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“Almost perfect”
Review of Island House

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Island House
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Almost perfect”
Reviewed 5 May 2012

The friendly team go a long way to making Island House the place it is. Nothing is too much trouble - and the front of house team are all smiles.

The owners clearly take a lot of pride over the facilities and the rooms, and it's clear that maintenance is a high priority.

There's not much you can fault Island House on.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank stairpotato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (122)
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Chicago
Level Contributor
104 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2012

I read all of the reviews of the property and most were spot on. First, the good. Friendly and easy check in. The front desk guys were ALWAYS very nice and helpful when I needed anything at all. Also, the property was very nice and clean.
The guys at the bar were pretty much all friendly. One looked like he didn't want to be there at all, but the rest were very friendly and even came to the pool to get me another drink.
The room was very small, but I knew that going in. The bed was very comfortable and air worked great. The cleaning guy came the next day while I was at the pool and did an excellent job cleaning the room up. The free "movies" on the tv were a great addition as well.
For the most part the people were very friendly. I traveled alone and am a little shy, but I still managed to meet a lot of nice people that talked to me and gave me tips on what to see and do around town, which was much appreciated. also, the food at the cafe was very delicious. I had a few options and each one was great.
Now, the not so good (which wasnt bad at all)......
a lot of the pool doesnt get much sunlight so if you want to work on your tan you have to stay at one spot in the pool or sit on the sundeck.
Also, the music at the pool isnt very loud when it's crowded. They could turn it up some in the day light hours to give it more of a fun atmosphere. But, at night---it was like being at a wake. After 8 pm the pool area died and the music was easy listening and very soft. It's like they were saying---ok, happy hour is over, go out!!
I felt the drinks were a little pricey too. $4.50 for a beer and $7-9 for others when you are staying on the property for a lot of money anyway, I felt was a lot.

overall, the place was wonderful. I will definitly be back!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank M D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abroad
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

Resort looks lovely and cozy. Atmosphere throughout the entire place is extremely friendly and laid back thanks to the hospitable staff on the one side and thanks to the decent guests such place obviously attracts on the other.

My room was very small. Wonderful bed, way too many cushions though. Room definitely needs better cleaning. Pests in the carpet – why not take the entire carpet out …? Clean bathroom and good quality bathing products. Not that you really need it: the shared bathroom is also very clean, same products and on top of that: much more exciting … ;)

Restaurant / pool side bar is open 24/7. Complimentary coffee and tea. Good food. Brilliant casting of the guys working there: handsome and sexy, always in for a chat without forgetting to offer splendid service.

Sauna, jacuzzi and video lounge are not very up to date though well maintained. Good enough for 24/7 relaxation and adult entertainment for hotel guests and visiting locals.

Smoking in the room is not allowed, but once you step out of your room there are plenty of spots where you can sit and enjoy your cigarette.

The town of Key West looks nice but does not offer enough that is worth such long journey that I have made. But if you have decided to go there anyway, the Island House of Men is a very good choice to spend your stay. If this place would have been closer to where I live, I would go there again – not for Key West, just only for the resort itself …

Want to know more? Find me on Gayromeo under Alex-Abroad.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alex A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
worldwide
Level Contributor
70 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2012

