Hello fellow vacationers: I will cover pretty much everything, but first this: Make sure their noise issues are resolved before booking.
We stayed here the first week of January. At that time the hotel was having an internecine “war” with the bar they lease out which is on their property, next to the pool. As mentioned in other reviews, the bar played incredibly loud “house” music until the wee hours – sometimes until 3AM. We were even on the side facing away from the bar, but it didn’t help. The sides of the building are open, and the booming bass permeates. When I asked Cheap Caribbean to move us to a different hotel, the manager promised it wouldn’t happen again. Well, it did. If you care about getting a decent night’s sleep you might want to look into this and at least get the promise of a refund for noisy nights.
Other than the noise issues I would say you basically get what you pay for. There is no view to speak of but you know that going in. The rooms are a good size and clean, the beds and linens are nice; the shower was very good and that is important, the TV was fine, we were given a fridge without asking and then mysteriously it was removed – we let that go. The turn down service was sporadic; sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t, also not that important to us.
The pool area is attractive but when we tried to sit there in the afternoon at about 5pm, the music had already started; loud, sometimes raunchy hip-hop. Again, not relaxing or even appropriate for the clientele and time of day.
The staff is cordial if not genuinely warm. Stanley, the bellman is great. The night manager seems as frustrated with the noise situation as the guests.
Here’s the situation at the beach – there is an area between the Hyatt and Occidental were you can sit on lounges for free. If you want shade, there is a woman there who is in charge of setting you up with a hut and chairs. However, she doesn’t work for the Brickell – she takes all comers – locals, people from timeshares, families from the cruise ships, etc. Most of the huts were already reserved for the duration of our trip, and we mainly sat under a big communal hut that was also a hub for water sports reservations and other tours. The bottom line is that you are paying to sit almost on top of other families and groups, crying babies, etc. All while she is wheeling and dealing on her cell phone and in person. She’s a hard-working lady doing her job. But, it is not what you would call relaxing. She also closes up shop at 5pm, a full hour and a half before the sun sets. If you want to stay on the beach you have to be a squatter at the Occidental.
About the breakfast – if you are a marathon runner perhaps you will appreciate a breakfast that consists of a basket full of carbohydrates (muffins, banana bread, a croissant and toast). A true continental breakfast should include at least cereal and hopefully mixed fruit and yogurt. When I asked for grapefruit juice I was told at first only orange juice was included until I pressed the issue a bit (with a smile). So we paid extra to get some protein.
The AC worked fine for most of the trip; although we did not see any controls for it; so we could not change the settings. After an island-wide power blackout, it didn''t work anymore and we were moved to another room.
I know Brickell is trying to position themselves as a boutique hotel alternative to the more expensive resorts. Here are a few suggestions:
Have correct instructions for how to use the safe. The instructions that were in the room were for a different model; it was somewhat complicated. We wasted about 20 minutes trying to figure it out, even when a staff person came to help.
Put some fabric softener in the towels and robes; they are very stiff and rough to the touch
Update the browsers on the computers, or get new computers. You can’t even check email, they’re so out of date. They call this a business center?
At check in, provide all the codes for wi-fi and computer access – so we don’t have to come asking for it later. It would also be nice if the wi-fi worked in Charlies, where the breakfast is served.
Put some sort of temperature controls on the AC so we don't have to call maintenance to turn it up or down.
So readers, it comes down to what you are looking for. For the very height of the season I suppose this place is a bargain, although for us the loud music is a deal breaker at any price. We had originally planned to stay elsewhere but had to change our dates, so we thought we’d give this a try. In addition to other issues, we prefer being right on the beach, so we won’t be back. It may be right for you, but it wasn’t for us.
Unless you party hearty, ask to be on the side facing away from the bar, on a high floor away from t...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.