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.
- Also Known As:
- Key Largo House Boatel Hotel Key Largo
- Key Largo House Boatel Florida