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“a Relaxing night or weekend getaway from Miami”
Review of Ocean Reef Club

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Ocean Reef Club
Ranked #12 of 20 Hotels in Key Largo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 May 2013

Ocean Reef is Unique. it is an entire town, in an isolated part of Key Largo, with 5 restaurants(the food id very good), golf, gym, boating, shops, a nature preserve, pools, beach, bars, movies, etc. and the Hotel.
you stay in nice well equipped condos and have the use of the facilities, but you can not use your
car. you must rent a golf cart or get a ride.
in the summer months, some of the restaurants close and the dress code is more relaxed.
the hotel is also private, and you need to be invited by a member or interested in buying a membership to stay there. if you just want to stay in the Keys or get away from Miami, Ocean
Reef is a winner.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank bgerber948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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181 - 187 of 304 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2013

We had an award trip to ocean reef and were very disappointed!! Each condo is individually owed and therefore maintained at various levels? We had to request a move to avoid broken and run down condo. Golf carts are needed to get around and we were asked to recharge???? Hard to,locate plugs were in the bushes.
Food was fine. but very expensive. They pride themselves in privacy, a secluded island and apparently the people who,live there enjoy different work out facility and options we did not have!
Would never go back !!!!

Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
12  Thank Carolyn1127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2013

The experience of the Ocean Reef Club is very much like that of flying on most any airline today. "In order to serve you better, we must provide less service and charge more money". Like a cruise ship that doesn't clean your room on time, ( think poor service), be assured the ORC will serve you all the $12 mojitos you want on Buccaneer island ( think profit center) . I been to ORC as a guest and as a guest at a member's house dating back 25 years. My advice to travelers is to read all the reviews, b/c they're all true. It's paradise on a good day, and a major disappointment on others. The good- Buccaneer Island 2 pools and a hot tub. The bad- ORC says no kids in the adult pool but don't police it. I've seen twenty ( 20) kids in the hot tub at one time. The sign says limit 8. The Beach Bar is great for afternoon cocktails, largely b/c of the long time bartender Everton. But remember there's no real beach at ORC, it's coral rock. There's a little sand around a man made lagoon. The Burgee Bar was a popular spot, but they tore it down and rebuilt it to look like the casual sports bar of any Marriott hotel. But its a casual alternative. The best place is the Raw Bar. Great staff, terrific food, very good atmosphere. There are 2 golf courses, the Hammock is much more scenic. Unless you're sponsored by a member, prices can be over $200. Re: members, there's a multi-class system at ORC. In ascending order--There are workers, guests, social members and equity members. And there are clubs within the club. There is a private golf course, tennis club, yacht club, fitness club, and members only point with the best views, that are all off limits to guests. Some members will treat you well. On my last trip, I got talking to a member while I was on a walk, and the person invited me in to see their house. How nice- turns out, they were getting ready to list their house and wanted to see if I'd buy it! Ha! One day at Bucc Island, a member, who thought I was member was complaining about how crowded it was and said, if we didn't need these people's money wouldn't it be nice to kick them out. If you're walking, don't go between 8 and 8:30 or 4-4:30p. There are so many construction trucks and work crews on the streets its very unpleasant. Reef Treats is nice for kids and has been improved greatly over the years. I did a half day flats fishing and it was ok. Good guide, but price was 50-75%% more than comparable in Key Largo or Islamorada. Bottom line-inconsistent experience, consistent cost. Go elsewhere, not worth the risk.

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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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18  Thank david r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2013

the paradise!!!!!
The Ocean Reef Club is a wonderful place to visit. It really is a self contained city with everything you need. The location is tropical - the golf great. The beach and sun amazing. Food that is fulfilling. Just a great place to bring a family or loved on.
all the restaurantes are amaizing!!! the staff is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank msd18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2013

Ocean Reef is paradise.... Great for the entire family!!! Kids paddle in the lagoon, fish in the pier, go the high tech Game room or eat ice cream at Reef Treats. Adults...Fun in the Sun!! Go see Everton and Jean at the Beach Bar!!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Rudy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2013

We stayed at the Club for 3 nights, enjoyed one banquet meal of restaurant quality food and lunches and dinners at the Raw Bar and Islander Restaurants. The food was delicious and the servers extremely friendly and informative about the menus mostly of VERY fresh seafood.
Accomodations for our group ranged from a beautiful condo to rooms overlooking the beach and ocean. All were clean, well furnished and the hotel rooms were every bit as nice as luxury hotels in any city. The staff was on the spot with service, but friendly, not stuffy.
Golf course was great, Spa and massage, just what the doctor ordered. If you can get an invitation to visit you shouldn't miss it.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
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Thank J D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2013

I am absolutely appalled at how I was treated by the Ocean Reef Club during the planning and execution of my wedding in March 2013. I understand that I am not a member at the Ocean Reef, and after my experience with the facility and the staff, I am glad I am not.

Not only was I treated extremely poorly as a bride whose wedding and guests fees provided the establishment well over $40,000.00, my guest were also treated rudely and extremely poorly.

From the beginning of my decision to have my wedding at Ocean Reef I can honestly say that the only reason I decided on the resort was the location on Key Largo. I met Amanda Gilbo (wedding coordinator) with my Fiance and his mother, Amanda was emotionless and underwhelmed the entire time she showed us the property. It was clear that she would have much rather been doing anything other than talking about my upcoming nuptials. After meeting with Amanda I really struggled with the decision to have my wedding at the facility because of her poor hospitality and overall lack of professionalism.

