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“How did they get the pricing so wrong?” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Miami Downtown

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Hilton Miami Downtown
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #40 of 129 Hotels in Miami
Sydney
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“How did they get the pricing so wrong?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2010

Hilton International hotels are typically your luxury 5-star brand that oozes style and class everywhere, particularly in Asia. In America, however, they are really just a 4-star hotel chain (e.g. Hilton Anaheim, how is that called anything more than 4 star?) as is Sheraton and Marriott. So, after reading the reviews on this website, and after looking at candid photos, we were pretty much prepared for the same thing; a 4-star hotel chain. And that’s exactly what we got!

Upon arrival, the hotel is right outside a drive-thru diner where the cops like to hang out. It’s not a visually appealing area at all, and in fact, the hotel lobby is 1 floor above the street level (what the?). On the lobby level, registration desks and a souvenir store that looked like it has remained in the 80’s sits with the restaurant, bar, and access to the pool (how can the guest be expected to go through the hotel bar to the pool area??). This hotel is another one that has been built in the 70s/80s and has had a renovation to try and keep up with the times, but really looks like a refurbished old hotel. The design of it shows that!

We had 2 rooms on the 3rd floor and upon entry, the first thing that hit me was the sheer ugliness of the view. It is literally a large white roof from the building next door. The only thing that could have made it worse was old rotting air conditioning units. After closing the drapes to avoid more eye sores, the rooms are relatively spacious with 2 double Hilton Serenity beds, a coffee percolator machine with take-away cups (which seems to be the standard in US hotels) and a toilet which looks like it missed the renovation and also remains in the 70’s. Whoever designed the toilet roll holder was an idiot, which is so far from the toilet you need to stretch toward the sink to get it. Once you tear toilet paper off and let it fall, the roll falls to the ground and soaks up water from the floor which had not drained properly. What the!?! The room also does not have a room safe, and for some reason had an iron, but no ironing board. The air conditioning was also a hit and miss – our room was at a good temperature, but right next door it was constantly hot which meant turning up the air conditioning so that it was so noisy and smelt damp that you couldn’t really sleep properly, no matter what kind of Serenity bed you put there.
Breakfast in the restaurant was quite limited, but I guess quite standard for an American hotel. What I completely disagree with at this hotel is the automatic gratuities charge of 18%, both at the bar and hotel. How can a gratuity be automatic!? It means the staff know they’re getting this amount, so they can just slack off. Our waiter cleared our plates once (in a buffet!) and still expected the 18% - complete rip off!

Check-in staff were quite brief and pretentious. Nothing like the welcoming concierge who helped us with tours and activities to do. As a business hotel, it has a very good location, being a brisk 1 minute walk to Miami’s free tram system, while South Beach is about a $10 cab fare away, and Port of Miami is well within sight of the hotel. It’s also a 5-10 minute walk to Bayview Shopping Centre – if you can stand the Florida sun! We also ventured to Dolphin Mall during our stay which the hotel recommends a $10 return trip bus shuttle. Beware, however, that the Hilton is one of the last hotel stops to the mall, and when we tried to get on, it was completely full. We had to then fork out $40 each way for a taxi.

All up, the stay did not exceed nor went below our expectations. If you expect a 70’s/80’s style hotel which has new beds, then you’re pretty much spot on. Probably next time would look at a newer hotel.

Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2010

Excellent services clean and spacious rooms with great view of downtown Miami.Bar off lobby is a great hotel bar.We were given a bottle of champagne for our anniversary.The staff was very accommodating always smiling and engaging in conversation. We are looking forward to returning.We highly recommend this Hilton.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2010

The hotel website clearly states that the rooms are equipped with both air conditioning AND heat. This is untrue, but the hotel staff failed to mention this until we were four room changes into our stay. When it was finally established that the hotel had NO heating system, we tried to settle into our freezing room... only to find that there was no hot water. We changed rooms again. And again. Finally, we settled for the last room. This room had warm water for part of our stay and cold water for the rest.
When we complained about the state of our room, the person at the front desk assured us that our first night would be comped. When we checked out, we were told that because we had booked through Hotwire, this would not be possible.
So, we came to Florida to be warm, and while we can't blame the record cold temperatures on the hotel or the staff, we CAN blame them for a miserably cold room, a cold shower, and an unapologetic staff, armed with nothing but lies about how they would resolve our problems.
I am so disappointed. I thought that Hilton stood for quality and service, but I have been proven wrong. As a frequent traveler, I am constantly booking rooms and talking to people about my experience. I will never recommend a Hilton again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DHendrix, General Manager at Hilton Miami Downtown, responded to this review, January 20, 2010
Thank you for your review and I am sorry that you were not happy with your stay. While we do have heat in the hotel, it is not enough to combat the record cold. There is no excuse for the hot water and this is not an issue at this hotel. I wish you would have let me know of your concerns while you were here, but I do hope if you are coming back to Miami you will give us an opportunity to redeem ourselves.