This March I had my second stay at this property and my last in a room. This property needs to undertake a thorough cleaning of the rooms and some common areas.
I noticed some glowing reports on other sites, many with mentions of the free happy hour. That amenity makes up a portion of the room rate and is not in fact free. Only one reviewer mentioned the cleanliness issue. Are clients willing to overlook dirtiness in exchange for the happy hour and a party environment?
The best aspect of this property is the personnel. They also provide Sarongs which was a nice touch. Toiletries are Aveda. That said I have some issues with the property that I hope you find helpful
I took the largest unit on the property a two bedroom on the second (top) floor of the building across the alley. This unit rents for $400 per night plus tax during season. The exterior of the building is cottage quaint. The unit has a nice veranda with a couple of chairs and a view of a street and nothing you really want to look at.
The first issue was the condition of my room which can best describe as grungy. The floors were tile with a few being cracked. As best I could tell they were moped but just looked like they it could use a good polish. The living room had an area rug that was dirty, I mean hadn’t been cleaned in a long time dirty. The exhaust vent feeding a/c into the living room had mold growing on it. The a/c intake vent was filthy! The bathroom cabinets and vanity were in need of wiping down. The sills of every window we not just a little dirty they were black with soot. I can honestly say I have never in my life seen that amount of dirt on window sills. No doubt the soot comes from traffic on the street the room faces.
The unit had a kitchenette which was clean and functional but really dated. The bedroom ceiling fan squeaked a fact I didn’t discover until bed time. The mattress has a plastic cover/pad to protect it. This is annoying and I can’t think of another hotel that uses them.
Another major complaint is the T.V. channels or lack thereof. They must have the most basic package cable package available. It also has a strange sub menu which requires you to flip through many blank channels or learn them. There is no guide. Seriously they have C-span but no CNN or BBC. A channel that plays old TV series in black and white. A sort of movie channel called “THIS” that played NOTHING like Showtime or HBO. Also a couple of Spanish channels, one local network channel and three adult channels.
I met another guest with a pool side room which runs $375 in season. Somehow at first glance the furnishings and the wet bar were in better condition. The next thing I noticed was the area rug between the beds. Same problem, dirty but also tattered. If you are noise sensitive these rooms have wall a/c units which are not the newer whisper type. The ceiling fan hung down low enough that I could see the edges of the housing top. The dust was so thick it looked like shag carpet.
I’m going to also bring up the bug issue, most resorts spray or take steps to minimize bugs around their property here was a constant issue with flies and mosquitos. I can’t imagine what it’s like during the summer.
If you are a non-smoker you can’t avoid second hand smoke around the pool. The real problem is limited space not the smokers. The lounge chairs around the pool are approximately one foot apart. During season every lounge is taken so you can’t move your chair around. During my stay every time I got a lounge it was next to one smoker and some days I was sandwiched between two. In fairness there is an upper deck which has more room but there is no shade on that level. I am really tolerant of smoke but the constant drift all day every day really got to me.
The gym is quite small. It is next to impossible to use if more than three people are trying to lift weights. Cardio equipment is usable but again dated. There are three T.V.’s hanging on the wall in front of the Cardio equipment but no way to listen to them. They need to upgrade those machines with sound capability or individual monitors that you can plug into. In addition they have memberships or pay passes available for locals that adds to the crowd. Looking around the gym I noticed another filthy A/C feed grate. Remember this is the air you are breathing while exercising, if the grate is filthy imagine how bad the ducting is!!!
The restaurant is good but I want to caution future guest on the Bloody Mary’s. I ordered them three times. The first and third time I got fragments of pit in the olives. Be really careful I felt lucky I didn’t crack a tooth. They need to change the olive brand they use. Never had pit fragments in green olives but to get them twice it must be a really cheap brand. As I think about the lack of cleanliness one should have concern with the restaurant. If management is not concerned with overall room hygiene then logically that would carry on into the kitchen.
I really cannot recommend Island House in good conscious although I’d like to do just that. I could have easily given the property an above average rating if they cleaned it up and followed normal hotel protocol, upgrading and updating on the five year plan. They are certainly getting room rates that warrant much better value for the guests.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank livesinhotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
104 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Island House is the best gay holiday resort anywhere. We have been twice (and will go again) and it is well worth the long flight to get there. Apart from the luxury rooms, wonderful pool area, daily poolside happy hour and the tasty restaurant the staff and the guests all combine to make your holiday experience very special.

Room Tip: The poolside rooms are more expensive but definitely allow a good view of everything :)
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AmsterdamNeil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
280 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

We have just returned home from our trip across the pond once again to the Island House in Key West which is an easy 13 hour journey from Manchester in England, We flew Virgin Atlantic to Orlando then Airtran from Orlando to Key West which is a 1 hour flight this is the best way to get to Key West unless you want to drive which can take up to 8 hours non stop or stop off half way in the amazing Fort Lauderdale or Miami but due to us only being in Key West for a week, flying does make it an easier option.

