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“Beautiful Position but Tired”

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Hilton Key Largo Resort
Ranked #14 of 20 Hotels in Key Largo
Reviewed 14 October 2013

We have stayed here a few times before but the hotel is getting very tired and previosly high standards are slipping.
Our room was on the 4th floor with great views of the ocean, the room needed updating, we first stayed here about 12 years ago and very little has been done to upgrade.
The beach area is excellent but despite signs banning dogs management seems to allow dogs on the beach, we pointed this out to a manager but dogs were still allowed on the beach. They also allow all and sundry to use the beach, On Saturday of our visit we arrived at beach approx 1.30 pm and could not find any loungers, many people were having picnics with cool boxes, wine, beer etc. we spoke to a nunber of people who just visit the beach FOC over weekend, parking in the hotel car park is free and uncontrolled so anybody can drive in and spend the day on the hotel beach but again when we talked to a manager they huff and puff but do nothing.
Breakfast normally is excellent at Hilton but the buffet was shut and you had to order from the menu. In the evening we intended to eat the restaurant but we were the only people in the bar restaurant so ate out every evening.
The setting and walks around the trails are superb but overall we we disappointed especially after the great time we had on previous visits.
It appeared to be very short staffed, there was a bell desk but no bell staff, when we checked in they offered bell service for our luggage but after waiting over 10 minutes with nobody attending we took our own, reception often seemed under staffed and getting hold of a manager was difficult and long winded, we had to make 3 visits to reception to see a duty manager as they were busy, at meeting, not yet on duty.
We would like to visit again as the setting is perfect but Hilton need to spruce up the room, sharpen up service and concentrate and people actually staying at the hotel and management should actually manage.

Room Tip: For sea views get a room on 3rd or 4th floor on the beach side of the hotel
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nigel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,343 - 2,349 of 3,949 reviews

Reviewed 13 October 2013

Based on some earlier negative reviews I read on Trip Advisor, we've avoided staying here. In fact, we stayed at the Hampton Inn 3 times (also in Key Largo, part of the Hilton chain) because their reviews were much better on average AND it's a pleasant property. Well, boy were we wrong!!!

This is a lovely property, on a long, if narrow stretch of waterfront, with great staff, beautiful grounds, delicious breakfast, and perfectly nice rooms. I've stayed in the Keys in many properties, from hotel chains to expensive small hideaways, and the Hilton should be much higher than #11 in Key Largo. Not sure what is going on?

The Pros:
a) Long stretch of waterfront -- NOT a wide beach, because of course as we all know most of the Keys don't have naturally occurring beaches, as they're formed from ancient coral rock and limestone. (If you want a wide beach with tons of sand, visit my home spot of Miami) For the Keys, their beach rocks. But tiny compared to Miami or Sarasota, for example.

b) Tropical hammock -- long ago, south Florida was covered in lush tropical jungle, i.e., hammock. This Hilton should be commended for preserving their hammock. It also preserves the coastline and keeps the shoreline from eroding further. If you don't like mangroves, tropical trees, birds, etc., partially blocking the view (floors 1 & 2), better stay elsewhere.

c) Fantastic staff. Everyone was nice. Smiled, greeted us. (Sure, we tend to smile and say hello, too. Maybe people are friendly to people who are friendly?)

d) Great buffet breakfast. Yes, it's about $16 per person. It's big with lots of good food, from pancakes to bacon to fresh melon. If that seems high (doesn't to me, seems typical of resort buffets), head to Mrs. Mac's, about 5 minutes north, for local Keys flavor and lower prices.

e) Nice stretch of sandy beach, on north side of hotel, with about 4 rows of beach chairs for lounging. Also, Caribbean watersports rents kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie sailboats, etc. Can arrange for eco tours of Florida Bay.

f) Friendly beach bar with amazing frozen margaritas!

g) Long dock for fishing and docking your boat

h) A family pool (for kids) and an adult pool, plus a nice bar/lunch place. With waterfalls. And a hot tub.

i) Nicely surfaced tennis courts (where we played) and a gym with excellent equipment

j) Perfect Bayside spot to watch the famous sunset

k) Beautiful, sleek restaurant with beautiful view. Did not eat dinner here, partially based on reviews. But the breakfast tasted terrific. Good coffee.

l) Nice room, very clean. (Yes, a couple of worn spots on a dresser edge, that another guest photographed in a previous review. Honestly, who cares. Do you expect them to replace the dresser every year? I mean, seriously, folks.) Everything else, curtains, lamps, linens, towels, great. Comfortable bed. Flat screen TV. Also a bathtub!! Thank goodness. So tired of no tubs. Terrific balcony. Refrigerator, coffee maker. Not a luxury room, but hey, this is the Keys. Luxury here is $400-500 a night, no joke. For the cost and for the location, very nice. Was surprised.

m) Sleek lobby area with a useful gift shop.

n) A treasure hunt (for plastic bracelets) that took children throughout the property. Great idea. Gets them exploring, walking, away from electronic devices! My child loved it. Big hit.

o) Nature! Fish you can see right off the dock. Needlefish! And birds. Pelicans, egrets, cardinals, etc. Clear water off the hotel so you can even snorkel a bit here.

Cons:
Hardly anything to mention.
Yes, if you get a room on the 1st or 2nd floor trees (at least on the south side of the property) will mostly block your water view. For that reason, it may make sense to call the hotel before you book online and clarify your options.
Also, some rooms, along the parking lot, overlook a) the parking lot b) the jungle-y area behind the parking lot c) an interior courtyard with trees AND a hallway through which guests walk... We did not stay in one of these rooms. I assume they're cheaper. But if that doesn't appeal to you, again, I'd call and ensure I'm not getting a room in that location.

