My husband and I recently took a last-minute trip to Key West to escape the cold Ohio winter. We planned to stay 4 nights to explore the island.
And that’s exactly what we did. We spent 4 nights at Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa.
But wait, isn’t this a review of The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton? Yes, it is. Let me explain.
Just as we were getting ready to leave for the airport, our flight got canceled. Not long after that, we found that our new flight wasn’t until the next night! So, it looked like we were going to spend an extra night and day in Key West. Unfortunately, Hyatt Centric was sold out that night so we needed to find a new hotel — and fast.
After looking at a few options, including some Kimpton and Marriott properties, we decided to go with The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton.
For those of you who love a good story, our night at The Reach wasn’t our last in Florida! We ended up getting stranded in Miami the next night after missing connecting flights (by about 30 seconds) so we had to stay another night, this time at The Confidante Miami Beach… but that’s a story for another day.
Read on to find out what I loved about The Reach Key West, and what wasn’t so great.
The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton is located on the south side of the island, a few blocks off of Duval Street, and just a 5-minute walk to the famous Southernmost Point marker.
When you arrive at the hotel, there’s a small outdoor patio with seating to the right, along with a large rooster mural (roosters and chickens run wild all over the island).
I booked this hotel about 30 minutes before we checked in (talk about last-minute) so I was thrilled that there was still award space available.
The cash cost was over $600 and an award night was 90,000 points. I didn’t have enough Hilton Honors points in my account to pay for an award night, so I chose to do a Points & Money booking. My final cost was $214.22 and 68,000 points.
This was an okay redemption, but not a great one, and one that I probably wouldn’t choose to do if I had time to think about it. I generally don’t love Points & Money bookings because the resort fee isn’t waived, since you pay for part of the stay in cash.
But, for a last-minute booking, I was fine with it and was just happy to have a place to sleep for the night.
Hot Tip: If you need more points, check out our in-depth guide to earning lots of Hilton Honors points.
The Reach Key West charges a resort fee of $45 plus tax per night. This includes the following:
- Internet access
- Fitness center
- Pool concierge service
- Beach chairs and umbrellas
- Beach hammocks
- Bocce ball and giant chess
- Shuttle to Casa Marina
- Local and toll-free calls
If you ask me, the benefits that come with the resort fee are slim, but unfortunately, that’s not uncommon. The good news is you can avoid paying the resort fee by booking your stay with points. If you choose a Points & Money booking as I did, you’ll have to pay the resort fee.
We took a quick Uber ride from the Hyatt Centric to The Reach Key West right after the room was booked. My Hilton Honors Gold Elite status was recognized and I was told I’d been upgraded to a Resort View King Studio Room.
Hot Tip: There are many ways to earn Hilton Honors elite status, and one of the easiest ways is with credit cards. I have Gold Elite status only because it comes as a benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express.
The lobby was bright and colorful, with a comfortable seating area and flavored water available for guests.
Our room wasn’t ready, so they gave us coupons for a free drink while we waited.
So we grabbed a frozen drink and checked out the resort grounds for a bit while we waited for our room.
After waiting about 45 minutes, I got a text message saying our room was ready. The text also let me know that since it wasn’t ready by 4 p.m. I was getting a $75 resort credit. Since I didn’t even arrive until 4:45 p.m. this was an unexpected, but much appreciated surprise.
As we walked to the front desk, impressed with Hilton’s customer service, I contemplated my Hyatt loyalty and how Hilton might fit into the picture. Ultimately I’m still a Hyatt loyalist, but Hilton moved up a few notches in my book based on the customer service I received at this hotel.
Hilton MyWay Benefit
The Hilton MyWay Benefit for this hotel was an $18 per person food and beverage credit or 1,000 Hilton Honors points. I had already selected the credit in my online account, so it was added to my account automatically. The credit for most Curio Collection by Hilton hotels is $15, but Key West is one of the “select markets” that receives $18 (this was nice because Key West is expensive).
The pool at The Reach Key West isn’t large but it was never crowded when I was there. It sits between the beach and the hotel’s grassy areas, so it had a nice vibe.
The Reach Key West has the only private natural sand beach in Key West. It was a small area but, unfortunately, there was a lot of seaweed when I was there, so it wasn’t fit for swimming. With that said, it was still a nice place to relax for a while.
