Honestly, how does one begin to summarize an epically horrible booking that ends with an attempted assault by a homeless wretch? I’ll do my best…
Disney has this hospitality concept called “plussing”. It means that they constantly locate areas for improvement and extras to give that little push for greatness. If there’s such a thing a “minusing”, Extended Stay America seems to be employing it. Here’s why:
This was our first booking at an Extended Stay, ergo our first impression. Booked through Hotels.com and given a 3-Star Rating (now two), we had modest expectations. It should be clean, fully functional, have some amenities, and at least carry the modern accompaniments similarly to the majority of other hotel chains in its class. Well, in an effort to keep this review tidy—they didn’t, and here’s the grand list of failures starting from arrival to the end:
- Cramped lobby was stuffy and crowded with only three parties waiting to check in to one working clerk on a Saturday afternoon during a holiday weekend.
- Secure-looking gated parking area was not secure. The arrival gate was missing on the right side.
- Interior design genius placed the curtain directly over the aircon, making it extremely inefficient. We had to place shoes or other objects on the ledge above it to keep the curtain away from the vents. (see pic)
- Same genius evidently designed the main room lamp in the middle of the room to be only controlled by switch by entrance. (see pic)
- I’m guessing the same person that designed the Do Not Disturb placard upside down when properly inserted into the door lock? (see pic)
- The bed was rather stiff and close to lumpiness. It also felt ever so slightly smaller than advertised. That Queen felt like a Full, but we didn’t measure it. You can’t get a king without upgrading to a full suite.
- The bed felt small probably because it only had one night stand. Room intended for one person?
- Three short-style pillows. Had to ask for extras to accommodate a two people.
- TV very basic. No channel guide, limited channels, and low resolution. Aspect ratio had to be constantly changed to fit picture.
- No contact menu on phone or near it.
- No coffee maker!
- No kitchen utensils of any sort, actually. We had to ask for a bottle opener. We were given a flimsy can opener with a bottle opener on the handle.
- Kitchen placard states that the office will provide kitchen necessities. Just call and they will deliver them to your room. Nope! You have to call them, and then go get it youself, and it might not be available upon request. We had to wait on those extra pillows.
- No ice bucket or ice makers, or ice.
- No cups for the non-ice unless you request them and retrieve from office.
- The towels and washcloths were old and rough – all of them.
- Not much counter space at bathroom sink due to design.
- Advertises Free WIFI, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get there, including giving them your personal information. My SPRINT data service works almost everywhere, but not on ESA’s property. Extremely poor signal. Just saying…
- Plumbing problems included a broken drain stopper in the shower. The last room service just left it to rust on the tub. (see pic)
- Stopper also missing in bathroom sink. Exposed gunk and hair. (see pic)
- Kitchen sink had slow drain (see pic)
- Kitchen counter had trim coming loose, and marks where someone used it for a bottle opener. (Gee – wonder why?)
- Kitchen table had same trim problem (pic)
- Overhead light fixture in kitchen unsecured and uneven – danger of falling? (see pic)
Honestly, I believe there were additional issues but the final act that came shortly after checkout clouds my memory. I was parked close to the lobby when a filthy bum (yes, he was quite soiled and was aggressively panhandling), staggered around the entrance, making a beeline for me—naturally. His demeanor was angry, agitated, and incoherent. He started making boxing motions, throwing one within a few inches of my face while spewing some unintelligible Span-ish. I did my best to ignore him, but he attempted to follow me to my room. I stopped short of opening the door, fearing my wife’s safety. A young female guest happened upon us by a stairwell while he was still attempting to hassle me. I warned her off quickly, but she had no idea what was really happening. I was finally able to send him away and collect my wife, who was waiting just on the other side of our room’s door, also without any idea. We walked back to the lobby warned the management (clerk), got in our car and drove off. As we left, the same panhandler appeared to be unconscious under a bus stop bench just in front of the ESA entrance. I came back to the lobby and let them know.
That was the end of our Extended Stay America first booking. Will we be back? What do *you* think?
If I can say anything positive about ESA, the two clerks, Isabel and Danny, were friendly and helpful. The location is very convenient, the grounds were well-manicured, there were no insects pestering us, the air conditioning worked well after our “modification”, the room was clean (except for drains), and the checkout was fast.
But, we didn’t exactly sleep well, we were taken aback by all the missing little items, the poor room condition, the towels, the operation, the comedic upside down placard…the list was just too much. Yes, we should have complained and asked for another room. Great process that is, right? We just didn’t have time or energy to go through it. There’s that memory of a fist in my face too, but that’s not ESA’s fault. He must have walked a long way to get there in the first place. Thing is, I would have liked it if ESA showed a bit more concern since that person exhibited dangerous behavior. They simply apologized and went about their business. Oh well! Next.
NOT RECOMMENDED — NOT EVEN CLOSE — 1.5 Stars
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- Also Known As:
- Homestead Miami Blue Lagoon Hotel Miami
- Extended Stay America Miami
- Homestead Hotel Miami