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“Fabulous View from room, shame about the beach”

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Banana Bay Resort and Marina Marathon
Ranked #7 of 17 Hotels in Marathon
Reviewed 7 September 2008

Just returned to the UK after a month plus in Florida, stayed at Banana Bay for 5 nights. having stayed there almost every year for the past 10 years.

Although I emailed [--] 5 days prior to my booking to find out if all was OK after the hurricane passed over I did not get a reply.

On arrival we find that the beach was out of bounds, the docks were under re construction, the water side Tiki bar was closed and all the area around the dock was a construction site we were not happy. We understand that this work had to be completed after the previous hurrican damage, we stayed there then too, but the lack of communication is unacceptable.

I complained bitterly to reception who said they would pass my comments on the the manager, we heard nothing further.

The hotel had the opportunity to tell us this prior to arrival, so we could decide whether to book an alternative hotel, which would have been the professional thing to do, but they chose not to reply to my email.

To add insult to injury they also tried to put us in a different room to that we had booked, we complained and were moved to the correct room.

We notice that since we have returned to the UK the hotels web site has been updated, but when we booked it was not accurate.

Having said all that the view from our room was fabulous, and the staff were all friendly and helpful, I think they need better management in place though.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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Thank GME928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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875 - 881 of 1,017 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2008

I have been reading the varying reviews about Banana Bay, Marathon and just can't resist. Perhaps, when traveling to the Keys a person should do a little research. History is a key element here. Banana Bay was originally a vision or dream if you will and the largest majority of plants on the property were hand carried and planted in the late 40's and 50's. If you are looking for a Hilton type experience then perhaps this is not the place for you, but if you want to experience the actual feel (lifestyle) of the keys then don't pass this up. If you are taking a vacation to get away from the rat race then why not experience the full "laid back" way of life. Submerse yourself so to speak. Banana Bay is the only resort left that has maintained and preserved the true feel of paradise. They have not traded their palm and banana trees for mulch and gravel. From the moment you drive away from the office you begin to experience the truest feel of paradise. The pool is the largest fresh water pool in the keys and the upkeep is excellent. If you take the time to talk to the staff they will bring you into their world and make you feel like "family". This resort almost disappeared but with the help of the staff, the locals and an awesome GM they have survived while the other eclectic resorts around them fall. They have survived multiple storms of nature as well as the corporate kind. No they don't have room service and yes there may be a little mold here and there but it's the keys folks. Salt water and humidity are untamed forces. Currently they are undergoing huge renovations. Their marina was in the top 5 of the keys until Wilma came home to roost. A new marina is being built right now. Prior to Wilma the tiki bar on the water was in constant battle between first and second best sunset, with the Westin in Key West as the only true competition. The Point (furthest tip of the property) is an incredible place to hang out and have a drink, lay in the sun or just admire the beautiful view. Breakfast is provided daily and you can order great food for the other meals. If you want the truest experience of a Keys vacation this is the place to stay. You will be in the heart of the Keys and only a short drive in either direction to Key West or Key Largo. It's quiet and private and a perfect place to just get away. Oh yea, as for the pets...well to me that's kind of like taking the kids. Yes it's a family place but it's not Disney Land. If you come here to relax and get away ...well you get the point. Happy vacationing.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MissyKowalewski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2008

My boyfriend and I decided to go to Banana Bay before we had to go back to college. We read some reviews saying that this place was terrible but that was completely false. We had the time of our lifes.
The atmosphere of the hotel was wonderful. The whole place was shaded with lush, tropical greenery. The hotel room was clean and comfortable. The pool was large, warm and always fun. It was a fresh water pool, which means we didn't have to choke on clourine every 5 minutes. There was also a nice hot tub that provided awesome endings to awesome days.
Sombrero Public beach was a .5 mile down the road, but I must insist that you go to Bahia Honda. It is about 12 miles down the road and cost about $5-$10 to get in but it is the most beautiful place that I have ever been to.
Just a few negatives would be that the marina wasn't fixed yet, and the "beach" was not desirable. For the price Banana Bay is the best deal. You can always drive to local beautiful beaches.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank jrthomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2008

