My fiance and I just returned from a long weekend at this property. We booked a package through AA.com using some travel vouchers we had, and the Ritz was offering a 'stay 2 nights, get the 3rd free' special. Easy-peasy.
The hotel is clean and nicely decorated; the staff are professional and helpful, and the rooms are well-appointed with very, very comfortable bedding and spacious marble bathrooms offering tubs and showers. We enjoyed the bar/lounge area almost every evening, ordering starters, drinks, and desserts, and the food was very good as well. I should say that the staff are extremely polite and acknowledge you by name constantly, but unless you think of yourself as a really BIG deal, this may start to grate on your nerves a little bit, as it can be gratuitous and feel servile at times. All in all though, for what this property is: an upscale hotel in a somewhat dilipaidated residential neighborhood out of the way of Miami's main "attractions," it is very nice indeed.
The cons (or just the unfortunate facts):
This is not a resort where they have a coffee shop (like a Starbucks on site, or even very nearby); and there is no sundries shop or CVS pharmacy very close where you can pick up the random items you may have forgotten or need. If these aren't issues for you, then you'll be just fine. If they are, it's just requires additional planning and/or effort to make-do.
The hotel is not exactly in a great location if you're in Miami to visit beaches or be in the midst of the action. We knew this ahead of time, but I could see how it would be a little disappointing for travelers who are expecting to be able to drop their rental car and get around everywhere on foot or by taxi - that won't happen, unless you have lower expectations for your stay, or a ton of cash to spend on longer-distance taxis.
The area of Coconut Grove has quite a few restaurants and shops, but being a biased resident of Los Angeles, I can't say any of them are any big deal. The restaurants/bars look and seem dated, weathered, and the food isn't anything special. We did eat at one good restaurant in the area on Friday night (Bombay Darbar), which was excellent, but I think that's about the only truly worthy dining option in the area. I remember as a kid (~20 years ago), Coconut Grove being a lively and busy neighborhood outside downtown Miami and always being mobbed with people; it's obvious the recession has hit this area hard, as there are now tons of vacant commercial buildings and empty storefronts with lease signs in the windows. To be honest, it feels a bit sad.
We spent most of our time driving to and from other neighborhoods - South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and Fort Lauderdale, where we had some great meals and days out, but again, we probably could have stayed at a luxury airport hotel and had the same experience.
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami Hotel Miami
- Coconut Grove Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Coconut Grove