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Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 September 2008

Spent one night of a two night stay on this island and cannot remember a worse experience. From the moment we arrived at the resort we were bitten to death by the mosquito infestation that, according to the staff, is a regular occurence.

We were then shown to our 'Suites', in reality wooden huts that hadn't been touched since opening some twenty years ago and which benefitted from a jet engine air conditioing unit three feet from the bed. This left you the choice of no sleep or being eaten alive by the bugs.

We then sampled their beach which doesn't exist and also discovered that there was no where to swim that didn't have you swallowing tonnes of seaweed.

Finally that night we ate dinner having drinks and mosquito bites for appetisers followed by a two course, $100 a head, average meal.

The next day I asked to see the manager as he had not been there the night before and was greeted by the singularly rudest, most impertinent man I have ever met. I explained to him the situation and added that my girlfriend was diabetic and thus far more susceptible to bug bites.

His response was 'tough', I had prepaid and if I wanted to leave I would have to pay the full rate. I was astonished and after much haggling he relented to a 50% discount.

In all that one night cost me $2400 and having had such a wonderful experience at the Tides hotel in South Beach i would implore anyone considering this as a destination to seriously reconsider before you ruin your holiday.

I have never written a review before but my disappointment with the resort and disgust at our treatment by the management left me no choice but to try to warn off anyone in their right mind from this bombsite of a hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with friends
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26  Thank BMLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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745 - 751 of 848 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2008

Wow! What a romantic escape and great experience! I have wanted to visit this property for years and finally came across an off-season, mid-week rate that we could manage. We only stayed on the island one night and I certainly wish it had been longer but it still left a remarkable impression.

This is not a "hotel stay". This is an escape. From the moment you arrive at the small, elegant launch site on Little Torch Key, you know you are in for a treat. Your luggage is whisked away and you are welcomed to a lovely lounge where you are offered a rum punch and "checked in" while waiting for the Truman or one of the several other antique wooden launch boats used to transport you to the island.

After the brief ride across to the island with 2 other newly arriving couples, we were immediately warmly welcomed on the dock by a staff member. We were offered a brief tour of the island since most bungalows were not ready for arrivals (this was around 1pm). We were shown the spa, the library, pool, bar, etc. ending in the restaurant. He gave a bit of history of the island & was informative & funny while he gave his enthusiastic tour. I absolutely felt like we were arriving at Fantasy Island...remember that old show!?

When our group arrived at the restaurant, my husband & I were pulled aside by our guide who asked which one of us had booked this reservation (my heart sank as thoughts raced through my head..."oh no, they are overbooked....my credit card was declined...the reservation did not go through, etc. etc...." I told him I had made the reservation. He looked at my husband and said "wow, she must really love you because you are going to be staying our best suite!" He told us it was ready for us & proceeded to lead us there.

We walked out the back of the restaurant and just a short distance across the beach to our bungalow....there were 2 in a "building"....ours had 1 lower bungalow & 1 upper bungalow....they put your last name on the bungalow in wooden letters which is nice. We were the upper one (#2). Up the stairs & onto the very private deck where there was a table & chairs & 2 wooden, padded chaise lounges. Direct views of the water. We were surrounded by palm trees...it had a feel of an exotic treehouse to it as we were up in the trees, but the views were still clear & awesome. On the other side of the wraparound deck was a hot tub....not your average hot tub...it was like a huge wooden barrel. It had white curtains surrounding it for privacy. Very nice. (BTW, He told us only 2 suites have the hot tubs....#1 & #2)

We went into our bungalow which had a lovely livingroom area, dining table & chairs & then a huge king four-post bed with mosquito netting draped over it. Everything was Tommy Bahama style furniture & furnishings. This suite even offers His & Her bathrooms. One has an elegant claw foot tub (not sure if it actually had "claw feet", but it was that style of tub) from which you could look out glass doors toward the water; it has a separate dressing room/closet, separate toilet. On the other side of the bedroom, is the other bathroom which offers another separate closet/dressing room & a separate toilet and then a really cool outdoor shower. The room has a glass & wood door that you step into and it has wooden shutters open to the outdoors and 3 shower heads, including a rainforest shower head above...very cool shower.

The room has very high ceilings....all thatched with bamboo finishes. The floors are gray slate. Lots of wood details. Very, very lovely. It was absolutely dream like! I could not have asked for anything more lovely. One other thing about this particular suite....our balcony was fully covered by a roof which was a good thing because the weather was not great when we were there & we had rain off & on...which really did not matter one bit to us because we could still enjoy the views & watch the storms brewing. I noticed the other bungalows did not have any type of roof over their balconies....

