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“Wow, absolutely fantastic!!!!”
Review of Cheeca Lodge & Spa

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Cheeca Lodge & Spa
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas texas
1 review
“Wow, absolutely fantastic!!!!”
Reviewed 25 March 2010

I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for luxury accomodations in a lush, tranquil environment. The hotel was beautiful and the staff was delightful. We dined onsite and the food was stellar; the sushi was world class! The spa was amazing, the grounds reminded me of being in Hawaii. We booked a deep sea fishing trip offered by the resort and had a great time. Can't think of enough nice things to say about this place. My partner and I own a high end service company and we were impressed.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DeborahDallastexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2010

Cheeca is a beautiful resort with a gorgeous (if hard as rock) beach. New main building is a lovely improvement over the old layout, with wonderful spaces to have a cup of coffee in the morning with your paper, or a cocktail in the evening. Food is expensive but very nice. We ate good meals in both the new sushi restaurant and the main dining room.

The big issue is the dining room service, and lack of clear management there. In fact, during our week there we never met a manager, which I think is a big mistake. It certainly doesn't cost anything for a manager or principal to take the time to walk around and check on guests, in fact it would go a long way there. The dining room was overwhelmed at both breakfast and dinner, and it wasn't even spring break yet. We had one smiling, charming waiter at breakfast one day who was delightful, but he was notable in the fact that he was the only one who was noticeably friendly. Most waiters were harried, inefficient or non-existent. One waiter for our $500 dinner at the main dining room was simply terrible. I will say that the servers on the beach were smiling, cheerful, helpful servers who work very hard traipsing up and down the beach serving guests very well. The problems were in the dining room, and while the food was delicious, a bad service experience kind of rankles when you are spending so much. This was our big disappointment.

Some of the rooms are a little tired, so check with reservations about the specific condition of your room. Our room in the newly built main lodge was spacious and lovely, and it is very convenient to be in the lodge if you have kids coming and going.

Snorkeling trip run by the lodge is very reasonable at $45.00. The reef is not far, but not fabulous. Don't bother if you expect a National Geographic moment, but it is a fine "beginner" reef especially for families. Boat staff is very nice and friendly, as are the beach staff at the watersports desk. Lots of nice options for activities on the beach. If you want to ride a bike around the property or surrounding neighborhoods, get one early or check back throughout the day because they go fast, but also get returned often.

One irritating thing- check out is at 11:00 am, and I was kind of insulted to find out that if you overstay past 11:00 their system will make your key inoperable and they charge a fee of HALF your daily room cost. That felt harsh and a bit insulting at $500. per day. You can whine to desk staff and they will rekey your key so that it works for a little while if you tell them you need a bit more time, but that is pretty un-guest-friendly.

These are not enough complaints to recommend against the place. You will probably not find a prettier hotel/property in the keys.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank family1Minnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Paul, MN
1 review
Reviewed 19 March 2010

Had stayed at Cheeca previously and enjoyed it greatly. The renovations are wonderful and the physical plant is in great shape. The service is terrible at its best, particularly at the restaurants. Not unusual to wait 20 minutes for a table at breakfast and then wait another 20 minutes for a waiter to show up. At the fine dining restaurant, Atlantics Edge the food was very good, albeit expensive, but once again the service was terrible, it was necessary to ask someone to find our waiter three times over the course of a meal. When he was available he was arrogant and rude. During a four day stay a member of senior management was never spotted. When a complaint was registered when checking out, they asked I speak with Otis the dining room manager, who indicated he was sorry but they were very busy. If Cheeca wants to be a five star resort they need to find some management! Very unfortunate they have screwed up a great opportunity.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank PChris24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Memphis
1 review
Reviewed 15 March 2010

For the past 4 years my extended family and I have traveled to the keys and stayed at the Cheeca Lodge with the exception of last year due to the New Year's Eve fire. In that year we stayed at Hawks Cay Resort.

Upon hearing the news that the lodge had been rebuilt we made plans to stay at the resort once again. We were alarmed at reading some of the posted reviews and even considered canceling our reservation and returning to Hawks Cay Resort. We called and spoke to the manager, and he assured us that although they did have some bumps in the road when they first reopened that by the time we arrive all the kinks would be worked out.

