I booked this hotel for a family of 4 pre and post cruise. Our first stay was for 2 nights. My family was split into 2 flights, though arrived in MIA within 20 minutes of eachother. We met at baggage claim and went outside to find the hotel shuttle. The day we arrived the official shuttle was undergoing maintenance. The hotel was using a smaller van, typically used to transport guests to shopping/dining areas within a 3 miles radius of the hotel, as there is absolutely nothing near this hotel within walking distance except some chicken wing place that resembles a Hooters. I wouldnt go there with my family.
When the smaller shuttle pulled up to the curb, 15 minutes after we arrived outside, we were informed they only had space for 2 more passengers. Since my hubby and son had been traveling since 3:30am (and it was then 1:45pm), I told them to go first and get started on lunch, as they were quite hungry. My daughter and I would wait for the next shuttle, which we were told would be there in 20 - 25 minutes. So, they left and we waited and waited and waited and waited and waited. Other guests had been arriving at MIA too waiting with us. I called my husband a couple of times so he could ask the front desk when the shuttle would arrive. Both times, we were told "A few more minutes". 1 hour 30 minutes later, the next shuttle came. I arrived at the hotel and went straight to check in. No line at 3:30pm. I was then told my reservation had been cancelled ??? I asked when it was supposedly cancelled. I was told 04/19. The same day I was standing there?? They told me they could get a room for me, but it was more than I booked and then they wanted to charge me $10 pp for the cruise shuttle. Luckily I had my reservation confirmation with me and they gave me my original booking price, which included the cruise package. I will say that all staff involved were very apologetic and very nice, but it was aggravating x 10 since I was so tired from traveling all day.
We got to the room, which was everything you'd expect from ES. Very clean and spacious. I loved the room. We ate an early dinner at their restaurant. WOW...... it was edible at best. Overpriced frozen food. My salad was clearly DOLE in a bag. I know because I use this same one at home. But, theirs was a few dates past expiration and the lettuce was brown in some spots. I pointed it out to the waiter. He said he would tell the kitchen. My husband got fish tacos. It was frozen filet o fish patties, deep fried and put in a tortilla. I got a frozen burger patty. Totally dry and not good. My daughter got chicken fingers, deep fried in oil that ad not been changed in maybe a month. You could tell by the color of the frozen chicken tenders. I forget what my son got, but it was more of the same frozen crap. Our bill was about $140, without alcohol. This is the ONLY restaurant around and it is almost always empty. They would have a goldmine if they served fresh, good food. A lot of guests were ordering pizza delivery. Big sign that maybe they should make pizza??? But then again, they would probably buy frozen pizza, which defeats where Im going with this.
After dinner, we went to the managers reception. Again, staff was very nice, drinks were great, light snacks were good (nachos/salsa, pretzels w/ honey mustard sauce, goldfish etc..) We then went to the pool. It was a beautiful pool area. I'll also say the grounds of this hotel were lovely and wonderfully landscaped. My daughter swam for a couple of hours. She came out of the pool and her hair was in sticky/clumpy and she was complaining her eyes were stinging. There is WAY too much chlorine in the pool. She kept her eyes closed for the rest of the night and eventually fell asleep. Next morning she was fine and used goggles for the remainder of our stay. Also, to note, this hotel is right next to the airport. You could see and hear the planes flying overhead. I happened to think this was cool, some people did not like it. When you were having a conversation by the pool, you would have to pause while waiting for a place to pass by. They were loud. I had no problems inside the hotel.
The next day, we had a great buffet breakfast. Muffins, breads, donuts, fruits, cereal, eggs, bacon, sausages, omelettes, juice. Yes, the omelette line was very long. I skipped it. My son waited about 30 minutes. They should really get another chef, but I suppose this cuts down on the number of omelettes they serve, for free! Later that day, we got the hotel shuttle to a nearby strip mall. I got a case of water for the cruise and we had lunch at a fast food place, Pollo Tropical. It was better than the hotel food! We called to be picked up and only waited 10 or so minutes. Probably because another couple led from the same location a bit earlier than us. The shuttle driver was nice enough to stop at an ATM for me too, on the way back.
Shuttle times for the cruise were 9:30 and 10:30. We chose the latter. It was organized, quick and easy to the port.
Post cruise, we got to ES around 10:00am. I had put in a request for early checkin (to be charged $25 if offered). I know it wasn't guaranteed, so I wasn't upset when we were told it wasn't being offered that day, a Saturday. We waited until 12:30ish to go to the room. Also to note, you need a room key to get to the pool, so there was not waiting at the pool area. We went to the room, again clean as can be. Then to the pool, with goggles! We ordered pizza delivery and had lunch outside. Our room was over a function room with very loud music playing. I figured it would be over at 5 - 6, but when it wasn't, I called the front desk to see when it would end. I was told they didn't know what I was talking about, but would have security check it out??? I went down myself and saw a band and 100+ people singing church songs. How could they not know they had a function going on? I walked over to the front desk and told them what I saw. I was told they had the room until 11:00pm and was asked if I wanted to change rooms. My husband had to leave at 5:30am, so I took them up on the offer. We moved from the 2nd to 9th floor, again another clean room.
Getting the shuttle in the morning for both my husband/sons flight and mine was very easy. I left at 9am and was offered water bottles when I entered the shuttle bus. Where was this on day 1?? Again, consistency.
Overall, both stays were nice. I would recommend checking chlorine/chemical levels in the pool, reinventing the restaurant, enlarging the gift shop (no shopping or food nearby, ES could make $$$$$, but lacks in both areas.) stay consistent across all departments. Housekeeping / maintenance /landscape is perfect. Some front desk could be a little better. Shuttle drivers, bartenders, waitstaff at the restaurant (but probably make no money due to food and no customers), giftshop guy were all very nice. This could e a 4 star with slight improvement in areas I just listed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All suites mediterranean style hotel featuring 318 spacious two room suites. This 10 story deluxe hotel features complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast daily, 2 hour Manager's Reception nightly, round trip airport transfers and Hilton Honors Points & Miles. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Miami Airport Hotel Miami
- Miami Embassy Suites