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“Over-Rated, not worth the money”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Cheeca Lodge & Spa

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Cheeca Lodge & Spa
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Suburban Philadelphia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Over-Rated, not worth the money”
Reviewed 6 January 2010

Just got back from a 5 day trip between Christmas and NY, just after the resort re-opened after the fire and renovations. We booked a 1 bedroom suite with a golf course view (we have 3 kids and we wanted the kitchen to make some quick meals for them, including our 8 month old). We were located in the 800 building (J), which was a walk to the main hotel. While we were fine with the location, the room itself was not worth the amount of money we paid ($400/night). The rooms are very old inside - it seems nothing has been updated in about 15+ years. A few lists of our complaints:
-our view was of the golf course alright, but it was of the one hole that is not open yet because this is where they were keeping the enormous dump for the renovations. There were huge piles of debris and other construction items that were not very pleasant to look at.
-the kitchens and bathrooms were very poorly outfitted - the cabinetry was all particle board that had seen it's last day many days ago, the faucet fixtures were broken or dripping, the small refrigerator moved out from the wall anytime I opened it - just disgusting!
-the ceiling in the bathroom sink area was peeling and actually fell on my head when I was blow drying my hair (the blow dryers are a joke by the way - bring you own!), some of the switches for lights were not working and they were filthy with fingerprints. The turning knob to open the slats for the bathroom window was actually broken (but still sitting in the slot), so we couldn't open the window, one of the bedroom light bulbs was burned out, so I left it on the night side table for housekeeping to change - they never did - the bulb was still sitting there the day we checked out and needless to say - I never did any reading in bed.
-the draperies and bedspreads were quite sub-par - again they looked like something out of the 80's.
-we had to make so many requests for things that should have been in our room that were not - a pack and play for the baby, tea bags and sweetner for the coffee and tea, a room service menu, extra pillows and blankets for the pull out couch for the kids, on and on. We waited for 2 days for the free high speed internet connection to work in our section of the resort.
-I tried reaching housekeeping, the conceriege and room service for over 35 minutes one day to only continue to get a busy signal. I thought that to be so odd that all lines were busy at the exact same time - turns out it was the phone that was broken. When I finally got through to room service - I was told I could just dial 4444 - but no where on the phone does it say that.
-The service was very slow at the resort and it seemed as if they did not have enough employees hired yet. We found out that about 10 called out sick on Christmas Eve, so the hotel fired them all.
-We paid a resort fee of $39/day/room to include kayaks, bikes, and a few other ridiculous things - there were neve enough bikes - there was always always a wait to try to ride and by then it was the middle of the afternoon. There were never, ever enough lounge chairs on the beach. If you didn't go down at 7:30 am and get your chairs set up, you were out of luck!
The food was average, although the sushi at Nikai was excellent - but be prepared to wait over 45 minutes before getting it. The other restaurants were very limited on choices and again the service was extremely slow. We waited over 50 minutes for teh kids to get buttered spaghetti and chicken fingers but when the food finally arrived, the pasta was cold, had no butter on it. I requested butter, salt and pepper shakers (which were not on the tables) and ketchup 2 times before getting up myself and tracking the hostess down and waited by the kitchen doors while she went back for the items. The only good thing about the breakfast buffet was you could go up and serve yourself - meaning no wait! But I wouldn't rave about the buffet at all - hard bagels, running eggs, sausage and bacon that wasn't cooked through and no oatmeal at all - this was extra $$ and had to be ordered off the ala-carte menu.
-On NYE, they did do a nice fireworks display from a barge, but upon returning to our room with our 3 kids at 12:45 am - we were locked out, keys not working. My husband had to return 2 times to get new keys while I waited in the dark with 3 tired children. The first time we were told that our cell phones do something to the magnetic strips on the back of the cards. The second time, my husband requested the manager to come and open the door.

All in all, this resort was not worth the price we paid and I don't think we would ever return. The manager did give up our resort fee back as a credit (which is a rip off anyway since they don't have enough bikes and kayaks) and an additional $50/night credit after speaking with him on numerous times about our concerns, but we had to track him down- and it still has not changed our mind to return anytime soon.

Friends of ours stayed in the new main lodge and their accomodations were lovely - but the room was twice the cost as ours and I think $400-500/night is the most I would ever spend on a hotel room with small children. We stayed in a brand new beach front room at the Ritz in Biscayne that was less that what we paid here - Cheeca is not worth it!!

Good luck if you go but pack your patience - your going to need them.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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1 Thank melissahaub
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Additional Information about Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Property: Cheeca Lodge & Spa
Address: 81801 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 82, Islamorada, FL 33036-3631
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Islamorada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Islamorada
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Cheeca Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 214
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The "Queen of the Florida Keys", Cheeca Lodge & Spa has been an exclusive hideaway for celebrities, business leaders and U.S. Presidents for over 70 years. Set on 27 private oceanfront acres in Islamorada, Cheeca has been constructed with a porte-cochere entrance, traditional Florida Keys architecture, chic West Indies décor, and spirited tradition of “barefoot elegance” -- a term coined at Cheeca. Along with a new breakfast bistro and lobby bar, Cheeca boasts three distinctive restaurants: Nikai Sushi Bar and Lounge offering the Florida Keys’ freshest sushi, Asian-inspired fare and a unique selection of Japanese sake and wine; Atlantic’s Edge with a seasonal fine-dining menu of fresh local seafood, prime steaks and organic local produce; and its family-friendly Limoncello Italian restaurant serving up Tuscan favorites in a casually rustic setting. Cheeca Lodge & Spa features 2,400 square-feet of retail shops with a Cheeca Signature store featuring the latest designer fashions and accessories. An expanded roster of activities include offshore and backcountry fishing, parasailing, sightseeing, eco-tours, paddleboards, water trikes, kayaks, golf, tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard and more. The resort’s signature features include a classic 525’ wooden fishing pier, tropical gardens, crossing palms archway, nature trails, Tahitian-style Spa Lagoon, spectacular purple sunsets, 1100 feet of beaches, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, Camp Cheeca children’s environmental activity program, and access to world-class sportfishing. Located just 90 minutes south of Miami International Airport in the Florida Keys, Cheeca Lodge & Spa is just a few hours by air or drive from major East Coast U.S. cities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cheeca Hotel Islamorada
Cheeca Resort Islamorada
Cheeca Lodge And Spa
Cheeca Lodge Florida
Cheeca Lodge Islamorada
Cheeca Lodge & Spa Islamorada, Florida - Florida Keys

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