More about Tranquility Bay Beach House
Tranquility Bay - the good, the bad & the ugly
We paid a premium to stay at Tranquility bay for a 5 day stay over Easter break. We booked two ocean front condos (units 78 and 79), each w/ 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths. Our family has 2 adults and 3 kids (8,5,2) and our friends have 2 adults and 2 kids (4,2). Our units were right next to each others at the far end of the resort by the Dolpin Lagoon (our kids kept thinking a dolphin would show up, but it was really just a sectioned off area of water w/ a deck around it. Not sure if they have plans for dolphin encounters in the future??) . Except for unit 78, there was no beach or sand directly outside the units in our section which would have been a big bummer for our kids if our friends hadn't been staying in the one unit w/ a sandy beach area in front of it. They played there A LOT!
** Recommendation: if you are springing for ocean front, request a unit in the center of the resort labeled in orange between the swimming beach and sunset beach (you can log on to their website and look at the resort map to see what i mean). These units have the most sand front and are closest in proximity to all the amenities w/out being so close that it's noisy.
When we arrived at 3:30 (check in was at 3) our unit was not ready, the restaurant was closed and the tiki bar was closed. 5 starving kids and no place for food or drink! Night- mare and the front desk was not empathetic!
We were also informed that the tiki bar would not be open the following day as well due to wind. Since most 'tiki' bars are on the beach - aren't they almost always windy?? We believe that this was an excuse to cover up a problem they were having out at the tiki bar because there were maintenance workers working on it for the next 36 hours.
As everyone else has said, absolutely not enough chairs at the pool which was frustrating. Would have liked some pool side wait-service for food and drinks which would be fairly easy for them to do since the restaurant is right next to the pool. On our third day the tiki bar finally opened but at one point we waited 30 minutes for our drink order. Slow even for the Keys!
I also don't understand why we pay a $20/day resort fee, yet still have to pay additionally for use of a fishing rod or kayak??
We signed our kids up for kids club, but they canceled it due to low sign-up.
We ate at the Butterfly Cafe one night. Very delicious and very pricey.
Other local restaurants to hit: Keys Fisheries, Stuffed Pig, The Island TIki Bar & Restuarant.
Our room was only cleaned once, but the units were beautiful. Everything was top rate in the condos from the kitchen, to the beds and linens. The views were also beautiful from every window.
I feel like Tranquility Bay's website ireally stretches it as far as it's offerings, but overall it is a beautiful, clean place to stay. I hesitate to call it a 'resort' because it's amenities we so lacking. Keep making progress, TB, and we'll come back!
We've just returned from Tranquility Bay Resort. Despite reservations for a pool-side room, we were placed in a lawn room. The desk clerk indicated the resort was "fully booked" and promised to have management contact us the next morning. They did not, and when I hunted them down they claimed the room was out of order. We ended up moving to a pool room the next day, but they weren't apologetic or responsive to rectify the wrong. This was a nuisance with 2 small kids.
In addition, email queries prior to our trip went unanswered.
In all, the resort is nice, but will run down quickly due to lack of upkeep. Management will drive away any remaining patrons.
A beautiful resort
We chose Tranquility Bay based upon feedback from Trip advisor. Yes there were some negatives in the reviews, they seemed like "growing pains" since the resort is new. Since they did not overly concern me I booked Tranquility Bay.
I took advantage of their Internet Special. ($269.00 per night for Sunday with a departure on Friday)This was for a 2 Bedroom cottage.
We were upgraded to a 3 Bedroom, 2.5 bathroom unit. At the Internet special prices this place is a steal. I left for Miami Beach after this and was charged almost 100.00 more per night for a hotel room!
It was gorgeous with all the amenities you will need.
The grounds are beautiful with every unit having an unobstructed view of the gulf.
Contrary to what others have said we found the staff to be helpful and courteous.
