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“Good value, clean, great location”

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Harbor Lights Motel
Ranked #19 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good value, clean, great location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2011

I recently stayed at Harbor Lights with a group of friends and the experience was a very positive one overall. The rooms are clean, the beds are comfortable and the staff is very personable and ready to please. You can tell the place is older and without the latest technology and interior design but does that really matter to you when YOU’RE IN THE KEYS? The way I see it, when you’re in Islamorada, you’re probably there for the beach, the ocean, the sun and maybe a little partying after dark. The motel is the place where you change clothes, take a shower and get a good night’s rest before getting back to enjoying your beach vacation. If you have the same mentality and like a good value then Harbor Lights will probably suite you just fine.

We will definitely return to Harbor Lights next time we are in Islamorada (soon).

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DavidBuckLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HarborLightsMotel, Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, 20 May 2011
Thank you so much for the review! We think you hit the nail on the head! We might not have all the bells and whistles of a $500 a night resort, but we try hard to treat you right without breaking the bank! And our view of the ocean is the same (if not better) than many resorts that are twice and three times our price!

We are very happy you enjoyed your recent stay, and look forward to seeing you again soon!

Todd & Becky
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367 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2011

Prior to our stay we read many poor reviews and I'll be honest, we were expecting a bad experience. However, we were quite happy with our stay. Sure, this is an old motel and needs some TLC in the bathrooms, but it certainly didn't make me bitter about my trip to Islamarada. I'm not sure what most people expect when they plan to stay in a motel on a beautiful island, but it's reasonable to say you're not going to get a high dollar room for the price you pay at any motel. My thinking is that the prices were very low considering the location and beautiful view, which is much appreciated when you're on a tight budget. I slept very comfortably on the bed and appreciated the convenience of having a mini kitchen in my room. The view and motel grounds were very nice, as well. Most of all, the owners were extremely nice and went out of their way to be helpful to all of our needs. We didn't have any bugs in our room and an exterminator was all over the property one of the days during our stay after learning some bugs were spotted in one of the cottages. The guests in that cottage (fyi...some of my family members) were moved immediately and were discounted for the inconvenience.
I'm disappointed to read so many negative reviews when clearly this motel is owned and run by a couple who seem to truly care about their guests and a business they have put their heart into. Why someone would want to bash a small business owner is beyond me. This couple is nice and accomodating, who clearly try to fix any problems immediately when brought to their attention. If you're looking for a 4-star hotel, pay the 4-star prices! I travel a lot and have stayed in many high dollar hotels, but I'm not always able to budget that in. My boyfriend and I have already booked our flight & rental car to return to Islamarada in 3 weeks and I'm hoping Harbor Lights Motel has a room available when I call in the next few minutes. Hope to see you soon, Todd and Becky!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank acullum5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HarborLightsMotel, Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, 27 April 2011
Thank you so much for the review! It is perfect, and will help people make an informed decision based on what is important to them.

As you mentioned, we try very hard to provide a clean, comfortable room without breaking the bank! We think we have the best value in the Keys, and you cannot beat the view right on the Atlantic Ocean.

Thank you again for your business, and we absolutely look forward to seeing you again soon!

Todd & Becky
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2011

im sure posting those pretty pictures on the site bring you lots of guests. they seem pretty nice HOWERER getting there was a different story. although the view was breathtaking the rooms were damaged. the cabanas were very spacious but a dump. bugs were crawling all around, half the tiles in the bathroom were missing. there were cracks on the floors, the ceiling had wholes, fans and lights didnt work and the kitchen was a true nightmare. the towels were dirty upon arrival and we had to request new ones. the dock was so damaged that we couldnt launch the boat. we were not able to get our money back so we had no choice but to stay. we went on a late afternoon to the pool and to our luck the pump was broken and the manager, his wife and some other people we didnt recognize were drinking by the pool. so unprofessional. we are sure that the nice reviews are written by the hotel employees because overall the experience was a desaster and we will never return again. we will be posting pictures in a few days. to todd "the manager" please dont bother replying to this email. most emails are complaints and apologizing to all of them wont make the place any cuter. just fix it and change the pictures you are posting for the ones we are sending you soon. shame on you.

