We chose the Conrad because we believed that it was a top of the line Hilton property. Our experience with Hilton's has generally been great previously (we stayed in the Hilton in Sandton, South Africa and never had a better experience)
Unfortunately this wasn't the case with the Conrad. There was no concierge floor and virtually no benefits to being a Gold Hilton Honours member. When we checked in the front desk very reluctantly gave us two tickets for drinks in their restaurant/bar and let us know that we had been upgraded to a 'Bayview" room. We were on the 22nd floor and our upgrade was to a room right next to the elevator with a filthy carpet - but we could see water!
Our next surprise was when we came to the bar that first night to use our drink tickets. The drinks were free but the automatic 18% gratuity (I must admit that they do write on your bill that the 18% can be adjusted - just tell the server to raise or lower it) based on the very high cost of the drinks was added onto the bill.
We were staying at this property for 9 nights and we felt too awkward to tell the server to reduce the tip to a more reasonable level.
Silly us - with a built in tip the service was rude, and just about non-existent. One evening we sat for close to 30 minutes waiting for someone to take our drink orders in a basically empty bar. And when we did get the drink it was slapped down on the table.
As Hilton Gold we did get complimentary breakfast buffets and the food was quite good but the service was identical to the evening bar service.
After a couple of days of tolerating this I finally went to the front desk to voice my concerns. There were many apologies.
And the next day when we came back to the room after our afternoon jaunts there was a cheese plate waiting for us compliments of the manager with a note apologizing for our poor experience.
The cheese plate had the same effect as the room upgrade - a great effort but poorly thought out - the cheese was delicious and tasty - and it left an odor in the room that we never really did get rid of - fortunately neither my wife nor I are lactose intolerant.
The next morning breakfast was a different world - we were greeted by name, the waitress couldn't do enough for us, they found a Canadian supervisor and had him come over to chat us up - wonderful
Wonderful that is until a few days later when the morning crew basically changed and the service and attitude went back to what seems to be normal in this hotel - rude and flippant.
When anyone at the front desk recognized us we were asked how the stay was going and each time we related our experiences - good on some days and poor on others.
Having stayed for an extended period and having such a poor experience I expected to have something happen at the front desk upon checkout - a free night, extra points - something, anything to indicate that the organization cared about our experience in their building. I was not surprised to find my bill intact and in fact with a mistake on it - somehow or other they mistakenly charged us for breakfast one day - strange in that every other day we stayed there the only charge for breakfast was that 18% gratuity of $8.64 on a complimentary breakfast!
The Conrad looks beautiful, seems to be well designed and organized but that is all superficial - from the beautiful, thick, embroidered towels that simulate wax paper when you try to dry with them to the 25th floor bar balcony (filled with smokers)
We'll look for another place to stay when we come back to Miami.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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