We traded our week at the Marriot Aruba Ocean Club for the Banyan Resort in Key West. It was not an equivalent trade. The rooms were small, with Kitchenettes (exposed to the living area), and hotel sized Queen Beds. Whereas we have a full King Sized Bed, Full Sized Kitchen, with a dishwasher and ice maker, stereo and video disc players with Large Screen TV's, and a 2 person whirlpool in our bedroom, a fabulous beach view, and a private balcony, the Banyan had none of these, and offered nothing to make up for the difference, thus our dissapointment.
The Banyon personnel were very nice, but the location was noisy (we were next to the office, and could hear every conversation on the front porch, not to mention that we were street-side and could hear all of the traffic, plus the constant maintenance chatter (and their air-compressor, under our unit, which ran all night). In defense of the management, we did not ask to be moved.
The summary is that I might return and rent one of the Banyan's "adequate" rooms at a reduced hotel rate, but if I am trading a $500/day unit located at my favorite destination, it isn't worth wasting my timeshare week. The Banyan is supposed to be "luxury" timeshare exchange. In my opinion it fails to provide "luxurious" accomodations.
Great location - would come back again
My wife and I just came back from a romantic get-away to Key West. Staying at the Banyan Resort made the trip wholly memorable!
These rental time-shares are actually a collection of 6 historic homes located in Old Towne. The property manager had to move us from one room to the another because of scheduling problems. Apparently this is commonplace, as they have a nicely detailed pre-printed instruction sheet for this procedure. We didn't mind at all, especially since the staff moved our things for us while we were out enjoying the day.
Didn't use the pools or spa, but they seemed very nice. Everything one would expect from a luxury rental property. Note that it is not a true B&B as breakfast is not included. They did have a coffee machine pool-side. Otherwise we found the staff to be warm and accomodating (an essential feature of any stay). Very professional. We would recommend this property for a romantic or family oriented stay.
Always a great time
Just returned from a week long stay at The Banyan with my family and some friends. We had a 2 bedroom apt. with an awesome balcony overlooking Whitehead Street. Yes, we too enjoyed the rooster every morning! This is our second time staying at The Banyan. We were thrilled to see that the grounds still look excellent - despite the wrath of Hurricane Wilma. The Banyan tree out front looks fabulous and the foliage around the pool and pathways are still lush and in excellent condition.
Our only negative is that the word "luxury" is used by The Banyan resort. Believe me, my husband and I are not luxury travellers by any stretch of the imagination - but the rooms are not "luxurious". We think that the kitchenettes and bathrooms are ready for a little facelift. The wood on the kitchen cabinets looks a little dated and the tile and grout in the bathroom seemed like it could use some replacing - to brighten it up. There wasn't a bathtub, so it was tough giving our baby a bath - and if we wanted to take a bath, well, we couldn't. Not very luxurious. Also, the towels (pool and room) were just average - nothing fancy. We just think the work luxurious is being used a little too freely at The Banyan.
Other than that, the location is PRIME! You just park your car for a week and you can walk almost anywhere. Duval (the main drag) is one block away - and you can do the Duval Crawl all you want.
We would definately return - the place is clean, the guests are great people to talk to, everyone was friendly - and Key West always delivers good times!
The best in Key West
What a beautiful place! The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Rooms were well kept. Bedrooms a touch small, but how often are you in them anyway? Wonderful grounds and our balcony was a great place to relax and people watch. We'll definitely return!
Great Place to Stay
We have just returned from Key West a week ago. Yes, it was right after Hurricane Katrina. Key West itself suffered some minor damage, with lots of downed branches, some local flooding, occasional power outages, phone interruptions, and cable TV interruptions.
The weather element and its effect cannot be controlled. But what can be controlled by the management at the Bayan Resort was excellent. The staff was very nice, and accomodating. The place we stayed at has 2 bed rooms on a second floor of a 3 story historical building, yet it was refurbished with central air, and a nice small kitchen. The grounds are swept clean everyday, and power washing was being done. We had on-site parking, which is a hard thing to come by. Off-site parking is offered, and it was only around the corner if one is ever needed.
When we checked into the room, we discovered that it looked like it was in the midst of cleaning, and then someone has forgotten to finish it. The front desk was very apologetic, and offered us free parking, as well as free house keeping service for the week. This action definitely made us feel much better, and our time-share experience felt like a pampered hotel guests rather than a typical time-share experience.
If you are into night life and bar themes with abandonment, Bayan Resort is only a block and a half away, and yet you won't be bothered by the noise should you decide to turn in early. What will definitely get you up early though, are the roosters, which runs everywhere in Key West like they owned the place. And if you decide to have a quiet day, relaxing by the pool, the place gives you that sense of tranquility and sense of well-being, effectively isolating you from all that mumble-jumble tourist-commerce stuff.
If you rather not cook at all, which basically is the strength of checking into a time-share, you can get food by the tiki bar during the day, or maybe you should just check into the Hilton Hotel by Mallory Square and let them pamper your every whim instead of fending for yourself.
I won't stay anywhere else
I have stayed at the Banyon three times now and will never stay anywhere else in Key West. The atmosphere is wonderful. It truly represents the heart of Key West. The staff is very helpful (ask them about the best spot to see the fireworks on the 4th) and often offer tips when asked, about where the locals go for the best of Key West. Everything from the quaint bar by the pool, the extraordinary grounds, the proximity to Duval Street, to the feel of being away from it all. There are very few places in Key West that give you the true Key West experience like the Banyon.
Banyan Tree Resort
Friends of mine have been visiting Key West since 1979. They spoke of it so much that I finally went with them in January 2006. The Banyan Tree Resort was very charming. The tropical atmosphere and modern facilites were very clean and made me feel like we were the first ones every to visit. The location was great, we walked everywhere. Even hearing the roosters in the early a.m. added uniqueness for this city guy. Although I was not there with children, the facilites would be appropriate for a family. I was surprised to see so many children in the Duval Street area during the day. The increased tourism was probably from the daily stops from the cruise ships. By night time most of the families were back on the ships. In summary the Banyan Tree Resort offers an extremely comfortable experience.