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“Avoid at all costs”

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Sands of Islamorada Hotel
Ranked #16 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 July 2017

I was extremely disappointed with the way this place was run. Staff was very rude during our stay and will place blame on "the owners" for everything that goes wrong (mostly for absurd hidden fees like 5$ for ice if they suspect you are using it more than once a day, and $15 for a boat slip that required a staff member to open every time you put in and out). They have security cameras set up at every corner, and will walk around suspicious of their guests, which made us feel very uncomfortable the entire stay. They have a nice set up of several parrots and other tropical birds in a cage, however if you are so unfortunate to stay directly across from them be prepared for a very loud wake-up call every time a car drives by. Overall, I was just so disappointed because this place has the potential to be a nice, small and friendly hotel on the beach but it has been ruined by poor management.

Room Tip: Closest to the ocean is the furthest away from the parrots.
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  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Beach_Vacations2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 12 of 207 reviews

Reviewed 19 July 2017

The good
What a wonderful location. Right on the Atlantic with wonderful views of sunrise, and the tropical breezes seem to be never ending. The rooms are of good size and have been remodeled, nicely, and appointed with conferrable furniture. The staff is most helpful, and without them, this jewel of Islamorada would not be the same.

The bad
While this is a perfect location, and while they do have a “boat doc”, they do NOT have a marina. The difference is their boat doc built in 1951 has no protection from the waves and winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Sure there is a shallow reef with rocks just outside the doc area, but the chop and winds will hammer your boat the whole time you leave it in the water. As such the manager will have you sign a full page disclosure, of warnings that you are responsible for your boat when you check in. The boat ramp built in 1964 is small and difficult to back your boat into, and without the managers help it will be unserviceable.

The Ugly
While they have parking for your car, most of it is taken up with the pool, and hot tub and a bird sanctuary, and what is left is a small space assigned to each room, that most people would consider suitable for a small compact car; which is highly unsuitable for a pickup truck or larger SUV commonly used to tow a boat with. If you should park outside your lines, the Owner Dariela Pina will advise you to move the vehicle or they will have it towed.

Date and property ownership information provide by public records found on Sunbiz and Monroe County Tax records

Stayed: July 2017
2  Thank Steven H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2017

Said I would do a detailed family based review of use to anyone thinking of booking this hotel. Stayed here as part of South Florida holiday. 3 nights here June 30 - July3 mid way through the holiday, previously in Fort Lauderdale (8 nights Air BnB) and ending Key West (4 nights). 2 adults, 18 year old son and 13 year old daughter, with hire car.
Check out my profile for activity reports/restaurants and other hotel, City Island Hotel in Key West.
Did a lot of research to get this hotel on all the main travel websites, and felt like I read a 1,000 reviews/photos! As we were looking for accom over the key 4th July pre weekend, decided to book early (August 2016) to get best price and availability. Also wanted a full 2 bed setup as opposed to 1 bed and a sofa bed.
The 2 beds cost us $133 per night, which I thought was reasonable, given this is a basic hotel room with no breakfast.
Actual Booking process: I used booking.com no issues. I also checked with hotel later who confirmed they had our booking.
Arrived to hotel at 5.30pm Friday. Office was closed, but keys available.
Actual Room: Each room seems slightly different in this hotel, so I think you can require a specific room direct if you want. We ended up with Room 13. This was basic, with 2 queen beds, fridge freezer, microwave and coffee maker. No cutlery or delph, but purchased our own in Walmart Florida city on way down. We had a family of 4, but there were only 2 chairs. Suggest 1 more permanently and 1 more fold away type. Laundry and ice machine straight outside our door. Air Con was loud, but at least it worked! Wifi connection very good.
Bathroom was that of a 4 star hotel, and must have been recently refurbished. Very spacious.
BBQ – just to note there were 3 of these, and given the small size of the hotel, these should offer plenty of capacity. Just make sure you bring tools/cleaner.
Location: Great. Easy access north and south.
Dinner: Had in Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar and Hungry Tarpon – happy to recommend both, check out my reviews if interested.
Parking: Simple, designated, not an issue, 1 per room
Breakfast: Not included, as stated. Try Midway Cafe & Coffee Bar up the road (see my review on same). Happy to recommend and very happy to support local businesses like this one.
Pool – very nice, with small Jacuzzi. Nice big trees around this.
Other: Watch out for traffic timings. On the Saturday evening we drove 20 mins to Travier, but it took > 1 hour to get back in bumper to bumper traffic.
My number 1 compliment for this hotel was the staff. Every one of them were fantastic, and exceptionally customer focussed. Polite and engaging at the right level.
A lot of guests return again and again, so I would not think the lack of reviews means anything. Guests are generally slightly older, so may not use the web as much.
We hired 2 double kayaks with paddles and life jackets for 1-2 hours. Did not realise there would be a charge – thought they were included, but to be fair notice is up in main office (which was closed when I arrived hence I missed it).
Overall, a massive swing in exchange rate between 2014 and now, meant all US hotels are now a lot more expensive when converted back to Euro (approx. 40% more then pre 2014). But still happy to recommend this one.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Dublinlocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2017

