Just Florida Things: Epic Beach Crawl: Key Largo, FL
The elusive Penthouse Suite. The purported best room in every hotel, according to the movies. You might see the elevator button labelled for it or even walk past the door, wondering what glories are inside. Then one night, we got to stay in one ourselves...
How did we end up staying in a Penthouse Suite? Well, we certainly didn't pay for it! As we looped through the Florida Keys and headed back north towards home, we splurged on a nicer resort hotel in Key Largo for the night of my birthday. We had paid for a nice Ocean view King room, already quite expensive by our standards. So whatever serendipity befell us that evening - whether because we are relatively loyal reward members or because it was my birthday or more likely they simply overbooked the hotel and we might otherwise have been room-less, we found ourselves standing in front of the door with THE SIGN.
Actually, Justin had already written it off as not our room and was about to walk down the hall, but I, holding our little key card packet with the number on it stopped him. "Justin, look. It's the Penthouse Suite." "That's nice, let's go." "No, this is OUR ROOM."
I recall standing at the check-in desk a few moments before, joking that we were getting the Presidential Suite (this is a regular occurrence, so nothing new!). The hotel staff half-smiled and said "It's a really nice room." Those sly foxes!
I opened one of the double doors.
"Whoa." Justin said.
Across the living room, we were seeing through floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the ocean... and a wrap around balcony. We dropped our luggage in the foyer to explore: A living room larger than any hotel room we've ever stayed in. A bedroom with a giant bed. An en suite bathroom including Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. A kitchen. A second full bathroom off the living room. A dining room with an orchid - my favorite flower - sitting on the table. And that balcony that started at the bedroom and continued around 2 sides of the living room. Yes, we could live here.
On the way up to our room , we had been talking about getting dressed up and going out for a nice dinner. So, we got dressed up and ordered room service! We sat at the best table in the house, overlooking the ocean in our one-night-only dining room.
We spent the evening sitting on the balcony watching the sunset. We spent the morning there, too, using the binoculars to zoom in on boats on the horizon. We stayed in that glorious suite right up until the last few minutes before check out time.
Since the universe has a strong sense of humor, the following night, we stayed in a budget dive with two double beds, as the hotel had run out of the king room we booked... sigh.
Our Favorite Photos of the Trip:
Top Tips & Notes for Next Time:
1. Be nice to everyone, especially if they are helping you. For example, checking in at this hotel took a little longer than normal, I think because they had to override the system to give us that room. If we'd been grumpy instead of pleasantly patient, well, we'll never know, but I bet we would have stayed in a different room! Being nice won't guarantee you an upgrade, but if you're not, it will certainly guarantee you won't get one.
2. Loyalty can be king when traveling. This was not the first complimentary upgrade we were given at this brand on our road trip, although it is the best upgrade we've ever gotten! While we are members of several hotel brand reward programs and are primarily loyal to two, this one always gets precedence now.