Many years ago when my grandparents traveled by car to Florida from Maine, they would stay at "motor courts". This little gem is exactly that, and was built in 1947, which makes it an official Senior Citizen by American standards. It is important to remember that when this motor court was built, Palm Beach Boulevard was narrow and ran in two directions; now it is three lanes and is all one way traffic. Lakeside cottages are on the left side of the Boulevard and the office is on the river (opposite) side of Palm Beach Boulevard. At one time, there was plenty of space between the office and the Boulevard. No longer, since the Boulevard is so wide that the office has barely enough room for a sidewalk in front of it. Poor planning on the part of the City of Palms, certainly not Rock Lakes' fault!
So, as you approach Rock Lake, you do drive through a rough part of the city, but I've stayed here several times and never felt unsafe. Every city has a working class neighborhood and one must drive through it to arrive at Rock Lake. Truly, it is a wonder to me that someone has not bought this property and turned it into a giant, generic, ugly condo or hotel (that completely surround this property). Rock Lake Resort is a piece of the past and has been beautifully maintained and updated as much as needs to be done, while still maintaining its true Old Florida style. The beds are very comfortable with good quality Beautyrest mattresses (I looked). Most rooms have small refrigerators and microwave ovens so a tired traveler can grab a meal without having to leave their room. The Lakeside rooms (tiny duplexes really) all have small kitchenettes with a two burner stove, microwave oven, toaster, coffee maker, refrigerator, cookware, dishes and cutlery, and and a very small sink for washing dishes and glassware. Perfectly adequate for the kind of cooking one would do in a small space. The bathrooms have been redone to perfection with very high quality materials and workmanship; pedestal sinks and large showers with good water flow. All floors are ceraminc tile which is most appropriate for Florida living. All rooms have sitting areas as well as good closet and dresser space. Free wifi has been added since my last visit. All rooms have high ceilings and good quality ceiling fans which often make running the air conditioner unecessary.
Each room in the Lakeside cottages has its own back porch with comfortable seating, which is open to the air. Dolphin water fountains are spaced evenly around the "lake" and the water sounds effectively mask the traffic noise from the Boulevard. Sheets and towels are plain white, of good quality and there are plenty of them. The pool is well maintained and there are a number of quiet benches and seating areas around the property for relaxing and reading. The nature trail in back of the Lakeside cottages takes you through Billy Creek and is just the right activity after a day relaxing by the pool. There are tennis courts available and canoes and kayaks to borrow at no charge. There's also a ping pong table under cover in the laundry room area.
Courtside rooms are very close to the Boulevard and do not have the luxury of the fountains to mask traffic noise; however, the rooms are priced accordingly. Courtside rooms are very bit as comfortable as Lakeside but one must cross Palm Beach Boulevard to access the amenities offered. What Rock Lake Resort is NOT is a fancy "big box" hotel or motel, and does not have room service. It is a beautifully preserved "motor court" which is well run by excellent management. Not many of these places exist anymore in Florida (or anywhere else for that matter). It does have a few eccentricities, the hot water does take a long time to get to your room if you are on the opposite end from the machinery, but I always had plenty of hot water for showers. The sprint across Palm Beach Boulvard can be somewhat intimidating, but again, The City of Fort Myers created that issue. On Sundays there is no housekeeping service but really folks, just ask for extra towels on Saturday if this is an issue for you. Or you could drape your damp towels over the chairs on your private back porch to air dry, perhaps feeling slightly virtuous that you are helping the environment!
This month, at the last minute, I needed a room just for one night and was traveling solo. As always, Heather placed me in just the right room with two twin beds. I specifically requested a Courtside room, since other reviewers have complained about this part of the property. (My first experience at Rock Lake Resort was a stay in a Courtside room several years ago. My dog and I were perfectly comfortable during our three week stay.) Improvements and maintenance are evident every time I visit. The courtyard has beautifully maintained pavers, the gardens are lovely and well cared for (jasmine was in bloom and pink hibiscus this visit), the tile roof is well kept and the central fountain has been refurbished but alas, has no running water. (Yet.) So all in all, Rock Lake Resort is as good as ever, and in some ways even better than when I first visited.
I took the time to take several photographs, mostly of the Courtside area. Do notice the enormous condominiums behind Rock Lake's buildings. Staying at Rock Lake Resort is always a pleasure for me. Friendly efficient management (and they remember you on your return visits!), spotlessly clean rooms (yes they use cleaning products, air out the room if it bothers you), fluffy towels, great showers, spacious bathrooms and very comfortable beds. And please remember, hotel cleaning staff are not among the highest paid workers in America. If your room is clean and comfortable please consider leaving a gratuity. I usually leave a five dollar bill for a one night stay and when staying longer average three dollars a night. Housekeeping staff is always appreciative of this small gesture.
Finally, there is a beautiful city park just around the corner from Rock Lake, an easy walk on safe streets through a residential neighborhood. There is a community center there and a pier which ends at a lovely gazebo; perfect for enjoying a walk with your four legged companion and taking in the sunset. If you are so inclined, this property is also within an easy walk to downtown Fort Myers with many clubs and restaurants and it's also very near the trendy River District. Honestly, there is nothing I don't like about staying here.
To those who do not appreciate the unique quality of Rock Lake Resort, consider staying at one of the Big Box hotels just across the river. They will charge you more money, every room will be exactly the same, and if you ever return they certainly won't remember you or your dog by name. Many thanks again to Heather and her excellent staff for another memorable stay in Fort Myers.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rock Lake Resort is within walking distance of downtown Fort Myers, 4miles west of I75 & 1/2 hr to Beach- kitchenette cottages overlook tranquil lake-beautiful landscaping-Handicap & hearing impaired accommodations-small pet welcome-amenities include lighted tennis court, ping-pong, canoeing (all equipment provided) - picnic/grilling areas beside creek-heated pool-housekeeping provided-laundry facilities on premises. We are so confident that you'll like our resort. Give us a try! You will be happy you tripped onto our resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rock Lake Hotel Fort Myers
- Rock Lake Motel
- Rock Lake Resort Fort Myers, Florida