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“Margarita in Paradise”
Review of Tropical Cottages

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Tropical Cottages
Ranked #12 of 17 Hotels in Marathon
Reviewed 3 August 2008

This July we went to Key West for my daughter's wedding. The hotel in Key West was totally misrepresented, the weather there was miserable, and the day we left we were caught in a monsoon and were completely soaked. We had already checked out of our hotel and had nowhere to go, and had to get in our rental car and drive to Marathon where we had booked one night at Tropical Cottages.

On the drive to Marathon, I honestly planned to spend the one night and drive straight to the airport in Ft. Lauderdale and come home. I was not a happy camper.

We arrived at Tropical Cottages and went inside where we met Debbie, the manager. We told her we couldn't sit down because we were soaking wet. She told us that she had two other cottages available and wanted to show them to us because the previous tenants in our reserved cottage had mentioned that the showerhead wasn't working at full power. We viewed the two cottages, which were very clean, very cozy, and the grounds were immaculate. I let my daughter pick because I was still wet and not in the best of spirits. She chose to go with the original wooden cabin that we had booked online. We drove up to our cottage, got the luggage out of the car and went inside to change into dry clothes.

I then went out front to our table with umbrella and chairs to try and decide how upset my daughter was going to be when I told her I just wanted to go home the next day. No sooner had I sat down than Debbie was driving down in the golf cart and asked if I would like a complimentary cocktail (she later said I looked like I had needed it! ha,ha). I said that would be nice and she went back to her cottage, made me a wonderful margarita and brought it back to me. She said if we wanted to watch DVD's in one of the vacant cabins later to let her know and she would let us pick through her library of videos. She also asked what we were thinking about doing for dinner - I didn't know any places there, so told her I wasn't sure what to do. I explained that my daughter was a vegetarian and she began listing off restaurants that would serve the excellent seafood I wanted, as well as a vegetarian alternative for my daughter.

At this point I was starting to feel much better about the trip and asked my daughter if she would like to delay our trip to Ft. Lauderdale by one day and stay there another night. She agreed and we told Debbie we would like to stay another night. We visited for a while and I told her I wished I could find a coconut and she said she would have her husband, Harv, get me one out of the trees before we left. That night we took her advice on one of the restaurants and had a wonderful dinner.

The next morning we woke up and it was lightly raining. Apparently we got to Florida in the rainy season. Debbie saw me and walked over to tell me that she felt terrible that my vacation was being ruined by the rain and once again offered to let us come up to the vacant cottage and look at DVDs rather than just watch the TV in our cottage. Now how many times have you had that happen on a vacation?!

When the rain stopped Debbie told me there was a beach right there (which I didn't know), so we went down to it and had a very nice time. When we got back from the beach and shopping there were two coconuts sitting on our table outside our cottage. That night we went to another restaurant Debbie suggested and she told us that after we got back to come to their cottage around 9:00 to watch the raccoons that play on their porch. (We're animal lovers).

After we returned from dinner, I wasn't paying attention to the time and a little after 9:00 there was a knock on the door; it was Harv telling us that the raccoons were there and to come on up. We went over and sat on their porch while they popped us popcorn and offered drinks. I felt like I was visiting an old friend! I can't tell you what a wonderful experience it was.

The cottages are exactly as shown on their web site. They were clean and bug free. They are close to a road, but there was no traffic noise. The palm trees and flowering trees with 2 hammocks is just a completely relaxing, beautiful atmosphere.

If you want wild night life, this isn't it; but if you want to feel like you are part of their family in a comfortable, clean, relaxing and beautiful area ... this is the place for you. I could not recommend them more highly, and I am not an easy person to please.

When it was time to leave the next day for Ft. Lauderdale renewed and rejuvenated, I felt like I was leaving old friends... which I know I was.

When I'm in Florida next time, I will go out of my way to go back to Marathon and stay and visit with my new friends.

Sandy, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

  • Stayed: July 2008
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Thank tie_dye_raven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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269 - 275 of 339 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2008

Hello to All Florida Keys Seekers,

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Tropical Cottages in May 2008. You will see her review below. And the follow up comment from the owner.