What a wonderful hotel... the whole experience was great, friendly and helpful at the front desk, our room was just beautiful, very romantic, beds were very comfortable, room was very clean. The property was very quite, off the main road so no road noise, lots of trees and some real cool paths to walk along. the pool was alway nice and clean and a good size, there is a tiki bar at the pool and it was nice to have on those real hot pool days. The marina was still under constuction but looks as it will be real nice when done, no noise from the workers while we were there, we were a little worried that we would hear them working but didnt at all. This IS a great place to stay, we have stayed at 3 other hotels and this one by far is the best.
Castaways is a nice restaurant (hamburgers were great) and a great place for lunch is Key Colony Inn (just north of the hotel) they have the best fish, large portions and if you go for lunch 11-2:30, prices range around 10.00. To Snorkel go to Robbie's (north of the hotel) they have the nicest boats and the trips are not overly packed, most trips pack 40 people if not more on them and Robbie's takes about 15-20 out. Hope this helps you on your trip and have a great time, dont forget you sunblock!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank scooby63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2008

So the reviews of this hotel were very mixed, but I have to say that I really enjoyed myself. It isn't a big chain hotel, but the keys didn't seem to have very many of those, which is part of their charm.

The hotel was pretty well kept, and our room was spacious and comfortable. We had two double beds in the "hotel" part of the resort. The bathroom was clean, as were the linens. The appointments were very standard, and the maid service was prompt and friendly.

There is a small sunning beach at the hotel. It was very pleasant to sit in the shade of palm trees to watch the flawless sunset and sip a glass of wine or a beer. You can't dip your toes in the water from it, as it is raised up on concrete. However, this seems to be a very normal issue in the keys. The keys are not home to stretches of white sand beaches. The water is extremely shallow, the waves are nonexistent, and the sea floor is covered in sea grass. There are small public beaches, and national parks which have small sandy portions. So if you want your fill of ocean swimming you'll have to visit one of those.

There is a truly beautiful pool at the hotel, which was warmed to almost bathing temperatures by the sun and surrounded by tropical plants. There is a tiki bar at the pool which serves a pretty tasty daiqiri, or a nice sandwich. The pool area is very child friendly, and the hotel does not seem to attract a rowdy crowd.

There is a fairly nice, free continental breakfast, served poolside every morning. Your typical muffins, donuts, hard boiled eggs, and juice fair.

The staff was kind of a mixed bag. The two people who checked me in were friendly, polite and accommodating. We had a small hot water problem the first day, which was immediately fixed by their on site repairmen, a very friendly chap. One of the assistant managers, and particularly the person watching over the breakfast were a little on the rude side.

All in all, a wonderful experience, in a really pretty keys style hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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Thank ostara33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2008

Stayed here with my credit card points in May with 2 friends. We enjoyed our time at the pool, which was clean, nice sized and had plenty of chairs in the sun with a poolside bar.
The rooms are worn, and not the cleanest place I've ever been. On getting up the next morning we noticed the sheets were stained and the comforter had some dried something or other on it - we didn't examine it too carefully - don't really want to know what we slept under.
The staff was very nice - good food recommendations, and provided us with a roll away bed, which so uncomfortable we didn't really use it. The ground looked nice, but could have used a good clean-up as well.
Probably won't stay there again, even though it was free.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank Kathy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2008

We called at several motels on the us1 in Marathon before deciding on the banana bay, which was by far the best and most beautiful, (the same price per night as the Black fin motel next door which had no view, no windows and certainly no charisma) The rooms with the ocean view were by far the best, waking up to that view and marina was just perfect, Breakfast was much appreciated before the drive into key west, We found no fault with cleanliness anywhere in the resort and unlike other guest reviews found it very family orientated. The tennis was free and the pool was outstanding. The guy on the front desk was very helpful and recommended the bar next door Hurricanes for food within walking distance it was nice to walk and enjoy a beer. This meal was the best we ate in the whole of Florida and the nachos the best EVER!

We could find no fault with our stay at Banana bay and are amazed that others could. It was the perfect introduction to the Keys and I hope we will be back

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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Thank justblinds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banana Bay Resort and Marina Marathon

Address: 4590 Overseas Hwy, Mile Marker 49 1/2, Marathon, FL 33050-2332
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Marathon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 17 Hotels in Marathon
Price Range: £159 - £393 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Banana Bay Resort and Marina Marathon 3*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the newly renovated Banana Bay Resort & Marina, a part of the B unlimited brand located in beautiful Marathon Key! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banana Bay Resort And Marina Marathon Hotel Marathon
Banana Bay Resort And Marina Marathon Florida - Florida Keys

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