I am pleased to say that he was correct. We had a wonderful time. We booked five Ocean view king rooms in the lodge. The rooms were fantastic. Each room was clean and ready when we arrived at check-in.

Some of the earlier reviews complained about the staff lacking training - our experience was just the opposite. The staff at the front desk was polished and checked all five couples into our rooms quickly. All of the food services staff members that we were exposed to were equally great. Cali, Eric and Anastasi (not sure about the spelling) were notable standouts. Quite a few of the staff members were local residents. I believe everyone was trying to make an extra effort in delivering quality service beyond any experience that I have had at other resorts. The food quality was also great. All experiences at the restaurants, poolside and the tiki bar were positive.

The water sports desk on the beach was also top notch. They provided great suggestions to make our stay fun for the adults and children.

I would highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank johns64memphis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianapolis
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2010

We spent a week at the resort in late Feb. Had been planning this trip several months and were really looking forward to it. We booked an oceanfront room in the main lodge and as other reviewers have described, it was beautiful. Had this fantastic bowl shaped tub (as seen in the resort's advertising) on the balcony and we were so looking forward to spending time there. Unfortunately, we discovered our first evening as we anticipated a glass of wine and some moonlight, the hot water didn't work. We made the front desk aware on our second day and they said they'd have engineering look into it- same response we got on day 3, day 4 ( different lady working the front desk responded to my complaint with "Oh yeah, I think the people in that room last week said the same thing" ) and finally on day 5 by taking the time to wait at the concierge's desk on someone from engineering to meet me and by staying in the room the 1/2 hour it took to fix, we finally had hot water and could enjoy the tub. No apologies or offers from the management. Just a little thing, but for the price we paid to have the amenities of that room it would have been nice to do more than just look at!!
But, on to the rest of the folks working there. There is clearly a tremendous amount of pride on the part of folks working in other areas of the hotel. I agree with the reviewer who said a lot of new employees and they are still finding their way (only one bad lunch experience with slow service- but no hurry-no worry!) Having said that, I would add that Matty, one of the bartenders, got more done for us in response to observations/comments we had that anyone at the front desk. One shining example, my husband had a dental emergency while we were there and when he asked the concierge for assistance, she printed off a list of dentists in the area and handed him the sheet. We went to lunch and Matty was working the bar- he not only reviewed the list with us, but got on the phone, arranged the appointment, got the transportation covered and did it in less than 10 minutes! What a guy- we hadn't even asked for his help, he just overheard us discussing the issue. The service people went out of their way to be of assistance, from the bartenders, the maitre'd, housekeeping etc., so I'm sure with time and experience (hopefully the front desk will improve) and the resort as a whole will be exceptional.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jbags76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2010

My fiance proposed to me at this resort and it was most AMAZING weekend we could have ever had. We got to enjoy the days by bike riding, kayaking, having delicious food, our own private cabana and some SPA time. The restaurant is a bit pricy but not outrageous and the food was fabulous!! We visit the Florida Keys about 8 times a year and this is by far the most beautiful resort we have been to.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JuC8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
2 reviews
Reviewed 7 March 2010

Let me first say that I was recommended to come to Cheeca Lodge by a friend who had been coming here for the last 13 years. Knowing that personality and how critical she could be about hotels, I didn't hesitate to book. But, I also looked on trip advisor to get other people's takes on the hotel. And, it is true. If you had a fabulous time, you are less likely to write it about. If you had a bad experience,you want the world to know. Think about it this way. If 100 people stayed at this hotel, and 5 had a bad experience, you are going to hear from those 5. The other 95% may or may not write, but that's 95%!
Anyway, have to say that this was one of the most beautiful hotels and stays I've had in my life. Everything was perfect. From the Champagne upon check in, to the views, to the hospitality...not a complaint about one thing. I HIGHLY recommend the oceanview room with the balcony bathtub. No details...experience it for yourself. Food is fabulous. Buffet breakfast is delicious. And staff from the concierge to the maid service was impecable. Also, you don't get those petty charges for simple things that other hotels charge, like internet service, recreation, bottles of water.

No, I don't work for the hotel. I think I might when I retire. This place gets a HUGE thumbs up from me!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bodydome
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

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 Florida
Cheeca Lodge And Spa
Cheeca Lodge Islamorada
Cheeca Lodge & Spa Islamorada, Florida - Florida Keys

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