Room Tip: they are so bad we cannot recommend. sorry.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank nanaleni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, 14 April 2011
I have been waiting for this review for a couple of weeks. We are very happy that there is a response section in Tripadvisor, so that people can make an informed decision.

First, please not that this bad review is a retaliation for a family that was very close to being kicked off the property. They were extremely abusive, and I had threatened to have them evicted without refund after they damaged several pieces of hotel property right in front of my own eyes! As many people have noted, my wife and I spent the last year and a half doing considerable work to the property. We have never claimed it is perfect, but we continue to work seven days a week to provide the very best product at a very attractive rate. To see your hard work get "trashed" by a group of people with no regard is disheartening to say the least!

It is very funny how accomodations that were "perfect" the first couple of days overnight became a "dump" after they were threatened with eviction. Yes, there are some areas where the tiles have cracked - but I guarantee that half the tiles are not missing! We know this is an eyesore, and as of this post we have redone the bathrooms in several cottages so far and have a few left to do. There was no bugs in the room - but I can only guess that leaving the door wide open all day in the cottage might invite a few. The towels were certainly not dirty - they asked for extras because there was a lot of people in the rooms. I guess that this and other comments are just thrown out there so it makes it seem like a laundry list of things bad - whether they are true or not.

Some things that are clearly false:

I am not even sure why someone would post that the pool pump was broken when it was not? I would also note here that I do not drink alcohol, but I am again confused why this might negatively effect someone's stay even if I did? We have 32 rooms, so there might be a few people by the pool that you do not recognize! As for the dock and boat ramp, this family used it every day with no problems! I know this for a fact, because I picked up their garbage presonally when they threw it from the boat to the dock every morning and night! In fact, we spent a considerable amount of time cleaning up after this family, not to mention the damages.

Please again understand that this group was asked not to return to the hotel, hence the review. It is a shame, because it was only a few individuals out of a large group that caused so many problems. I had a lovely conversation and visit with many of the family members before all the trouble began, and they could not say enough about how great their stay was after the first night.

And finally, we do not have to write good reviews. We have more than enough guests who have a wonderful time and decide to share their experiences. We remind everyone again that this is not a $350 per night oceanfront resort. If you are looking for a perfect and brand new room directly on the ocean with all our amenities, then you are looking for something triple our pricing! If you are looking for a clean and comfortable resort where the management and staff work extremely hard to make your stay the very best, while not breaking the bank - then Harbor Lights is your place!

Todd Chandler
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Travellers are raving about these Islamorada hotels

NEPA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2011

Don't believe the negative reviews, this is a hidden paradise in the keys. This is not a luxury mega-resort but neither is the price. If I owned my own private island, I imagine this is what it would be like. The ocean was about 10 feet from our front door. In the morning we were greeted by tropical birds and an occasional iguana. It is very quiet & peaceful, yet you can walk to restaraunts & bars. The air conditioner worked so well I went out and bought the same unit for my house. The staff makes you feel welcome, unlike the fake, phony mega-resort employees. I could stay anywhere I like in the keys but when I am 1500 miles from home I choose Harbor Lights. Check out my pictures to see what it is really like.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AcelaExpress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, 29 March 2011
Thank you so much for the awesome review! We know that there are plenty of lodging choices in the Keys, and we really do try hard to deliver a good room at a great price! We also think our service is our best asset and it is our pleasure to have such wonderful guests.

We have undergone a whole lot of changes since you visited in September. Our building is a a bright yellow now, and everything from pool furniture to hammocks have been replaced. We contastantly are improving every day, and look forward to having you again soon!

Todd & Becky Chandler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2011

Was just looking for a bed for the night.

the bed mattress was so bad (broken springs) I woke up with a stiff back.
No Blanket to cover with, just a sheet and a dirty bed cover.

Went out to sleep in my car, the hotel doesn't worth a dim.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank HereItCome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, 20 March 2011
We love guest reviews and encourage people to post whether they have had a good or bad experience. This review, however, seems awful suspicious to us. We do not have a single room with a broken box spring! In fact, most of the hotel has brand new mattress and box spring sets (as of December) - and every single room has at least one blanket.

We think this person never stayed at the hotel, and/or was evicted by us for some reason and is looking to get back with a bad review. This just does not ring true!