The island itself is very lovely & well-maintained. It was VERY quiet. You almost feel like you need to speak in low voices...You truly could feel your stress melt away. There were lovely padded chaise lounge chairs all over the place....on docks, beaches, etc. Also plenty of hammocks everywhere. You difinitely would not have that annoying problem like at so many resorts of fighting for a spot at the pool or beach....absolutely none of that. We were also told that the property was completely full that night (which means 30 bungalows with a maximum of 60 guests on the island). We only really saw other people at the restaurant & at the pool bar. If you wanted to be by yourself, you would have no trouble finding a peaceful spot.

We had a couples massage at the spa which was "nice". Not the best ever (which it should have been given the price), nothing wrong with it, just would have expected it to be more of a unique & special experience.

Dinner was lovely. The setting is really spectacular with the tiki torches, the swaying palms, right on the beach or in the dining room if you prefer (which also looked lovely). Prices are ridiculous just as we had expected. 2 entrees, 2 desserts, 1 $60 bottle of wine...$200. Food was very good (as it should be). The tiny Key deer wandered through the dining area as we ate (seemed to annoy the staff, but it was a novelty to the guests). After dinner, we sat by the fire pit with a few other couples enjoying drinks & conversation.

Very very quiet on the island at night. The bed was very comfortable to us...pillow top. Super fluffy. I did begin to hear voices at 7am when staff apparently began arriving....I would not expect to be able to hear so easily...

We had breakfast in the dining room...on the deck....very quiet....we were the only ones there at 8am. Also, again, very expensive; no surprise. However, somewhat surprisingly, not very good & certainly don't get much for your money.

We relaxed in our bungalow until 11:30, called for our bags to be picked up & caught the 12:00 launch back to reality.

Sorry this is such a lenghty review, but it really was an impressive experience. This is also an expensive resort. I do not spend this kind of money without good cause. I am hoping my detailed review will give someone else the necessary information to decide if this is the type of place they could enjoy as much as my husband and I did.

On a final note, when I got home & checked my mailbox, there was the latest Travel & Leisure magazine listing the top hotels.....Little Palm Island #2 in the Continental US & #10 in the world.....I'm not surprised!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank traveltina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2008

It doesn't take long to realize that your visit to LIttle Palm Island will be an experience you won't soon forget. Warmly greeted at the welcome station by friendly staff and a tropical drink, a quick trip aboard the Truman takes you to an island that may only be three miles from the mainland, but feels a world away.

Attentive service is a key component of a stay at Little Palm Island - and the staff makes a point to know guests well enough to not only meet any request, but many times anticipate them. I have to admit, I was a initially concerned about not having TV or phones during our stay...but you soon learn that "doing nothing" as the resort motto says is not only possible, but a wonderful change from the norm. (And don't worry, cell phone service was never a problem so you can call back to check on kids if necessary. The resort just asks that you do it from your room.)

We had dinner at The Dining Room each night and found the experience amazing. It's hard to describe the feeling of sitting on the beach while you eat, watching the sunset as tropical breezes blow and key deer casually wander up to your table.

I would also highly recommend the daily snorkeling/dive trip. The boat takes you about four miles out to a coral reef that's alive with sharks, rays and fish of every size and color. I'm still amazed at how close we were to the sharks and how different it is seeing them in their own environment. Even the coral itself is beautiful and worth the trip.

And if you don't feel the need to go snorkeling, then simply lay by the pool or beach, wander the sandy paths or lay in the many hammocks scattered across the island. That's the magical thing about Little Palm Island - you have the choice to do as much or as little as you want. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Cheri H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2008

Amazing facility and we have traveled the world. We felt incredibly spoiled. Had planned on staying only 4 days and we loved it so much we decided to stay longer...even paid penalties on our flights back home just to stay a bit longer. They were very accomodating...all our wishes came true. We laugh about it now, but it was the wonderful honeymoon we had always wanted and never had before...thank you!!!

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank NoRegrets2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2008

Loved this place.

If they would hire a chef and get some tasty plates out, this place would be perfect.

Otherwise you will be dropping huge bills on mediocre, bland, inconsistent food.

Stayed: June 2008
7  Thank neptuno3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2008

My wife and I just returned from a few days at Little Palm Island, taking a little break from the kids. We had a wonderful time and would recommend this property to anyone looking for a very quiet, beautiful setting with excellent service.

Our bungalow was much larger than we expected, with a full separate living area in addition to a sizeable bedroom. Given one of the complaints of a reviewer on this site, we had requested a bungalow away from where the boats dock on the island. While they are quick to tell you they cannot guarantee you a specific room, our request for a bungalow away from the docks was taken care of.

We found the service, from the reservation process through our departure, to be simply outstanding. Having paid these or similar rates at other properties, especially in the Caribbean, there is simply no comparison. Everyone we encountered was friendly and eager to assist you or do something for you. My favorite part was because the place is so small everyone immediately learns you name and suite number -- so no constantly having to tell people which room to bill and the bartenders learned your drink tendencies right off the bat. Our drinks were in the blender as soon as the bartender saw me coming!