I would rather not go to the keys than stay at this resort again. Due to the rude reception upon checking in to the charges on your bill after you depart and a list of things in between. The dock is definitely in need of renovation. They have cameras all over this facility and watch every move you make. Didn't have any issues as we didn't do anything wrong but it is weird. They don't allow any food or drinks at the pool, pretty inconvenient. Parking is atrocious good luck escaping here without door dings cause they pack you in like sardines. No visitors allowed. A huge rat lives in the outside grill. Our room had a window unit air conditioner that could not keep up in the June heat, thank god we brought our big fan with us. I gave this place 2 out of 5 only for the fact that our room was decent and clean. The cleanliness of the place was good and the location is amazing. I would never return due to the lack of hospitality of the host family. If you do stay here read the extensive contract that you sign and expect credit card charges after your departure.

Room Tip: The two room facing the ocean 18 & 19. Amazing views with porches
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Melinda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2017

We were a little early for check-in and the reception was a tad chilly, but that quickly changed once we started chatting. We forfeited a night's stay at another hotel my husband had booked to come to Sands of Islamorada. It was worth it! Very cute, comfortable and had most everything you could want. There was a pool, hot tub, pier, docks, gas grills, and even a wanna-be beach. Pet friendly and a just so full of charm. The room was just the right size and very quiet and comfortable (#117). Very clean and just perfect for our needs. I'd love to go back and stay longer without the kids! It's not perfect - it's older with lots of character like us. It's close to everything we needed and a fair price for the area.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank MarticaP13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2017

Having driven three hundred miles we arrived here with friends to find only one room had been booked instead of two. The receptionist was extremely unhelpful telling me it was booking.com's fault whilst holding my booking reservation which he had printed.
Four of us had to stay one night in one room as we were told there was not any more rooms availabe. We had to go and ask for extra towels, cups etc as the room was only made up for two people, which were supplied for us reluctantly.
Fortunately the Breezy Palms next door had vacancies for the rest of our stay and were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank AKN309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2017

Very nice management.....We stayed one night after checking out of an unsatisfactory motel....room was very clean and nice....very large and clean bathroom.....pool was satisfactory and the property was very nice, right on the ocean....Although there was no beach, you could actually go in the ocean from the dock....

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Bill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sands of Islamorada Hotel

Address: 80051 Overseas Hwy, Mile Marker 80, Islamorada, FL 33036-3802
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Islamorada
Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Price Range: $179 - $329 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sands of Islamorada Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An awesome, intimate escape right in the center of the Keys. All of our rooms have recently been refreshed from top to bottom. For a pet & people friendly tropical retreat...This is the spot. This is the kind of place Jimmy Buffett sings about. We are very Keysee and very clean! A sparkling pool and hot-tub with a view of the beach, boat launch and pier, await you. Our rooms and efficiencies can accomodate from 1 to 6 people very comfortably. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sands Of Islamorada Hotel Islamorada
Sands Hotel Islamorada
Sands Of Islamorada Hotel Florida

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