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“Wonder Stay”
Review of Amara Cay Resort

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Amara Cay Resort
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 September 2017

I have to admit I was a little worried about staying at this resort only because after booking and prior to visiting there were many negative reviews. I must say we didn't experience any of the negative things that others commented on. From the moment we arrived the front desk staff was super friendly and accommodating. We stayed in a partial ocean view king with a view of both the bay and ocean that overlooked the pool area. It was perfect! On our first night we did have a problem with our AC but the front desk was more than willing to fix the problem and moved us immediately to another room. I saw reviews with complaints about house keeping but we had no problems. Our room was cleaned daily with fresh towels and extra coffee. We ate dinner off site each night so I am not sure how the dinner was but I do know we enjoyed the lunch at the pool bar daily. Everything we had from burgers to fish tacos were really tasty and the bartenders were friendly. The Hotel is beautifully decorated with modern furnishings and kept very clean. We had a wonderful visit and would definitely return. It was a very special trip.

Room Tip: partial ocean view on the south side overlooking pool was perfect!
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Meredith I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 9 of 1,373 reviews

Reviewed 3 September 2017

We came in for a wedding and couldn't have been more pleased with our stay. The hotel was very clean and the staff went out of their way to take care of us. The pool is one of the larger ones I have ever seen in the Keys and it was the perfect place to relax.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CLM1661
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2017 via mobile

Nicely appointed resort with great features; however, the aesthetics are overshadowed by poor management and abhorrent service. A word to the wise, do not plan on eating at this hotel unless you are prepared to deal with surly servers that will inevitably flub your order or forget half of it! In addition, do not be surprised that your bathroom is not cleaned (or the room for that matter). Other than making your bed, our room was not cleaned. The towek system is similarly frustrating -- it would seem the hotel knows the number of rooms booked and should prepare to have enough towels. Unfortunately, common sense hospitality is sorely lacking in the hospitality managing this property. Lastly, the waitstaff at the pool bar and dining area are rude, inefficient and unprofessional. The first day we waited an hour for the waitress to take out order, she forgot part of the order and complained our table was too large. The second day the pool bar attendant yelled at my kids and complained he was overworked. The third day, the bar server forgot part of my order and ignored drink orders from at least 5 guests. It's a pity to have a nice hotel that doesn't have a clue about hospitality and service. Stay at Cheeca Lodge instead!

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank attymommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2017

This was a lovely little hotel ideally placed to explore the Keys. Rooms were clean and well decorated and the lobby, bar and restaurant were lovely. Pool area was clean and plenty of seating available.
Only slight thing that let it down was the slowness of breakfast, due to lack of staff, when food arrived it was lovely.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank adamhS6131LA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2017

First, I want to say thank you to the owners/investors for making an investment in the upper Keys. This is a great location for those of us that live in Broward and Dade to experience the Keys without driving down to Key West. You can absolutely see the investment made in the property by the finishes and design quality. They have also invested in several other properties in the area. We booked this hotel for a friends and family get-a-way for 14 people. The cost was around $250 a night which is a SUPER deal! The lobby, rooms, restaurant and pool/beach all exceeded expectations. An unexpected bonus was the free shuttle to dinner each night. Our driver was INCREDIBLE and must have been a DJ at some point. The most fun had was to and from dinner. So with all of this being said and I do suggest you book this hotel. Here are the things you need to know:

1. Good help is hard to find in the Keys and this is a known fact - Service is not on par with the resort...not even a little bit
2. The indoor and outdoor bar close at 9ish! Yes 9ish!
3. You will not be getting a towel at the pool....you have to go to front desk and sorta beg.
4. You will not be offered to buy an upgraded room even if the hotel is less than half full.
5. Do not eat breakfast in the hotel....2 adult & 2 kids = $94, we left still hungry. Also note service is slow and only one person worked the room while we were there.
6. Do not get a room on the 4th flr near elevators as this is the maid's supply room and they line up bright and early....you will not be sleeping in
7. The bellman/luggage guy is there sometimes and not there sometimes?!?
8. No room service
9. Front desk manager seems upset about something
10. There is no pool or beach service for drinks or food
11. Hotel seems noisy for a recent renovation. We could hear the couple with young kids in the room next to us loud and clear.

