The mother of all reviews… I basically lived at the EPIC for 3 months while on a temporary assignment in Miami. In a nutshell, EPIC hotel is pretty awesome and a great value for what you get. Yes, it’s somewhat more expensive than the Motel 6, but at the same time, the amenities more than make up for it. They have specials and you can get a room for as little as $199 a night. My company had a discount, so I paid a bit less than that… just keep in mind you pay $36 for overnight parking.
Customer Service... The folks at the front desk are amazing. Christian (he’s probably moved to L.A. already), Mari, and Matt went out of their way to accommodate me. Always smiling & always helpful. The bellman are fabulous too! Malik was my favorite… And they let you store your bags for no extra charge if you need. That was HUGE for me, because they kept everything for me while I attended out-of-town meetings. Plus, they let you bring animals, for FREE! Tip: Avoid checking in & out at the main times (long lines). They’re really nice about late check-outs… Ask and you shall receive.
The décor… and ambiance… the place is REALLY NICE. It looks like the pictures. And it’s the “see-and-be-seen” place to be.
The pool area is to die for… The one on the right (as you come outside) is the heated one. All types of lounging chairs, beds, cocoons… pool service is amazing! They have drink specials too.
Happy hour!!!! Let’s talk value again… $5 drinks in Miami… with a priceless view of downtown Miami and the bay… Miami Beach in the distance… It is a VERY happening place. They also have a DJ on Thurs and Fri nights. I think the happy hour is 5-7pm weeknights, but 5-10pm on Thurs & Fri. When I was there they were doing a martini Wed with art show. OH…. And the hotel does a FREE wine hour from 5pm-6pm. Tip: Take 2 glasses so you don’t have to go back down.
Inner Circle Membership… On one hand, I was upgraded a TON and the staff went out of their way to be accommodating. On the other, I wasn’t told everything that was available upfront. I learned as I spent time there… I never met the CEO or had the complimentary meal at the restaurant. Overall, it’s a great thing to have, just wish I knew the details from the beginning. Tip: If you have an extended stay, check-in-and-check-out as much as possible so you maximize the number of nights you earn and get to Inner Circle status faster. And another tip: if you ARE an inner circle member, they will extend your stay at the same price as the original nights…This is helpful when the prices jump.
Gym… It’s pretty respectable for a hotel gym… but the BEST PART OF ALL is the classes you can take at Exhale. I never visited the spa, but they have the most amazing Core Fusion classes. Think pilates meets barre. I am an exercise fanatic, and I swear by the barre classes, particularly with Julie Wiesman. She’s awesome. I wear a heart-rate monitor and in 1 hour of barre, I burn the same amount of calories as I do with push-ups and burpees and intense exercise. Yet, barre is not jarring… Your legs will be shaking, but you’ll develop muscles you never knew you had! Tip: If you’re doing more than 2 classes ($25 each), get the “Week of Transformation” pass for $30 and get unlimited classes for 7 days.
Zuma… one of the best restaurants in Miami. Sweet & Spicy beef melts in your mouth. (to my disappointment it’s not spicy at all, but still one of the most delicious items) Sushi is fresh. Be prepared to wait for a table though! Oh, and not for the budget-conscious. The steak I mention is $34 or so… and that’s just the meat… and the portion isn’t super-size either. It’s worth it, but be prepared. Their cocktails are out-of-this-world. They also have AMAZING virgin cocktails for the kids and those that don’t want to drink… Tip: eat at the bar if you don’t have all night.
***HIT OR MISS***
Area 31… Seafood restaurant… You get discounts if you’re a member of Exhale or for your company, so make sure to ask! The best is the grouper… so delicious with a medley of seafood accompaniment. Best value is the steak… I eat a lot and I couldn’t even finish it. The ceviche is the best I’ve EVER had… and I lived in Spain! What makes it different is the citrus… Instead of lemon/lime marinade (so typical), they use orange or grapefruit which makes it softer and sweeter. Lobster stew was good, but it brings up my pet peeve: they put diced carrots and peas in EVERYTHING. Seriously. Think school cafeteria. The food’s good, but then someone adds the damn peas and carrots when it doesn’t even make sense. I ate there 20 – 30 times, so trust me. It’s weird. I’ve had to return a couple things… undercooked mahi-mahi… gamey “dirty rice…” The customer service was dicey too… the bartenders Johnny and Orieta were great; Gene, the manager was friendly and funny; but the waiters were slow and spacey… I recommend eating at the bar because you get better service. P.S. Try the dirt pie. It’s awesome.
