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“Perishing Beauty” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa

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The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   4 Grove Isle Dr, Coconut Grove, Miami, FL 33133   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #61 of 129 Hotels in Miami
lisboa
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Perishing Beauty”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

Year and year again we return to sunny Miami and always stay at the Grove Isle. Away from the madness, yet close enough when we do feel 'wild', it is the perfect hideaway for young (and old) lovers. This year luck seemed on holiday, as we found no room availability when we called, yet Expedia saved us last minute and excited as ever we arrived around 7pm. Even though 3 porters where standing next to the entrance -busily chatting - not one opened our car doors or came to help to unload the trunk. Well, maybe they had an important matter to discuss.
After struggling to lift our luggage out of the car I then tried to push my 2 suitcases up the ramp (it did not work well) when finally one of the porters spotted me and offered help. Ah, but the soothing singsong of tropical birds, the swaying palms, the gentle sea breeze playing with my hair, who cares about inattentive porters. The receptionist checked us in smoothly and swiftly while I leaned on a way too sticky counter-top. Oddly enough we got the same room as every year. Overlooking the bay and the fire pitch, I could take joy from my balcony view for ever. The room is just as I remembered it, only the mini bar seems to be missing.

While I jump into the shower hubby sets up his work station, laptop, i-pad and all those other technical gadgets he cannot live without. But next hiccup is already waiting - no internet for my busy businessman. Oh no, that will be a fight! After 3 visits from the specialists and lots of excited phone calls we finally make our way to dinner, too hungry and too sleepy to argue (no internet though). We take a table outside, fresh but summery, dimly lit and very romantic. The place is almost empty, but of course it is a Monday night. After 12h of flying we opt for some light starters and simple pasta. Not on the menu, yet the kitchen agrees to make it specially for us. Our waiter (funny and good spirited) however seems to be clueless and when we asked for some Parmesan he brought us a whole piece and left it on the table! (without a grater, knife or shaving devise)

Back in our room, I am happy that even my husband gets tired, so no more internet battle for tonight. But sharply at 6, before sun and birds get moving he is back on his machines and again, no connection. This time he decides to march down to reception , to look into the matter himself and surely enough an hour later we are online. No idea what happened, as long I have his smile back.

Time for a morning swim we decide and pay a visit to the pool. Looking for some towels we find nothing and nobody. There surely used to be towels all the years before, always ready for early water-babies. It takes us about 20mintues before we finally get them, but by now our mood has already dropped, as the area looks rather rundown and dirty. There are used towels and broken toys, reminders of the previous day, but still not cleaned by next morning? The pool does not seem to circulate and the heat exchange has been turned off, so the water is freezing. (We take a naughty dip in the neighbor's pool, clean and warm, just as we remember it from the Grove Isle) Ok, swimming this trip around will be a no-no and already I am upset for not having opted for The Ritz.

Breakfast instead! The hostess, dressed totally out of place for morning hour (what happened to elegant uniforms that fit the style of the hotel?) takes us to a lovely table outside, fresh fruit and yogurt, but no freshly squeezed juices to be found. 'Policy of the hotel.' I decide to fill up at Whole foods and take home-made breakfast on our balcony for the rest of the stay.(there is no option for organic milk or additive free yogurt at the hotel) My charming husband even manages to get a fridge back into the room. Luxury at last. (I believe a minibar is standard at a 5* resort)

