even better if there were some packets of salt and pepper, and a dish sponge as well (we picked up a scrubber at the Publix so no big deal).

A hammock (bliss!) or lounge chair on the back porches would be perfection - the adirondack chairs are nice but not great for lounging (the porch would be a great place to take naps if there was a place you could lay out)!

The light fabric-covered arm chairs in the living room should be slip-covered in a darker fabric - While I'm fairly certain that the chairs were actually clean, but just worn, some people might find wear and tear and stained upholstery unsettling.

Umbrellas and more tables in the relaxation pool would be nice - also replacing some of the lounge chairs which had ripped seats.

Depending on where your unit is located, there may not be much privacy on the upper porch off the master bedroom (the back porches are all close to each other - an outdoor drape would solve the problem - luckily we didn't seem to have neighbors during our stay, and our house was an end unit both times.

Tips

We thought both house 66 and 60 were in a great location and with a great view of the water and away from the main pool (which is a little louder) but there was some very slight road noise from the Overseas Highway (which is a highway in name only - don't be put off, it's the main road that cuts through the Keys). We didn't notice any noise except a little at night from the master bedroom but using the white noise app on our iPhone eliminated it entirely. However, if that might bother you, you should ask for a unit further away from the road. They have great last minute deals so if you can afford to wait, try to book the same day as your stay for great savings.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! I was initially leery of booking our entire stay here due to some of the reviews which is why we ended up initially booking at the Key West Hyatt Resort and Spa but once we left and after two days in Key West, we were ready to come back and escape to relaxation!

Room Tip: We thought both house 66 and 60 were in a great location and with a great view of the water and away...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank starhawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,910 - 1,916 of 3,543 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2014

We lived in Tropical Garden Double Queen Guestroom one week in January. It is 2 story room with 3 beds on the second floor. It is actually a lot space for just 2 people. It is really good room for family with 2 kids. It is just 1 min walk from beach but beach quality is very low. It was covered by algae plus weather was a little bit cold - so swimming conditions were so poor. Hotel has really good pools ( one is really huge pool) where you can swim any time. Your room has all necessary equipment what you need but not everything worked properly. We had clog in toilet, microwave's plate was broken, main clock didn't work, we changed door card several times because can't open our doors and so on...
Actually "tranquility" is limited there. We practically heard loud voices and kid's play practically each day.
Hotel location is great. Just 15min drive to Bahia-Honda and 10min drive to Sobrero beach where you'll definitely enjoy your time.

Room Tip: practically all rooms are located close to beach and to one of pools so you can save money selecting...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Vitaliy94080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

My husband and I visited Tranquility Bay for 3 nights for our "babymoon" (a last getaway before baby arrives) and I'm so glad we did. We were looking for somewhere quiet, beautiful, safe, and convenient, and we hit the jackpot.

The beach is beautiful (although, for first time visitors to the Keys, most beaches are rocky, not sandy) and accessible to the entire resort. The resort was always pretty quiet, and very peaceful. The Tiki Bar, which is open for lunch, has a surprisingly great menu and the staff is so friendly! The Butterfly Cafe is the nicer restaurant (open for dinner only), and is a little more pricey. We made sure to eat there one night, and dinner was fantastic.

We stayed in a 2-bedroom oceanview house, and it was ideal! The kitchen made it easy for us to prepare breakfast and grab snacks (we visited the Publix grocery store, about a mile down the road, when we arrived in town to stock up on some basics), the washer/dryer allowed us to wash/dry bathing suits and workout gear, and we truly enjoyed the deck and balcony. The bed was comfortable - even at 7 months pregnant, I slept great! And to top it all off, the house was beautifully decorated and furnished to feel like home.

The resort is conveniently located - I recommend visiting the Sunset Bar & Grill, just down the road from the resort, for dinner to watch the sunset. There's a hospital down the street, as well as a grocery store, gas stations, and several other restaurants.

The pool is beautiful - supposedly the largest on the island, with plenty of lounge chairs, tables, and umbrellas for everyone to enjoy. With several sections, it is easy enough for kids to play & have their fun and not interrupt the relaxation of others. My favorite times of the weekend were spent at the pool in the early morning, and at dusk.

I can't say enough good things about this trip - I highly recommend Tranquility Bay to anyone looking for a relaxing getaway!!

