Let me be clear, this is not a bad hotel. It's just not a great hotel and based on the price and the other rave reviews, I certainly expected more.
For a start, the 'beach' is extremely small - no more than 2 or 3 tennis courts in size so if there were more than about 20 people on the beach it felt crowded. Also, it suffers from a terrible seaweed infestation. Although they do try hard to clear it every day, they are fighting a losing battle against nature and by late afternoon, there is a line of seaweed several inches thick extending several yards into the sea. This made the whole experience of swimming in the sea quite unpleasant.
Getting sunbeds around the pool was not usually an issue though. It was also nice to see that they took seriously the rule that sunbeds should not be left unattended for more than 45 minutes and we saw the pool staff on several occasions remove towels on beds that people had tried to reserve selfishly.
The rooms themselves were clean but unremarkable. The air conditioning units are quite old and noisy - like trying to sleep on an aircraft - so lighter sleepers may have a problem although it didn't really bother us.
The staff on the whole are friendly and try hard to please. There is a daily list of activities and the weekly beer and wine 'schools' are free and fun to join in with. The only instance of poor service we encountered was at the front desk when we asked if one of our two rooms could be 2 queen beds for our teenage boys instead of one king bed. The staff member was quite haughty, rude and unhelpful and made out as if we were asking for the impossible when the hotel appeared far from full.
The hotel restaurant is on the beach. It offered a daily happy 'hour' from 4-7 pm each night with selected beer, wine and cocktails at $3 and selected appetizers for $4 which were tasty and good value. We ate both breakfast and dinner here on a few days and the price and quality compared favorably to other restaurants on the Key.
Key West itself is very expensive. Food, drink, everything is more expensive than the mainland and none of the meals we had were anything out of the ordinary.
As a destination, it reminded me of Las Vegas - minus the casinos :-) - where people come for a few days or a long weekend to party in the many bars and restaurants of Duval street. It is not really geared up for children or teenagers.
If you're into sailing, fishing or partying hard then you'll find all this in Key West and you could do a lot worse than SMOTB hotel. However, there is nothing here to make me come back and make a 4 hour drive each way from Miami (longer if you get stuck behind a car towing a boat - of which there are many) down a single track highway. If you want a family vacation, you'd be much better off sticking to the Florida mainland.
- Also Known As:
- Southernmost On The Beach Hotel Key West
- Southernmost On The Beach Hotel
- Key West Southernmost Beach
- Southernmost Beach Hotel
- Southernmost Beach
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located where Duval street meets the Atlantic Ocean in historic old town, Southernmost on the Beach stretches out on a secluded section of the island, away from the hustle of Key West activities, but close enough to the excitement when you want it. Complimenting our collection of dynamic hotels in historic Key West, Southernmost on the Beach’s private pier offers a front row seat to the Atlantic Ocean’s spectacular sunrises and winter sunsets. ... more less
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