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“Beautiful property, but service needs work.”
Review of Cheeca Lodge & Spa

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Cheeca Lodge & Spa
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 March 2010

We stayed here two nights on a recent swing through the Florida Keys and were somewhat apprehensive given some of the reviews we had read on this site. We went anyway because we had great memories from previous visits years before. The property has been almost completely rebuilt following a fire a couple of years ago. The main lodge is beautiful, with updated furnishings. Beware of the rooms in the "golf course" area, however - they are the least expensive choices but reminded us of a Day's Inn. They have been refurnished but not remodeled. We opted to stay in the main lodge and were happy with our room. The service throughout was lacking - it seemed that the staff had the right attitude but simply lacked training. Given the other choices in the area, we would stay here again with the hope that the service level improves.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JennAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,229 - 3,235 of 3,451 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2010

I had the feeling that the staff was brand new, from the moment I made the phone reservation. And in fact much of the staff IS new, since the place burned down and has been completely rebuilt. Most of them seem to know what they're doing, but the exceptions are almost laughable -- the inexperienced spa desk clerks, the mish-mash of a fitness schedule, the uninformed young phone reservations clerk, the phenomenally slow waitress we had at breakfast one day when we were trying to get out for a sail. I say overlook this stuff. The facility is gorgeous and you can't beat the site. The staff will surely break in with good management. The prices are silly, however, and they should come down a notch until the service has risen to commensurate level. The champagne at arrival helps, but it can't mask the fact that this is a very raw operation, just getting going again.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank coolgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2010

I'm seeing mixed reviews and we didn't see some of the trouble spots that some reviewers have mentioned. We were greeted with champagne for check in. Sat down at a desk, verified all of the reservation info., slid our credit card and the gentleman that took our car at valet already had our bags out of it and was waiting for our room number to take our things up. We stayed in one of the newly renovated main lodge rooms over looking the ocean. Gorgeous. The rooms were big, comfortably furnished, large plasma TV, sectional, wet bar, king bed, table & chairs, huge bathroom with a huge shower looking straight out over the hot tub and into the ocean. We were there for 8 days and had excellent service from the valets, beach & pool side servers, room service, spa (excellent therapist), house keeping, (turn down service!) and the concierge was helpful and knowledgeable. We ate at the restaurant for breakfast daily and one evening for dinner. The food was very good, my only complaint would be that our waiter for dinner and two of the different breakfast servers were very slow. I don't know if they were short staffed or what, but luckily we weren't in any kind of hurry that it was a real bother. The grounds are lush, colorful, gorgeous and impeccably kept. The pools were clean and heated. Lounge chairs are plentiful all around the resort. The tiki bar is cool and fun. I read another reviewers comment about a glass of $16. wine, but we were drinking Pina Coladas and Margaritas and ours were $8.00 each. Over all, I'd have to say it was one of our favorite resorts that we've stayed at. We are already looking forward to going back.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank weimtimedj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2010

While the physical appearance of the Lodge is appealing the lack of quality control is evident in everything from check in to the condition of the room and the wait staff. We had to call four times to have housekeeping come to the room to clean the bathroom that was not cleaned after the guest who was in the room left. This was after having waited three hours to check in and being informed that the previous guest had checked out late. There was no follow up from management to this issue and I specifically mentioned it when we checked out. This is an expensive property but does not offer the level of service one receives at a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank OHReds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2010