We had dinner at the restaurant one night and it was very good, a bit expensive but then this is the Florida Keys and nothing is inexpensive. We had lunch at the Tiki bar a couple of times and found the food fine and I thought reasonable for a "resort" Tiki bar.
I will admit the one problem is the lounges at the pool. While we always were able to secure one many people scout them out early in the morning and leave towels on them until they arrive later. The resort needs to either get more lounges or adopt a policy of having an employee walk around and if the lounges are clearly being "held" for over a short period of time remove the towels and let others use them.
As someone who travels considerably for business and pleasure I highly recommend this resort.We plan on returning to Tranquility Bay with more family members in the future.
Needs Some Tweeking
My husband and daughter just spent a week at Tranquility Bay. At first glance the resort is beautiful. It is decorated well and has top of the line kitchen and bath fixtures. On the flip side, the bedrooms and bathrooms are very small, not nearly enough chairs at the pool, maid service may or may not show up with fresh towels before 5pm., the front desk was no help with info on things to do in the area, the recreation guy at the beach was hard to find. They charge $35 per hr. to rent a kayake when right over on Somberro Beach it's $25 for all day. The Tiki bar and Butterfly Cafe are outrageous. There are many other very reasonable places to eat in the area. All in all we had a nice week and met some great folks there. The mgt/staff really needs to get its act together for the $$$ they charge.
After we returned home I found they had charged $500 to my debit card (the room was prepaid). I called to question it and was told it was a security deposit. I fully understand that BUT....we should have been told at check-in. I'm still waiting on the refund 4 days later.
Nice, but needs help!!
We just came back from a week at Tranquility Bay. My sister and I took our children age 6,13 and15) the pool was great, but as all the other reviews show, NEEDS MORE CHAIRS. Had to be up by 6AM to get chairs and when made a comment to the office, they acted like that was hard to believe that there were not enough. Cleaning was bad, the housekeeping staff barged into our place twice without knocking!! Toliet paper was a hard commodity to get. Towels were plentiful. They post everywhere that it is non smoking, but guests smoking at the pool and the staff smoking!! The staff was smoking from an upper balcony and flicking the cigarette butts into the parking lot.
We did not eat at the restaraunt or Tiki Bar, very pricey!! Never saw any type of staff walking around the grounds.
It definetely needs some work. The houses are nice, but not kept up very well. Alot of marks on walls and the floors made your feet disgustingly dirty!! Needed to wear slippers! If they keep cleaning the way they are now, within 1 year the place will be run down!! Was very surprised to see that the place we stayed in was selling for $1.5 million!! No way!!
gotta agree with most of you
we just came back from tranquility bay. I enjoyed the place and our kids loved it, but the management of the resort is really very bad. On the plus, the property is beautiful and for a family w/ two small children, the room set up was oustanding.
The pool itself if great, especially for small children, as it has a walk in, graduated entry. Do be warned however that there are definately not enough chairs and people are out at the crack of dawn putting their towels on chairs. What is even more frustrating is that only a minority of the beds are actually in use at any time. Seems like the resort should be able to fix this problem, but when we asked about their policy they told us just to move someone else's belongings if they weren't there. We did not want conflict with other guests, so we generally just waited until we could grab the next available.
The beach area is also very nice and we didn't mind putting towels down on the sand. The tiki bar was over-priced, but nothing to stop you bringing your own drinks out (there's even a blender in the room). Sunset there is great.
We were disappointed with the restaurant. The wait staff were pretty inexperienced, the wine was warm, etc. But not a horrible meal. We only ate there once and preferred eating out at the places previously mentioned.
One helpful bit of advise, if you want privacy on your porch, be careful what unit you book. Some of the units have porches which are in-line and only divided by a wood railing. Others are staggered and offer privacy both on the porch, as well as against having your neighbours be able to see into your lounge. Obviously beachfront were much better than pool-side.
Finally, the staff do not clean the unit at all during your stay. We had the opposite problem with towels though, every morning they'd show up with a huge pile of towels for us, which we didn't need.
