My wife and I stayed at the Conrad Hilton over our 10th anniversary vacation. I wrote hotel in advance and some of the nicest, most helpful and most pleasant hotel staff I've ever dealt with made arrangements to ensure we would have a memorable stay.
The Conrad Hilton in downtown Miami sits inside of the thirty-six story Espirito Santo Plaza building in Brickell. The hotel has approximately 203 rooms taking up floors 16-22; the rest of the building is occupied by offices and residences. There is a Metromover station just one block from the building's front entrance. The main downtown area, the 10th Street Promenade (a nice area with shops and restaurants) as well as Bayfront Park, are only a brief Metromover ride away.
Both valet and self-parking are available. Across from the garage and the valet area is the concierge station, which is inside the hotel's bottom-level entrance. Here you will also find the express elevators to reach the lobby on the 25th floor.
The elevator doors open to a lobby/reception area with jaw-dropping views from the large windows that run the length of the lobby. It has an overly formal and business feel to it, but the warm colors of the hotel, fresh floral arrangements, comfortable chairs and couches and a few pieces of artwork help to offset this.
Around the corner and off to the left are the elevators that lead to the rooms, and here the lobby area ends and leads into the Bar at Level 25, the hotel's bar and lounge, as well as the hotel's restaurant, Atrio.
Our room was on the highest level of the hotel on the 22nd floor. We were placed in a large, corner room suite. The living room area was nicely decorated with comfortable chairs and couch, a large HDTV and a nice, modern business work desk. There was a huge window looking out the front of the building (we had a city-view room), and there was a large telescope at the window, which we used to look at the night sky and to watch planes in action at the airport. The telescope in the room was a unique, unexpected surprise (but I believe it only comes with the suites).
The bedroom is where the 'corner' became so special. The oversized bedroom had large, wrap-around windows that ran almost the entire length of the room. There were spectacular views of downtown Miami, complete with motorized, remote-controlled curtains for the windows. Both during the day and at night, the views were nothing less than stunning.
The bed itself (a king) was ultra-comfortable and plush, complete with crisp, high-end sheets and comforter. The only thing that could have made it better would have been for the bed to be facing outwardly toward all of the windows, but I realize there was not a practical way to do that with the room's layout.
Also in the bedroom area were two large closets, another (slightly smaller) HDTV, a sitting chair, a chaise lounge and fresh orchids. It was all elegant and comfortable, but the view was the real showstopper. Just off of the bedroom was a cute sitting/reading area with its own chair and small desk.
Last is the huge, marble bathroom, with nice fixtures and high-end bath products. Our particular suite had a garden tub and separate shower with wonderful rainfall heads. The bathroom was clean and stocked with high-quality towels. A colorful, glass fish sculpture added a touch of whimsy.
Housekeeping was top-notch. I'm pretty anal-retentive about things being 'in their place' and having everything straight and even. Considering it was a suite and how many chairs, desks and accessories were around, everything seemed to be very clean and meticulously placed.
A favorite accessory in the room was the easy-to-use, delicious illy espresso maker. There was also a partially-stocked mini fridge along with a stand with snacks, sundries and drinking glasses.
The Bar at Level 25 (named for its 25th floor location) served as bar, lounge and breakfast buffet area. It is essentially an atrium-like area with chairs, tables and high-back booths. It has a kind of modern feel with a dash of Miami flair and colors thrown in. The bar area looks out to the bay, and there is also a balcony area with outdoor tables at which you can have a drink or eat while enjoying the incredible view.
We partook in the breakfast buffet one morning and it was much better than your average buffet. The items were nice and warm, the pastries and muffins were fresh and delicious and I also liked the extra selections like the cheese plate, a deli meat tray and the make-your-own omelet station. My personal favorite was the croque-monsieur style toasted sandwiches that were offered among the decent selection. It was on the expensive side, but the uniqueness of having the amazing views over the bay really made it worth it. (You can also opt to sit in the restaurant area to eat breakfast in, but the food itself is in the bar area).
