Saturday, May 7, 2011

5 ways Key West is depicted by UK travel companies

Thought I'd take a look at some reviews of Key West and how it's portrayed by the UK travel companies on their websites.

Here's the good, the bad and the ugly.

Will any of the UK vacation descriptions do Key West justice?

Note: italics means I've taken a direct quote from the website.

Virgin Holidays

The Keys stretch 160 miles south of Miami and are often described as 'Florida's jewels' because of the sparkling effect created by the closeness of the sea on both sides.  Really?  They are indeed beautiful, but this is the first time I've never heard them described as Florida's Jewels.  And a quick look at Google agrees with me, for example, a search result there says Florida springs are the crown jewels.

The only excursion described on the website is a 2 day dolphin excursion from Key Largo!  Not particularly Key West local!

Overall Virgin Holidays Key West score - 3 out of 10
All in all only  131 words, so no detail, and many of those about the Keys generally rather than Key West.  Poor.

More detail here.  General summary mentioning the Caribbean-ness, location to Cuba, a weather section that says about the frost free nature of KW.  Reasonable things to do section with all the usual culprits. Key West is a culinary delight, apparently!

Key West is home to absolutely stunning sand beaches - might be a little bit of hyperbole creeping in here!

All going well apart from the weather chart at the bottom of the page which doesn't work.

The most bizarre thing is the big picture they have chosen at the top of the Key West page.  It absolutely is nothing like Key West, or anything in Southern Florida.  In the background is cliffs and a hilly island about 100ft high!  Looks like Greece.  Very poor, guys!

Overall Key West score - 5 out of 10
656 words and all going kind of well until you realise the main image is Greece and not Key West.  Descriptions just state the obvious really, nothing that interesting - you don't really care, guys!

Bon Voyage holidays

Key West is also known as the Last Resort - really?

You can dance all night - really? All night?  Where?

Then it gets better, thankfully, with the Things to do section, mentioning the obvious but also including the Key West Botanical Gardens, Conch train, and Bahia Honda beaches.  The best quality list so far.

In the eating out section, refers to 5 restaurants, the farthest 100 miles away in Key Largo (Fish House Restaurant) and the nearest on Stock Island.  Wow - a 100 mile drive for dinner!

Has an image gallery with a grand total of 3 images on it - a catamaran, an aerial pic of KW (pretty useless) and an unnamed bird.  Better than nothing, just.

Overall  Bon Voyage score - 6 out of 10
The most words so far but some garbage in the intro and basically promised more than it delivered.  Still does not do Key West justice by a long way.

Other hilarious lines from other UK websites include:

Stop in national chain stores for that stylish new piece you forgot to buy for your holiday or adorable local souvenir shops for the perfect gift for those back at home.  Are they referring to the subtle T-shirt shops that adorn Duval?! (

you can even catch a show at one of the concert halls. Concert halls?  What? Are we back in the Victorian Key West? (

So all in all, not very good content, and certainly didn't do Key West justice...stick with the KW blogs!