In conclusion, management will be indifferent to pretty much any request or complaint you may have. So forget it and make the best of it. Will we go back? No. Pity, because it could really be better.
Great Family Resort
Tranquility Bay is a great family resort in the middle of the Florida Keys.
1) Great new condo's- top notch furniture, appliances, electronics- radios/DVD (Big TV's) Everything furnished and stocked by Crate & Barrel.
2) Amazing Porch Views from the front. Clear view of Gulf.
3)Great pool- chairs a bit hard to get at peak times, but space does open up.
4) Really Pretty grounds- well maintained
5) Tiki Bar was fully operational and grill was working- great spot.
They need to work on:
1) Kid's club is evolving- he was around but limited participation and it looked like a dude just watching kids at the pool most of the time-not really a "club"
2) Activities- they had kayaks on site for rent, but no Jet Ski's on site- although they can be arranged.
3) Front Desk staff is a bit rough around the edges-a resort this caliber needs to spend for guest facing staff.
What they cannot control:
Marathon itself is not much of a town, there are a few spots that are nice, but the town seems like there was no zoning for years, so development is is scattered and parts are quite dumpy.
Things to do nearby:
Key West- Good for a day visit- very busy
Check out the Little White House-Great tour.
Dolphin Research Center- You can swim with them for an outrageous fee if you want or just watch for a more reasonable fee
Turtle Hospital- Right Next door- good tour
Bahai Honda State Park- Best Beach on Keys- Limited Tree Coverage or shade so bring umbrella
Sombrero Beach- Nice beach with kids playground, sand was imported.
Decent Publix Super Market about a mile away
Candor on the Bay- Nice Sunset
Porkey's BBQ up the road a bit
Decent Carry out Pizza all over the place
Try to request units 76, 77, 78 on the beach lawn-- great sunset views and farthest from the road. They are the "Rooster" units.
Overall, as this resort evolves, I would expect prices to rise and services to improve.
Beautiful - Loved it!
I really feel that I have to defend this resort because it is phenomenal, especially for the price and the environs, and it's received some really unfair comments.
In terms of Keys resorts, this is absolutely the best in terms of conditions. I find it hard to believe that people posted such negative reviews about Tranquility Bay - either they are not familiar with the fairly dismal resort/hotel options throughout the Keys, with far worse conditions, service and views at higher prices, or they are just not accustomed to more costly resorts and have set unrealistically high expectations for their tropical getaway.
This is a just-opened resort and when booking at a resort that has literally just completed nailing in the last nail, you should expect some initial operational kinks. But believe me, you will not find as nice a place to stay within the entire Keys for the introductory prices they are offering. So, my advice is to suck it up a little bit and enjoy that you have a brand new townhouse, complete with down comforters, extra pillows and hi-thread count linens, a plasma TV, Calphalon cookware and tasteful, simple decor (basically unheard of anywhere north of Key West and South of Miami Beach); a private, white sand beach that is clean and netted-off to keep out sharks and the like (another unheard of anywhere on the east coast of Fla); a delicious on-site restaurant (absolutely worth the cost); and a little peace and quiet (the whole purpose of a trip to the Keys, which is becoming harder and harder to find), at a digestable price.
My husband, my mother, two kids and I stayed in a two-bedroom beachlawn unit for four days (and yes, we comfortably fit) and we loved it. We were all appreciative of the newness and were pleasantly surprised at the amenities listed above - it exceeded our expectations. The staff, especially the front desk staff, was extremely helpful and friendly. They were not rude or snotty in anyway and were incredibly down-to-earth and jovial. We were in the front office every night checking out free DVDs, another nicety about the resort.
My unit was very clean and we had no issues with towels or getting things we needed. The Butterfly Cafe was phenomenal, much better than the smattering of greasy spoons offering absolutely nothing that was not fried or made of conch throughout Marathon. It is nice to have a fresh, upscale, but casual, dining option in Marathon Key and to be able to eat something called a salad (another rarity in the Keys). True, the restaurant is closed on Mondays (the only day it is closed) but the restaurant is open on Sundays, a day which many of the other restaurants and businesses are closed in Marathon, so it works out - you just have to eat somewhere else on Mondays, or here's an idea, use the stainless steel kitchen with gourmet cookware and dinnerware from Crate & Barrel in your unit and cook something!
