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The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort {US-FL}

The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort {US-FL}

Old Feb 7, 09, 5:34 pm
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Arrow The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort {US-FL}

On my recent trip to Key West, Florida in January 2009 over superbowl weekend I stayed at the Reach Resort, which recently became a Hilton Property under the Waldorf Astoria Collection.

I put a video overview together here http://yelloww.net/blog/2009/02/the-...n-key-west-fl/ which covers most of what I have in the text of this review, so if you are a visual person, go ahead and skip to the video otherwise, read along, then watch the video afterwards

The Reach appears to have been recently renovated before becoming a Hilton Property as everything appeared to be sparkly and new. The Casa Marina — The Reach’s sister property 2 blocks away also became a Hilton property as well.

The check-in experience was good– I walked up to the counter fairly late in to the night, 10pm perhaps on a Thursday, told them my name and was greeted with a “We’ve been expecting you!’ — I’m thinking that I was the last person to check in that evening. It appeared the hotel had a pretty low occupancy during my visit as the parking garage was near empty. Parking is $12.

The Reach Resort has a pretty good location, one block off of Duval St and is located on Key West’s only natural sand beach. Some might say that the Reach is on the “wrong” end of Duval — but I would say it is the quiet end of Duval where you can actually get some sleep away from the bars . Being a resort property, there is a $20 a day “resort fee” which doesn’t really include anything that I would consider a perk, but the front desk will tell you that the resort fee covers the “Pool towels, fruit in the lobby, newpapers, and beach chairs.” Being a resort property that also means no concierge lounge. The hotel also has water sports rentals and rents Jet Skis, kayaks, snorkeling equipment, etc.

I booked the 1 bedroom boutique sweet with ocean view, and it was sweet indeed! My room was on the Fifth floor — which is the top floor — and was very airy/light with perhaps 12 foot ceilings. The room included a refrigerator, and a Nespresso coffee machine (the one that has the little coffee cartridges). There was a bar area with two bar stools for eating, a love-seat sofa, and an arm chair. The bed was a king size bed with very comfortable bedding and mattress.

The bathroom was clean — had a large shower, no bathtub. It sort of disturbed me that the bathroom also included a set of ear plugs. Turns out the hotel was very quiet and I didn’t need to ear plugs (thank goodness!). Perhaps during times of higher occupancy the hotel is noisier?

My favorite spot at the hotel was definitely the hammocks strung up on the beach — there is just something really cool about lying on a hammock that is suspended between two palm trees!

I’d definitely recommend the Reach Resort to anyone traveling to Key West Florida!

Reach Resort Video Review:
http://yelloww.net/blog/2009/02/the-...n-key-west-fl/
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Old Feb 7, 09, 9:28 pm
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Chris --

Super review! Really appreciate it and keep up the great work! ^
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Old Feb 8, 09, 4:54 am
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thanks for posting

one question > was this paid or points?
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Old Feb 8, 09, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
thanks for posting

one question > was this paid or points?
This was a paid stay -- $200'ish a night.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 5:47 pm
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nice TR, thanks. Did you get complimentary breakfast as a Gold?
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Old Jun 15, 09, 7:05 pm
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Angry Rant about stay at Waldorf Reach Resort Key West

I sent this letter to the GM of the hotel, I just had to rant so I’m posting it here. I would NEVER EVER stay at this hotel again!!!