Again great resort and a lot was put into the space from a design and investment perspective. They have amazing potential however service is not part of the package which is maybe why it is $250 or so a night.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Ed V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2017

We stayed at the Amara Cay as the first part of our honeymoon in Florida.

The positives:

The room: We were very impressed with the room. It was spacious and very clean with a very modern, yet also nautical theme to it. The one negative here would be the room service. We had towels missing on one day and on two days were not given coffee.

The location: This is also fantastic. It is very close to some great local restaurants and activities nearby, such as Robbie's Marina and Theatre Of The Sea.

The shuttle: This was a great service offered by the hotel, where you could request a shuttle bus to drop you off and collect you from any location 4 miles in either direction from the hotel. We used this numerous times for restaurants and snorkelling,

Room for Improvement

There were some areas where Amara Cay can improve.
Resort Fee: This fee was high- 28 dollars plus tax, plus tax, plus tax.... Then all that seemed to be offered were things that are included as standard anywhere else in the world- beach towels, the pool, wifi and car parking. Really these are standard things in a holiday hotel. The only thing extra this hotel provided was the shuttle service,

Service: This was our HONEYMOON- we had got married 3 days prior. Yet this was not acknowledged in any way by anybody at the resort- despite Expedia informing the hotel well in advance of our arrival. We were not looking for freebies, however, even a handwritten 'congratulations', or indeed a verbal 'congratulations' would have been nice or just something to let their customers know they care, It seemed that we were just a number and there was nobody that went above and beyond to make us feel special.
Being Expedia gold members- you are entitled to 15% off their food and alcoholic drinks. This was not a very good extra- in previous hotels we've stayed in we've been offered breakfast/upgrades etc.

Price of food and drink: The prices are way overpriced. We went to the pool bar and I enquired the price of the rum runners. I was very surprised to be told $15- without service charge and tax. This was the highest price of any restaurant we tried in the Keys (including Key West and Miami). This was a shame as Amara Cay are missing a trick here and we saw very few people buying drinks. In the 6 days we saw NOBODY having a drink at the bar inside. $8-11 dollars is more than adequate for this area and this felt like a greedy move by the hotel. The hotel restaurant was also empty whenever we went out for dinner and it closed extremely early at 10pm.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay here due to the comfort and location. However I feel that the 'resort' title is a little bit of a stretch- considering the bar shuts at 10pm and that is all that is offered in terms of things to do in the evening.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Catty4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2017 via mobile

A lot of reviews point out the poor service of Amara, and sadly they really are accurate. We arrived at around 1:00, checkin is listed as 3:00. We knew the room may not be ready, and it wasn't. So upon arrival, we were told the room should be ready shortly and they asked for our cell number so they could call us when it was ready. Sounds great! Fast forward over 2 hours later, it's already past 3:00, and no contact. So we wander back to the desk and they hand us a key, seemingly clueless to the fact that we were waiting for their call the whole time.
Later in the stay, food orders took forever, wait staff members seemed very confused with very simply requests. Fire alarms went off, there was elevator construction starting at 8am... so many issues with this resort. It's a pretty place and the stay wasn't completely awful, but if they're going to market themselves as a "resort" rather than a hotel, they certainly have a lot of work to do.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Michael D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Amara Cay Resort

Address: 80001 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036-3802 (Formerly The Islamorada Resort)
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Islamorada
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range: $360 - $900 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Amara Cay Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amara Cay Resort is anchored in the laid-back style and carefree atmosphere that makes Islamorada the Sport Fishing Capital of the World. Reflecting the easy tranquility of the Upper Keys, Amara Cay Resort seamlessly blends recreation with relaxation. Hammocks dot the sandy shoreline, palm trees sway in the breeze and a shimmering oceanfront pool beckons early risers. It's no wonder Amara Cay was named the winner of the 2015 Sandi Design award for Design Excellence Hospitality by the International Interior Design Association, which recognized our expert balance of relaxed atmosphere and luxurious style. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hampton Inn And Suites Islamorada Hotel Islamorada
Hampton Inn Islamorada
Islamorada Hampton Inn
Amara Cay Resort Islamorada, Florida

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