Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
What We Love
- Sea views from your private balcony Aromatherapy, facials, or massages at Spa Al Mare
- Conch chowder and other local fare served on the shore at Sun-Sun, the on-site restaurant
What To Know
- Rooms near the pool can get loud
- 4PM check-in is on the late side
- Valet parking costs $25 overnight
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Casa Marina opened on New Year’s Eve 1920 and although the 311-room Waldorf Astoria property has been fully renovated, the party hasn’t stopped since—there’s a 1,200 square foot beach (and the opportunity to jet ski, sail, or kayak) and two pools for day time hijinks, with Sun-Sun, an oceanfront restaurant, serving the catch of the day and other local specialties at night. Along with sunning and sailing, spa-ing is an option too, with everything from aromatherapy to reflexology on offer. And did we mention the 6,500-square foot, 18-hole golf course on site?
In the Area
Nothing is very far away from anything else on the four-mile island of Key West (which is only 90 miles from Cuba). On one side, the resort is bordered by the sea, which means boat trips, clear bottom kayaks, paddleboarding and parasailing. On the other is Key West’s Old Town, with all its attractions, including the nightlife and restaurants of Duval Street (which is a mile from the resort), and local landmarks such as The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. And if visitors ever run out of things to do on the island (a virtual impossibility), then the Dry Tortugas National Park is 70 miles away by boat or seaplane.
How to Get There
Great location and hotel for family, couples or just friends wanting a nice resort by the beach!Convenient enough for walking to Duval St as well as local restaurants.The staff are all very helpful with everything!
We have stayed at the Casa Marina a number of times over the years dating back to when it was a Marriott, but haven't stayed since it became a Waldorf Astoria property.
We just spent five days there, and came to the conclusion that while it is a "nice" property, it certainly is not branded appropriately. We have stayed at other Waldorf's and Conrads, and the Casa Marina and Reach do not belong in this category of hotel. I don't know what Hilton is thinking. I feel the reviews would be better if they changed their flag to better represent their product offering, as the Waldorf flag connotes a high expectation from consumers.
With that said, as a Honors Diamond member, we booked a standard room, but were upgraded to the historic section of the hotel, which was appreciated as they were running high occupancy. We did have a view of the parking lot, but did not spend much time in the room, so no complaints.
The room was a nice size, but the bathrooms are miserably small. It did not help that the two doors to the bathroom swing in, so it becomes a juggling act to access the sink. I'm not certain why they didn't use a different type of door/design. Also, two people can not fit in the bathroom at the same time, unless one is in the shower.
The rooms are tastefully furnished, but some of the furniture and floors are seeing some wear and tear. Again, not acceptable for a Waldorf, but tolerable for a lower tier property.
The grounds of the resort are lovely, with an adult pool and a family pool. We spent the bulk of the time on the beach, but you really need to wear water shoes when accessing the ocean, as it is rocky and sea weedy. They don't seem to be taking much care of that section of the resort, as no efforts have been made to repair the pier from the last storm. It is simply sitting there with a closed gate across it. They also don't seem to be raking the sand, as it is full of cigarette butts, and other debris. I think they are really hoping the guests frequent the pools. They do have beverage service on the beach, which was convenient, and will also deliver lunch, which we took advantage of. .
Renovations are in progress, so we dined for breakfast in one of the conference rooms, and they truly did a nice job with the breakfast buffet. We also had a dinner over at their sister resort, The Reach, which was also quite good. Although, I would never stay at the Reach, as the beach is strewn with sea weed, and no attempts seem to be made to rake/remove it.
While we parked our rental car for the majority of the week at the hotel, we did rent bicycles on-property to visit the sites on the island. This was certainly more convenient than trying to find parking for our vehicle when we went on excursions.
As a Honors Diamond member, we did ask for a late check-out. Their normal check out is 11AM, but they only granted us one additional hour, which I though was a bit tacky. Check-in is not until 4PM, and the industry average is 28 minutes to turn over a room, so I'm not certain why they couldn't have been more gracious than a lousy hour. We actually ended up checking out in the morning and drove to the Fountainbleu MIami Beach, where we spent a few days.
In terms of housekeeping, good luck. They came one morning a little after 8AM, and another day did not arrive until 4PM.
Service is hit or miss among the various departments. Training is needed, and not up to Hilton standards, yet alone Waldorf standards.
They seem to be deferring maintenance, as the elevator in our building only functioned occasionally during our stay. There are nicks and dings all over the place, signage is missing, and attention to detail lacks.
Overall, this is a nice property with definite operational issues. The brand also does not fit the resort by a long-shot, so travelers need to temper their expectations of what they will be receiving.
For being a 4 star hotel I kind of expected the rooms to be nicer but this hotel is absolutely not bad. The staff is super nice, hotel lobby and the pools are very nice. The people who complain about the lack of beach are most likely people who don't realize Key West do not have natural beaches. They even imported sand from Bahamas because they don't really have beach sand here. The beach is rocky near the water (but not sharp) and as soon as you have passed that small part (and a short stretch of non harmful alge) you go into the ocean and everything is great.
Our room was nice, we didn't have a great view but we weren't here to hang out in the hotel room anyway. Only thing I would complain about is that the vent in the bathroom haven't been cleaned in a very long time. Bathroom is a bit outdated, the shower could use an upgrade. Bed is nice and comfortable.
Parking is either valet or free parking across the street. They let you unload the car at the front of the hotel though and then you can go park your car.
The hotel is within walking distance to a lot of restaurants and attractions. It's also one of the stops for the Old Town Trolley Tour which you can buy tickets for either online or in the hotel lobby.
The hotel offers breakfast in the Flagler ballroom which I personally can't recommend. Me and my husband ordered the white chocolate key lime pancake. I had expected that to be a flavor incorporated into the pancake but it was not. It was three super dense standard pancakes with white chocolate drizzle and a bit of key lime stuff on top. They also have a buffet but it's pricy and if they can't make decent pancakes I'm pretty sure it's not worth it. I recommend finding a restaurant that serves breakfast. We didn't go to the hotel restaurant for any meal other than breakfast that one time.
They have a bar in the lobby. Personally didn't go there as I don't drink but it was nice to see people there every evening socializing.
Pools are nice and open until 11pm.
Stayed in quieter side of resort with private adult pool. Walking distance to Duval. The staff was fine. Food & drink prices reasonable for a beach resort. Key West does not have great swimming beaches (except for Fort Zachory Tayler which charges $2.50/day).
Resort beach was clean with great views. Water activities on property, jetski tour around Key West 27 miles/2 hours for $150.. Casa has 3 times more outdoor space than the sister resort "The Reach" which can be visited via free transportation to & from Casa.
This is an excellent hotel!! Look for Patrick at the front desk. He is great and got everything started right from the get go. He made sure we had the right room and directed us to Sarah the Concierge for event planning. She was able to put together a great package and get all our reservations for us.