My husband and I found ourselves at Cheeca Lodge and Spa unexpectedly after our previous vacation plans were a complete bust. In an effort to save our planned vacation, I decided to book us at a four star resort in the Keys. Since neither my spouse or myself have ever stayed in the Keys, we were excited about the possibilities. I found Cheeca by doing a internet search and got a pretty good rate for a King Lagoon View Room. The resort public areas look just like the website which were absolutely gorgeous! Upon arrival we were greeted with champagne and given a tour of the resort. We were quickly checked in and driven to our room. The room was nicely appointed with warm tropical finishes. We had plenty of space including a large screened porch with comfortable chairs. Our room also included a large closet, small refrigerator, small coffee maker and a large 46 inch flat screen television. The lows of the room is that on the first day, we had to request room service to clean the room (big disappointment for my spouse). Also our coffee maker was broken and made a mess on the countertop, the hotel did replace the coffee maker, but placed the broken one on the ground outside our room which was odd. Another big low was that the shower lever was broken completely and the sink plug on one sink did not work. The next day maintenace came to fix the shower lever which was great, but the part to stop the dripping would take two days to come - which means that we spent the next day listening to constant drip. As for the sink plug, it never got fixed. One last issue, was the noise level. I do realize that this is a older resort, but better insolation around the door and windows would have made for a much better stay.

We did have the opportunity to dine at the hotel restaurant for breakfast and it was really, really good. These were the best pancakes that I ever had, but I should expect so - since our bill for two was $70. Once spot that we enjoyed was the large tiki hut. My spouse and I enjoyed a couple of cocktails and small plates. I have to say that they make the best margarita that I have ever had, so if you have the opportunity please try the Agave Margarita as you will not be disappointed.

Overall, I think that Cheeca was a nice resort. The $39 resort fee actually went towards things you can actually use such as bikes, golf clubs, kayaks, DVD rentals and much more unlike other four star resorts in which I have visited.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MartikaTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2010

My first visit to the Keys and my first visit to the Cheeca Lodge.

We stayed in one of the brand new, Premier Oceanfront Suites. The room itself was beautiful, well laid out and appointed, and had a spectacular view. I wonder how it will hold up over the next five or more years, but for now it is an excellent space with a fabulous bathroom, balcony, and sitting area.

Despite the bank vault heavy door to the unit, though, the walls seemed thin. Hallway noise could be strangely obtrusive, and above unit bathroom noises were common. Somewhat disappointing in the regard as I had assumed rock solid construction.

The arrival experience is a bit confusing as their valet/bell staff appeared somewhat understaffed. Overall we were greeted, checked in, introduced to the property, and taken to our room in adequate fashion.

The spa is completely forgettable. The staff was larger poor and the services mediocre.

The Atlantic's Edge restaurant is completely hit or miss. The food is average at best, completely mediocre for the price. In fact, given the quality of the meal (including a creme brûlée they didn't even bother to set? It was a complete soup) the prices were extortionary. Room service was decent to good, but each morning the setting became noticeably more spare. Ceramic containers replaced by plastic. Paper cups in favor of glassware or mugs. One syrup instead of two. Etc. Not impressive. On the other hand, the Tiki Bar was great and the Wagyu hamburger (which I would usually consider a waste of time) was phenomenal.

The grounds were meticulously maintained and the beach marvelously raked, cleaned, and well appointed for sunbathing each morning. High marks here.

The property seems to be heavily frequented by East Coasters, complete with their cultural foibles. Not my favorite crowd, but not nearly as bad as could be assumed in some cases. The property was host to several weddings over the weekend, complete with drunken morons roaming the lodge halls at 4am causing a major commotion. Security was relatively quick to respond but still highly annoying.

All in all I felt the room and the view made up for many of th negatives. I doubt I will be back to the Keys any time soon but I'm fairly certain Cheeca has to be one of the, if not the, premier larger resorts in the area. I give it an overall rating of three stars out of five. It's simply not a five star experience despite the nearly five star price.

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1  Thank CM_ND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2010

Nay-sayers are goofy. Cheeca is magnificent, new rooms awesome (as good as any I've experienced in decades of resort travel), service good and friendly, food excellent.
Having stayed in 'old' Cheeca over past 15 years, and now the new, this is bliss -- and don't be delected by negative comments from others.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jms-ny-usa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Address: 81801 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 82, Islamorada, FL 33036-3631
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
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Islamorada
Price Range: £246 - £509 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Florida
Cheeca Lodge And Spa
Cheeca Lodge Islamorada
Cheeca Lodge & Spa Islamorada, Florida - Florida Keys

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