After calling the elite reservations line and asking about availabilities in the Keys, all were either booked or higher than what we wanted. After finding a couple of coupon book at a service station, my husband and son had located 2 hotels in Homestead, FL. One was Hampton Inn for $99 which included breakfast, and the other was a brand new Courtyard for $109 that had opened in June of this year. We recognized the area because we had stayed at the Hampton Inn last year on our way to the Keys when it was the only thing around, other than a Wal-Mart mall across the highway.
I opted for the CY because of the Marriott cheques we could use for the stay as long as the $109 rate would apply. After calling elite reservations and finding out they did have rooms that were $118.50 for sr. rate, we decided to chance the walk-in rate. The building was 5 stories and big, with hardly any cars the day after Thanksgiving. The rate wasn't going to apply because Friday was considered a holiday, so I mentioned the Hampton Inn that included breakfast for $10 less. She started to hedge and I said "especially since you're almost empty and since we're platinum". She smiled really big because I think that took all pressure off her and we got the room for the $109.
We weren't sorry we stayed. The room was great with a cranberry, beige and brown decor, nature emphasized decorations in the wallpaper, vase of ***** willows, and pictures. A large desk, armoire, and TV console were built in across from the beds with all wood being cherry veneer. A small niche was next to the bathroom that had a small fridge and microwave.
The best part of the bathroom was the shower, which was a large glassed in shower big enough for 2 people and ledges at shoulder height for shampoos, razors, etc.; another rounded one just high enough to prop one's foot on; and a soap dish above that.
Great patio area. Books around to read in the bistro or the seating area; booths next to the windows in the lobby that held small TVs, and plugs for computers just beneath in the high back seating.
Just across the highway was the Wal-Mart, CVS, many other businesses, and a restaurant called Casavana that has the best Cuban food and does a large take-out business through the window by the entrance door where locals continually come for large purchases as well as small. We had eaten there more than a year earlier when we'd stayed at the Hampton. My son remembered exactly what he'd ordered the other time and ordered it again. The mixed vegetables are steamed and the best ever, as are the rice and beans, madoras (fried plantains), and mashed potatoes with meat mixed in. The cheese fondue with the heaping order of chips would have been ordered if we'd have seen them first. Everything looked and tasted so good, it's a local favorite.
We did have a hard time using the cheques and when the really good desk clerk couldn't figure it out, she called for help. Whoever was at the other end asked if we had mentioned beforehand that we were going to use the cheques and I told her we didn't need to. She relayed that answer and no more negative response. She was immediately told exactly how to enter them and we were on our way.
I would definitely recommend this place.