Based on some complaints I read on Trip Advisor, I was expecting a dated, run down property. Instead, I found a place that seemed wonderfully maintained. Paths raked and blown free of leaves. Corridors cleaned. Good housekeeping (NOT late in the day for us.) And while the room was not swanky or gorgeous, it was in fact attractive if simple. Neat. Pleasant.

I am so glad we finally stayed here. Plus, it's further down the island chain, away from the 4 lane hustle and bustle of Key Largo, closer to Tavernier and Islamorada. Highly recommend this Hilton!! And my husband, who travels the world for business, was also very happy with the experience. Could not understand some of the negative feedback. Either people had bad luck, or just unrealistic expectations. The Keys are VERY expensive. The beaches are tiny or nonexistent. You go to fish, boat, snorkel, Scuba, kayak, etc. It's a place to get out on the water and see tropical fish, basically. (We live in Miami, and if we want to just spread out on a huge beach, we go to Key Biscayne or South Beach. We come to the Keys for nature and a laid-back, low key atmosphere.)

This Hilton is terrific, and honestly, better than the last Hilton I stayed at (in the Caribbean).

We will definitely return soon.

Room Tip: 3rd & 4th floor, bay front, if you want unobstructed view.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank FlaTravlers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

The best hotel on The Keys with a great beach. The rooms with an ocean view are great and worth the extra expense. The position is good at the begining of The Keys as further down the raod towards Key West you are restricted to travelling up and down the same road to go anyware. Food good for both breakfast and dinner but the lack of anything to do other than visit the rather drab bar after it gets dark is very dissapointing. Have stayed at this hotel several times and will stay again.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for an ocean view room, it is worth the extra.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Geoff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

We spent a week at the Hilton and had a great time despite the US government shutting down all the national parks, including the Everglades.
The hotel is in an idyllic setting with short nature trails between the general beach area with music and a beach bar, and the quiet beach area with two/ three sun beds and hammocks set in small clearings right on the beach. The trails are both wooden boardwalk and more rustic woodchip covered walks.
We upgraded to a water view room overlooking the bay, The room was good without being anything special, but pretty much what I expect from a hotel chain, certainly nothing to complain about and we liked it.
There are also two pools, a family and a quiet pool, both in nice settings with a bar at the family pool, somehow the hotel managed to make both colder than the sea.
We ate at the hotel a couple of evenings, the food and service was OK but the menu a little limited, but there are so many places locally to eat this is not really an issue, though it does mean driving as the hotel is not really in walking distance of these other restaurants particularly at night as there is no lighting on the highway, though there is a good sidewalk which we used in daylight, particularly to walk to Harriet's for breakfast.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Murray M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

My husband and I have stayed at the Key Largo Resort four times in the last three years. We enjoy the beach and cove area. We love the Keys and the hotel is a quick drive from Fort Lauderdale/Miami and we are within two hours of all of the things that we like to do in South Florida. Highly recommend a water view room.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Thank Stephen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

Beautiful, quiet rooms, comfortable bedding and thick, plush bath towels. 2 pools, 1 for adults only plus hot tub. Plenty of beach lounges, beach bar and great breakfast. Close to restaurants and parks. Loved the stay...

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Thank 816christopherd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

I simply loved our short stay here. The staff was friendly and our room was clean. We spang for the grand ocean view room on the 4th floor. The view from the balcony was worth it alone! See my pictures for that sunset!

We enjoyed being able to find a nice and quiet spot on the beach but again, you'll be paying beach resort prices for food and drinks so we decided against that. However, we really did enjoy the sunday night special in TreeTops with $0.50 wings and $20 buckets of beer! The bartender there was wonderfully nice and we ended up spending the rest of the night with him. Fantastic!

The way the property is positioned wouldn't allow it, but I do wish the pool had an ocean view. The age is apparent at the pool but if you're a person who likes to get in the ocean and enjoys a great sunset from your balcony you will love this place.

Because we are diamond Hilton members we were able to enjoy the breakfast buffet. Upgrade to hot buffet was just $5 and worth it. I'm not sure what it costs to pay out of your pocket but we looked forward to breakfast with a view each morning. Really good stuff!

Room Tip: spend the money for the 4th floor. Don't be disappointed!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank mtsublueraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hilton Key Largo Resort

Address: 97000 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037-2210
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key Largo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Key Largo
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Key Largo
Price Range: £172 - £397 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Key Largo Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
No other hotel offers a Florida Keys vacation experience quite like the Hilton Key Largo. This pristine, 13-acre resort sits on the best private beach in the upper Keys — and while it’s only an hour from Miami, you’ll feel worlds away, thanks to the sparkling white sand, lush tropical greenery and exciting outdoor activities.Guests at the Hilton Key Largo can enjoy as much excitement or relaxation as they like. Activities include world-class fishing and water sports, jet skis, wave runners, and para sailing. Nearby attractions include Dolphin Cove and the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is home to the only live coral reef in the continental United States. Kids love the hotel’s Scout About children’s program, and the whole family can enjoy the two heated swimming pools, fitness center and lighted tennis courts. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with spending hours just relaxing on the gorgeous beach and swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Or enjoying quiet moments in the handsomely appointed guest rooms, each of which is graced with a private balcony — opt for a water-view room and you’ll have a front-row seat for Key Largo’s spectacular sunsets. This is paradise, made easy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Key Largo Hotel Key Largo
Hilton Hotels Key Largo
Hilton Hotel Key Largo
Key Largo Grande Resort Beach Club
Hilton Key Largo Resort Florida

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