I stayed here for 5 days while on vacation. I think reviews should do more than extol or complain and repeat what every other reviewer said. I think readers appreciate tips on how to maximize their stays (I do!).
Let's get the basics out of the way.
Stylish, clean, well maintained property; rooms smallish but well designed and comfortable; great beds; plenty of hot water for showers, etc. Lobby restaurant serves a great breakfast at competitive prices. Lovely pool area. Excellent, friendly customer service at all levels (special mention to Nelson at reception).
I would stay here again and would recommend the hotel to friends and family.
Now, some information to help you maximize your visit...
The property is located at the end of Brickell Avenue, which is a combination of expensive, bay front condomiumium towers and Fortune 500 corporate office complexes. Other hotels in the area start at $400-500/night.
This is not a tourist area of Miami. You need a car or to be prepared to take a cab. I had a car. You come here without a car, you're going to feel isolated. Don't blame the hotel. Look at a map.
On the other hand: you're 2 miles to gorgeous Coral Gables and an easy, 10 minute drive to Key Biscayne.
The street behind the hotel is Miami Avenue. The homes on this stretch of Miami Avenue start at a million dollars.
Yes, the hotel is next to the entrance to the Rickenbacker Causeway. This makes the area seem busier than it is. However, the Rickenbacker only goes to one place: Key Biscayne. It's the only way to get to Key Biscayne.
The Urbano is the closest hotel to Key Biscayne not actually on Key Biscayne. The only hotel on Key Biscayne is the Ritz-Carlton (starting at $500/night). If you don't have $500/night to spend, and you want to visit Key Biscayne, the Urbano is where you're staying.
Do a Zillow search for the property values on the streets immediately surrounding the hotel and Key Biscayne. http://www.zillow.com/ You will see what I'm getting at with the demographic remarks.
The Urbano charges $30/night to valet park at the hotel I don't pay for hotel parking, period. (A point of principle for me.) I saved $150 by parking on Miami Avenue, right behind and to the north of the hotel. The street is quiet, well lit, and safe.
Some parts of Miami Avenue require a parking decal; most do not. Just be careful not to part on the blocks that require a decal. If you're not an American and don't know what a parking decal is, Google it.
WHAT BEACH TO GO TO:
If you came to Miami to see other tourists, go to Miami Beach or South Beach, and good luck to you. It's expensive, crowded, tacky and the beach itself (the sand) is not attractive. They're about a 30 minute drive from the Urbano, and then you have to deal with parking. Just a mess.
On the other hand, if you came to Miami to experience south Florida, go to Key Biscayne. It's one of the top 10 beaches in the US (maybe the world). Key Biscayne is what Miamians think of when they think of "the beach".
Soft white sand. Plenty of easy $5, all day, parking. No noise. State and national park land. Protected flora and fauna. No tee shirt shops. No college kids boozing it up. No "scene" other than what nature and a million dollars in property values will get you.
I rented a bike on Key BIscayne and peddled around the island. Very safe, beautiful, relaxing.
Vizcaya (Google it) is about 2 miles from the hotel. You can drive to the house and go inside, it's worth the time and money.
For $15-$20, I rented a kayak on the Rickenbacker Causeway and paddles southwest across Biscayne Bay to the Vizcaya "harbor". http://www.sailboardsmiami.com/ The water was fairly shallow and calm, the trip took me 45 minutes each way. Highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Urbano is a stylish, urban boutique hotel with a resort flavor, well situated within the active Brickell Avenue Business District. The eclectic and relaxing ambiance of the inviting pool deck and innovative, savory cuisine from Bistro Urbano & Bar with indoor and outdoor seating create the perfect setting for both guests and local residents to mingle and meet. Conveniently located minutes from downtown Miami, Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove along with many of Miami's famous attractions such as Miami Seaquarium, Vizcaya and Jungle Island. ... more less
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