Todd & Becky
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2011

I booked this place online through expedia. Mosley Motel is the name it was advertised as. Deceptive since it has been the Harbor lights for years. The only way that someone that knows this place would book it is if the name was different and thought that it had been possibly renovated.
This is an awful place to stay.
The toilet in my room had to be replaced because it would not flush. I was informed that it was a new problem ...really?? Then why the plunger sitting next to the toilet.
After the toilet was replaced, it rocked a bit.
I give the management credit for installing the new toilet. That's it!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank maddyNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, 8 March 2011
We are so sorry that you felt that your recent stay warranted a very bad review! We believe that your recent review was a bit unfair, and are very happy that this forum allows our response so that future guests can make an informed decision before making their plans. We try hard to make sure that each guests has the very best stay possible, and will contninue to do so!

As we tried unsuccessfully to explain to you when you checked in, we were never the Mosley Motel. We found out recently that Expedia loaded a very small amount of information wrong on some of their pages and they are working hard to correct this. We are 100% at their mercy, and I am sure that they did not do this to trick you in any way or to be "deceptive". In fact, by the time this gets posted I am told it will be taken care of! We are deeply sorry that this small mistake was such a huge issue for you! We are not sure why this warranted a terrible review, but we are working so hard to get this corrected and apologize profusely for the terrible inconvenience this must have caused you and your family during your vacation! You are truly the very first guests we have had that had their whole vacation ruined by a small typo on one line of their reservation! We would also like to point out that everything else had the correct name, address and phone number.

We are also very sorry you had an issue with the toilet in your guest bathroom. To be perfectly fair, we did completely install a brand new toilet within 15 minutes of your initial complaint that it was "flushing too slow". The new one worked perfectly by the time you returned to your room after dinner. We think that is pretty impressive service, especially in the evening! The plunger was left inadvertently in your room, and we would have retrieved it immediately had you just called down! We strongly feel that we reacted to your initial complaint in a fast, professional, and thorough manner and do not know what more we could have done since we completely corrected the problem. We apologize again for having put you through this terrible ordeal while you were gone from the property enjoying your dinner!

Thank you as well for the pictures showing the tiny rust spots in the bathroom. We try and remind everyone that we are a 50+ year old oceanfront resort with the normal daily challenges you might expect from a property that age and sitting a few feet from the Atlantic Ocean. We readily admit that there are small areas around the property that have rust - but we also remind you that this is not the same thing as being dirty! Please understand that these little spots are an ongoing battle, and we do our very best every day to stay ahead of them every day. Ocean = Rust - even at 5 star resorts!

As you may have discovered during your recent visit, they Florida Keys are somewhat remote. We wish we could run out and buy a soapdish to replace a damaged one - like the picture you took of the one in your guest bathroom. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of delivery schedules for even the most basic items you might take for granted living somewhere else. Our nearest big hardware chain is over a two hour trip away! We hope to have that particular one replaced ASAP as soon as the part comes in. Again, we are so sorry that this negatively effected your vacation!

Please again accept our sincere apologies. Even though we strongly feel that your review was quite unfair given the circumstances, we will continue to work hard on your suggestions and comments to try make sure that we present the very best affordable oceanfront resort in the Keys.

Todd & Becky
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2011

fine place to stay. i typically travel on a budget so this place worked for me. if you are expecting a 5 star joint this isnt your place. if you just want a clean place to rest your head at night then this is great. we had a third floor room which had a private balcony which was nice. the staff was very accomadating. we didnt use the pool but it looked nice. the showers had good water pressure. we spent the following night at a hotel across the street called the ocean view inn which was really cool, although a tad more expensive.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kris1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HarborLightsMotel, General Manager at Harbor Lights Motel, responded to this review, 18 February 2011
Thank you so much for trying us out! We enjoyed having you and hope you will come again soon!

Todd & Becky
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harbor Lights Motel

Property: Harbor Lights Motel
Address: 84951 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Islamorada
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Harbor Lights Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Harbor Lights Motel in the gorgeous Florida Keys. We are located at Mile Marker 85, which is right in the middle of the best fishing, diving, dining and entertainment in the area. The motel offers standard rooms, efficiencies and cottages. All our guests enjoy the fabulous water views, free boat ramp, dock, barbecue area, private tropical pool and beach. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Harbor Lights Hotel Islamorada
Harbor Lights Motel Islamorada, Florida - Florida Keys

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