For our honeymoon, my wife and I "borrowed" a one-week time share at Coconut Beach Resort through an friend who is an II member. Being curious, before our trip, we went to CBR's website and came to TripAdvisor to see what we could learn about the place. The CBR website made the place seem beautiful, though information and photos there were limited. Some of the reviews here on TripAdvisor were less than flattering, but we went ahead anyway, since we had gotten a pretty good deal from our friend.
On arrival, we expected the man at the front desk to be less than the world's friendliest person (from what we'd read here), but the gentleman (sorry, can't remember his name) couldn't have been nicer. As soon as I told him who we were, he pulled out a personalized folder with our name on it (it's nice to be expected), full of information about CBR and the surrounding area. VERY helpful!
We hauled our luggage up to our room (the only serious drawback to CBR that we found -- no elevators), and upon entering, we were amazed. First, we didn't just have a room, we had a SUITE! A very nice living area with adjoining kitchen and dining area! A few steps down the hallway led us to the bedroom with a king sized bed with a dresser and armoir. From the bedroom and the living area we could walk out onto a private deck covered by an awning, overlooking the beautiful tropical foliage. From these quarters we had access to another complete, separate bedroom, also with a king-sized bed, dresser, TV, microwave and mini-fridge.
I understand that my wife and I were quite fortunate during our stay at Coconut Beach. Not all the accommodations at CBR are equal. Not everyone has a private deck (but you might have a nice pair of rocking chairs outside), not everyone will have a suite of rooms. Some folks might only have one room, with the aforementioned bed, dresser, TV, microwave and mini-fridge. I guess one gets what one pays for, and if you're not sure what you're getting, call ahead and find out.
We found our accommodations to be very clean and well-maintained. The appliances and furniture may not have been brand new or state-of-the-art, but served their purposes more than adequately.
The pool area is like a tropical garden, with lush foliage and palm trees everywhere. The waterfall in the pool adds to the ambience of a tropical paradise. I wonder why the pool deck is built with red brick (aesthetically beautiful, but VERY hot on bare feet in the midday sun), but what the heck -- we kept our sandals on when walking between the pool and our lounge chairs. The pool water is warm and crystal-clear. Lounge chairs are plentiful -- enough for everyone it seems, but if you prefer to sit in a certain area (shade or sun), it's a good idea to be an early bird, to stake your claim.
The beach, as mentioned in previous reviews, is but a small strip of sand between the pool area and the ocean. Ocean debris does gather on the beach each day, but the grounds crew rakes it up each morning. We found that we were able to wade out into the water for quite a ways before the water came up to our waists. The ocean water on most days was quite clear, and we could look down see small fish swimming around our toes in waist-deep water. We took our snorkeling gear out for a spin, and were able to see many conch (some alive, some dead, and some shells which had been taken over by hermit crabs), many beautifully-colored tropical fish, and even a sting ray! Be careful if you're snorkeling off CBR's beach -- the jet-skiers tend to come in rather close at times, and may or may not be looking out for you!
Back in the pool area, we rinsed off with the fresh-water shower and took a soak in the hot-tub (spa) -- very relaxing! There is a sign indicating that the spa and pool close at dusk, but we also noticed that people were disobeying that sign at night, and no one came around to tell them otherwise, so we did the same!
There is a nice tiki bar which is mostly unused, which is unfortunate -- CBR could get a lot of mileage (and revenue) out of that in the cooler evening hours. The only time I saw the tiki bar used was on Tuesday and Friday afternoons -- on Tuesday, a welcome party for the new arrivals, and on Friday, a farewell party for those who are leaving. These "parties," while pleasant, consisted of free rum punch (self-served from a cooler at the tiki bar) and an hour's worth of live music. A little more music and maybe some "get-to-know-your-neighbors" social activities would have made the Tuesday and Friday events much more festive and enjoyable.
My wife and I loved our time at CBR and we do plan to return next year. I hope this review is helpful -- I did include the little "discrepancies" we noticed (if you can call them that), but honestly, we found nothing to complain about. Some of the reviews I've read here make me wonder how some people ever manage to have a good time. CBR is a wonderful place, and if you'd like to ask some questions from someone who's been there, feel free!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tranquil, Oceanfront All-Suite Resort housed in white Key-West-style building with encircling verandas on each floor. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Coconut Beach Hotel Key West
- Coconut Beach Resort Key West, Florida