Very rarely do I leave a feedback about the fine establishments I am granted to stay in on a frequent basis but every couple of years the actual experience deviates dramatically for the better or the worse from what a fine Hotel's reputation and standard would stand for. Today I am very sorry to say the review is for the worse and I below I am using a rating scale of 1-5 for which 1 is extremely unsatisfied and 5 extremely satisfied by each aspect of the hotel:
Valet Parking: 2-3 (they would get a higher score would it not be for our departure day where I was tied up repacking the trunk of the car (explained later why) the valet attendant held on to the key even though my wife signaled him that she needed to get into the car with our newborn. It was quite obvious that he held on to the key after I gave him the claim ticket to use it as leverage to collect his tip even though he saw that my wife needed attention.
Front Desk: 4
Room Service: 1-2 (for the most parts the standard for room service seem to be in place but quite obviously not enforced or double checked by adequate supervision, the bath tub wasn't cleaned after being used and upon closer inspection I had to conclude that it wasn't properly cleaned after several guest stays in a row which one or the other is completely unacceptable, the dust behind the furniture indicates that it hasn't been cleaned in many months, textile furniture and carpets carry many stains from food and body fluids, daily necessities like soaps, shower caps, water and the snacks were not replenished)
Cafe: 1 (on Thanksgiving Day we went downstairs to have food at the Cafe and the host was busy to finish up a reservation over the phone and a very pleasant Young asian server tried to seat us only to be reprimanded by an older colleague and told us in a quite unfriendly manner no You cannot be seated You have to wait. After spending USD 1,000.00 per night I am not quite in the mood to be told no and what I have to do and on top of that in a very rude way. The food quality was mediocre at best and the prices are rather high, the breakfast buffet was below par compared to Hotels like the Fountain Bleu, Waldorf, Ritz, Conrad only to name a few in this market)
Restaurant Azul: 4.5 (Excellent Chef with a very balanced menu and the personnel lived up the reputation of the Hotel.)
In Room Dining: 3 (The food quality was inconsistent just like the Cafe which indicates that the in room dining is prepared by the same kitchen)
SPA: 1 (they get the lowest score because I went as a Hotel Guest to the SPA front desk and would expect like everywhere else to be able to get a tour to make up my mind if I would like to use the amenities or not and once again a representative told me no you cannot do that in order not to disturb the other guests in the SPA but here look I have a brochure with pictures and once I have made up my mind they will let me in. That much arrogance just blew my mind to say the least)
Bell Man: 2.5 (this score is only so high because upon our arrival they would have gotten a 4.5 as the gentlemen was extremely nice but not so much upon our departure as after they packed my trunk in the car without my consent I had to repack the trunk as we had to pack a certain way and the bell man just walked off without offering any help and I had to unpack and repack the trunk by myself and that at a Valet cost of USD 45.00 is likewise unacceptable.)
Security: 1 (after departure we discovered that we left a phone charger behind and after they found it (security is charge of lost and found) the told us that we need to send them a copy of a photo ID because it caused them too much work to call the front desk to verify the address on file to mail it to us. I first thought I overheard the security agent and was making this up but he actually had the nerve to repeat his audacity)
Amenities & Ambience:
Architecture: 4 (the only reason it doesn't get a higher score is that the lobby space feels very restricted and there is no "wow I'm at the Mandarin" effect.
Rooms: 3-4 (the Biscayne Suite is laid out beautifully and so are the bathrooms but the floors, and furniture need to be upgraded as they are looking quite run down, the floors squeak and make crackling noises like in a 300 year old castle and at night time moving around is quite annoying, I guess the contractor used the wrong subfloor material which was never changed, and since one of my companies is manufacturing flooring materials there is one comment to be made, that a bamboo flooring will always look cheap no matter how you slice the cake and after some usage looks like a cheap bar & grill floor. On the contrary the flooring in the hallways is very nice)
Restaurants: 2-3 (not much ambiance in either restaurant and the patio seating at the cafe feels like Your dining in a concrete bunker and there are no preventive measures to keep the birds at a distance and the very table we were seated at was already used as a toilet by the birds, on both table and chairs)
Pool: 2 (the size of a private pool at best and no ambiance at all, it reminded me of the pool set up seen in traveler motels)
"Beach": 4 (quite an original idea I might add)
Gym: 2 (Nice equipment but it is quite obvious that whoever planned the selection of the machines never does any serious exercising on his or her own as the machine park is very unbalanced, there are 4 chest machines and 0 for the back, it felt like going to the exercise flea market where it is a hit and miss for what You get)
Ambience: 2-3 (very cold and without some of the employees being very nice it feels like staying at as Arts Museum)
Over the course of three days we spend USD 3,000.00 (including one free night on our AMEX promotion) and I am quite appalled that with the claim to fame the Mandarin Oriental enjoys and the prices that they have such gaps in their service structure. Needless to say this will be the first and last stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami and the experience will cast a long shadow on the other operations as well for me to even consider booking any reservations with any other Mandarin Oriental Hotel. As I am a quite frequent executive traveller and have lodged at many fine Hotels and I come to conclude in comparison to the other hotels that the Mandarin Oriental Miami's management seems to believe that that they own a toll bridge without any competition and therefore do not need to step up the game to make it to deserve its price structure. Because of the overall experience I chose to leave to the Hotel earlier than planned and we moved over to the Setai instead which needless to say didn't have issues but everybody made sure they over delivered on what was promised. Yes it came at twice the nightly rate than the MO but compared to it ws well worth it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 26, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,
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Thank you for your recent review of Mandarin Oriental, Miami on Trip Advisor. Your constructive comments are very important to us.
I sincerely apologize that the experience you had at the hotel was not up to the standards we strive to provide to all our guests. I will address each of your detailed points with the pertinent departments and will correct the deficiencies in service you encountered. Please understand that providing excellent service that is gracious, personalized and attentive is our top priority and we will continue to train our team of dedicated colleagues on a daily basis.
I hope to have the opportunity to speak with you to discuss your stay and assure you of our stringent policies, standards and procedures.
Area Vice President
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.