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“Every Picture Tells A Story, Don't It...”

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Key Largo House Boatel
High Point, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Every Picture Tells A Story, Don't It...”
Reviewed 4 March 2012

We consider ourselves to be good sports and up for adventure. The Boatel was less than we bargained for. To give a balanced review, we do want to include some nice things about our stay here and so we'll begin with those:

ON THE PLUS SIDE, 4 GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE BOATEL IN KEY LARGO:

The LOCATION on the water allows you to see spectacular sunrises and birds galore and is close to John Pennekamp State Park.

It's DOG FRIENDLY, always appreciated by those of us with dogs.

FREE KAYAK RENTAL FOR BOATEL GUESTS (when they weren't being rented to others)

The HIDDENOUT RESTAURANT is right across the parking area and has great food! We ate every breakfast there and were happy to just roll out of bed and walk over there.

ON THE DOWNSIDE HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS:

* Upon arrival it was raining and it was also raining inside the Stress Relief in several locations...the ratty old area rug and carpeting were totally saturated with water in some parts of the living area. Water stains and broken panels on the drop ceiling in many places throughout all the rooms. Management feigned mystification that the roof was leaking, "this has never happened before!" , then brought in drip pans to install in the ceiling ---surprise! there were already pans in there from previous situations...

*Disrepair throughout...the back door has no locks on it....the floor is caving in at one spot (it's covered up with a rug!) and someone eventually will step their foot through it...the seats on the lounge chairs on deck have broken backs and a seat that we fell through (again, it's covered up with a cushion but that doesn't fix the problem, and, the cushion is mildewed so when I turned it over to use the other side the other side was completely ripped away to the stuffing). These are not cosmetic issues---it's a matter of safety as well as comfort. IE: the boats for rent have ancient motors and every time we wanted to rent a boat we found it was being repaired. We decided not to go out and rented a boat from another marina instead.

*The bathroom has 2 doors and neither of them close properly. The one leading to the living room was open so that one could see in to the toilet. Oh and the toilet is tilting off of its connection to the floor. The shower curtain is very old and mildewed.

*The kitchen had little to recommend it, everything dilapidated, rusty, dirty looking, and tiny mites of some kind coming out of cracks in the tile. There were plastic placemats left set out on the dining table that had a greasy film over them like they hadn't been washed in awhile.

*The mattress was set upon a boxspring that was at least a foot too small for it so the mattress hung over and was not supported. This was murder on our backs.

*The Stress Relief closets where we were supposed to hang our clothes were crammed with huge old TV sets (we counted five or more). Other used appliances were stuffed into nooks in the room providing a visual feast.

*The electrical wiring...well, all I can say is I plugged my Kindle Fire in to recharge and when I put my headset on, the earbuds were crackling and making a sizzling noise and gave me a jolt. This did not happen in any other venue we stayed at prior or since.

*The Boatel's boat rental dock was unsafe. There was a separate smaller floating dock platform that was loosely attached by ropes and floating on unstable pontoons of some kind. It promptly flips you into the water with one false step. Made it virtually impossible to get in or out of a kayak alone without two people holding down the platform to stabilize it. Even then, it flipped over.The Boatel's maintenance man tied it more securely after this happened to one of our party and we complained. Our friend was lucky not to be injured after the fall. However, the ropes are not the proper solution and it made it very difficult for us and other guests to get in and out of the kayaks. We also wondered why there was no ladder on the dock which is an easy thing to have and would have made it much easier to take a swim in this lovely spot since there is no beach to enter the water from.

*We and our guest came away with sore throats, headaches, and sinus problems that turned out to be exposure to mold.That's why the Boatel smells funny, that's what everyone means when they say the place is dirty. There's no way to keep the place clean when the fundamental structure and furnishings are in this state. Once there's mold and mildew, it gets into the fabrics of the furnishings (ie: the mattresses and pillows, the air being recirculated by noisy ancient air conditioning units whose filters and freon haven't been changed in years). Almost every other guest we met staying in the other units told us they had mold and bad smells in their smaller units, too.

If you are the kind of person who finds it charming to have management bark at you "If you don't like it, you can leave!" anytime you bring up an issue with them, then you'll be quite pleased with The Boatel in Key Largo. You may wonder, "So why didn't you leave?!!?~!" The answer is that you pay for your trip in advance so you will lose that money if you leave,and replacement lodgings in the Keys are nearly impossible to find in season at the last minute. So unless you are able to afford it or bail completely on your vacation, you're stuck.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank paintergurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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English first
Ann Arbor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2012