Rooms… Overall, the most comfortable, clean, beds… however, I had some issues. The building is new, but things are already starting to break. I had doors that didn’t close or were really loud… shower issues… random noises from faucets… broken mini-fridge… broken telephone… AC issues… Those things happen and I swapped rooms in order to get upgrades and whatnot. On the other hand… the views are SPECTACULAR. The ocean view is great, but so is the city view. I actually LIKE the city view because Miami is so lovely. I really enjoyed my time in the ‘01 rooms. Great views, spacious, and the tubs are AMAZING! The bubbles come from the bottom, which is unusual.
Room Service… I didn’t get room service all the time, but I’d say it could use improvement. The food was GREAT, but the wait was an hour+ in most cases… For a burger? And sometimes our calls would go unanswered.
Location… It’s not at South Beach. South Beach is a ten-minute drive… I actually think it’s a good thing, but depending on what you’re looking for… Location is PERFECT for downtown. You’ll spend double to be on the beach, just FYI. Taxi is about $25 from the airport to the hotel and $20 to the beach, depending on where you go. Tip: Ask if they take credit card because many are lazy and swear they don’t… but they do. Central Cabs definitely take credit card.
Kyma… Over-rated in my opinion. It’s a very nice ambiance, but nobody really goes there and they charge to get in… Sometimes. And it’s FREEZING in there because it’s often empty.
Elevators on Saturday nights... disgusting. They need to hire someone specifically from 9pm-3am to monitor the elevators and prevent drunk people from throwing stuff all over the place. The hotel is a happening place, so I understand, but c'mon! Elevators get gross. Oh, and the key is forever annoying... If you accidently place it by the cell phone, it deactivates... Tip: If someone else has a key and you're still rummaging for yours, just press your floor after they've entered theirs... and as long as you're not on 29 or 30, that gives you time to find it.
Parking… Bless his heart, Wilson, the manager tries SOOOO hard to get it together. I found it ludicrous nothing official was done for the 3 months I was staying at EPIC. I was expected to pay $36 a night, for the overnight parking. There are all types of prices for parking. $36 for hotel guests. $18 for restaurant/pool/visit/etc… ($13 with validation)… $5 if you go to Exhale and get validation… Anyway, the point is… Wilson helped me out when I was able to find him, but if he WASN’T around, I had to argue with everybody and explain the situation… x 3 months. I ended up renting a car only on weekends, but that was sorta inconvenient, but saved tons of money on parking. Also, I have no idea why… but no matter the time of day, I waited a LONG time for my car. Even when I was the only one there… Expect 20 minutes. Tip: If you’re a hotel guest, call down way ahead of time.
Obnoxious a-holes… Since it’s the place to be, it can attract all kinds… Kim Kardashian anybody? Anyway, in 3 months someone set off the fire alarm at 3am twice. I don’t know if that’s good or bad statistically speaking, but the only thing that infuriates me is messing with my sleep.
Patio Furniture… yes, this gets its own category because it messes with my sleep. I was up until 4am one night because someone above me kept moving their patio furniture around all night… I called maintenance (“engineering”) and they couldn’t identify the problem. Dragging metal furniture on tile makes noise. Pray you have quiet neighbors upstairs! Oh, and the patios are filthy… like black soot… because nobody ever cleans them. Tip: If you plan to hang out on the patio at any point (recommended), request cleaning/mopping.
Like I said, it’s a GREAT value… You’ll be staying at one of the hottest hotels in Miami. It’s not on the beach, but it’s in Downtown, on the river… close to Brickell and all that fancy-pants stuff. It was my home-away-from-home… I love the place, even though I was super-critical. Half of people’s experiences are chance… Sometimes everything goes perfectly and other times not at all. Compared to all of the other hotels in the area, EPIC IS THE BEST. Feel free to contact me if you want more info, although I think I've said plenty!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The new EPIC Hotel is the premier luxury hotel in Miami, a sparkling cosmopolitan destination on the bank of the Miami River where it meets Biscayne Bay. A stunning addition to Miami, this hotel, a Kimpton Hotel, epitomizes urban design while offering guests a level of style and service expected of such a resort. With exceptional amenities, breathtaking views and dining venues like Area 31, EPIC Hotel makes for an unparalleled Miami experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Epic Hotel Kimpton