Truthfully, we had a really bad stay there. It all started great, with Debbie the owner introducing us to the place before she left for holidays - she's a very nice lady. I had booked the place online with my Amex, and when we arrived we were told they don't take Amex so we could pay cash in the morning. Cool, I thought because Amex is my only credit card.

When leading us to our cottage, Debbie was really trying to get us to check out another cottage with a newer interior. It seemed nice, but it was all white, and a bit tackier than the wooden rustic cottage we had booked, which is where we ended up staying.

But now I know why Debbie was trying to get us into the other cottage. Over the course of the night, we had:
- 3 large roaches
- 2 spiders drop on us in bed from the ceiling
- one 3.5" scropion in the bathroom and near our bed

This really freaked us out!!!! Especially the spiders droppping - one on my face, left me freaked me out all night.

And I swear to you that all this is true - not one ounce of exaggeration is coming from this Canadian. Needless to say, we had an awful night's sleep.
The final straw was the scropion incident. My girlfriend went to the bathroom at 6:30am, saw a roach, went to the kicthen to get something to kill it, came back to the bathroom and found this huge scorpion, a fat black one about 4" long. It scrurried through the walls, from bathroom to bedroom to kitchen, as had the cockroaches. I tried and tried to kill the thing but he got away under the walls.

By 7:00am, we were packed, completely exhuasted from no sleep, and I headed to the front office. No one was present so I waited around for 15 min. A young guy representing the place came out - heard our story - and said, scropions are a fact of life in south Florida. I said whether or not that is true, Tropical Cottages should have some warnings about this, because if we had kids, we would have FREAKED OUT at the estbalishment. Now imagine you have kids, wouldn't you like to be informed of the potential for scropions, not to mention roaches and spiders???

In the end, they offered no solution or compensation. We, in fact, had one more night booked there, but after the horrible night we endured, I absolutely refused to pay the $130/night and refused to stay one more night there with spiders dropping on my head.

As we drove off, we stopped one more time at the office to tell them we were leaving and that we were not going to pay. Once again, we waited but no one came. After 5 minutes, we left.

To put this in context, the only reason I am writing this review is to a) provide support to my girlfriend's original review and b) to respond to Debbie the owner who called me in Canada, asking me "To remove the untruthful review or else". This, I'm afraid, we can not do, as every word and event is true.

If they only cleaned up their act and sealed the walls, I think it would be better...

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank truthful_Canadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2008

We arrived at the Tropical Cottages smiling, happy and ready for a romantic weekend. Five minutes into our stay we saw a 3 inch cockroach roaming around our room. We weren't happy about it, but thought it to be an isolated event. We were watching TV that night and suddenly I spot a spider, decending slowly from the ceiling haging from its web! Like SPIDERMAN! It was awful! We then spotted two more roaches and my boyfriend saw more spiders decending from the ceiling beams hanging from their web. By this point we're grossed out, but it's late and we have nowhere to go. Right before bed I attempt to use the bathroom but before I get a chance to, I spot another GIGANTIC roach, I'm freaked out and we decide to leave the bathroom light on, because we think (not sure if we're correct) that they don't like the light. At 6:30am I wake up to use the bathroom again and the roach I saw in there before bed time is nowhere to be seen, but as I'm walking out of the bathroom I spot a smaller roach, I turn to get some toilet paper to kill it and when I turn back, the smaller roach is gone but I spot a SCORPION!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it, a 4 inch scorpion is walking around our room! I woke up my boyfriend screaming "there's a scorpion in our room, there's a scorpion in our room!!!" He couldn't believe it either! Neither of us had ever seen a scorpion in person. We tried to catch it, but it hid somewhere in the kitchenette. At this point we begin to pack and decide that we are leaving this dump IMMEDIATELY. I could have VERY EASILY stepped on top of that scorpion on my way into our out of the bathroom! Then my romantic weekend would have ended up at the hospital! And imagine if you had kids!!!
Anyway, we left that morning and found another hotel 10 minutes away that was CLEAN and didn't have a single creepy crawly.
BTW, When we told the person in charge about our "infestation" they said that it was Florida and that it was normal. THAT IS NOT TRUE. I LIVE in South Florida and I have stayed at MANY hotels from Palm Beach to the Keys, on both of Gulf Coast and the East Coast, and I have NEVER EVER EVER come across a scorpion!!! And I've never been to a hotel (in Florida or Hawaii or any place tropical) where spiders swing down from the cieling beams on ther webbing or is infested with roaches.
DO NOT STAY HERE.
It's a dump.
Go to ANY OTHER hotel instead.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Pollito13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
annMarathonFlorida, manager at Tropical Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2008

