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“Great dorm room, but below average hotel room”

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Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #41 of 51 Hotels in Key West
Reviewed 2 April 2012

I was in Key West on business. I checked in and went to my room. Check-in was great, staff were freindly and efficient. How do I describe my $400/room of the Waldorf Astoria brand? How's this: Shame on the "equity group" that bought this hotel brand. It makes me weep when I compare it to the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The room was...just not good.
If my wife had been with me, she would have asked for a room switch, hopefully she would have let me come with her. After comparing my room with my business colleagues', changing rooms would not have helped, they were all variations of the same. The only improvement might have been a room on the ocean/pool side. My view? The parking lot. (plant a few bushes for goodnessake). When I say view of the parking lot, I am talking vehicle license plates within touching distance out my window.
This resort has so many good things to offer. Staff were great. Spectacular ocean-front spot. The history of the resort is a great story and they have preserved a lot of it in the public spaces. Pool side bar is nice with good service. A lot of families with kids, only enhanced the fun atmosphere.
But, that darn room. With its tile floor, tired furnishings, broken iron, bed on a steel box frame, chipped bath tub, and paper-thin walls all take me back to my dorm room days, not a Waldorf Astoria. This resort would have failed me miserably were it not for the non-room postives. My advice: Know exactly what you are getting into and decide for yourself.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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5  Thank trippin7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,898 - 4,904 of 7,282 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2012

We first arrived at tthe hotel around 1am. We weren't expected until the following day but arrived early. My family and I were first greeted Patrick Mobely. He was absolutely amazing. He did everything he could to accomodate our very early arrival. The following days we were giving great service by Ian, the server by the beach. We went on the Jet Ski tour and the team there (Matt, Tom, Joe, and John) took care of my parents and my kids with care.

Overall, I had a fantanstic time and would recommend this property. As a Hilton Diamond member, I travel quite a bit and always appreciate GREAT Service. Thank again to the Staff.

Silvas Family

Room Tip: Room on the beach with balcony is the key to your vacation!
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank SilvasFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steve T, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2012

Dear Silvas Family,

We are so glad you had a wonderful trip. Patrick and the rest of the staff you mentioned will be very happy to hear how much of a positive impact they had on your stay. Thank you for your visit. We look forward to your next one.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2012

We went here for spring break using my Diamond points. The grounds, pool and beach are beautiful. The rooms are fine, though they are small. This didn't surprise me because all old grand hotels have small rooms. Besides, who wants to be in the room when you could be in the beach or at the pool with Mark's great team? The outside staff makes the whole stay worthwhile. They set up your chairs, bring umbrellas, drinks of the day, Popsicles, frozen towels, sliced cucumbers, you name it. The inside staff are not as strong, but the food is good and you're on vacation, so what's the rush?

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Matthew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2012

We split our Key West stay between two properties, starting here. The beach and pool are great so if that is what you are looking for, you will rate this property much higher than we did. Grounds are well maintained, but our room was quite small, had a little wear and tear feel to it and A/C struggled to maintain desired temperature. Service at the bar was very slow. A long walk to the happening part of Duval Street and the hotel provides no complimentary shuttle downtown, unlike some other hotels which are removed from downtown. There are several nice restaurants in reasonable walking distance however.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank kb72travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2012

This would have been an OK property is it were a Marriott, Sheraton or even a Westin, but given the Waldorf tag, and the corresponding price, we expected far more and were left quite disappointed. I probably wouldn’t have even been as disappointed if I was staying on points, but in this case I wanted an ocean view room with a balcony, so we paid for the room. As a Hilton Diamond member, an upgrade would have been nice, but the hotel was full the first night so we were assigned to a connecting room with two screaming kids and two clueless parents next door. Not withstanding my request for a room change, we were forced to endure the noise all night because the property was full. The next day we were relocated to a slightly smaller room with a smaller balcony, but I wasn’t about to complain because at least it was quiet. We unpacked and decided that it was only one night lost and that we would start fresh with day two. Notwithstanding our optimism, the Casa staff was still successful in disappointing. Below are a few details of our visit…

First the positives...The pool and beach staff were fantastic, which I would give credit to the Casa for except that I found out that they were all Barefoot Billy employees, so no points there. The location was amazing. Right on the beach. The physical building and landscaping/maintenance were impressive, but other than that the property was a disappointment.

The negatives...Housekeeping was abysmal. Every day something was missing, soap, tissues, toilet paper, it was like toiletry roulette. We brought this to the front test and guest services attention several times and it wasn't until our seventh day of the visit the housekeeping manager stopped by and promised to rectify the situation. Wouldn’t you know it, the next day, no bath soap. If it wasn't my vacation, it would have made for a funny sitcom.

Dining options were beyond limited (one restaurant with a very limited menu and no indoor dining option except room service) and the service was poor there as well (at least the staff is trained consistently). We ate at Sun Sun three times and each time the kitchen messed up the order (e.g. Chicken Salad, that came with no chicken and "plain" Pulled Pork sandwich with coleslaw and condiments piled on top, the list goes on). Room service was no better. An hour and 45 minute wait for a cool burned pizza (seems oxymoronic, but it was just moronic) and salad with dressing all over (ordered dressing on the side). The room service folks offered to take it back and get us another dish, but to be honest, we were so hungry at this point , we sucked it up and ate what we were served, AND paid full price for the meal. No discount offered.

