We recently returned from a short 4 night stay at Kona Kai Resort. We booked solely based on reviews as we have never seen nor been to this resort. We have stayed in Key West at the Casa Marina for a week two years ago but we were looking for something quieter and more intimate with no kids. Well that is what we found at Kona Kai. This is a small resort with a beautiful property with only about 10 cottages on sight. The grounds are immaculate and the gardens are remarkable. The property has a small beach where you don't have to get out early to reserve a chair like so many other properties. The pool and spa are small but perfect for how many people are at the resort at one time. Fresh fruit every day at the pool in the fridge w/ cold bottled water is a nice touch. Again, the pool is surrounded by beautiful foliage and well maintained. The resort has a sea wall with many beach chairs and tables as well that offer beautiful views of the bay and the Everglades. At night, the sky is AMAZING on a clear night as there is no city lights, the sky is dark. We were able to see many constellations and planets on the nights we sat out on several quiet nights w/ a bottle of wine and/or cold beers. There is also complimentary Kayaks that we took advantage of to do a little sightseeing.
Ok....there is a few downsides as well as you need to be prepared for. First, the road noise is somewhat annoying as the resort is right off of Hwy 1 and there is no big hotel to block out the road noise and this is a busy road. Second, the bed was very uncomfortable which we read in other reviews prior to booking. I was hoping that it was an exaggeration, but unfortunately it wasn't. An investment in some nice comfy beds would go a long way. Our room didn't even have a headboard, just a frame, which I thought was kind of cheesy for a "resort". The rooms are perfectly sized but there was nowhere comfortable to relax. The beds were not comfortable and neither was the futon in the living area. We did buy some food to cook breakfast but there is only one pan to cook with. The made it difficult to cook as you can only cook one thing at a time. So one add'l pan would have been nice. Other than that, the room is well stocked with plates, cups, wine glasses, etc....OK, lastly. The restaurants recommended I would take with a grain of salt. Key Largo restaurants have much to be desired. Ballyhoos is overpriced and a bit run down, but the food and crabs were good. Snappers was, well Snappers. Good for a fish sandwich and a beer but again, atmosphere just ok. Hog Heaven....same Key Largo very casual atmosphere and food again was pretty good. However, they had a really nice beach that you can walk to at end of the pier. Looks like a good nightlife live band place but we never got back to check it out. Calypsos was recommended....REALLY! This place is a dirty, run down unsanitary dump. It says waterfront, well it is if you want to see a few boat slips, NOT waterfront and no view. The cook and dishwasher smoke ciggs as they cook your food in open view. They give you paper utensils and tableware for a 30 dollar dinner. Are you kidding me? The place is tired and run down. I know it's Key Largo, but c'mon....you can keep the "mystique" of the keys without being just downright nasty and dirty. Islamorada is a 15 minute drive worth taking for some better restaurants with some more class if that is what you are looking for. There were a few others in Key Largo with good reviews but I gave up hope after Calypso. If you want to eat dinner with dogs at the next table with paper plates, and ashes in your meal, this is the place for you. We went to dinner at Pierre's one night right next to Bass Pro Shops and this is a classy fine dining pricey dinner with an awesome view if that is what you are looking for. So.....that is my review. Beautifully landscaped resort with a nice little beach, pool and view but a bit noisy w/ roadnoise and uncomfortable rooms for the price. The crew at Kona Kai were very nice and accommodating as expected at a resort. However, room service isn't daily but upon request which we knew going in. Best of Luck Kona Kai....just need some more comfortable beds and couches and additional pans to cook with and all is good! Thank you!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Owned and operated by the same family since 1991 and a "Fodor’s Choice" selection since 2009, Kona Kai is a magical hideaway, teeming with the natural beauty of old Key Largo and hand polished into one of the most exclusive resorts in the Florida Keys. With all new accommodations in 2013, Kona Kai is reserved for adults. Offering highly praised personalized concierge service, Kona Kai is regularly recommended by leading travel publications and websites. SInce the 2011 addition of "The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai," guests enjoy our gardens day and night; complimentary tours for all registered guests are offered by our staff ethnobotanist. Kona Kai is a classic Keys experience; the perfect alternative if you're seeking to avoid the crowds and formality of a big resort. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Kona Kai Resort And Gallery
- Kona Kai Resort & Gallery Hotel Key Largo