My Jetlag haze has faded now and I start observing the crumbling signs of neglect. Our bathroom cupboard does not close and there is some sort of black yuck growing inside. The balcony doors are rotting and in need of a serious clean up and paint job. The moody elevator (sometimes the doors don't want to close) looks very worn, screws are missing, a sign is ready to fall and the windows are beyond filthy. The furniture cushions are stained and have burn holes, the lounge chairs at the balcony are in a terrible state (one does not sit on them without a protective layer) and not all lights work. The overall feeling of the hotel could be called: sticky, tired, unclean and sad. Yet, the land around the property is pristinely manicured and as beautiful as ever. I spot our waiter from last night mopping the floor, no wonder he didn't know about Parmesan...Maybe they really had to cut back on staff? But at a 5 star cutbacks can be an issue. Later that day my husband needs his suit pressed so I try sending it right away. But to my surprise there is no in-house pressing, so I am advised that it would take 24h. 24h? Shocked I end up ironing his suit myself. This much for service culture. Another night we watch an enraged guest jumping from the dinner table, screaming for everyone to be fired. He later apologizes to us and explains that he has come here for 15years and has never seen this place in such a mess. We of course agreed. Internet kept being an issue throughout our stay to the point that the receptionist would hide when my husband entered. One of my husband's business conferences (skype) had to be canceled and was done over the hotel's land-line, of course for a fee. Another time when we could not connect he needed a paper printed and asked the receptionist for help, since the hotel staff did have connectivity. The girl advised us rather snobbishly that she is doing us a favor!!!
Friday we went out for a lovely dinner and decided to head straight back to the hotel to enjoy a nightcap by the fire. But when we returned by 11.30, the restaurant and bar where already shut and of course no more room service available and since mini bars had been removed, no drinks to be found anywhere. That's something I have never experienced, not even at Ramadan in the Arab world. So we joined an already thirsty(and hungry) crowd by the fire, who just had ordered cheap pizza and beers from outside and we spend some romantic moments dreaming of porto and complaining about the Grove Isle. (It baffles me not to offer drinks or room service, after all that's where the money is made) Our stay otherwise was pleasant enough. I 'befriended' the German Chef and my dinners became simple and delightful.
But would we come back next year? Honestly, most likely not. No pool, no internet, no ironing service, no drinks after 11pm... it is not the usual 5-star standard anymore. Unless of course, the management will be changed and some serious amount of TLC invested into a place I once called Paradise. It would be a big mistake and shame to let such beauty go to waste.

PS: I contacted the manager Mister Levin to meet in person and to point out some rather concerning problems. He kindly replied to my email that he will be at my disposal the next day, but he then disappeared from sight. Shame. But I guess this kind of 'caring attitude' got the poor hotel where it is today. Very very sad Mr. Levin. Try treating your job and 'your' hotel with a little TLC. You might be astonished by the rewards you can feel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
GMGroveisle, General Manager at The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Thank you so much for posting a review on TripAdvisor. I am disappointed that your visit with us was not as pleasant as we all would have liked. Your feedback is vital for us to address our shortfalls as well as perfecting our service going forward. I do hope that you return in the future and give us the opportunity to impress you with the service and regain your confidence in the Grove Isle Hotel and Spa.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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296 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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Illinois
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013 via mobile

I called this hotel to reserve during the Sony Open tennis tournament. She said the hotel was only 5 miles from tournament. I booked at a fairly reasonable rate. I thought things were going to work out. When we arrived the tournament was a half hour away. The parking was valet only, no other option at $24 per night. It is a resort property so we were also assessed a $28 resort fee plus all food and beverages are assessed mandatory 20%. I felt totally riped off. It is an OK place, but you are isolated with no options except use their facilities or drive 5 to 10 miles to get anything. BEWARE

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013 via mobile

I must say the location of the hotel is amazing. If you are looking to stay in a hotel out of the Miami craze, it's the place for you. HOWEVER, the hotel is not up to par. We are currently staying in this hotel for my best friends wedding. She chose this hotel because of the location and the view (which are both stunning) but from the moment we checked in, we've had minor issues that could be easily resolved but weren't. For starters, the bride was promised the bridal suite which was suprisingly unavailable once she got here. Instead, we were given a mediocre room. In the room, the sofabed was broken, there was no toilet paper and not enough towels. When we called for more towels at night, they told us they had none available. We had to share 2 towels between 6 girls. That's just ridiculous to me. We asked for more toilet paper and they bring us one roll. This morning, we told them we needed coffee and cream for 6 people- it took them 45 minutes to bring one pot of coffee, cream and 2 cups (for 6 girls mind you). A lot of these issues sound minute but on a special day like your wedding day when you are already stressed out as it is, these are small things that can be easily resolved and taken care of. The hotel is very under staffed. It's a shame that such a gorgeous hotel has such poor service. The only positive thing I can say is that the room attendant, Danitza has gone above and beyond to try and make the situation better. She is an asset to this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMGroveisle, General Manager at The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Thank you so much for posting a review on TripAdvisor. I am disappointed that your visit with us was not as pleasant as we all would have liked. Your feedback is vital for us to address our shortfalls as well as perfecting our service going forward. I do hope that you return in the future and give us the opportunity to impress you with the service and regain your confidence in the Grove Isle Hotel and Spa.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

