I was more miffed by the whole Keys experience than this motel to be honest, but I can't ignore the fact that it was a run-down building sandwiched inside an extremely sketchy trailer park. I don't think the locks would have done much if someone had decided to walk into our room from outside, and the walls were so thin that we forced to join in on our neighbours' Jeopardy festivals and constant hacking.
My wife and I had never been to the Keys before, but we had been to Cuba, Cozumel and Costa Rica. I thought that no matter how grubby this motel was, at least we'd be close to the sea. All we really needed was a bed to sleep on for a few hours each night.
It turns out that unlike some of the other southern places we have stayed, almost all oceanfront property in the Keys is private (with the exception of a few state parks). When we wandered down to the water's edge, we were greeted with welcoming signs such as "STAY AWAY!" and "GET OUT!". Nice. The only place near the motel that we could even sit by the water was Lorelei restaurant, which was actually kind of a nice bar and grill.
The room itself smelled a bit musty, but nothing that we hadn't expected for $65/night. There was a TV with poor reception, a mini-fridge, and a decent bathroom. No frills beyond that. The trailer park that the motel is nestled into was seriously run down, and was comedically juxtaposed to the mansions and yachts lining the oceanfront only hundreds of metres away.
The whole island is all about "bigtime sportfishing". We were pretty disturbed and confused when the motel gave us brochures that advertised dolphin hunting, but when we asked around, they're actually talking about dolphinfish, which is another name for mahi mahi. I don't think that the confusion is unintentional, as a lot of the people on the island seemed like they were looking to harpoon everything that moved.
A strange place, and not our cup of tea. Thankfully we only did this at the tail end of our actual trip, which was a 5-day paddling tour of the Everglades. Interesting to see what the Keys are about, but we likely won't be going back.
- Also Known As:
- Key Lantern Motel And Blue Fin Hotel Islamorada