I have read very good reviews regarding the relatively new Marriott resort in Key West, but mixed reviews regarding platinum benefits and upgrades. There appears to be a dramatic difference between the 1 bedroom 'room' (no views) and the upgreaded 1 bedroom suite with kitchen. A platinum upgrade to the suite is therefore extremely important to the quality of the stay. Several reviewer on Trip Advisor mentioned that no upgrades were offered, so I am interested in learning the experience of other platinum members regarding your upgrade experiences at this property. I will likely be using points.
I was told that two breakdfast vouchers are provided each day, and the restaurant is very good. Has anyone used a dinner for 2 certificate at this resort? Thanks.
Just checked out of the Marriott Beachside in Key West. As to the Dinner for 2 certificate they "Did me a favor" accepting the certificate as they had never seen one before. And the only allowed me to use it for the cost of the certificate (109.00). They said they were a franchise and were not obligated to take it. They did comp breakfast each morning for the Platinum membership but I must say they have the worst eggs on their buffet I have ever had. I only ate the fresh fruit at the end of my stay. Rooms (I had a 3 bedroom suite) are terrific. Outside of hotel is not what you would expect from the pictures on the website (looks like an inexpensive condo building). Location is also not the best. Accross the street from cheap motels and fast food locations. Service is spotty as they have a small staff.
I wanted to add on some info and opinions about this hotel. We just spent Labor Day weekend there. It was fabulous!! As a Platinum member, we did get an upgrade to the big room with the kitchen (I had used points to book the stay and they were full at least one of the nights during the weekend, so the upgrade might not have been a certain thing). Beautiful room overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and steps from the pool. We also got breakfast coupons for all 3 mornings of our stay. Waffles and omelettes, cooked to order, were great.
Overall, the service was terrific. We spent 5 hours one day at the pool and drink/food service was slow, but we later talked to a manager and he said one girl was over 2 hours late for work, that was the problem. Matt, the shuttle driver, was very friendly. His wife, Ganna, was our server in the restaurant one night and she was great.
Parking is indeed free and plentiful in covered parking areas under the room areas (parking is ground level, rooms are levels 1-3 above them). The shuttle rooms hourly until 11 pm, but it was packed both nights that we took it in. It drops you off at Margaritaville Cafe on Duval St. I think that's the easiest place for them to get to and pull over to the curb at. We took a cab back one night because we didn't want to wait another 30 min for the shuttle, the cab was $20 after tip, so the shuttle is indeed a valuable service.
If we ever go back to Key West, I will definitely stay at this hotel again. Would strongly recommend it.
Thanks for the information. There is no place like Key West!
Most of the people I have spent time with in Key West are not night life people so the Marriott properties are a great way to go if you want to do it all. If you want to party you can take the shuttle in and the taxi back.
We always enjoy B.O.'s Fishwagon, Jimmy Buffet's and Duval Steet.
Keep us informed of your other travel experiences.
Thanks for the informative review. A group from work will be there in a couple of weeks, so I will pass this information on to them. We plan to go there in March for vacation, so I am happy to hear your positive experiences. I hope I receive the upgraded room with a kitchen, since we are used to having one with our MVC units. I am glad that Marriott finally has an upscale property again in Key West. We stayed at the Casa when it was a Marriott. There really aren't any good timeshares on the island. Do you have any restaurant recommendations? We previously liked the Cafe Manja Manja (sp?), but have read unfavorable recent reviews for it in Trip Advisor.
I noticed on the Marrriott website there is now a $17.50 charge per day for self parking ($20 for valet). In my opininion, this rate is unreasonable for the area. Are there any other parking options in the area? Due to the high cost for car rentals in Key West (plus $17.50 parking), we plan to rent a car just for the weekend, and then use the on-site shuttle for the remainder of our stay.
Note: I would not be surprised if this new parking fee actually causes the hotel to lose revenue. Guests will be discouraged from renting cars, so the complimentary hotel shuttle will experience increased demand and operating expenses.
Yes, it is worth a visit, the other place I would recommend for cocktails during a sunset is relaxing at Louis' Back Yard. The waterside lounge is also a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Here are a couple of pictures:
Sure, you will want to experience Mallory Square one night, but how about avoiding the large crowd and relax here!
This is one of the best places to dine in Key West. You can dine inside or out, good selection of food!
Update.Breakfast vouchers for the full buffet were provided daily for platinum members when I stayed two years ago. However, when I called a few weeks ago, I learned that vouchers are now only good for the continental breakfast and are not provided on weekends. It appears to be another 'corporate standards' downgrade of benefits similar to many other properties (including Wentworth by the Sea who no longer provide weekend certificates).
Yes, you do get the vouchers, but we never used them on our visit..they get you the equivalent of a limited continental breakfast - think juice/coffee and a bagel...there are a few breakfast brunch locations with terrific views of the Atlantic that are better alternatives....
Here's our experience...I titled it on Trip Advisor as "Worst Marriott - Ever!!" and that should cue in on what we felt...
Should mention at the outset that we chose this Marriott for a points stay because it was the highest (Marriott) rated hotel in Key West. And that, it is the first time we found that the Marriott category rating wasn't on the money - in fact it was way off !! We stayed 2 nights around July 4th and to say we were disappointed would be as mild as we can get. Not sure how this hotel is rated as a Category 7 by Marriott, but it was the smallest, dysfunctional Marriott room I have ever stayed at - and that includes a random, Fairfield category 3 airport property that I have had to bunker down when a flight got cancelled at 11 p.m. in the mid-west!
