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Hawks Cay Resort – a Florida Keys Royal Rip-Off?

Hawks Cay Resort  Florida Keys PVC Pipe RailingI just spent a weekend on the beautiful Florida Keys and I spent two nights at the self-proclaimed luxurious Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key, near the town of Marathon. Actually, it might have been part of the official town of Marathon, Fl., I just couldn’t really tell where the town started and ended.

So anyway, here’s my official review of the Hawks Cay Resort, complete with photos and my official recommendation at the end of my sad tale.

Sad tale.

That should tell you something about my stay at Hawks Cay Resort. Sometimes it’s the little things that can mess up an experience. Little things like plastic PVC pipes used as stair railings – yes, that’s PVC tubing in the pic on the right!

Let me start with the things I liked about Hawks Cay Resort. The lobby was beautiful. The pools were nice. The room was above average in size, and had a fridge and a nice bed. I guess there were some nice amenities also, such as free valet parking, a nice fitness center and kayak rentals in the salt water pond on the grounds. That would have been nice if someone had told me about them. They didn’t and I didn’t find out about all of the great things I could do there until I was checking out and asked about the $20 a night “resort” fee added to my already $200 + nightly room rate. That’s when the courteus staff  told me all the things I had missed out on.

Would have been nice if they had told me upon check-in, not check-out, but I guess it slipped their minds at the time. You might ask yourself, “Clayton, silly boy, why didn’t you read the information folder that’s always on the table in your hotel room. You know the one with restaurant menus, emergency numbers, local attractions, etc. Every hotel has them.” Not this one, or at least not our room.

I should have known something was a little off about this place when we first walked in our room and we noticed there were no waste baskets. Not one.  I saw a housekeeping staff in the hallway and told her we didn’t have a waste basket in our room. She looked at me a little strangely and then said “oh, do you want a waste basket for your room?”  Yes, I told her. She looked at me again for a second and then turned and walked away. I thought to myself “Do you want me to throw my garbage on the floor or something?”

So we go to dinner and when we get back, we have a nice waste basket in the bathroom. Mission accomplished. Risa and I thought a nice cold beverage would hit the spot so I searched for the ice bucket…there wasn’t one. I called down to the front desk and told them we didn’t have an ice bucket in our room. “One is on the way up, they told me.”  “Good,” I thought another mission accomplished.

Then Risa took a shower and wasn’t the least bit happy that the shower drained so slowly that she was standing in two inches of soapy water when she finished. “Silly girl probably left the drain closed,” I said to myself as I got in the shower. “A place like this could never have a clogged drain.” Oh, how wrong I was and there I was, standing in two inches of soapy, grimy water as I finished my shower. It was like being in college again, living in some slummy apartment with bad plumbing, except now I was paying in one night was I used to pay for a month. Not good.

And the ice bucket never arrived either.

Hawks Cay Resort  Florida Keys NoteThe next morning, as we heading out for our drive to Key West, Risa and I stopped at the front desk to tell them about the clogged shower drain. “Our shower doesn’t drain properly and there was water up to top of my ankle when I finished”, I said pointing to my ankle. The hotel associate was very concerned and even leaned over the counter to see how big my ankle was. “I am sorry, Mr. Closson, we will have someone fix your drain for you right away.” “Thanks,” I told him and added that we didn’t have an ice bucket in our room and we called about it last night. “You want an ice bucket? No problem Mr. Closson. Is there anything else we can do for you?” 

Nope. Just a cleared bathtub drain and ice bucket is all I need, thank you.

When we got back from our day, we found a nice note from someone name SR. Check it out. The drain was fixed! I wished I had a “that was easy” button. I would have pushed it.

Hawks Cay Resort Florida Keys Tub Filled With WaterI jumped in the shower, ready to enjoy the fresh clean water, after a day in almost 100 degree Florida heat. The water came gushing down, gloriously soothing and refreshing, washing away the dust and sand of the day and leaving it… in the tub. The f’ing drain wasn’t unclogged after all. The damn tub filled up to my ankles again

A little perturbed, I really looked forward to a cold beverage and reached for the ice bucket I had now asked for twice. It wasn’t there. They hadn’t brought one!

I gave up and went down to the ice machine with some glasses and filled them. And each time I wanted more ice, I had to bring my glass down to the end of the hall and fill it. So much for customer service.

You get the idea. The drain never did work right, which isn’t really acceptable for a place that calls itself a luxury resort. Either is plastic PVC tubing used as stair rails. Are you kidding me?

And in the end, I never did get my darn ice bucket. So here’s my official recommendation of the Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key in the Florida Keys – I would NOT recommend it to family and friends.

It’s pretty nice – nice pool, nice views from the rooms, I’ll give them that. But it’s not worth the money and I don’t understand why I couldn’t have an ice bucket…

Is that too much to ask for almost $250 a night?

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  1. I bet hair came off your back and clogged the sink.
    No seriously, that’s a big bummer. I checked on tripadvisor.com (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g34185-d271856-Reviews-Hawks_Cay_Resort-Duck_Key_Florida_Keys_Florida.html) and the reviews, for the most part, look pretty good.

    Posted by: Dave | May 22, 2008
  2. I checked trip advisor also (something I recommend everyone traveling do) and that’s what made it all the stranger. It gets great reviews and I couldn’t believe my experience. Maybe it was just a bunch of small random things that all added up for me and it usually isn’t that way. But seriously, when the housekeeper asked me if I wanted a waste basket, I was like “huh?”
    And not getting an ice bucket after I asked for it twice really pissed me off. I guess I could have asked again, but I just gave up.

    Posted by: Clayton | May 22, 2008
  3. You know you should put this review on Trip Advisor. The resort has changed hands and not for the better. I know several people that own villas in that resort and are reporting just what you did. A friend of mine sat at the pool this spring break and listened as the couple next to them were tweaking a 4 page letter (typed) to the new GM telling him how disgusted they were with the resort. If you read the TA postings, you’ll note that some of the “more positive” ones either names places to go in the area or are professionally put on by Hawks Cay people. You’ll note in one of the posts how the writer got the same photos in it as are in their advertisements. I think your review was great and forwarded it several of my friends. All agree, Trip Advisor needs this review as the resort reads those reviews daily as you can see as they respond to ones like yours. Just a thought.

    Posted by: Barb | June 13, 2008
  4. great idea Barb. I’ll add my review to Trip Advisor today. Thanks for your input.

    Posted by: Clayton | June 13, 2008

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018