Value Score No Data
Good For Business
Boat #3! Definite mildew - POSSIBLE Mold
BE CAREFUL!! We got down late Friday night for a weekend stay at the Boatel located in Key Largo, FL. When we got there (after 9 PM), George met us and told us he turned the lights and the AC on in boat #3. When we entered the boat, there was a foul smell in the boat - we had no other place to go to, so we thought we would try to get acclimated to this smell. Upon entering, we saw some spots on the walls, ceiling that looked like mildew/mold, along with warped ceilings (looked like moisture leaks, etc.). Met the couple next door from Miami - they also commented on the smell in their boat and they also dismissed it. After finding food late (10:30 PM is late in Key Largo), we called it a night and went to bed. I woke up at 4 AM with a massive headache, nausea and later diarrhea. Took some ibuprofen, and immodium to no avail. Rest of group woke up with similar issues. When Winn Dixie opened up we went to pick up lysol and smelling candles - WE cleaned the air filter on one AC - DISGUSTING covered with something that was beyond just dirt. The other AC we turned off (had no filter and the unit was growing stuff on the coil). We scrubbed the unit, sprayed down the bedding with Lysol, wiped down the walls after spraying Lysol on them. While cleaning we looked under the false ceiling in the kitchen (showed signs of mildew/ potential mold, there were magazines shoved in-between the old ceiling and the new drop ceiling, PLUS socks were shoved in by the bathroom door and ceiling - NO KIDDING!). There is no sink trap for the sink in the kitchen (prevents smells from seeping back into an enclosed area), so the fumes coming out made us gag. That was the final straw. We covered the sink drain with a cup and started packing our stuff. George said the units are always full and no one has complained - then stated maybe it was the strong breezes and the weather. I asked him to take a look at what we found - he said show the cleaning lady (seriously, they have a cleaning lady - she needs to be trained in cleaning). The water lines that supply each houseboat were hooked up to a typical water hose spigot. Our line was a typical garden hose submerged in the salt water next to the boat and covered in algea, and black growth. George did give us a refund for one day. The view was really nice, the free use of a kayak seemed like a good deal, BUT who could use the kayaks when your head is pounding, your stuck on the toilet (which didn't work too well - low water pressure), and you're actually spending more time cleaning the unit than enjoying it? We actually love to camp in tents and prefer camping/roughing it to hotels, so those who think that we are of the 'hotel type' are incorrect! I'd rather sleep on the ground outdoors then subject myself to this houseboat! It sounded like a great deal ($75 for a night), but I'd avoid this place and spend more money so that you can enjoy your trip to the Florida Keys.
I'm going to file a report with state and county inspectors regarding this situation. I'm considered very healthy, BUT if someone stayed in a unit like this who had health issues (especially breathing or if they are immuno-compromised), this could create serious health issues. I have pictures of the mildew and suspected mold.
After finding this website, I noticed similar issues with multiple units located at The Boatel in Key Largo, FL. I suspect George (the manager) is in denial about issues with this place. BTW, George, you asked me to contact you if I felt better once I left and headed to another place to stay: I can confirm that we all felt 100% better once we got out of houseboat #3! PLEASE do yourself a favor and clean these units THOROUGHLY - or risk someone hiring an attorney due to getting ill.
Unique Quality: Great views, free use of kayaks, BUT again, how can you use it when you get sick from sleeping in a unit? Other guests were also reporting similar issues with their units. The deck area around the boat is loose, and narrow. The deck chairs are in poor shape with broken straps and cushions that do not fit. This place needs a real good cleaning IF it can be cleaned.
Directions: Right next to Jules Undersea Lodge (you sleep under the water in an enclosed pod) & John Pennekamp - a great place to explore while in the Florida Keys. How can you enjoy the attractions in the area when you get sick because you stay in their houseboat???
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