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“Elegantly Fabulous” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mandarin Oriental, Miami

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Mandarin Oriental, Miami
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #4 of 113 Hotels in Miami
Certificate of Excellence
usa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Elegantly Fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2007

Our stay at this hotel was an absolute dream. Really.

Our room was average-size, but well appointed. It was on the balcony deck, so we had a lovely balocony in which to soak in the wonderful weather.

The staff was great. They catered to every request - from numerous mojitos at the pool/beach to extra chocolates every night, they were great.

The food was good. Just had the sushi, which was good. Nothing spectacular, just really good quality.

I loved the bath products, LOVED them. The soap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner was great.

The gym was adequate, really sufficient. Many hotel gyms, IMO, are subpar and an afterthought, but this one, while small, met every need. A nice feature in the hotel, there were large bottles of Evian water and bowls of fruit (Asian pears - my fave) for the taking. I would stop by before heading out for the day get some water and a pear for a snack.

The spa was exquisite. Guests get complimentary use of the spa and it was really nice. Boyfriend and I both took steams after working out and the entire spa experience was just sublime.

I really enjoyed the pool/beach area. The Mandarin has a a great little beach area on the bay and it's fabulous. They have those great, big beds on which to lay and it's just so relaxing.

One thing I didn't like (and it drives me crazy at all hotels), they charge $5 per 15 minutes for internet usage. I know it sounds petty, but when I am paying $500 for a hotel room, for a property to charge so exorbitantly for internet time is just petty. But they're making money, so I would do the same if I was in that position.

Overall a remarkably relaxing, special stay. Cannot wait to return.

  • Liked — Service, room, decor, pool area and the MOJITOs!
  • Disliked — Internet charges
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,542 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (259)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
38 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2007

I just spent a night at the Mandarin Oriental - Miami this past weekend as an escape from South Beach where I live, and also to celebrate a birthday. From start to finish the experience was dreamy. I had read that service could be iffy, that the pool was small and cramped, and that the bill might include extra charges. The pool was area was small and cramped (but the pool itself was empty), but the service was fantastic and the bill was correct.

When we checked in we did not wait at all, and the very friendly man at the front desk (Raul) brought us up to our room, which had been upgraded to a junior suite with a huge balcony and a great bathroom. It's true that the bathroom (tub, sink, shower) are open to the bedroom with a screen that can be lowered, but the toilet is separate and has a door. We liked the unique design feature because it made the room feel even bigger (but then again, we got up at the same time as each other). The TV was old and had no movies (but we weren't there for that, so we did not mind.) Five minutes after we entered our room, just as we were cracking open some champagne, room service brought up a delicious birthday cake as a surprise! (There was also a box of chocolates, which I presume is always there.) Turn down service that night left us bottles of designer water as well.

That night we ate at Azul, and the great service continued. (Another birthday surprise after dinner too!) The 2 sommeliers were attentive and helpful. The food was delicious - I particularly recommend the rainbow of oysters appetizer if it's still on the menu, ditto the salmon tartare and the surf and turf. The scotch selection was impressive. The scotch was brought along with a cup of ice each, so we could control how much ice we wanted - nice touch. The cheese selection, on the other hand, was weak. There were only 5 options, and 1 was out. Still, overall a fun, delicious experience.

The next morning we ate at Cafe Sambal. The food was good, but exactly the same prices as room service - in other words, overpriced. It was a bit chilly in the morning and the maitre d' noticed I was cold and offered to bring me a wrap - another nice touch. The individual syrup was also warmed up - again, nice touch. The buffet did not look particularly appealing, so we ordered from the menu and were happy with what we received.

We spent the day at the beach, enjoying the raised beds and hammocks. The attendants were great - not intrusive, but they did bring us water frequently. At the pool (where we went to each lunch and to swim a bit) the attendants provided ipods, magazines, water, mango sorbet, etc. For lunch we ate sushi which we found generally to be overpriced and not particularly appealing.

After the beach we took advantage of the spa by booking a couple's suite for a few hours. As spa waiting areas go, I expected a bit more, but it was relaxing. There are two showers, which separate the sauna from the steam room. No jacuzzi. I would have preferred to have showers near the lockers & vanities. The 2 toilets were also separate from the lockers & the showers. The relaxation area itself was pleasant, although there was a guest snapping pictures, and talking on the phone! Anyway, the couple's suite massage treatments were delightful. We started out with rose petal foot treatments, while we watched dolphins dancing in the bay below. Next we chose to have sea salt exfoliation scrubs, then massages (aromatherapy & hot stone & swedish for me, deep tissue for him), then clay scalp massages. In between the salt exfoliation and the massages, the massage therapists exited the room so that we could shower (in the suite) and return clean to our massage tables. An absolute delight.

Overall, despite the hefty price, I heartily recommend the hotel for spa, dinner at Azul, romantic getaway or just rejuvenation in general.

  • Liked — spa, rooms, proximity to ocean, azul
  • Disliked — price, pool, location in downtown miami
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
88 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2007

Excellent hotel, especially in overpriced Miami. Reasonable rates for the room. Very elegant styling, beautiful views, quiet, and safe. Only drawback is no place to buy simple amenities. Not on Miami beach, however we enjoyed not having to deal with the crowds.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ibiza, Spain
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2007

Definitely in the top three hotels in the Miami area - I have stayed at most of the decent hotels in the last couple of years. The Setai is the best (and most expensive by a long way) and then it's between the Mandarin and the Four Seasons for second. The Mandarin wins in terms of style and facilities, the Four Seasons on pool area. The Ritz Carlton would be next and then the Shore Club, Delano, Victor, etc. below that.

