The Irony of All That Glitters A review of Key Lime Inn
Where can I begin... my husband and I were finally taking our summer vacation the last week of October 2003. We had vacationed in South Beach, FL in 2002 and loved it so we decided to head back to FL, but try different areas. This trip would be split in half starting in Miami Beach, FL and then ending in Key West, FL. The reason we picked the Key Lime Inn was because of the positive reviews on TripAdvisor in addition to the pictures they had posted on their website. After a long drive into the Keys on Wed, we finally arrived around 8pm. Upon first impressions, the pictures on the website made the rooms appear nicer than they actually were but that was okay because we were determined to have a great time. I also made a mental note of the curious scent in the room, kind of a mix between cologne gone bad and coconut oil. It wasn't quite the typical "clean" smell of hotel rooms. Exhausted from our drive, we decided to settle in for the night and watch t.v. The first omen came while watching t.v. in bed--we noticed glitter throughout our bed linens (including the inner sheets) as well glitter all over the t.v. remote. Then we noticed that the "shadow" on the bed sheets wasn't a shadow. It was a stain of some sort. We didn't want to, but we inspected the sheets further and found more stains. Remembering that Fantasy Fest weekend was just the weekend before, we started having images of what the glitter and stains could be. At best, we hoped the stains were suntan lotion stains and let's not imagine beyond that. To top it off, there was a weird reddish something-or-other clinging to the night stand top and as I tried to inspect what it was, I noticed the nail clippings on the ground next to the night stand.
Gross! Again, at best, I hope the reddish thing was a pink grapefruit membrane and let's not imagine beyond that. With all these realizations, we suddenly felt like we were in one big biohazard room.
Even though the room was "made-ready" as apparent by the bathroom toiletries and towels (which were thin and crunchy, definitely by no means 4-star quality towels), we finally had to admit to ourselves that it was obvious none of the bed linens were changed. We were totally grossed out and felt violated. We called the front desk and she requested to see what it was we had issues with. She came and saw that we weren't making things up and offered to move us to another smaller room for the night so our linens could be changed first thing in the morning. She was also nice about offering a $10 discount per night.
Appeased with the attempt to keep us happy, we moved our belongings to another room. As soon as we stepped into Room #2, the smell of bleach nearly knocked us to our feet. At that point though, we were just happy to have some affirmation that the room was cleaned. I immediately proceeded to shower whatever was on me from Glitter Room's bed and settled in for a good night's sleep. Wrong! Both of us spontaneously woke up in the middle of the night, congested and coughing. Whatever was in the air of Toxic Bleach Room clearly caused the symptoms. We chalked it up to allergies, however, as we spent our first full day walking in the fresh Key West air, our symptoms were alleviated. Later that night, we were back in the now-cleaned Glitter Room (which still had the "grapefruit membrane" clinging to the night stand), although our bed linens no longer sparkled in glitter. Upon minutes of being back in that room, our congestion and coughing started up again. It was then that we decided we could not stay another night at the Key Lime and planned on checking out first thing the next morning. Since we couldn't sleep well due to coughing fits, we were both up bright and early at 6am and packing to get the heck outta there. We hi-tailed it back to our hotel in Bal Harbour/Miami Beach, FL and enjoyed the rest of our vacation in a beautiful clean wonderful hotel called the Sea View Hotel that WAS worthy of its 4-star rating. We're boggled at how the Key Lime got a 4-star rating, unless the 4-star rating refers to a 4-POINTED single star. In all fairness, even though the staff wasn't overly friendly, they did, in their own way, show the effort when we raised our concerns. The continental breakfast was also good, consisting of coffee, juice, bagels, muffins, croissants, danishes and a hen running around gobbling up handouts. But the bottom line is, we suspect the rooms are environmentally ill and need a thorough cleaning--perhaps in the A/C systems. It is also extremely disturbing that the bed linens were deliberately not changed upon our check-in.
The irony of our story? Prior to booking our trip, we came across an unlucky honeymooner's review of another hotel that made him "physically ill" when he thought about the $269/night he was spending for the dump their travel agent put them in. Maybe karma dictated that our laughing at the poor honeymooner's story came back and bit us on the butt because our room did, in fact, make us literally physically ill! I advise anyone even remotely thinking of staying at the Key Lime to also check out the web comments posted on Fodor and Travelocity so you know we weren't the only ones who had horrible experiences at the Key Lime Inn!