Room Tip: I loved the 2-bedroom house, even though it was just my husband and I, because it came with a kitche...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Briana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014 via mobile

Great place, good location, weather didn't cooperate, clean and friendly. Lots of activities, nice private beach. Good adult beverages at the Tiki bar. Didn't eat at the restaurant, but it looked real swanky. Only complaint, need oven mitts or pot holders in the kitchen. Loved cooking for ourselves & will be back!

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Greyjorene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

The properties at the front of the resort are idyllic indeed. Open french doors and you can see the sea even from many rooms that are not beach front. We stayed in a 3 bedroom unit and it was spacious and clean. There is only one negative about the whole place but for some like us this may be huge. It is the very strong acid smelling sea grass. The hotel does explain that this is part of the natural marine ecology and I can understand that. Its just that when I am visiting a beach on holiday I prefer for my nasal passages not to be constantly assaulted by this quite offending malodorous smell that is inescapable once near the beach. My guests and I, while sipping a drink at the beach front bar failed to escape from the smelly topic because it was all consuming. Comments like "how lovely it would be if only for the stench" abounded. Admittedly, the smell does not travel to most accommodations but it certainly exists strongly at or near the beach plus the amount of sea grass makes a dip in the sea just about impossible. I would certainly not recommend this place for a romantic getaway as this smell may just stint or at the very least dampen romance. It would be difficult to get into the mood offered by a romantic sunset when the nasal passages are under an unrelenting assault. I have stayed at the beach front Hilton in Key Largo and there was no sign of sea grass.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank JOHNBERTRAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

LOVED Tranquility Bay! Just came back from a long weekend with a 16 and 20 year old and trust me, no one wanted to come home! Beautiful beach front accommodations - walked out the door, down the porch steps and put our feet in the warm sand! Don't think we could have gotten any closer to the water! Delicious food at both TJ's Tiki Bar and the Butterfly Cafe. Favorite things to see are the Dolphin Research Center and the Turtle Hospital. The boys went out on jet skiis and we all kayaked together - fun time! The young guys who run the water sports rentals were very friendly and helpful. Really nothing not to like about Tranquility Bay! Yes there is sea grass - natural part of the ecosystem down there. The resort even provided a detailed explanation about it. Not a big deal.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank VaCruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

I've stayed here before, but this last trip was by far the most spectacular stay yet. From the reservation to departure everything was very organized and very easy for me. The Butterfly Cafe was extraordinary! The most amazing restaurant in Marathon! The front desk was very helpful in planning all of my activities. The most helpful, the General Manager, Bob Bauersachs. I will definitely return as soon as possible! ;)

  • Stayed: January 2014
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1  Thank Dairys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort

Address: 2600 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050-2243
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Marathon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Marathon
Price Range: $310 - $912 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort located in Marathon Florida, the heart of the Florida Keys. Here you will find more than unrivaled peace and seclusion on your Florida Keys resort vacation, while overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Sink into serenity with one of our unique two or three bedroom beach houses. Our spacious Marathon Florida resort beach houses have 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 plus baths, gourmet kitchens, expansive porches overlooking the water, flat screen TVs, and handmade furniture, offering an idyllic Florida Keys resort experience nestled in a tropical oasis of calm and ease. Now you can also discover the addition of luxury single-level "Tropical Garden Guestrooms" which offer more intimate accommodations than the resort's larger beach houses. Enjoy all of the amenities of Tranquility Bay Resort with more affordable luxury in mind, and tropical garden views.Next, try award winning dining at Butterfly Cafe, a 2.5 acre white sand beach, world class fishing, diving, snorkeling and water sports, three tropical swimming pools, and our beachfront TJ's Tiki Bar, all framed by 12 acres of picturesque gardens. Located just 90 miles south of Miami and 45 miles north of historic Key West, Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort is easily reached by car or plane. Boasting delicious dining, Florida Keys' attractions, plus a nearby Championship 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, state parks with incredible beaches, protected waters for diving and some of the best sport fishing in the world, you can define your own paradise at our unique vacation destination in the Florida Keys. Find your center in the Middle Keys at Tranquility Bay Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tranquility Bay Beach House Hotel Marathon
Tranquility Bay Beach Resort
Tranquility Bay Beach Hotel

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