The location is excellent, an Island off of the exclusive area of Coconut grove. This island is very small, there's only the hotel, 3 condominiums and a marina. I felt like a millionaire lol.
The hotel is very very romantic, but good for friends. They also do lots of weddings there.
I would not take my kids here because it's oviously surrounded by water (deep waters) and does not fave any fences. You can just walk right into the deep ocean. (I did not wanted to get drunk there either for the same reason).
This place is very peaceful and relaxing, perfect to go and get rid of stress (I did).
It is dated, but everything worked well in my room.
The staff was very friendly, courteous and getting out of their way to help me.
Fernando was very nice, always smiling and making sure you're having a good time. He also went up to my room at 3am to bring me 2 water bottles because I had called asking for a vending machine (which they don't have at the hotel).
I would def go back to this hotel, but with my fiance to make a little romantic getaway... I wish I could get married here -I already told him that ;)
I did not use the spa but I saw the price list and it is pricey. $150 the minimun for a 50 min. massage.
I did go to Gibraltar, the restaurant. The food (specially the breakfast) is very good, not too pricey.
There are 3 condomiums that share the island and the people that live do their morning walks around the island. They are so friendly. Smiling all the time and offering to take picture, I thought that was very nice.

Room Tip: Bayview rooms on the first floors have a dinning table outside where you can have a private dinner c...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marshall, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

I was with a small group of 6 people, it was a great location for day excursions throughout the Miami area, staff was very accommodating and friendly, would not hesitate to go back. The isle is small and great to stroll around, very safe as it is located in a gated community. Wonderful views from the bay rooms.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

book this hotel online because of the ambiance and location. we were visiting a sick relative just nearby. The hotel was beautiful. romantic and sweet! pool are excellent. staff good, except not one smile from the bartender. wait staff excellent. pricey tho 399 a night you guys should reduce the rates a bit it is around 299 would be sufficent. you may get more business from the middle class. food excellent drinks great!!! will be back! next time for pleasure!! and spa treatments!

Room Tip: our room was great!! bayview all around!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

I got married here in Miami and before we flew out of the country, I thought staying here would be nice. I knew the restaurant was good, as I used to frequent it, so I went for it.

Here is a quick rundown of events:

I booked the reservation, via the phone, directly with the hotel and the assistance was very good as he price matched what they were showing online. The arrival and check in went great, the hotel was dated and not eat off the floor clean, but okay. The bathroom had a light out, the tub quickly retained water when showering (quickly up to my ankles in water), the toilet sat a little sideways (almost felt like I was leaning), and the bed was a little squeaky upon any kind of movement. I overlooked ALL of those things as it was my honeymoon and I wasn't going to let any of it bother me, until it was time to check out. I went down stairs and my rate had gone from $260/night to over $300/night. I questioned this charge but the girl at the front said I would have to show her proof in order for her to change it. I didn't have time to dig through emails as I was on my way to the airport. They went ahead and charged my card the extra money. I got to the airport, found the email and called back. The girl who answered was nice upon answering the phone until I told her what was going on, she started to get very defensive of the hotel and then had the audacity to ask "Well, what did you expect to pay?" I said "What I should have been charged on my account should not only be what I expect to pay, but what you promised in an email I would need to pay." I have no problem paying what I agree to, but to give an attitude and turn it on the customer is wrong.

I sent her an email, she corrected the two night stay and played it off in her email like nothing was wrong...could have been that I cc'd one of the managers on the email. I mentioned some of the problems I had with the room, but those were never addressed. I wrote the manager but have yet to hear anything back from them in regards to comments I left and asked to be contacted about.

If you stay at this hotel, just know 1) it's dated 2) because it's older, there are likely going to be some problems in the room 3) be very careful and keep records of what you agree to pay 4) don't expect much customer service after you leave.

If it wasn't for the poor customer service and attitude I was given, I would have given the hotel a 4.

Good luck!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa

Address: 4 Grove Isle Dr, Coconut Grove, Miami, FL 33133
Location: United States > Florida > Miami
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in Miami
#16 Luxury Hotel in Miami
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Grove Isle Hotel And Spa
The Grove Isle Hotel Miami
Grove Isle Hotel

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