We also had a dinner in the main restaurant Atrio. The restaurant itself is modern-looking but romantic, and has the distinction of having an entire wall consisting of floor-to-ceiling windows and wonderful views of downtown. The service was on-point, the restaurant was beautiful, and the food would give most stand-alone restaurants a run for their money, not something always the case with hotel restaurants. The restaurant surprised us with a delightful anniversary design on our dessert plate. It was a memorable and delicious experience. (You can also read my more detailed review of the restaurant on the tripadvisor site).
As for the elevator situation, anyone staying in a room will need to use at least two elevators: One express elevator going from the ground floor to the lobby, then another elevator from the lobby to go 'down' to the rooms (which are below the lobby on floors 16-22). But this isn't all that unusual as many tall city buildings (especially multi-use ones) require using more than one elevator.
If you have self-parked and want to get to your car, or if you wish to use the pool, you will have to use another elevator as the garage and pool are in a separate building (the pool is actually on the top of the garage building).
The pool area itself is a nice size, but don’t expect a huge, resort-pool feel. There is a little bar area with outdoor tables and chairs and the pool area itself was lined by lounge chairs and cabanas. At the end of the pool was an in-ground Jacuzzi tub. The view of the hotel and the surrounding skyscrapers was not your average pool view--I found it fascinating.
At this point it sounds like it should be a '5' rating for this hotel, but there were some flaws here and there that kept this from being a completely perfect experience.
-The Jacuzzi at the pool area did not work. A three-elevator trek to get to the pool to use the Jacuzzi, only to find it not functioning was a disappointment.
The bar at the pool was not staffed and the areas around the pool and bar were not kept up—empty cups and used towels sitting around, chairs and tables in disarray, a little trash sitting out here and there, etc. One just expected a little more care taken with this area considering how pristine the rest of the hotel was.
-Even though we had a non-smoking room, we could occasionally smell smoke in our room at times--possibly when a guest was smoking in a neighboring room? (This is not a 100% smoke-free hotel).
-Hotel employees were nice, but almost to a fault; we sometimes found staff to be 'too attentive'. Between passing by the doorman, the concierge, the reception desk and anyone else on the way to our room, it felt like going through a gauntlet of greetings and “how are you?”. After a while this felt a tad mechanical and intrusive. Those who love being pampered will love the over-attentive, polite staff, but it wasn’t for us.
-We found the in-room hotel guide somewhat lacking. Much of the information we tried to look-up in the guide simply referred guests to phone a hotel representative for even basic information. We are pretty self-sufficient travelers who like privacy and this felt like it put the onus on us to have to ‘track down’ some basic hotel service facts.
-The air temperature while eating breakfast in the bar area one morning was absolutely frigid. Both my wife and I (as well as others) also commented on the extremely cold air and some fled the area looking for a warmer place to enjoy their food.
These minor issues kept the Conrad from perfection, but aside from these flaws it was a wonderful, beautiful hotel. The room we were in was huge and clean with amazing city views, and the bar’s breakfast and the restaurant all had very good offerings. I thank everyone who worked with me in advance for giving us some wonderful surprises, all the way up to the adorable Conrad bear left for us at check-out. It was a wonderful, fine hotel and would give it a 4.5 if I could.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Decidedly modern, boldly conceived, and beautifully designed, this luxury hotel creates a unique sensory experience for its guests. The 203 guest rooms and 103 residence suites were stylishly created with a sophisticated traveler in mind, combining some of the finest services with high-tech facilities. Located in the heart of Miami's vibrant Brickell Avenue district, this sleek, downtown Miami luxury hotel invites you to experience Miami's sense of style and International flair. As the sophisticated dining and entertainment milieu Level 25 elevates the senses, stunning vistas of the city and Biscayne Bay unfold below. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Conrad Miami Hotel Miami
- Miami Conrad