Please contact me if you are coming back.

Thank you again,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2010

I visited the Hilton in Jan' 10 with my wife. The best thing about the hotel was its location. It was pretty close to almost every place that we planned to go, so that worked out perfectly.
We got a great deal through priceline and after I told the guy (Digby) at check-in that this was a get away vacation for us, he gave us a room on the 20th floor over looking the entire city. He also gave us free breakfast for the next day, which was very nice of him as well.
The views from the room were amazing, with huge glass windows from floor to ceiling.
We didn't have all the channels available on our TV for some reason but we didn't watch much TV so it didn't matter. Also, the A/C in the room was super noisy and the only way to get rid of the noise was to turn it off.
Our only complain about the hotel was the valet parking which was $28 / night. Its impossible to find parking elsewhere as all the meters also run 24 hours with a 5 hr maximum parking limit. However, the valets were quick and very nice.
South beach is a quick 10 minute drive which was very convenient too. The hotel also has a nice outdoor swimming pool as well with a small attached bar.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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US
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2010

I stay in hotels 60-90 nights a year, so I have a pretty good perspective on how a proper hotel is run.... this is not a well-run hotel. They cater to the cruise passengers coming and going, so they have a real slam-and-jam attitiude knowing that you probably won't ever return...so why should they care?

The cleaning staff were very ineffective- fingerprints, stains, crumbs, and hairpins were there to greet us when we arrived. (And this was an upgraded suite because I brought 80 associates for meetings all week.)
*In spite of claiming "renovations", this hotel was merely painted and carpeted...it's still a 70's building with loud AC units and tired infrastructure. To exit to street level from your room, you have to take a slow and old elevator to the lobby and then yet another slow elevator to the "Motor Lobby"
*Most staff are very slow and apathetic
*Food quality is poor: a lot of the food is pre-packaged or not prepared on site, and the coffee is made from coffee concentrate, not really brewed coffee.
*Internet in sleeping rooms very slow
*Cable TV has a lot of channels, but watching it on the 15 year old TV (I thought they said they renovated?!) was problematic with static and bleed-over from the music channels.
*There is no security mechinism in place to stop bums, hustlers, and pizza advertisers from wandering the hallways
*The restaurant forces an 18% gratuity.... no incentive to provide good service. When we ate lunch on Saturday afternoon, we had to listen to three staff members talk about hair styles, extensions, and color treatments.... very inappropriate.

Summary: It's tough to get good service and accomodations in Miami AT ANY PRICE, but you would do better to search elsewhwere.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lowell, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2010

We stayed here for 2 days before our cruise out of Miami. The hotel seemed renovated and it was clean and beautiful. We had a room on the 14th floor overlooking downtown Miami. The view was amazing. The room itself was huge compared to other hotels I've stayed at. The only negative would be that they didn't come to make our beds or clean the room, but that didn't ruin our stay at the Hilton. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a hotel close to the Miami port and I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DHendrix, General Manager at Hilton Miami Downtown, responded to this review, January 19, 2010
Thank you for your kind review. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed our amazing views and convenient location to all that Miami has to offer. I hope you can stay with us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2010

When we entered our hotel room, the tables were dirty, along with the floor. The shower curtain did not have any rings on the shower curtain and the the curtain was covering half the bathtub (it was ripped). The water was not even going through in the sink or the bathtub. They have serious plumbing issues. The tables had something sticky all over them. We had to call the hotel management at 12 am to get the water to go through. I would never recommend this hotel to anyone. It was horibble. Please do not book it.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Miami Downtown

Address: 1601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Romantic Hotel in Miami
#24 Family Hotel in Miami
#38 Business Hotel in Miami
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Miami Downtown 3.5*
Number of rooms: 527
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hilton Miami Downtown has completely renovated all 527 rooms and suites, featuring the Hilton Serenity Bed and Bath Collection. The new exercise facility features Fitness by Precor. Enjoy the heated roof top pool with views of Miami. The hotel offers the amenities today's travelers expect. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel Miami
Miami Hilton

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