We never even checked in after we got there and had a look around. The boat we had reserved had the door proped open when we got there and I was thankful that we looked at it before we checked in.The boat was nasty and smelled; everything was broken, including the blinds to the windows; there was mold in the ceiling tiles; and no locks on the doors. We were very misled by their video and website. The clinching factor was, the dock was narrow and had several uneven places and seemed unsafe, so when we went in to cancel because they had no ramp or handicap access (my dad can only walk short distances) the owner acted offended and started yelling at us. He said "I can't help it if you brought some old guy with you that can't walk ." I'm not making that up. He also said he was NOT giving us our deposit back and was going to charge us for the entire week even though we didn't stay there. It was a very upsetting experience.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Susan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
theboatelKeyLargo, Manager at Key Largo House Boatel, responded to this review, 28 February 2012
I cannot believe these people. They arrive at The Boatel at 12 p.m., they call me and I explain to them that the boat has not been cleaned yet and as their confirmation reads the check in time is after 3p.m. Fifteen minutes later I go on the boat and they are on the boat. I asked what they were doing there and all the did was complain that the boat was dirty and the beds were not made. Once again I explained that it was supposed to be, since it hadn't been cleaned and the previous guests had been there for a week. I ask them to leave and return after 3p.m. The boat gets cleaned and they return, now the old woman start yelling at me that the boat is not handicapp accessible for the old guy who was with them. I explained to them that they should have mentioned that when making the reservation and I would have told them it wasn't. Then I asked her why in the world would they expect a boat to be handicap acessible. Her answer was it was the law. I had to keep back the laughter. The strange part of it was the old guy was on the boat when I first arrived. They returlned after 3p.m.took their luggage and left since they had found a new place between 12:30 and 3 p. m. They were never charged the balance and the boat was rerented a half an hour later, The Boatel
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Travellers are raving about these Key Largo hotels

Lake Ann, Michigan
1 review
Reviewed 24 February 2012

I have stayed at the Boatel twice. If you are looking for a rustic true feel of the Keys, this is the place. Great fishing, sunrise, location. If you are accustomed to four star accomadations, you may want to pay the big bucks and go elsewhere. Was able to cook most of my meals right onboard, saving a ton of money, although the Hideout restaurant across the parking lot is a super place for breakfast and lunch, not to mention the Friday fish fry. Free use of kayaks, excellant wildlife viewing, a little rough around the edges, but a unique experience.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mentor, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

At first I liked this place, but after spending two nights, I just couldn't get over the funky smell. I cancelled my other two nights but the manager refused to refund me so beware of what you're getting into. The lock is just a latch so didn't feel very safe either. I found a much nicer place down the road for just a little bit more.

Room Tip: If you don't mind camping, then perhaps you'd enjoy this. I love boats and camping but they...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank robineliza1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
theboatelKeyLargo, Manager at Key Largo House Boatel, responded to this review, 28 February 2012
The guest reserves the boat for 4 nites. She is to spend two nites leave for two nite and return for the last two nites. The spends the first two nites, tells us she had a great time and will see us in a couple of days. The next day I get a call from her asking about the penalty for cancelling the last two nites since she is having a great time "partying" at her present location. I explain to her that if we are to rent the room there is no charge, if not she is obligated. She says she will get back to me. I get a call from her the day of her arrival cancelling. We are not able to rerent the boat with the short notice. A week later I get a e-mail from her threatening us that if we don't give her a refund she will write a bad review. I e-mailed her back that there would be no refund and she wrote the review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

We chose the Boatel based on other reviewers and price. If you don't mind really roughing it, this is a good value. I would recommend it for people used to camping. Our refrigerator died and the owner had to replace it. Since it was July and so hot, the room took a long time to cool. When they replaced the refrigerator (which my husband had to assist with), it took several hours to cool down again. Everything is very old and musty. We did like the ability to use the kayaks to go into Pennekamp and there are several small boats available to rent for a reasonable price to fish.

Room Tip: We were on one of the smallest boats. Maybe the larger boats are better.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank teacher4christ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pompano Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

We checked in on Boat #2 for week. It alternately smells of mildew or sewerage most of the time. If your over 6' tall your head will scrape the ceiling in the kitchen area. The main bed is as hard as a rock and I could not get a nights sleep on it.. The second bed which also serves as your couch to watch tv is also quite hard. The advertisement says that you can can cook in all boats but the boat #2 has no stove only a microwave. On the fifth day the toilet tank started leaking all over the bathroom floor. On the sixth night it poured all night long and the roof leaked on the tv and on my suitcase until I woke up and moved it. We chose to leave before the last night to finally get a good nights sleep.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Bill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

My sisters and I have just returned from a week at the Boatel in Key Largo. I'm sorry I didn't read more posted reviews as I had made all the plans. We are intrepid travelers and made the most of it! The website states that all boats have a complete kitchen and I called George a week before our arrival for kitchen confirmation. The "Crow's Nest" has NO oven/stove, NO kitchen sink, a very fishy smelling frig. We had to buy plastic silverware, paper bowls and cups, paper towel, kleenex etc. The coffee maker did NOT work. Consequently, we ate only breakfasts of fruit in. Everything slants, the floor makes noises, and the entire boat was filthy!!!!! It is a step above camping. Anyone with any kind of physical disability should not consider this boat. Aside from that, we loved picking up shell fossils in the parking lot. The week consisted of constant rain so we visited other Keys to see bird refuges, a turtle hospital, geologic park, and the Everglades in addition to diving and snorkeling with Scuba-Do (recommend).

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mgshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Key Largo House Boatel

Property: Key Largo House Boatel
Address: MM 103.5, next to Hideout Restaurant, Key Largo, FL
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key Largo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Key Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Key Largo House Boatel Hotel Key Largo
Key Largo House Boatel Florida

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