My husband and I found ourselves with a free week, so we planned a (very) last-minute trip to Key West, Florida. We had planned to visit Key West a few years ago, but that trip was canceled last minute due to a weather-related Delta meltdown in Atlanta that backed up our flights for a few days.
When faced with planning a last-minute vacation, I knew I wanted to attempt Key West again. We had originally planned to stay at the Hyatt in Key West (before it was branded as a Hyatt Centric), so it was an easy choice to book it again.
In this review, I’ll show you all around the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa to tell you what I loved and what wasn’t quite up to par.
If there’s one reason to book the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, it’s location. This hotel’s location is just about perfect if you want to explore Key West. It’s just off Duval Street and steps from Mallory Square, a popular spot to watch the gorgeous Key West sunsets. Plus, it’s an oceanfront property, which isn’t as common on the island as you might think.
After arriving at Key West International Airport (EYW), we took a quick 20-minute Uber ride to the hotel. I was able to use the Uber Cash from The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card, so I didn’t pay anything out of pocket.
Hot Tip: I stayed The Reach Key West, located on the southern end of the island for the last (and totally unplanned) night of my Key West trip. While I enjoyed that hotel’s beachfront location, overall the Hyatt Centric Key West was in a better spot for sightseeing and exploring the island by foot.
I booked this trip about 5 days ahead of departure and was thrilled that there was still award availability. I confirmed there was award space for the 4 nights I wanted to book and then I transferred the points I needed from Chase Ultimate Rewards. When I went to finalize my booking 2 minutes later, the award space was gone!
After a mild panic attack, I called Hyatt to see what happened. They confirmed that the last room must have been booked and there wasn’t anything they could do. So, I did what any good travel hacker would do, and looked at each night individually to see what was still available.
After looking at each night separately, I discovered that only 1 night I wanted to book was sold out. So, I shifted my trip by a day. When I went to book my 4-night stay (again), it still said it was sold out! I realized that the same room category wasn’t available to book with points on every night, so the whole thing showed as unavailable. When I went to book that night separately, it all worked. I ended up with a 1-night booking and a 3-night booking.
Hot Tip: If any of the nights you’re trying to book with points are sold out, the entire booking will show as unavailable. In that case, try searching for each night separately. You’ll be able to see which night is sold out (if any) or if there’s a difference in room category that’s triggering a sold-out message. You can then book your stay in smaller chunks (for example, a 1-night stay and a 3-night stay instead of a 4-night stay). While there’s a chance you would have to switch rooms during your stay, more often than not, the hotel will be able to combine your reservations.
The cash costs at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa were quite high during my stay in February and varied between $750 to $1,000 per night.
But of course, that’s not what I paid since I used points to book. At the time of my trip, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa was a Category 6 hotel that cost 25,000 Hyatt points per night (this stay was before peak and off-peak pricing changes).
Hot Tip: Since my stay, the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa moved to Category 7 and now requires 30,000 points per night for a standard award night booking.
Elite Benefits and Check-in
Upon arriving at the hotel, we were greeted and offered a glass of Champagne. The check-in process was quick and my Hyatt Explorist status was recognized. I was offered an upgrade to a partial ocean view room, which was unexpected since the hotel was mostly full.
We were given some information about the hotel, including a bingo game that offered a $25 resort credit as the prize. All we had to do to earn the resort credit was take a selfie at some designated Key West locations.
Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa charges a resort fee of $45 plus tax ($50.63 total) per night. There’s a long list of benefits mentioned on the website that are included in this fee. However, many of the benefits were non-existent in real life. You can avoid the hotel’s resort fee by booking with World of Hyatt points.
- Premium Wi-Fi
- Pool towels
- Pools balls and noodles
- Champagne welcome toast
- Fitness center
- Local and 800 calls
- Morning coffee station
- Reef-safe sunscreen*
- After-sun station*
- Daily newspaper*
- Hydration stations at the pool
- Afternoon pool treats (popsicles, seasonal fruit, etc.)*
- Craft cocktail class (2x per week)*
- Beach chairs
- Live music every evening
- 10% off dinner at SHOR*
- 2-hour bike rental per stay
- Luggage storage
- Umbrellas and ponchos*
- Outdoor recreation center with chess, checkers, cards, and foosball*
- Coco’s Monkey Adventures to book excursions
- Postcard and mailing services*
*There was no mention of these services at the hotel.
Hot Tip: The resort fee is waived at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa when you book with points. If you’re short on points, check out our guide to earning lots of World of Hyatt points for some tips.
Pool and Hot Tub
The Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa has an outdoor pool and hot tub right in the center of the property. Since it’s surrounded by buildings, there’s plenty of opportunity for shade, which I loved.
There’s a very small “beach” area with some lounge chairs that overlook the ocean.
The fitness center at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa wasn’t huge, but it was well appointed with treadmills, yoga mats, weights, and 2 Peloton bikes.
There’s a small spa at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa. You can book treatments such as massages, facials, and manicures, but there aren’t any amenities like a sauna, steam room, or spa pool like you may find at larger facilities.
My husband and I each booked an 80-minute hot stone massage. The massage itself was fine — there wasn’t really anything wrong with it, but it wasn’t great either. Massages can vary a lot based on who is giving it, though, so don’t let that deter you from booking one during your trip.
When we contacted the spa to make our appointments, we were told that gratuity was not included, so we tipped in cash. When we checked out, we discovered that a 20% gratuity had been added on top of the cost of the massage. The hotel refunded the extra gratuity due to the misunderstanding, but keep this in mind if you decide to book a massage.
Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa is home to a freshwater turtle sanctuary called Turtle Centric. These turtles were abandoned by their owners and aren’t able to live in the wild anymore. The habitat contains over 7,000 gallons of freshwater for the turtles to enjoy. An eco-tour is available every Friday at 3 p.m. for guests wanting to learn more.
Coco’s Monkey is the gift shop located by the pool. This is also where we got pool towels, bike rentals, and booked excursions.
Each guest is entitled to a free 2-hour bike rental once per stay. We definitely took advantage of this since Key West is a great area to explore by bike. The woman working at the shop even mapped out a bike route for us that took us from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic with plenty of attractions marked in between.
We also took advantage of the activities concierge at the gift shop to book a jet ski tour. They booked a same-day jet ski tour that left from the hotel’s dock. It was a fun 2-hour tour that ended up being one of my favorite activities of the trip.
Premium Wi-Fi was included with the resort fee charge. While the Wi-Fi was fine for scrolling social media or quickly checking an email, it was a little slow if you wanted to get some work done.
Headspace is a popular relaxation and meditation app we could access for free through our guest room TV.
Dogs are welcome (even at the pool deck!) and there’s a designated area for potty breaks. The fee is $150 for up to 6 nights and $300 for 7 nights or more. If you’re just bringing 1 dog, it must weigh 50 pounds or less. For 2 dogs, they must weigh 75 pounds or less combined.
Hot Tip: If you’ve got some extra time on your vacation, consider taking the drive between Miami and Key West on the Overseas Highway — it’s considered one of the best road trips in the U.S.
I split my reservation between 2 different room categories to be able to book with points at the last minute. For the first night, I reserved a 1 King Bed Room and the next 3 nights were booked in a 2 Queens with ADA Tub Room. Thankfully, the hotel was able to combine my reservations, so I didn’t have to switch rooms during my stay. I was upgraded to a 2 Queens with Partial Ocean View Room at check-in. I was also offered a 1 King Bed Room, but it was on a lower floor with a less desirable view, so I went with the 2 Queen Beds Room.
2 Queens With Partial Ocean View Room
The room was clean and basic but comfortable. The 2 queen beds were made with crisp white sheets and had plenty of fluffy pillows to ensure a great night’s sleep.
At the head of each bed was a light that had USB ports and plugs in the base. This was so convenient for charging our devices.
Facing the beds was a dresser with drawer space, an ice bucket, an alarm clock, a 55-inch flat-screen TV, a minifridge (behind the big cabinet door), and a coffee maker.
The coffee maker had a full setup with coffee, tea, creamer, sugar, and cups with travel lids.
We had a very small balcony with a table and 2 chairs. I enjoyed having coffee on the balcony each morning. However, there was a lot of construction noise during the afternoons, which made it less appealing later in the day. Unfortunately, the construction wasn’t disclosed before booking, so this was an unwelcome surprise when we got to the hotel.
While it wasn’t the best ocean view I’ve ever had, I could see the ocean, so I had no complaints.
Next to the balcony door was a sitting area with 2 chairs and a small table.
There was a small closet located by the front door that had a safe, luggage rack, and 2 robes.
I love a good hotel robe and these did not disappoint! They were super-comfortable sweatshirt-style robes.
The bathroom, like the bedroom, was basic but comfortable. It had a nice stand-up shower with a rain shower, as well as a regular shower head.
The shower had full-sized bottles of Bee Kind bath products.
The sink area had ample counter space and a modern sink vessel.
There were Bee Kind bath products available for use, as well as a make-up mirror, hairdryer, and plenty of towels.
Food and Beverage
SHOR American Seafood Grill
Located oceanfront with beautiful views, SHOR American Seafood Grill is the hotel’s main restaurant serving breakfast daily from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Both times we ate at SHOR, we sat on the deck to take in the beautiful views. For breakfast, I tried the bacon cheddar waffle and it was delicious.
At dinnertime, I enjoyed a specialty mocktail while enjoying the ocean views.
While the restaurant doesn’t have a full sunset view, you can still get that sunset vibe on the patio.
Blue Mojito is the poolside bar and restaurant that serves cocktails, lunch, and small bites during the day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Live music is offered Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
I enjoyed the chicken quesadilla and a frozen drink while relaxing by the pool.
While guestrooms have coffee makers, there was also a coffee service offered every morning on the deck by the pool.
The mini-market had a small selection of snacks and drinks available for purchase in the lobby.
Bottom Line: There are 2 restaurants at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa. SHOR American Seafood Grill serves breakfast and dinner while Blue Mojito, the pool bar, serves drinks, lunch, and snacks throughout the day.
Apart from some staff wearing masks, there weren’t many COVID-19 protocols to speak of at the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa. However, that seemed to be pretty typical of Key West at the time.
Daily housekeeping is a thing of beauty! So many of the hotels I’ve stayed at since the pandemic began have done away with daily housekeeping as a safety protocol. While that made sense in 2020, it just seems like an easy way for hotels to save on costs now. One of the reasons I love hotels so much is a freshly made bed and new towels every day. For me, it’s part of the hotel experience and I was thrilled to see daily housekeeping at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa.
One day, my room was left unlocked and unlatched by the housekeeping staff, but I’m sure that was an honest mistake.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa. The location can’t be beat if you’re visiting Key West. My room was comfortable, the food was good, and I loved the convenience of being able to book watersports activities that left from the hotel’s dock.
The bad news is that the hotel is expensive and is going to get more expensive when it moves to Category 7 in March 2022. Key West is an expensive place, so expect to pay a lot for food and activities when you’re visiting the area.