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“Nicest Resort in the Key's”

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Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Marathon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 18, 2007

Stayed from 2/6/07 to 2/16/07. Had originally booked a condo at SeaGulls through VRBO on Islamorada which was unacceptable due to the poor condition of the builiding.

Visited several "resorts" on Islamorada and Marathon which looked fantastic on the internet but extremely tacky in person. Once we arrived at Tranquility Bay we knew we had found our home away from home. Orianna assisted us in making our reservations and even took us on a tour of the unit before we booked. The two bedroom units were all booked that weekend due to a wedding but Orianna gave us a three bedroom unit at an agreeable price even though there were just the two of us.

We stayed in unit 45 and loved every minute of it. Our cottage was everything and more. We had one dinner at the Butterly Cafe our first night which was excellent. The live "music" however was horrible and we were glad that we chose to eat inside instead of on the porch where a woman was "singing". Most everyone around us was complaining about her lack of talent and her loud volume. Several diners moved into the restaurant just to get away from her. We later discoverd that she was the Mayor's daughter.....

Our cottage was comfortable and clean. All the staff we came in contact with were very friendly and helpful. Maintenance was quick and efficient when requested.

Our only regret was that we did not book at Tranquility Bay from the beginning. I had read earlier reviews which indicated that staff was rude. It seems that since then they have hired new staff and eliminated the earlier problems.

I recommend this resort highly and will definately stay here when we return to the keys.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KimVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,220 - 3,226 of 3,463 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2007

This place is a little piece of paradise. I should preface this review by saying that we originally planned to spend our relaxing vacation in Miami Beach, but when we got there, we found it to be seedy, run-down, and full of construction and traffic. So we stayed only one night and searched for a new place --> and found Tranquility Bay. Our expectations were fairly low and we were bracing ourselves for disappointment -- but we were pleasantly surprised at every turn. The staff members were all courteous and helpful.

We stayed from 1/13 - 1/20 in a "1 Bedroom, 1.5 Bath" house (#14), which was really a 2-Bedroom with several doors locked off (fine by us, since there were only 2 of us). Everything was modern and tasteful: stainless steel appliances in the full kitchen, Crate & Barrel dish, plasma screen TVs, luxury linens, etc. Our house had a beautiful view of the ocean and the (very nice) pool from our 2 verandas. Everything was extremely clean, and we did not have a single insect during our stay.

The small beach was pretty. Food was great, esp. the lunch at the beach snack bar (and Chef Shadow was not only talented but also very sweet). Probably our only complaints would be: 1) the tiny master bathroom (hard to fit 2 of us at a time, and we are small) -- hardly a major drawback and 2) the lack of a hot tub (even though the pool was very nice and warm).

The island of Marathon itself is quiet, with not a whole lot of activities except fishing. There are a few wonderful little seafood shack-type restaurants (Keys Fisheries, Island Tiki Bar), but if you are looking for action and nightlife, it's not here. We didn't need it, so it was a perfect place for us. It is only an hour from Key West, which has a lot more activity.

Overall, this was a beautiful, quiet, lovely place for a relaxing vacation and we would absolutely go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Iceleh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2007

Along with NKB (whose review is also on Trip Advisor), I too was part of our Family’s Christmas Dinner (12/25/06) at Tranquility Bay’s Butterfly Café. First, allow me to apologize if I’m repeating some of the facts from NKB’s review.

The reason I choose Butterfly Cafe for our Christmas dinner was because of their interesting menus that changed often and I noticed their holiday menus had flair so I was expecting something special on Christmas. I did not choose the Butterfly Cafe because it was cheap. With that said, I had certain expectations upon arrival.

Not all, but most of the wait staff we had was horrible. My impression of our waiter was he thought he was hawking hot-dogs on the beach while hopping from one foot to the other, like he had someplace else to be. Among his faux pas was, after displaying nothing but bad service, he literally dropped an unopened bottle of wine onto our table and never came back. The majority of the wait staff was buzzing around but seemed to have limits; some did not speak English, some only refilled our water glasses and delivered silverware (but they also turned out to be the most attentive).