For my long weekend stay, was given a Bay View King room on a lower floor, which gave good 90% view over bay towards Miami Beach, and a decent sized terrace with loungers. Room was asian-infludenced in style and consisted of large room with separate bathroom with a bath and a shower. Room amenities were a bit sparse for a 5-star room (standard shower kit, etc.) with no handy extras (razor, ear-cleaners, etc). Also the TV only had standard cable channels (plus a couple of premium movie channels) but no pay-per-view.

Pool and outdoor area are small and slightly cramped - we visited during half-full weekend and by 10am all the beach chairs were full and packed in like sardines. The beach-area, outside gate across path, with a few cabanas and beach-beds, is much better - it gives you a better view, is quieter and you have more space and sand between your feet. Pool menu is asian-based and while not extensive was of a good quality.

Breakfast at Cafe Sambal is a good option - an extensive menu at decent prices and there's both inside and terrace tables - note: the outdoor tables get very busy and the queue one morning was 30 mins.

The 2 main bars at the Mandarin (Lobby and Bar M) are small and disappointing and should be avoided for all but an emergency last-minute drink.

Service was impeccable at all times - e.g. lady delivering breakfast set up the table on the terrace at our request, and upon spilling a few drops of milk on the table, came back 5 minutes later with more milk and a few extra pastries.

If you have the money, stay at the Setai. If you want 5-star luxury and to lie by the pool, stay at the Four Seasons. if you want 5-star luxury and impeccable service and style, stay at the Mandarin Oriental.

Stayed March 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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NYC
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Mandarin for 3 nights at the end of February. We were assigned a room, and told that the bellman would be up with our luggage shortly. Unfortunately, when we got up to the room, we realized that we were not the only guests staying there - someone's whole luggage (including a women's purse) was spread out in the room. We went downstairs, received a lukewarm apology (the bellman was more apologetic about the situation), and were assigned another room - turns out this one is a lower category than what we paid for! My husband called the front desk, where they told him that the hotel was completely sold out and that the soonest they would be able to move us would be hopefully the next day - after I got on the phone (I am currently 5 months pregnant and had just about enough for one day) they said that a bellman would be up right away with a new key for another room. It took 2 more calls and a total of 45 minutes to have this happen.

More unpleasantries. There was another guest staying in the hotel with the same last name as me. Surely something that happens quite often in large places, as my name is not uncommon. This issue, however, was too much for the Mandarin staff. The front desk, the spa, the concierge and even the pool bar ALL confused our names, despite the fact that every time I called I left my room number. We received the other guests confirmations for spa appointments, were billed for their food, given their restaurant reservations. Again, a barely lukewarm apology from the front desk regarding our issues at checkout, even as they were taking the other guests charges off our bill.

Also, the directions the concierge desk gave to any location were always wrong - this was shocking to us since there were multiple staff giving us directions at different times!

We did try the spa, and found both therapists very good for the massages (I had the prenatal massage, my husband deep tissue).

We would not return to this location, rather opting for the Four Seasons where our experiences have always been positive. Further, based on this stay, I doubt we would ever stay at the Mandarin chain again.

  • Liked — Th spa therapists were ver good.
  • Disliked — Front desk and concierge service passable for a Holiday Inn.
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2007

It's true -- the shower door leaks; there are strange charges added to the bill; the management tries to make good when problems are pointed out -- the general impression I got from reading other visitors' comments was an accurate one.

In my opinion the hotel tries to maintain an high standard but the staff is not necessarily up to the task. The service was uneven.

For instance, when we opened our box of welcome chocolates, they were half eaten. When we tried to consult the hotel information guide in our room, many of the pages were missing.

An 18.5 percent tip was added to the checks for breakfast and refreshments by the pool, but not to the dinner tab.

When we checked out the guest in line in front of us was explaining that his family had not used the mini-bar. Our bill had two nights' valet parking fees ($64) but we didn't have a car.

Overall, we had a pleasant stay and particularly enjoyed the hotel's quiet location.

  • Liked — comfortable rooms, hotel location
  • Disliked — quirky service
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico
Level Contributor
107 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2007

This Hotel is the best large Hotel Operation I have seen in Miami.

The guests rooms are very well done perfectly maintained and offer everything you would expect from a TOP 5 star hotel.

Employee’s attitude is simply unmatched more like Asia then any other hotel I have been in the USA.

I consider out of the 10 Spa Operation I did visit in Florida this Spa as the number one, design, service, and quality of the treatments beat all the rest it offers everything a Spa can possibly have.

The food quality and presentation n all Restaurants as well as in Room Service is simply perfect, the outlets are well decorated and beautifully located and are for sure not expensive.

Check in check out is perfect; Guest Relation services are Top of the Line.

The pool, garden and beach area is well maintained and beautifully planed, missing nothing.

I could not think of anything missed in guest services or employees attitude great and beautiful Resort Hotel with best possible quality service.

  • Liked — The Fine Dining Restaurant
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Address: 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Miami
#3 Luxury Hotel in Miami
#3 Spa Hotel in Miami
#6 Family Hotel in Miami
#6 Romantic Hotel in Miami
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Miami 5*
Number of rooms: 326
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Contemporary in design and with a prominent waterfront location, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, Miami features 326 elegant guest rooms and suites - offering dramatic views of the bay and the Miami skyline. Amenities include signature restaurants Azul and La Mar by Gaston Acurio, MO Bar + Lounge - a dynamic cocktail lounge, an award-winning tri-level spa, Oasis Beach Club, the luxury boutique Shanghai Tang and extensive meeting and business facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental, Miami Hotel Miami
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Miami
Mandarin Miami
Miami Mandarin Oriental

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