Key West isn’t known for beautiful sandy beaches, so the fact that there was even a beach at all was a net positive.
There were some fun outdoor games available on the lawns of the property, including cornhole, giant chess, and bocce ball.
Plus, some quirky statues around the resort made for great photo ops.
The fitness center at The Reach had everything you would need to get a good workout, including cardio equipment, weights, and a Peloton Bike.
Access to Casa Marina
The Reach’s sister hotel is Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton (formerly a Waldorf Astoria resort). Guests have reciprocal benefits at each property and transportation between the 2 hotels is provided.
Hot Tip: Casa Marina Key West transitioned from a Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts property to a Curio Collection by Hilton property on March 15, 2022.
Since we ended up with an unplanned day in Key West, we had no plans. So, we visited the concierge in the hotel’s lobby to see if we could find something fun to do the next day. The woman we talked to was very helpful and booked us a kayak trip that included transportation. Even better, it was less expensive than what we were finding online for trips that didn’t include pick-up at the hotel.
We ended up having a blast kayaking through Key West’s mangroves.
Bottom Line: The Reach Key West has a small private beach, a pool, and nice grounds with games like bocce ball, cornhole, and chess.
After a long and strange walk to our room through an outdoor corridor that overlooks a parking lot, we made it to room 3336.
At first glance the room was great. It was large and had a separate sitting area and balcony.
I’m a sucker for a nice balcony, so that’s where I went first. The good news is the balcony was large and I could actually see a bit of the ocean.
The bad news is that it also looked out onto a parking lot. Calling this room a “resort view” is a stretch in my opinion. Since we were just there for 1 night, I didn’t let it bother me, but if we were planning to stay here for our whole vacation, I’d be pretty annoyed.
By the door was a dresser that housed a minifridge, a safe, a coffee maker, and bottled water. There were even real mugs instead of paper cups for the coffee, which is always a nice touch.
There was a nice sitting area across from the bed with a small couch and a coffee table.
One of the great things about this room was the availability of plugs and USB outlets. They were in the walls, on the bases of lamps, in the alarm clocks, and even on the side of the dresser next to the desk.
There were lamps and plugs on both sides of the king-sized bed, which was very convenient. I didn’t use the TV, but it was at an awkward angle if you wanted to watch it from the bed.
I didn’t find the bed super comfortable, but since this was a 1-night stay, it wasn’t a big problem.
The modern nautical vibe continued into the bathroom. It was fairly large, but there was a lot of dead space.
The closet, which had a luggage rack, robes, and extra blankets, was located inside the bathroom.
I loved the backsplash behind the sink. The modern mirror paired with the rustic rope hanger made for a unique look that fit the space perfectly.
There was a stand-up shower that had large bottles of verbena-and-lavender scented products from Crabtree & Evelyn.
Bottom Line: My resort view king studio suite at The Reach was spacious, comfortable, and nicely decorated, but unfortunately the “resort view” was mostly of the parking lot.
Food and Beverage
Sand & Sea Cafe and Gift Shop
There was a cafe and gift shop on the property that was offered a low-cost breakfast deal. I went in to see what it was all about and was unimpressed at the options. It was basically a breakfast sandwich sitting under a food heater like you’d see at a gas station. Needless to say, I opted for the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast.
Four Marlins, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant, is open daily between 7 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails daily along with brunch on Sundays.
While dinner was good, I loved breakfast at Four Marlins. In addition to gorgeous views, the food was delicious and the service was great. I tried the Cuban Torrejas (french toast) and the cheddar scallion hash browns and both dishes were excellent. My latte was served with a rock candy stirrer, which was a nice touch.
Bottom Line: Four Marlins is the only full-service restaurant at the hotel. While it was a little pricey, the food and service were great and the ocean views were excellent.
Overall, the service I received at The Reach Key West was outstanding. From the proactive drink coupons and resort credit at check-in to the great excursion the concierge booked for us, I was impressed.
The customer service and hotel amenities at The Reach Key West were great. But, I probably wouldn’t choose to stay here again because of the uncomfortable bed and the views of the parking lot.
However, if you could guarantee not getting a parking lot view and want a hotel with a beach, this could be a good option for your Key West vacation. At the end of the day, though, I enjoyed my stay at the Hyatt Centric more than The Reach Key West.