The wait between courses was long, but we didn’t mind (once we finally got our wine opened and some appetizers). There were a few other big parties and I was with my family – everyone tried to be understanding -- after all, it was Christmas. Another employee, a woman, who appeared to be acting as the dining room manager, was serving complimentary “antipasto” (peppers, olives, etc. from jars); of which most went uneaten. She too must have had her training at some place like the Int’l House of Pancakes. She didn’t identify herself, but she was saying things a manager might say like “there’s more where that came from” & “if you need anything just flag me down”. What? Try paying attention to what comes out of the kitchen & what’s going on with the wait staff.

The soup was served in a cute tea pot & poured at the table. This gave the impression it might be piping hot – especially since they poured it over two ice cold shrimp that were sitting in the serving bowl – but it wasn’t piping hot, it was lukewarm at best.

When our entrees finally arrived, three of the five people in my party didn’t have the proper knife to cut their meat (just butter knives). Although cooked to order, the steak was tasteless and possibly frozen; for $38.00? The Christmas turkey dinner was dry and served with very little gravy, which may have made it more palatable and covered-up the dryness. The pork lion was disgusting – served too pink for my taste and the actual loin was surrounded with thick fat – I would have expected something fatty if the menu read “pork roast”.

The entire bill was over $243 (including a minimal tip). It would have been more except one in my party complained louder than everyone else who also had bad meals; (how much complaining can you really do on Christmas Day and not feel like Scrooge?) so only one turkey dinner was taken off the bill.

After our meal, the acting dining room manager was back serving complimentary “cream puffs” while we were waiting for the desserts and coffee we ordered. Even though they were complimentary the cream puffs weren’t even worth dirtying a dish to serve them. They were the two-bite size and everyone who sampled them took only one bite. They served some of our desserts and coffee, but were out of crème Brule and the waiter never came back to see if I had a second choice.

The whole experience was such a disappointment; primarily because it was Christmas Day and I thought it was going to be memorable for very different reasons, not because everything was so bad.

If they couldn’t get it together enough to serve a decent meal on Christmas Day they should have closed and then I would have had to go elsewhere, which would have been the best thing they did for me that day.

Dr. Livingston

4  Thank Dr_Livingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2007

We stayed at Tranquilty Bay from 1/20/07 to 1/27/07 and everything was great. We were a little nervous as we turned into the resort, because it's location was in such a commercially developed area. Once we were in the resort, it was so quiet and peaceful, our worries were squashed. You wouldn't know that it was just off a main drag.
It was the perfect, relaxing vacation for a family of 4 with young children. (My husband and I and our 2 children, ages 4 and 20 months) I would recommend this resort to anyone traveling with little ones. The accommodations were beautiful. Yes, the bedrooms were a little small, but how much time do you actually spend in a bedroom? The kitchen had all modern stainless steel appliances with granite countertops. All cooking and eating utensils were supplied and all items were in new to barely used condition. The living area was spacious with a flat-screen tv. Turn-down service with the chocolates on your pillow every night was a nice bonus. Housekeeping was fine, we had more than enough towels. The resort also supplied towels for the beach and pool, so no need to bring your own. The heated pool was great for the kids. It had a gentle incline for entry that the kids loved. The beach was also very enjoyable for the kids. It's small and very shallow, so it worked out nicely for us, but I can see how it would be a disappointment for anyone else. We were in one of the dolphin lagoon units, which everyone seems to dislike. However, we loved it. The porches are a little more separated in these units, so you have more privacy when you're sitting outside. It is right on the lagoon, and you don't have a lawn or beach as your view, but we still loved it. There was so much sea life in it that we spent a lot of our days, fishing off the dock or just staring at all the fish, lobsters and various other flora. We had our own aquarium right outside our unit. In fact, one of our neighbors scooped up a blowfish with a net and we marveled at the fish that looked like a spiky beach ball. He set it back in the water, it deflated and then swam away. The beach was just a few steps from the unit, so it was no big deal and the front of the units were still on the interior, not facing the main road. The food at the Butterfly cafe was good, not spectacular. My husband and daughter enjoyed getting drinks at the Tiki bar. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful. It was a great trip and we could have stayed another week, which is saying a lot when your traveling with a toddler and a pre-schooler.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank Nicegurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2007