The commitment to guest comfort and happiness was simply outstanding. I literally watched one of the beach guys RACE down to prevent a waiter from accidentally delivering a lunch order to the wrong couple. There was a constant presence on or near the beach and pool so there was never a wait for anything you wanted or needed.

The one minor deviation from this was in the dining room. The atmosphere is very casual and they warn you in advance to expect a leisurely experience. It ocassionally was a little too leisurely as we had to wait a bit long for cocktails sometimes and found ourselves pouring our own wine here and there. But overall these are really A- examples among an A+ effort.

The food was excellent and the menu provided a range of options every night. A review I read here suggested the portions were too small. We were unable to finish our entrees every night so I'm not sure where that came from. Even many of the appetizers were very ample. We covered alot of different types of dishes and each was very flavorful and well-prepared.

The property itself is beautiful and well-maintained. It is also so QUIET. We couldn't believe it. I thought someone had said the place was half-full when we were there and we were frequently the only couple at the beach or pool. Lots of places to just relax in a variety of settings around the island. Perfect for couples.

The evenings were really nice as well. The sitting area by the bar as well as the beach fire pit lounge area were great places to have a drink and relax before and after dinner. There is different live music every night but all tastefully done and at a modest volume -- perfect.

We had a hiccup or two with housekeeping (a forgotten breakfast menu and etc.) that was quickly rectified and I don't think any effort at service no matter how strong is always 100% perfect over a series of days. It was no bother to us at all.

There are some bugs on the island. They never bothered me a bit. My wife is a magnet for bugs. She got a few bites early in the visit before she decided to use the bug wipes the hotel provides. Once she used them she never got another bite. I never had to use them at all.

We had an excellent time at Little Palm Island and will definitely be back. If given the choice of going here or the Caribbean in the near future, this will be our first choice.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ckolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2008

Stayed at Little Palm for 3 nights in April 2008. It was our second visit, our first being 5 years ago. Overall we enjoyed it very much. It feels like a distant island resort even though it’s Florida! It’s all adults (couples mostly) and combined with the no cell phone policy keeps it very civilized in all the common areas.

Room: Very comfortable. Bed fairly soft but we enjoyed it – nice pillows too. Couch and chairs in living room nice. Bathrooms clean and looked like fairly new sinks and granite countertops. Outdoor shower is fun.

Room Noise: Expected a bit more quiet at this price. We could easily hear the people in the adjacent room talking – but only from the middle “vanity/closet” area. From that area I heard a guy’s complete cell call to his teenager but in the bedroom or living room with their doors closed we could hardly hear him. Being a vanity area we could also hear the other woman using her hairdryer but, again, could not hear that from the bedroom or living room with those doors closed. The noise from the air vents when the central AC kicks in is fairly loud. Luckily, the weather was cool enough at night that it didn’t run often while sleeping.

Food: Overall very good. My wife says very good to excellent but I say good to very good. That’s mostly from just our particular tastes. The style of cooking is fairly creative often using fruit or hot spices in the dishes. I don’t care for sweet tastes with my meat and I don’t care for hot spices in general. That said, I enjoyed most dishes very much although the blackened tuna salad (like a Nicoise) was bland and the hamburger was, uh, overpriced (great fries though). Excellent Sunday brunch (and Saturday during our stay).

Food Tip: If you like seafood, sharing the Seafood Tower appetizer is terrific – try pairing it with the Albarino wine. It’s meant to share but is still so much food that an entrée after was too much. At the price, nearly $100, it should be substantial but calling it an appetizer confused us. The Tower and just another appetizer, or just a dessert, would have been plenty.

Drinks: We thought the cocktails were a bit weak and the “fun” drinks tended to be too sweet – my wife liked that more than I did.

Bugs: My wife got bit up some but that’s not unusual – bugs like her. I only got a couple bites but she got maybe 25-30. They were small bites so probably no see-ums or something like that. Probably should have used bug spray or the anti-bug wipe they provide in the room but she didn’t notice them until it was too late.

Staff is helpful, friendly, and efficient. Well polished routines.

Summary: There were some glitches but the overall experience was wonderful – didn’t want to leave – and will most certainly return for a third visit.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank MandL89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort

Address: 28500 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, FL 33042-5544
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Little Torch Key
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Little Torch Key
Price Range: £898 - £1,544 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Little Palm Island has been the escape of choice for presidents, high profile celebrities and savvy travelers alike. The magic of this island is its exclusive location where a captivating view exists in every direction. All Bungalow Suite are housed in thatched roof bungalows, with custom-made beds so plush some guests never want to leave; outdoor showers and all the requisite luxe amenities. There are no telephones or televisions, or guests under the age of 16 - the only distractions are the outdoors and each other. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Little Palm Island Hotel Little Torch Key
Little Palm Island Resort And Spa
Little Palm Island Fl
Hotel Little Palm Island
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort Little Torch Key, Florida - Florida Keys

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