It is also true this resort is not a traditional action-packed resort that most tourists think of when planning a trip to South Florida. This is not the Marriott or Holiday Isle and you are not going to Hawaii, you're going to the Florida Keys - you will not find parasailing, charter fishing or bungee jumping within the confines of the resort. You will find a pool, a beach, an exercise room, a spa, and a tiki bar. That's about it. You may have to actually spend time with your children and watch them yourself. You may have to entertain yourself or take a drive to a nearby marina, Key or resort to find more stimulating activity. But if you are seeking a simple, quiet, relaxing getaway, this is your place. It even has a small dock by the lagoon for fishing, which my sons really liked. There are plenty of older kids running around the resort as well, my pre-teen made some friends, had a good time and I didn't have to worry about him.
There is no pool-side food/drink service, which is a bummer, but the tiki bar is about 20 yards away from the pool, so it's fine. Service can be slow, but that is to be expected in the Keys - where gratuity is included in the bill so there is little motivation to provide excellent or timely service.
There are limited chairs by the pool (this is true at all resorts throughout South Florida) and the parking is terrible at the resort, there are not enough spots, and the location is right off of US1 and across the street from a trailer park (I think the resort should build a wall around the front, to provide a better sense of privacy, security and seclusion) is not ideal, but those were really the only issues I found with Tranquility Bay. BTW, once you are inside your unit and inside the resort, you do not even sense for a minute that US1 or the rest of Marathon is even there.
I loved this place and will most likely return again. I also highly recommend it, especially for families who are seeking a simple vacation and an opportunity have a relaxing time together.
4 star Resort- 2.5 star Service
My husband, I and our 3 children (Ages 12/14/17) stayed here during Easter Break-
We stayed in a 3 bedroom unit on the lawn side. The units are brand new and beautiful!
The pictures are accurate- all the amenities were top notch-Loved the Kitchen! I have to say my favorite spot was the master bedroom that led out onto a deck over looking the water-Very, Very Nice! We only experienced the difficulties that others wrote with regards to lack of chairs/towels on Good Friday when I believe the resort was at it's most full. Butterfly Cafe was very nice and the food and service was very good- The staff who handled the water activiites were great! They were very helpful and friendly! The pool was quite large and very clean. They just need to offer more water things to do- The only main complaint I have is the overall Service at the resort- If they want to represent themselves as a 3.5/4 star resort then they need to have the staff to back it up! I think they tried their best, but just didn't know any better- Two perfect examples-(1) Good Friday- Tiki Bar-(First day it had been open since Monday)- They had a musician down their playing carribean type music- Which sounded terrific, and obviously drawling attention - but when you got to the bar, the bartender obviously didn't know what she was doing. She's wasn't set up-(no ice/no cut lemons/limes, etc..)She stayed in one section- The cook they had there was great, but I felt sorry for him- He was trying his best- but needed a bartender who knew how to handle things. It was terrible- we waited a 1/2 hr and never got served! And when we complained to the front desk- they just kind of looked at you like, sorry, but oh well! (2nd Example) was when I asked the young girl at the front desk if she could recommend a nice nail salon for my daughters and I to go to. She said sure and suggested a place down the street- When we got there I couldn't believe my eyes- the place was sooo worn down- it was awful! I wanted to immediately leave, but I felt bad we made reservations, so we went in- There was one lady working there and it took her forever to do our feet and nails- I spent over $150.00 and our nails were chipping by the next day! It still amazes me that anybody would think that was a nice place, crazy!!
I do realize that Tranquility Bay is new and they are still working out the quirks, but they need to step it up a notch or two in customer service relations if they want people to keep coming back-