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).
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...
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.
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!
- 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