Dear Mr. XXXX GM The Reach Resort,
I have just returned home after an extremely disappointing stay (June 8th - June 12th) at The Reach Resort . My wife & I stayed at the resort for her sister's wedding at your property. To say that we were exceedingly unsatisfied with our stay would be an understatement. We were completely shocked and appalled by what we experienced while staying at The Reach. It has left a very negative impression, and has made me question why I am so loyal to the Hilton brand. If this is supposedly the top of the line in the hotel's chain, it is seriously lacking. I have to question why.
When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded to an ocean view room. The view was wonderful and I will say that the room was clean. Unfortunately that's where the positive comments ended. We arrived around 5:00PM and after a long day of traveling what we wanted to do was go sit by the pool and have a drink. We went down the the pool, to find that the pool service had ceased for the day. XXX at the pool seemed to be very flustered when we arrived, saying that they had just "had a run-in" with their boss and he was very frustrated. In my opinion this was very unprofessional, and a little on the "too familiar" side, but I let it go. I went in to the Strip House to get us some Pina Coladas. Once inside I was greeted by the most unfriendly bar tender (not sure of his name) I have ever met. It seemed to be a burden to have asked him to make a blended drink, he even made a comment to another employee that he should "just leave the top off the blender and let it spray all over". Again, I was disturbed at the level of unprofessional attitudes of the staff.
The next day, having read on the activities calendar in our room, that there would be a drink special of 2 for 1 margaritas from 12-6PM I went down to the pool. I was met by one of the servers, XXX, who argued with me about what the calendar read, and insisted that they had been trying to get the resort to change the flyer since that was not the offer they had, he refused to honor the 2 for 1 drink special and went so far as to tell me that the hotel was wrong and they had not changed the in room sheet. The only thing they offered was pitchers of margaritas for $19. Not only would they not honor what was written on the calendar, they pointed blame to the resort, and acted disgusted that I would even ask for such a thing. To add insult to injury I sat by the pool from 12-3 and not once was I offered service from the bar. While other people were being served, there were three people serving at the time so it was not due to lack of staff, the pool wait staff did not once ask if they could get me anything. To top it all off, XXX (the same pool attendant) came by to see if I needed a towel, and said that he had heard that I had had a run-in with the bar staff. Once again, rude, unprofessional behavior from members your staff.
This was a constant theme of our experience at The Reach and the Strip House. We had to let the front desk know that there was a dirty room service tray that had been sitting outside of the room next door for more than 24 hours. It was extremely off-putting to have food sitting out for an entire day, and in a climate such as Key West (where bugs are everywhere) and the corridors are on the outside of the hotel and open to the elements. I ran into another guest who was carrying a tray down himself because it had been sitting there for 3+ days. It also is pretty pathetic that during cocktail hour, all cocktails are served outside (in the chairs on the patio) with cheap plastic cups, even the $10 basket of chips, salsa & guacamole was served in cheap plastic, again unbelievable.
We were disturbed at the lack of attention to detail and lack of amenities provided by The Reach. We recently stayed in a Hampton Inn and a Hilton both of which provided ice in the rooms, a pen and note paper at the desk, lotion and other toiletry amenities, as well as coffee makers in the rooms, NONE of which were present in our room. Again, if we are to expect that this is the top of the line of the Hilton Brand, one would expect that the rooms would have at the MINIMUM these amenities, if not more. It was extremely unfortunate that the only place to purchase any type of food or beverage was at the Strip House. We became so disgusted with the service and lack of professionalism that we decided to take our business elsewhere. One would expect from a 5 star resort that there would be a place on property (such as a gift shop) that one could purchase amenities, water, snacks, souvenirs, etc.
My wife & I did speak with the manager (name left out) who suggested that I contact you to let you know of my experience. She had promised to bring these issues to your attention. However, I felt as if I should directly inform you of my experience. The bottom line for me is that if it were not for needing to stay at the resort for the wedding, I would have found other accommodations after the first night. I am not one to complain, and it takes a lot for me to get upset, but the rudeness of the staff, the lack of amenities and attention to detail was simply atrocious, and absolutely not what I would expect from a Waldorf Astoria property. In all there were 3 couples staying at the resort for the wedding, and all 3 couples had issues with their rooms and the resort in general - which quite frankly is simply unacceptable.
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Old Jun 15, 09, 7:16 pm
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I think you would have had a better experience at the Reach's sister hotel, the Casa Marina.
There is no excuse for the poor service or rudeness, but generally in the Keys outdoor cocktails are served in plastic cups, especially where service is in the area of a swimming pool.
Please post the response that you get from the GM.
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Old Jun 15, 09, 7:58 pm
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Yes please keep us informed. I just had a great stay at a WA in Naples. You trip does sound bleak.
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Old Jun 16, 09, 7:59 am
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That's just awful.
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Old Jun 16, 09, 8:56 am
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Wow! Your needs seem to center around the food and especially the bar at this resort whereas my main concern would be the room and any upgrade. You also seem to be centered on how something might "look" declasse to others. Although you had some off-putting service, I am sorry that I cannot feel your pain, nor outrage -- your complaint seems way over the top to me.
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Old Jun 16, 09, 10:45 am
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That letter is really more appropriate for Hilton Corporate Customer Care, though you should cc the hotel manager as a courtesy.
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Old Aug 6, 09, 3:08 pm
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I am just finishing up a 3 night stay at the Reach Resort. While I am not normally a ranter and raver, let's just say that anybody planning to visit this resort should adjust your expectations accordingly. At best, this is a modestly upscale Hilton with irregular service. Certainly not a Waldorf on the order of the Rome Cavaleri or the Boulders or anything like that.