I get the part of a platinum member upgrade being subject to availability, but the room itself was a shocker! It was a King room that faced the basement wall of the parking garage and the (real) living dimensions would be perhaps 16X11 (think real small - also, the reason, why you can't have a rollaway - there simply isn't place to put one in!). There is a chest of drawers right by the main entrance (and I mean right by - just below the first switch that you hit as you enter the room - talk about convenience) atop which resides a coffee machine. A little work table (which might accommodate a laptop that you might want to hard-wire to connect to the internet router - because guess what, this category 7 hotel can guarantee a wireless connection only in the lobby, meeting rooms, and the pool - not in the rooms!!) - but, if you do sit at the table, you would block the view to the TV that is mounted 8 inches above the desk and facing the king bed (why would you have the TV mounted so low??). To complete the picture, the only mirror in the room was in the bathroom! Can't quite recollect when the last time was that I found myself in a room like this!
And lest I forget, it was a struggle to get our suitcases in the closet and once in there, almost impossible to access them! Which was perhaps the motto at this hotel - you will read other reviewers talking about the numbering schema of the rooms, no one mentioned that the hotel overlooked the need for basic signage - we got in late, drove into the dimly lit parking garage right at the end of building 5, got out of our cars and found no signs to the elevators or to the building entrance - I kid you not - the family disperses in different directions to figure where the entrance to the building is - one ends up at the side entrance of the pool, another feet away from the elevators without realizing they were just around the corner, and I explored the little pathway and came up to a little (hidden) entrance gate (of course, no mention of what building number this is). The key works at the gate and that is my only clue that I'm perhaps in the right building - category 7, you say?? Anyways, the following day, we were convinced that we had all missed the obvious signage the previous night, and we scoured the garage in daylight hours - it only confirmed that we were right the previous night!
Now, there are a few reviewers who pointed to the inadequacies of the beach - hope this description helps - the 'beach' firstly, is on the gulf of Mexico side (I met a couple of guests at the bar who were unaware of that fact when they reserved rooms here, so, I thought I would mention that obvious fact); secondly there are like a couple of buildings that have balconies and face the water. Alongside these buildings is a path and some shrubs. That is the beach - enough to place a beach chair at the concrete edge ( you will have people using the pathway walking just behind you). There is a little more sand at one end, which is also the launching pad for a few wave runners...and, that is the beach! Saw no one venture for a swim at the beach!!
The pool is a small pool with a bar and few cabanas around it (with some fans). Adequate, not pretty, and connects to the path leading to the 'beach'.
Free shuttles run on the hour (thru 11 p.m.) into Duval Street and the return trip is at 20 past the hour (thru 11:20 p.m.). We found the drivers to range from the courteous, entertaining, and enthusiastic (Manny) to the sultry, indifferent, students with a summer job (everybody else).
The location is almost at the entrance of Key West right off of Rt1 (we did pass the other 2 Marriott properties on the way to Duval, so, if you desire to be closer, you have one more reason to not stay here!).
And the last straw - housekeeping - extra pillows on the night of the check-in took them 45 minutes to deliver. Discovered the next morning that we have no bath soap and called house-keeping. After explaining that we did not find any bath soap in the bathroom, she goes, would you like it now?? We get A bar in a few minutes, and then, guess what, they clean the room later in the day and leave us nothing for the next day! To err is human, but twice in 2 days...by the end of day 2, we just wanted to get out and head off to our south beach marriott (review follows).
Bottom-line - if you are in a King room that has no balcony and doesn't face the water, you should decline - and for all you Marriott reward folks, do consider the alternative options in Key West - 35K a night for this room? - surely, you can find better places to spend those points! I know this did establish a new low in our marriott experience - crampy interior, iffy wireless, thoughtless design, no balcony, no view, sketchy service - and at 35K points a night - priceless (a fool i was). I read all these reviews of those other rooms (presidential suites, et al) - if you can't be guaranteed one, don't bother wasting your points here!
Have been PPE for the last 5 years. Stayed here last March for two nights. One revenue night plus spent one night for 35,000 points. Have never been so disappointed with what I received for 35000 points. Stayed in a broom closet of a room. No natural light in the room. Only window looked out onto the motel setting with views of the walkways and the doors of the rooms we faced. Any light from that window would eliminate any and all privacy. I was not offered any vouchers for breakfast. IMH, these rooms are worth about 20,000 points. I will consider staying at the FFI or CY in KW next time around.
Who would have thought that I would receive a better facility and hospitality during my stay at the Renaissance 57 in NYC vs a Key West visit? Not me.
Never been so disappointed.
Have never stayed at that Marriott, but can only say great things about the CY (Where the owner has an on-site office!), and the FF. The FF is one of the nicest I have ever stayed at. Both of these properties are well managed and pleasant!
Most pleasant staff manages the front desk at The Courtyard!
i have stayed here 3 times in the last two years, most recently in October for Fantasy Fest. i have always gotten an upgrade though for Fantasy Fest i think i booked the nicer room and used my Marriott gift cheques instead of points. restaurant is wonderful and i found the staff very friendly. they have a free shuttle to Duval St so no need to drive while there. i highly recommend this property!