When we arrived to Key West Airport we got a taxi which took us straight to the Island House which is a 5-10 minute taxi ride and is around a $10 fare with tip i do suggest that maybe Island House have a airport shuttle maybe?

We arrived to the Island House jet lagged and tired and was welcomed with the best care of any hotel that we have ever stayed in though we have stayed at the Island House a couple of times now everyone knew our first names which is a fantastic welcome, they told us of new changes including i pad loans and many other great things to this resort including very fast wifi which is included and is available all around the resort, We had emailed the Island House quite a few times since our last visit about our room type which was the Owners Suite, it is expensive though but worth every penny or cent, we was shown to our room and was told that our luggage would be bought to us which arrived in minutes.

As for the Room well it is incredible as you can see in the pictures ive uploaded,It has a very large pool view room with a very very comfy King Bed, it also has its own private balcony, with two-man hammock, overlooking Fleming Street very nice to chill out in the evenings. Wet bar, large refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and walk-in closet. Bathroom has the best shower ive ever been in. There is a Desk which has hard wired ethernet high speed internet connection and your own iMac desktop computer and also free wifi for us i phone lovers :D

The whole resort was as immaculate as ever including the great facilities and always fun times to be had including getting to know the other guests and locals at the great happy hour which is served from 5:30pm until 7pm there is also a fantastic restaurant with a great menu including some Key West favourites like the Conch Fritters and Key West Lobster WOW!

We didnt really visit Key West much on this visit as we had such a wonderful room at the Island House and just wanted a tottaly chilled out time, there really is no need to leave this amazing resort but there is so much to explore on the tiny island of Key West including our day on the Key West Fury Adventure which we highly recommend!

All guests was really friendly and are really easy to get on with and we have met some great guests from around the world but credit is due to the fantastic staff who work there including Paul,Alan,Gordon,Steve,Frank,Mitch,Ray,Ralph and Rudy and the rest of who work there!

We cant wait to return and thankyou yet again to the Island House!

Room Tip: Phone or Email the Island House at IHKeyWest@aol.com to see what they can do but try and get a pools...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank orlandouk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guerneville, California
Level Contributor
144 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

Overall, this is a very pleasant and fun place to hang out. Sunday afternoons are particularly busy and sometimes late night, too. The entire resort is beautifully landscaped and kept spotless. Generally, the staff is cordial.

We might have rated 5 stars if it weren't for the rather high room rates. We got a 12-day pass for $150 that you can use anytime over a year and a lot cheaper than the single day price ($20 or $25). This gives you full access for 24 hrs (8a.m. To 8 a.m.).

The pool is typical small resort size and kept at a balmy ~ 90 degrees, which I personally think is perfect. There are two whirlpools; the one inside is smaller (maybe 6) and hotter than the outside one. The small steam room holds about 8-10. The sauna is tiny with room only for 4 sitting (and much too hot for me anyway).

There is a nice, small gym with 2 multi- exercise machines, treadmill, leg machine, TV monitors, and free weights. This is next to the locker area for day passers. And an endless supply of pool towels is provided.

The sun deck above the restaurant has about 30 lounges and another 10+ shadier lounges by the pool. You will also want to visit the video room on the 2nd floor which is popular at times.

The pool-side restaurant serves very good lunches and service was cordial (see separate review). There are also several excellent restaurants for dinner within an easy walk.

From what we saw of the rooms, they look very nicely appointed but some seem terribly small. And the prices are quite a bit higher than some other gay resorts in Old Town.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank IQ140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island House

Property: Island House
Address: 1129 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040-6997
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Key West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine.... a place where everyone is gay.... where it’s easy to make friends.... where you can really be yourself.... where you can enjoy yourself 24 hours a day..... in a secure locked compound, safe from the outside world...... where a friendly and capable all-male staff are on hand to make sure you enjoy your vacation...... in a tropical paradise. Well that place is waiting for you. It’s called Island House in Key West. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Island House Hotel Key West
Island House Key West, Florida

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