Just a short list of the problems we experienced:
-Super slow checkin..
-Shower design that guarantees that you will have water all over the bathroom floor.
-Sleep timer on TV remote did not work
-Account services on TV did not work
-Elevators that did not work. Got stuck in one elevator this afternoon with 8 people in it.
-Nobody at the towel station by the pool. Packages with clean towels all had super small (hand) towels) but no big towels. Dirty towels all over lounge chairs by the pool.. nobody picking them up (mind you, you pay $20 RESORT FEE EACH DAY)
-When it rains, you cannot get from your room to the elevator, lobby, or restaurant without getting wet.
-After it rains, there is standing water everywhere in the corriders, etc.
-Parking garage has so much standing water (even though covered) that it is almost impossible to get to your car without walking through puddles that are at least a half inch deep.
-Music from downstairs last night that was so loud we could hear it in our room with everything closed up. Mujsic did not stop until after 11PM.
-Breakfast here (which we only did because it was pouring rain) had buffet only for $18 or $19 per person. Added an 18% service charge automatically without saying anything.

Oh, and I am a Hilton Honors Diamond member but got no upgrade. The room itself is not bad. HOusekeepers were very good and the view is great.

Would I stay here again? NOT.

Last edited by Hog Heaven; Aug 7, 09 at 8:21 am
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Old Aug 6, 09, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Hog Heaven View Post
-Breakfast here (which we only did because it was pouring rain) had buffet only for $18 or $19 per person. Added an 18% service charge automatically without saying anything.

Oh, and I am a Hilton Honors Diamond member but got no upgrade. The room itself is not bad. HOusekeepers were very good and the view is great.
Whoa, you're a Diamond and you were not given free breakfast? Especially since there was not room upgrade. That is an outrage!
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Old Aug 6, 09, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by JonathanIT View Post
Whoa, you're a Diamond and you were not given free breakfast? Especially since there was not room upgrade. That is an outrage!
Breakfast isn't a part of the bennies at a W=A property. The room should have been upgraded though...

The Waldorf=Astoria Collection® and Waldorf Astoria Brand Hotels
One category room upgrade* (excludes suites, Napua Tower at Grand Wailea and the Imperial Floor at Rome Cavalieri) and choose TWO of the following:

Discount at Hotel/Resort Facility – either Spa, Golf or Restaurant as designated by the Hotel/Resort.
1,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points.
One complimentary in-room movie (where locally available).
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Old Aug 6, 09, 3:54 pm
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Although I'm a frequent sleeper (about to be Diamond the hard way), I'd highly recommend the Sunset Key Cottages by Starwood to anyone staying in Key West and looking for an upscale experience.
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