After I signed the contract to have my wedding at the establishment the experience went downhill from there. I was not told ahead of time numerous pieces of information that are important to planning an event for 75 people... such as, but not limited to:

Anyone not staying on the reef would not be able to pay for food or beverages or ANYTHING with cash or credit card (leaving me to have to scramble on Friday to fill out forms and reach out to my guest giving last minute directions on how to get a card to pay for their dinner ... not to mention several guests having to payback other guests that were on property just to have a drink at the bar when they got there).

The suite that was reserved for my groom and I would not be available until Friday so I would have to stay in another room on Thursday, which I would then have to check out of at 11am and would not be able to check into my new room until 4pm that afternoon on the Friday before my wedding.

That there would be a set up fee on the Point of $1000... in fact Amanda clearly told us when we toured the resort that there was NO site fee for the ceremony, perhaps she is not aware that a set up fee IS a site fee.

These are just a few things that I was not aware of until literately I arrived on property - now lets talk about the lack of service I received from the wedding coordinator.

Every time I reached out to Amanda in the 8 months leading up to my wedding, NOT ONCE did I get her the first time, it would consistently take days for her to email me back and I NEVER received a phone call back from her until the day of my wedding (in which case she was no where to be found for most of the day). I had to reach out to her for every single little piece of detail about the day and what my guests would need to know.

On the day of the wedding we literally had to hunt her down just to give us directions for how we were going to get from the room to the Point. After the weather was not permitting to allow the reception to be on the beach and it was moved to Heron Hall - not only was I told that my guests would be informed (which NONE of them were) I was also assured that they would be guided to the cocktail hour by several of the staff... which they were not. I literally had guests roaming around the resort and asking were they were supposed to go.

As for the poor treatment of my guests, several had to come to me during the weekend to tell me that they were being so rudely treated when asking questions or checking in that they would just rather get direction from me... I AM THE BRIDE - and I had to take time to explain the resort layout and process with the key cards and how payment at the establishment worked, among other things, because the staff could not be bothered with this.

After our ceremony was over my groom and I stayed at the Point to take photos, the "crew" started to moving in to take down the set up and put out benches and stuff immediately - not allowing us to get any photos on the point. When our photographer asked them to wait a minute he was greeted with rudeness and eye rolling - while they just sat there waiting for us to be finished.

None of the service standards that you would expect for a wedding of this cost happened, no one offered us a glass of champagne after the ceremony to share while we took photos. Not one staff member stayed with us to make sure that we had a golf cart or any needs of ours were meet during the photo session.

The entire staff and the lack of graciousness and care that was put into my special day will burn in my mind forever, as well as my parents and guests minds. I am so embarrassed that I made my guest pay for the stay at The Ocean Reef Club, just to have them and myself treated so poorly.

After the wedding I took my concerns as well as a charge on my bill that I did not think was correct to the President of the Resort, Paul Astbury, I was again met with a lack of concern for my troubles and was in fact told that my wedding went well and he got several surveys back from my guest with positive responses. I left Mr. Astbury 3 messages, non of which he returned. When I escalated the issue and insisted that he speak with me about the at LEAST the charge I thought was unfair he told me to take it up with the resorts lawyer and would no longer talk to me. I should have expected as much, for we all know that service standards trickle from the top down.
Let this be fair warning DO NOT be seduced by the gorgeous location... it is not worth the heart ache.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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46  Thank Miranda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RichardW305, Manager at Ocean Reef Club, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your experience at The Ocean Reef Club. Because marriage is a serious undertaking and many of our members and sponsored guests choose the club, not just for the location but also for the amenities, service and quality of the experience, we strive to deliver and outstanding experience so their special occasion will become a cherished memory. Last year we hosted over 30 Weddings to high compliment but it seems that your experience did not match the goal for our delivery nor your expectation as you envisioned your special day.

Just as a marriage works because the Bride and Groom are a perfect fit, so often does the wedding and the selected venue work because they are also a perfect fit. It seems in this case the fit was not appropriate. Had the Club been aware in advance that the Groom and members of the wedding party would wrongfully take a club member’s golf cart at 12:53AM and leave it where it was found in a damaged condition, that the few guests that did actually stay at the Ocean Reef Club would take our requests to comply with the Club’s rules that evolved from common courtesy as “rudeness”, that the groom and others from the wedding party would attempt to break into our gift shop at 2:38AM; we would have also then noticed a mismatch and declined the opportunity to assist in this important event.

Yet our staff, associates and club management remained professional even offering to cover the costs in damage to the member’s cart to shine a positive light on these missteps undertaken, perhaps; as a result of the attendees and participants excitement and celebration of your event.

It would not be appropriate or productive for us to refute each point raised in your review. Suffice it to say that we take great pride in our associates, our facilities and our delivery of service and this is almost universally reflected in the comments and reviews we receive.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ocean Reef Club

Address: 35 Ocean Reef Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037-5263
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key Largo
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Spa
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Key Largo
Number of rooms: 140
Also Known As:
Ocean Reef Club Hotel Key Largo
Ocean Reef Hotel
Ocean Reef Key Largo
Ocean Reef Club Key Largo, Florida

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