Good things first. St Regis Bal Harbour is a very beautiful hotel – everything is new and works properly. The rooms, with an stunning ocean view, are to die for. Beach is amazing, probably the most quiet, relaxing and beautiful of all Miami Beach. Gym is well equipped and the pools are fancy. J&G Grill, the main restaurant, is excellent.
However, after a week there with my husband, I have to say that things didn't went so smooth. Unfortunately the hotel service does not have the same level of its facilities and location. Staff is numerous, but confusing. And a lot of small problems, have compromised all our experience.
1) They have offered us a butler service. But we just saw our butler when we arrived. He escorted us to our room and showed how it worked. Never said what the butlers could actually do for us. For the following 6 days, we never saw or heard of a butler again. If we needed him, the instruction was to dial for "butler services", which is the same as a concierge service. I believe a butler should be a proactive person. It is not the case.
2) Sunday night we ordered breakfast for the following morning in the room, as my husband had early meetings. It was arranged for 8 am, but actually it never arrived. When we called the private dining service at 8:15, they simply said there was no order for us. We had to go downstairs in a rush to get breakfast, so my husband wouldn´t be late for his conference. A few hours later the private dining manager called to apologize and offer us a complimentary breakfast any other day (which we though was a nice gesture).
3) The bottles of water we left unfinished in our nightstands were thrown away by the cleaning ladies. After two days of this routine, I called the concierge to ask what was that about and the answer was that when the water wasn´t finished they “assume” we won´t drink it anymore (!!). After my complaint they sent me a few complimentary bottles in the room.
4) Pool service and beach service are chaotic (as many reviewers have already said in TripAdvisor). It´s not that there is a shortage of employees. There are plenty of them. Nonetheless, it´s really hard to get their attention. One afternoon we ordered a bottle of wine in the beach and it took us 40 minutes to get the drinks. Despite the delay, the bill had a 18% gratuity automatically included (I am more than happy to pay a nice gratuity for good service but that was not the case).
5) When we checked in, the staff asked if we were SPG members (their loyalty program). After an 8 hour flight we were not able to find our numbers, so we said we would send the number before the checkout. Later in the room, however, I found an email sent by me to the hotel a couple of months ago informing our SPG number. It could be a minor thing, but we were not eligible to the program benefits during our stay. We missed opportunities such as upgrade (if available); I don't know why my prior email was ignored.
6) The service guide we had in our rooms mentioned that there was free complimentary in room beverage service. One afternoon I ordered 2 espressos. They came with a 20,18 dollar bill (probably the most expensive espresso ever). When we checked out I asked what was the complimentary in room beverage service about (as we were charged) and the answer was that this service was available for the suites not the regular rooms like mine. So, why was that information in my room?
7) When we tried to order the complimentary breakfast that was offered to us after the episode I mentioned above, neither the butler service or the private dining service were aware of the problem. We had to tell the story all over again. Anyway, breakfast was delivered in the proper time with just a minor setback – although we are a couple, they sent just ONE glass of juice.
8) Finally, butler services did email us some days before arriving. They offered a dinner sponsored by a champagne producer and asked if we were celebrating some special occasion. We informed them that we could be interested in the dinner and that we will celebrate two anniversaries (10th year together and 5 years of marriage). They simply ignore the information and never talked to us again about both subjects.
When I am at a 5 star hotel, I really expect a good service. Unfortunately, that was not the case in St Regis Bal Harbour.