Scorpion and Roaches youhave the making of a fiction book! Unfortunately you left out some important parts of the story! Clue one, you left a note signed by you which I still have saying there was a,meaning one scorpion you saw in your cottge,no mention of roaches or spiders. Personally,I would never stay in a roach ,spider and scorpion infested room! A car would be an option if there was no place else to stay.You and your girlfried both stayed all night in the cottage and left in the morning without paying your bill ,amazing!! We work very hard to keep Tropical Cottages marathon Fl. exceptionally clean ,and do not appreciate fictitious stroies especailly from people who stay and don't pay!!!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2008

We stayed at the Tropical Cottages for one night in Feb 2008 on the way down to Key West. The hosts were fabulous. They were very welcoming and did everything to make sure we enjoyed our stay. Admittedly, there are no facilities on the property but if you want to experience some Florida Keys magic and have transport to get to restaurants etc, this is a great place to stay. I will go back!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Michaela_USA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2008

This is a warning to everybody , dont go there .

The place is a few feet from the highway , most of the cottages look nothing like the one shown on the website .

The accomodation is just a selection of wooden sheds on gravel , theres is noise from the highway and from aircraft landing in the nearby airfield .

There are so many great places to stay in the keys , I just dont know why anybody would ever want to stay there.

As for the reviews on this site , I really cant believe that they are genuine.

Give this place a big , big miss.

When I got there after booking online , and saw the location and state of the place - there was a garbage bin from the next door bank literally 3 feet from my shed ( cottage ) door. I said I was not satisfied and their site description was completely innacurrate . I left and went down the road and got a fantastic 3 star hotel with , pool , beach and full facilities at the same price.

Tropical Cottages have still charged my card ! Crooks as well .

I have travelled worlwide , lived in mud huts in thailand and stayed in 5 start hotels , each has their charm , but this place was downright terrible.

Stayed: April 2008
2  Thank torontotrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2008

I stayed at Tropical Cottages with my 2 teenage girls for 3 nights. The property hosts, Debbie & Harvey, were wonderful - so solicitous and accommodating. They really made us feel welcome and at home. They hosted cocktails (& refreshments suitable for my teens) on our first night and we got to meet the other guests. Our cottage had a microwave and full fridge, and was outfitted with plates, cups, etc. The property has bicycles to use, and a tandem kayak and canoe. I used a bicycle and the kayak. It is located in walking distance to an excellent yoga studio, if you're so inclined. We had excellent food at a number of local eateries, and especially enjoyed the deli on Colony Key and going to the beach at Sombrero Beach and CocoPlum Beach which had very few people and where we saw many wading birds and dolphins. Our trip to Pigeon Key was wonderful. The ride over on a boat was fun, and the guided tour was interesting and just enough for our group. We loved Marathon, and Tropical Cottages!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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Thank carolkayaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2008

Loved every minute I stayed here, my cottage was decorated in vintage Florida Keys style, a luxurious king size bed with lots of pillows and nice linens. I had a wicker sofa with pillows as well as a tiny table outside my front door, a great place to stargaze at night. Everything you need is on the property, outdoor hot tub, hammocks, bikes, a regular 5PM "Happy Hour" most evenings when the hosts pour great drinks on the house. I met lots of fun people while I stayed there and the hosts were quick to help me in many ways, I was treated like family. The Tropical Cottage team are available to assist you 24 hours around the clock, and they could teach a PhD class to people in the hospitality industry on how to take care of guests. I can't wait to get back to the Cottages.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled solo
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Thank Dances_with_D0lphins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tropical Cottages

Address: 243 61st Street Gulf, Marathon, FL 33050-2702
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Marathon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 17 Hotels in Marathon
Price Range: £104 - £211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Tropical Cottages 2*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Tropical Cottages Hotel Marathon
Tropical Cottages Marathon, Florida - Florida Keys

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