Ok. I admit it. I'm a Kimpton addict. I've had wonderful experiences before. I've bought the package. I expect the best.
But this is Miami. Culture shock if you figure this Kimpton is going to square up to those hotels in NYC, Chicago, DC...
To be sure, the service, attentiveness, friendly and inviting attitude of this staff is absolutely consistent with other Kimptons. As this was my first journey to Miami, I relied on the expertise of the concierge and desk staff and they were marvelous, spending many minutes with me in conversation about how to navigate the city. Ditto the cleaning and pool staff. If you are looking for amazingly good service, then this is your spot.
Why can't Kimpton transport DC, or Chicago to Miami? I must be too old to appreciate the "clubbing" experience...Sit outside at the entrance..take in the costume sprawl and everything that is of excess. You will find it here..
Our room was, well, nice. King, with a view of the river, and you can peek at a portion of South Beach with binoculars. Smaller than DC/Chicago rooms, but OK. I get the Ar t Deco thing they are trying to avoid, but play into. Curtained window from the bathtub...
Since this is a partnered living space (residents + visitors), you can't stay on the lower floors, so you will be somewhere between sixteen and thirty (those last two floors reserved for those of you who wish to delve into club-level status). Be prepared to keep your room key with you at all times. The elevators demand you swipe your key before proceeding up.
16 is the magic floor---spa/pool/fitness. I will have to say, the pools (there are 2) are amazing...warm and inviting. The staff ever attentive to provide towels and locations for you to spend quality time just chillin'. What's best? The pool stays open. A late evening swim was so relaxing, under a cloudless night. I manged to order pizza and salad and ate and swam and enjoyed. (Pieducks, if you are curious)
So what was different? This Kimpton is dislocated...you can't walk out of the front door and expect to get most basic services. It's a three block walk to Starbucks (the only coffee place operating on the weekends), and downtown Miami is, well, still sprouting. Yes, it is safe to walk, but you will have to do that if you'd like a morning Joe other than that which is supplied in the lobby. (Flagler Street does have some interesting eateries--but not on the weekends) You will be a 10 dollar cab ride away from most places that would offer nifty restaurants (and about 30 if you plan to trek to South Beach).
But this is Miami. As I was leaving, a photographer was shooting some kind of ad that was either for the hotel, or Porsche. Two models, in ridiculously wool outfits were riding into the hotel in a hot red convertible. It was fun watching this scenario play out, as the legions of cars transporting regular guests were interrupting the flow of this "shoot." It was just another example of the kind of distraction that makes Miami, well, Miami. Oh, and on that jaunt to South Beach, Lil Wayne was sashaying down Ocean Drive with his entourage. Golly, my trip was complete!
I would consider this a great place to stay if you have Miami business. If you are trying to catch a deal so you can steal off to South Beach...well...reconsider...
One other thing.. I choose not to bring my laptop because there is a computer in every room! But be prepared to wait. The internet connection is SLOW and you need patience if you are accustomed to FAST. The wireless (if you have your own device) works fine.
This is a Kimpton that is a stranger in a strange land. It struggles with the conflict.