My husband and I chose a trip to Key Lime for our 20th wedding anniversary. We wanted to stay in the US, complete our ASA 101, and have a great time. Key Lime and the American Sailing Academy on-site were the perfect combination for us.
I read all the reviews and scoured the guest photos before booking, so we knew what to expect. Key Lime is not a 5-star resort but is a 5-star experience. The only way you wouldn't enjoy yourself here is if you arrived without doing your homework and were expecting something different.
We stayed in the Captain’s Cottage, which had been updated since the photos on the website were taken. The cottage had a great water view and plenty of room to spread out. Yes, you do need to go around the bathtub to get to the kitchen dishes but that is part of the fun. The bed was extremely comfortable. When we go back this will be the cottage we request.
We spent the first 2 days in sailing classes on-site. The sailing instruction we received was more than we could have hoped for and we will recommend Barnard and Captain G's sailing school to anyone.
After passing our ASA class we had 3 days to ourselves to explore on our own with the Catalina 22' we were assigned. Sometimes challenging depending on wind, but always fun. At the end of a long day of sailing, we looked forward to going back to Key Lime to float or kayak then head to the tiki hut, chat with the other guests and watch the amazing sunset.
Key Lime really is a one-of-a-kind place. It is fun, funky and laid back. You won't find anything else like it.
We loved our stay at Key Lime Sailing Club. Our room was larger than expected, and the kayaks, paddleboards were in great condition. The kids were pleased to see all the snorkel gear (also excellent and clean) and even tried on a wet suit. It was very nice that we could also take them to John Pennekamp. Your staff was great. Felt like home, so much better than a hotel. Great location for driving carious places in the keys. Thanks for letting us sail! We will remember that for a lifetime. We hope to return soon!
The sailboats included with this property are old but okay. The property itself is right on the water, but it's not really much of a "beach". Although they call themselves a resort, it's not a "resort" in the way one envisions a resort. It's an older, run-down cluster of cottages that used to be a men's fishing retreat; not much has been done to the cottages to change that. They are kept clean, but the owner can't (or won't) do anything to spruce them up to bring them up to modern standards. I have stayed at this property twice now within the past two years, and I wanted to give myself a second chance to like it, but I just can't justify spending my vacation dollars staying in these weird, hodge-podge cottages. A lot of guests don't really mind the funky, cheesy decor and worn-out furniture, and prefer to focus instead on the sailing and water toys. Compared to camping, these are a step up in comfort. If you are seeking a more modern standardized room, you may be disappointed. After reading the descriptions on their website and in certain magazines, I have to say they are exaggerating a bit. I'm hoping the owner reads some of the bad reviews about the cottages and takes action; maybe more guests would return.
I just came back from a 4 night stay here. Are the cottages kinda funky? Yes. In the Captain's cottage, we had a bathtub/shower (enclosed with curtains) that was outside the bathroom, next to the little kitchen area. No big deal, we also had an outdoor shower. There is a queen bed in the main area, and a small bedroom with bunk beds. The lower bunk bed was blocking the door and we didn't realize until our last morning that it could be pushed back, allowing for the door to close. Oh well.
There is a small kitchenette with dishes, some cookware, an electric stove, sink, microwave, toaster, coffee pot. You'll need to supply all pantry items yourself. There is dish soap and a sponge. The rooms are not cleaned during your stay (perhaps you can request this), but they will replace your towels if you ask. There are beach towels (that you can take with you on outings) and shower towels.
If you expect everything to be perfect and new, this is not the place for you. If you have a laid back attitude, you'll like it. The property isn't much, but having some outdoor space when you are relaxing between activities is nice. The property has a narrow waterfront with a dock. It's not much to look at. You may see a manatee if you are lucky (there was a sighting while we were there, but we did not see it).
The front of the property (off the road) is pretty awful, but you just pass through it on your way in.
The selling point for me was that they had kayaks and other stuff to use in the water. That was pretty nice. Watching the sun set from the dock was nice. You can walk to a few restaurants from here.
You get what you pay for. Keep that in mind when you stay at the Key Lime Sailing Club. It costs ~$250 a night to stay there, but $250 a night does not go far for lodging on Key Largo. (At KLSC there is a five-night minimum stay.)
But we read all the reviews, and folks seemed to really like Key Lime, so we gave it a try. We disagree with many of the previous reviews. The Gulf front docks are not aesthetically pleasing. They are a mishmash of docks and amateur concrete projects. The KLSC grounds are nowhere near pristine; they are an extension of the junkyard that fronts the property. Since the “beach” area of KLSC is near the main highway, it is nowhere near serene. And there is absolutely no beach to walk.
Our room was rustic, with funky beds and paper thin walls. We had good people for neighbors, but we felt as though we were eavesdropping much of the time. We had a front deck, but it was covered with leaves and sticks, and I guess it was on us to clean it up. The bathroom, also rustic: tiny, leaky faucets, and a toilet that ejected effluvia when flushed! Fun, huh?
The boats, at least the one we had, have seen better days. Ours was missing lifelines, had an engine that stalled a couple times at low rpm (near docks and other craft), had a 5 gallon bucket w/plastic bag (AKA “the head”), moldy cushions, wet interior, and had pronounced weather helm. Listen, our 1990 Catalina sailboat sails and looks mint compared to the vessels at KLSC.
There is free Wi-Fi. It almost works. There are a lot of complimentary water toys, but we went to sail. Our rental had a kitchen and plenty of dishes. The non-stick pans were pretty whipped, so we bought our own. There is no soap for the dishwasher. But there was plenty of bug spray. We had to buy all spices and condiments and cooking oils, bath soaps, etc.
The bottom line is that we left after two nights. We asked about a refund, but of course that was not available. (Not criticizing G, or the folks trying to manage KLSC. They were cool.) We went up the road and were delighted to get Gulf-view accomodations. Compared to KLSC, it was like paradise.