The Spa was a joke. They had converted one of the suites into a spa, and supplemented this with massages on the beach that offered little or no privacy. From my balcony I could see several customers struggling to disrobe in public under sheets or towels and it looked awkward at best. My wife was planning on utilizing this service but after I showed her the whole setup, she chose to book at another spa in town. How this place has a AAA 4 diamond award with such a disappointing spa and a single restaurant with marginal food, poor service and a limited menu is beyond me.

The last two days we were on property, we started to notice cigarette smoke coming from the AC vents in the room. As this was a non smoking property, we were surprised and brought it up to management. The “resolution” to he matter was that we should turn off the A/C when we smell the smoke, because it was coming from outside and there was nothing they could do about it. Well low and behold, the next time we smelled it I stepped outside and our neighbor below was on his balcony smoking (nothing improper about that because he wasn’t technically in his room), but because the way the air flows, somehow that smoke made it’s way into the ventilation and was being blown into our room. With one night left, we had pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that this was yet another thing that would go unresolved, so we sucked it up yet again.

Bottom line, there was a wholesale lack of attention to detail (both specific and general detail) at the Casa. For example, the $15 resort fee includes a newspaper, so after looking high and low for a paper the first two days, I asked the front desk and was told that the papers are either in the lobby (the next building over) of on a table on our floor. So as the dutiful guest, on the third morning I went hunting for the “paper table” and found a table, but no paper. So I got dressed and went to the lobby to find a paper and was able to locate a previously read paper (apparently they were out). It wasn’t until morning four after again bringing this to the attention of the staff, that a paper was delivered to the door. This worked well for nights 4-9, but on night 10…no paper. Really, the consistency of the inconsistency was astounding.

Overall the property was a beautiful disaster. The ocean and beach were gorgeous, but I’ve stayed at Hampton Inns with better service and quality than the Casa Marina. My wife and I have historically stayed at the Westin on Front Street for the past five years, and this year decided to treat ourselves to a luxury property on Key West and ended up with more trick than treat. Will we stay again, probably not. As much as I loved the beach, the balance of the property was a disappointment. Will we recommend to others? Unlikely, we like our friends too much to have them waste their vacation at a property like this. The funny thing money is really not much of an object for us when we travel and we are happy to pay what ever a property charges provided they deliver. At the Casa Marine that was sadly not the case.

Lest you think you could do better at the sister property, the Reach, think again. There the rooms have less views, are smaller, and the beach and pool area are a fraction of the size. In fact the style of the Reach is such that if you put bars on the window, it might remind you of a minimum security prison.

There are way better options in Key West.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Evoni S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steve T, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2012

Dear Evoni S,

I am sorry to hear that you had so many disappointments during your stay. As always, I will share your comments with all of our management team. It sounds like many service points were missed, which is not our standard. I would appreciate further discussing your stay. Please contact me at stresh@luxuryresorts.com if you wish to do so.

Sincerely,

Steven Tresh

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Reviewed 1 April 2012

Stayed there over the holidays, and this was our first time in Key West. We took our 7 year old who had a blast in the city and in the hotel. The hotel has activities for kids, painting star fish, conchs, diving in the pool for treasures, she loved it. The hotel also rents bikes, which you can use to explore the city in a laid back style. There is a book in the room which tells the history of the hotel, and it just added an special flavor to the place to know what the property has been thorough and how it always resurges on top. This would be the only place we will consider when going to Key West.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Palomo55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steve T, Manager at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2012

Dear Palamo55,

We so glad you appreciate our history as we are very proud of it. We look forward to seeing you many times in the future. Thank you for sharing with us

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Reviewed 1 April 2012

I'm a longtime Hilton diamond and this is my first trip to key west. I'd heard about the service mentality at Casa marina but it exceeded my expectations. Our family of 5 was treated like royalty...but we were not unique. This is how all guests are treated. When we were hot the cucumbers appeared on the eyes. When thirsty the cocktail of the day appeared. When famished the Popsicles came out. We walk onto the beach and the blue shirt brigade appears with beach chairs towels and umbrellas. Perhaps no one here exemplified this more than jason (aka billy idol). Alas he's too young to know who that is... This guy was omnipresent...and delightful. His sidekick jake from the town of da bears was equally congenial. These guys made our trip. I'd recommend this place to anyone...especially if the blue shirt brigade consists of jason.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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1  Thank Sumatigroup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 1500 Reynolds St, Key West, FL 33040-4768
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Key West
#10 Spa Hotel in Key West
#17 Luxury Hotel in Key West
Price Range: $328 - $883 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 311
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This Mediterranean-inspired hotel sits on a 1,100-foot private beach a mile from Duval Street. Our historic beachfront resort combines 1920s ambiance with a chic, contemporary flair, features sophisticated accommodations, complete with LCD televisions, iPod docking stations, and an in-room espresso, coffee, and tea maker. Amenities include: two tropical pools, water-sports activities, spa services, poolside cabanas, Sun/Sun Bar & Grill serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and The Lobby Lounge for tapas and libations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Key West
Waldorf Astoria Key West
The Waldorf Astoria Collection
Casa Marina Resort Key West
Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Florida

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