Intentionally giving ourselves a full day in Miami before continuing on to St. Lucia, we decided on this property for two reasons: first, I need a room with a refrigerator for my medication; second, we decided to focus on the Coral Gables/University of Miami area for our day of exploring. Additionally, it was vital to have airport transportation.
The Best Western van picked us up at the Miami airport, and during the approximate ten minute drive to the hotel, the driver pointed out various eating establishments within walking distance of the hotel and told us that if we needed a ride anywhere else, the hotel van would gladly drive us. Knowing that Coral Gables was not far, we inquired further upon checking in.
After getting settled into a lovely room; clean, comfortable - the room was what I expected from a property entitled "Premier", it was back down to the front desk to get our ride to Coral Gables. The front desk clerk provided us with a map of the area and called for a driver. A different driver had us board a Best Western van; before dropping us off in Coral Gables, we made sure we understood how we would arrange for the return trip to the hotel. I asked if we should just call the hotel; the driver handed me a business card for a private driving service and told me to call the number on the card. Something seemed a bit smelly about this, but we took the card and spend the next four hours walking around Coral Gables & the University of Miami.
We did our best to return very close to where we were dropped off in the morning. I called the number on the card; the person who answered told me to look for a Silver Lincoln. Not entirely comfortable with how this scenario was playing out, we furiously searched traffic for such a vehicle (a Best Western van would have been a bit easier to spot!). We found our driver (completely different person from the other two drivers we had in the BW vans) and he took us back to the hotel (approx. 5 miles) complaining the entire time about how bad traffic was. Ummm, we are in Miami, traffic should not be a shock to someone who drives for a living.
Back at the hotel were two BW vans parked in front. Hmmm. We went back to the room to change for dinner. Back down to the front desk, we asked if we could get a ride to the restaurant. If you recall earlier in my review, I mentioned all the restaurants which we were told we could walk to from the hotel. There was going to be no walking at night for this street smart couple in this area. Good thing I had previously researched & chosen a spot for dinner based on restaurant.com offerings; I knew the restaurant was 3 miles down Flagler (same street as hotel). Back to getting the ride - front desk clerk started making phone calls in Spanish - whether that was intentional or just simpler, I will never know. She tells us that a ride was not available. Please recall, there are two BW vans parked outside. We ask her to call us a cab. While waiting for the cab, the second of the three drivers we had earlier in the day walks through the lobby. She sees us and offers us a ride in her personal car - if we didn't mind that "the air conditioning was broken". We politely declined this opportunity.
One item I left out earlier - we were told that the "hotel drivers" would save us money vs. a cab. Our drive to and from the restaurant in the taxi proved this very wrong. While I got a great night's sleep on a very comfy bed, the entire guest transportation experience left us with a very negative impression of the staff. We can't say for sure, but the conclusion we came to is that someone is running a side business which sometimes uses the BW vans. If this is the case, not entirely sure what kind of potential liability this could be to Best Western.
Fortunately, I chose a different airport hotel for the trip home through Miami. I am thrilled to say that it was a completely different experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.