The Epic was chosen for a weekend birthday break mostly because it would offer us the opportunity to wander around Downtown without thinking about the car and because of the Kimpton Group's enlightened pet friendly policy.
The room on the 27th floor had a spectacular view of the river and of Brickell Ave...it looked like a sunny version of Chicago (although to be fair to Chicago, it is hard to compete with the Biscayne Bay backdrop). The pet friendly policy was in full force...a doggy bed was set up alongside the water and food bowls in the room and without having to request the same from the front desk (although they had been prewarned that the pooch was coming along). It is safe to say that Mandy has never enjoyed a hotel as much as she enjoyed the Epic...she was relaxed from the get go (and that is a very big plus in my book).
However I'm afraid to say that the humans weren't as happy as the dog.
When we arrived, quite heavily laden and with an eager dog on a leash, it would have been nice if one of the many bellmen who were free at the time would have deigned to give us a hand. Although they'd have seen that we got out of a Camry, this doesn't mean that we are lousy tippers...but no such luck. The check in was fine if a little mechanical and when we got to the room, it was apparent that the furniture inside had seen better days. Drawers opened of their own volition and the overall ambience of the rather chipped wooden furniture was more shabby than shabby chic. That said, the bathroom was lovely...and I always like those little buttons that you can press to show whether you want room service or to be left in peace. One of the more curious features of the room was that the fridge was locked...I needed to deposit the dog's wet food container inside it and it was necessary to go and fetch a key from the from the front desk. Weird.
We've eaten at Area 31 and at Zuma before so didn't feel the need to repeat (given the number of local options) but did have a couple of rather uninspiring (dare I say watery?) cocktails from the Area 31 bar. We did appreciate the free wine at happy hour even if Frontera is not usually a brand of choice (but freebies are freebies...lol).
We both enjoyed our treatments at the Exhale Spa but the check-in process could be handled a little more charmingly...filling in the waiver forms I felt like I was visiting a new doctor's office. A tea machine in the zen rest room is not quite the same as the champagne and nibbles that they serve up at the Ritz-Carlton spa on the Beach. Still, my back appreciated Tara's excellent ministrations.
I was very pleased that the valet delivered the car nice and promptly when it came to leave though, yet again, no-one inquired as to whether or not we wanted assistance with the luggage. Navigating the bags, the dog and opening the hotel front door simultaneously was a tad challenging but never say that I am less than athletic...
All in all, great locale, just work on the details a bit more guys.
Higher the better, facing the River/bay
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thanks for your review and for sharing. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed our pet program, the view and the bathroom. So sorry that you had some opportunities with us throughout your stay.
Please rest assured that we are taking your critique very seriously and are already looking into it.
Prior to your next visit to Miami, please feel to contact me directly so I can personally ensure that you will have a truly EPIC experience with us.
EPIC wishes, Jacqueline Ploettner
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.