The Pier House has one of the best locations in Key West; it’s close to Mallory Square, within walking distance to some darn good restaurants and the heart of Old Town. The grounds are spectacular; well maintained and it is one of the few hotels/resorts that can boast they are beachfront. The rooms are spacious and well appointed.
What they don't have are attentive staff, a good restaurant or consistent service (with the exception of the Russian beach attendant who had been there since July 2013 - he was easily the hardest working staff member by far).
We arrived at the hotel on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at approximately 6:00 pm; our taxi was promptly greeted by a bellman that took care of our bags and escorted us to the lobby for check-in. This is where the misadventure began; there was no front desk attendant. The bellman tried for approximately 15 to 20 minutes to locate a clerk to no avail (perhaps they were watching the amazing Key West sunset?).
When the clerk finally arrived around 6:25 pm he made no apologies and proceeded to check us into our room. When I asked if there were any available room upgrades he seemed irritated and quickly responded no. The bellman escorted us to our room: a second story lanai suite (with a nice view of the parking lot). The room was spacious and well appointed with a large modern bathroom, flat screen television and complimentary wifi.
After unpacking we decided to have dinner at the Harborview Café. The restaurant is in a great location within the resort and offers views of the beach and waterfront. Upon entering the restaurant we noted only two other tables of diners which we thought was odd because it was our understanding that the resort was pretty much at capacity – that was until we ate there. Lets just say its not one of the finer dining establishments in Key West; it has the potential to be but simply falls flat.
The following day we ventured out on the town and had great day. We returned to the resort mid afternoon for a bit of relaxation on the beach. The beach is by far the biggest reason to stay at the Pier House; if it were not for the beach this would be a three star resort at best (simply due to the lackluster service). Another good reason to stay at the Pier House is the live music at the Beach Bar and Grill – that is when they show up!! But when they do, it is one of the best places to kick back, enjoy the views, listen to some great live music and enjoy an ice-cold beer.
I don’t want to beat up on the Pier House but another strike was the fact that our toilet had issues flushing (noted the day we checked in). We contacted the front desk and while we were out for the day they sent maintenance to the room. We know this because they left black footprints on the bathroom floor and several black marks within the toilet. This is not really a surprise though as I do not believe the floors in our room were swept or mopped during the duration of our four-night stay. On a positive note, the toilet did work properly after their visit.
Another disappointment was our request for a late checkout which we requested when we checked-in. At that time we were told we would have to make the request the morning of our scheduled checkout (not sure why they could not have noted our request on our guest file). The standard checkout is 11:00 am and when we requested a late checkout the morning of checkout we were told we would be given until noon to vacate the room. They did however store our bags for us until our afternoon departure back to the frozen north.
Last but not least, when we checked out and received our final guest check it included four days of parking at cost over $100! The issue is not the cost, it’s the fact that we did not have a car! When I checked-in I was asked if I had a vehicle and informed the front desk clerk that I did not. I am not sure if this is a tactic that Pier House uses to generate additional revenue or if this was the result of the sloppy paperwork when we checked-in. When I challenged the charge with the front desk clerk they did remove the charge promptly but I sure am glad I reviewed the check line by line.
Bottom line is would I stay there again? Yes; the location and the beach are just too darned good to pass on. The biggest issue and disappointment for me is that the Pier House has the ability to be one of the best hotels in Key West (if not the best), but unfortunately falls far from the target due to lackluster staff. I should mention however there are definitely a few shining stars that, for the most part, are eastern European and associated with the beach and bar. Kudos to the bellman as well, he was also top notch (again an eastern European).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perhaps nothing is more "Key West" than the Pier House Resort and Spa -it's like no other. Elegant accommodations, lush gardens, a private beach, a selection of restaurants and bars, a full-service spa and a for real let-your-hair-down attitude all come together in a tropical escape that simply can't be duplicated. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pier House Hotel Key West
- Pier Hotel Key West
- Pier House Key West Florida
- Pier Key West
- Pier House Resort & Spa Key West, Florida