This is a potentially a super hotel. A great lobby, a good restaurant and bar, friendly staff and a great location with superb views towards South Beach.
Unfortunately I had a pretty bad experience here and ended up checking out early to move to a new hotel. I don’t think I can fault the staff, who were courteous and patient throughout. The problems come from management’s policies, choices and priorities.
Here’s what went wrong:
–My main gripe was that the internet didn’t work. Dire speeds and most websites were just not attainable. On my arrival I spent two hours on the phone to the hotel’s external support provider changing the settings on my computer, disabling my firewall, Windows defender and changing a million different settings. In the end the guy was stumped and phoned the hotel. It turns out that this was a network problem that the hotel knew about but hadn’t bothered to tell the external support provider (or warn arriving guests). So I wasted my first two hours in Miami after a 10 hour flight from Europe in a stressful and pointless way. In fact the internet wasn’t restored during the whole of my four day stay. Staff apologized every time I phoned to find out what was happening– “We are working at it…”. Meanwhile I had to camp out in the bar of the next-door Doubletree Grand and use their free internet (excellent connection!) rather tha neing able to work in private from the room I had paid for. I find it unbelievable that an international business hotel chain like Marriott can’t sort this out – one of the staff confessed that they had been having issues for a while. I wonder how long it would have taken to fix if the Marriott reservations site rather than the guest internet had gone down! Not four days and counting I suspect. In the end I have checked out early and moved to another hotel as I need the internet for my work.
- I booked a “Concierge Level” room – don’t bother – it’s just a standard shoebox room – no fridge, no minibar, the tiniest shampoo and shower gel bottles I have ever seen (only one shower a day for you!) and not even a shoe cleaning sponge. There is also a picture on the website of a “Concierge Level room balcony” which might give you the idea that the Concierge Level rooms have a balcony, well…mine, room 3004, didn’t.
- Note that being in a “Concierge Level” room doesn’t give you access to the “Concierge lounge” with free breakfast. I asked what it did give you and was told that the room had “Superior amenities” – I failed to spot them. Not even a bottle of water. On arriving I phoned down to get a drink sent up “That’ll take 35-40 minutes sir”. So I toasted my arrival in Miami with a glass of lukewarm highly chlorinated Florida tap water from the bathroom.
- I had a few small parcels delivered from Amazon while I was staying here. I was charged USD 7 per parcel by the hotel as a “delivery processing charge”. I have never had this in any another hotel anywhere in the world; I would have thought that receiving mail for guests was part of a hotelier’s standard service – not here!
- The buffet breakfast was pretty good – but when the bill came it had printed on it “gratuity not included”, these words had been also added a second time with a rubber stamp and written a third time in hand by the staff. Why should guests be bullied into paying a gratuity for a self-service buffet? I did all the serving myself apart from bringing a pot of coffee. I know this is not a practice exclusive to Marriott – it is used by anyone in the catering industry who does not pay their staff a living wage… and it should be stopped.
Well, I am sure that this could be a very nice hotel if they sorted out the internet, stopped charging extra for the most basic hotel services and paid their staff properly. Meanwhile I have gone elsewhere never to return.