We travelled through Florida in November and chose Tranqility Bay as the place to have a little more than just a rest between trips. What a good choice it was. Reception staff - Bob and a girl whose name unfortunatlely we did not get were so pleasant and helpful. Accommodations were superb, trust me I know I run a 4 star hotel in Chelsea, London; With full daily maid and linen service (not just rubbish collection) and turn-down service this would be a very good 5 star establishment. Wonderfully appointed living room/kitchen, beautiful room (other one was locked). mega comfortable beds and perfect quality linen are just some of the features. Butterfly cafe and the tiki bar with superb food and service were a revelation.
Will definetely visit again

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank VMandic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2007

We had a very nice trip to Tranquility Bay. I will cut straight to pros and cons:

Pros:
Beautiful, well kept grounds
Excellent, heated swimming pool
Very, Very quiet (week before Christmas)
Great Views from the rooms
Large, roomy living area and kitchen
Nice ammenities in the rooms
Large balcony and deck

Cons:

Beach is very shallow and small (to be expected in the keys)
Cold ocean water in December
Small bed rooms and bath rooms
No coffee or coffee filters provided

Tips:

-Stay away from the Dolphin Lagoon...worst part of the resort unless you have your own boat.
-If you aren't getting a room directly on the beach, ask for the rooms on the beach lawn, but closest to the pool. These were basically right on the water. The decks were more private than the rooms closer to the highway.
-We rented the one bedroom option, but they left the second bedroom unlocked. If they had not, we would have been cramped with our lugage. Yes, the bed rooms are that small!

Overall, if you love swimming on the beach, the Keys are not a good choice. If you love the swimming pool, diving, fishing, and something a little different, go for it.

Stayed: December 2006
5  Thank jchrisbrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2007

Spent 4 days at Tranquility Bay last week, and really enjoyed it. A bit nervous, having booked online, and moreso as we drove into Marathon (rather run down), but it was an oasis in the keys.

We stayed in a 2 bedroom on the lawn side (much quieter than pool side). Learning from earlier reviews, upon arrival we requested to be moved from a room backing on the parking lot, to one closer to the beach (something in the 40's I recall). The staff were always friendly (check-in, restaurants, luggage and housekeeping)

Villa was very clean, modern fixtures, great kitchen (well stocked, including coffee). Beds were comfy, nice linens & duvets, and lots of towels. Bedrooms were small (king size bed overpowered the master room), but overall the villa was far superior to having a family of 4 in one or two hotel rooms. The second bedroom was perfect for the kids - fit a playpen in as well. 2 1/2 bathrooms which were nice, but small. 2 decks with 4 chairs, one on main level and one off the master, overlooking the lawn/beach. All units are attached, so yes, you see your neighbours, but keep it is a hotel resort, not a private cottage. Found the guests to be very pleasant, and most kept to themselves.

Large beach with nice sand. Small swimming area, but perfect for kids (1 & 3 yrs). Was always raked in the morning, but some seaweed gathered as the day went on. Pool was fantastic, clean, warm, and had a sloping entrance, which made it perfect for the children. Lots of boats for rental, including "fun boats" which were great for our older child & my husband. Lots of chairs & hammocks available.

We ordered in from the restaurant for dinner (pick it up yourself to save 20% service charge) - excellent food (tuna was great), and large portions. Ate once at the tiki bar - took a while for service, but was fine.

We cooked a lot in the villa, make reservations early if you want to eat at the Butterfly Cafe for dinner. There is a fun restaurant 1 mile north, on gulf side. It was a fish restaurant (order at window, pick it up), nice and casual, lots of locals. In the day ask for fish food so you can feed the tarpins.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank family-vacation-5
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 16 Hotels in Marathon
Price Range: $248 - $931 (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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