I would describe this hotel as an upscale business hotel; perhaps not the hotel you want to stay in during vacation.
Hotel/Rooms: Hotel has a nice big lobby but looks a bit dated as do the rooms. The restaurants in the hotel are going through renovation. Breakfast was served in the lobby/café area and although Azul was open, it had a limited menu.
Rooms are fine. They have an open plan with the bathroom (i.e. there is no wall separating bathroom from the room). For privacy in the bathroom, there are blinds you can pull down. Personally, I am not a fan of this layout.
Service: The service, while it is good, is not as attentive as you might expect from a 5-star hotel and is definitely nowhere close to the levels I have experienced at the Mandarin Oriental properties in Asia. We had some service issues during the first 24 hours of our stay and my husband spoke to the front desk manager about them. After the conversation, I think the staff made an extra effort with us and the rest of our stay was quite pleasant. The best service we experienced was at breakfast.
We booked a stay at this hotel using Amex FHR which entitled us to a number of benefits. I went through our final bill and found that most of the benefits were not applied to our invoice and we were overcharged by ~$500. This occurred despite having confirmed the benefits with the same attendant at check-in and also providing her a copy of our email reservation which she kept in the file. She handled the errors professionally but it just took some time to go through everything with her to make sure we were charged appropriately.
Pool/Beach: Pool is very small. During a busy labor day weekend, we opted for beach area instead. The beach is artificial/man-made and there is no direct water access. This was a bit of disappointment for us but we should have done our research in advance. Service in the beach area is generally quite slow and it is tough to get the attention of the attendants. If you are going to Miami to hang out at the beach, this is not the hotel for you.
Location: Not a criticism of the hotel, but it is located downtown away from the popular tourist spots like South Beach. I am glad we rented a car as it took us 20-30 minutes to get to restaurants, beach and shopping. For those looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy peace and quiet, this hotel is in a good location.
Gym/Spa: Gym is well-equipped. I got a massage at the spa. It was fine – not the best or worst I’ve experienced.
Internet: $12 per day