Sit down, this is going to be a long review. The 10 words or less version is: Fantastic in every way except for location. Amazing staff!
I stayed here for 3 days while my house was being tented. This hotel is pricey, but it was the least expensive I could find in Miami that was pet-friendly – I chose the hotel because they allowed my dog. There is a one-time $100 charge for the pet, which I didn’t mind (you MUST tell them at the front desk that you have a pet). The hotel is perfect for a dog – lots of green space and it was nice to have a grassy area to walk the dog (cleaning up after her, of course!).
This is an older, extremely well-kept property; the type where there are several buildings, each housing several 1 and 2 bedroom suites. The suites are fully equipped like your kitchen at home – utensils, plates, stove-top, microwave, frig, icemaker, etc. Mine (2BR/2B) even had an oven, something I don’t always see in a Residence Inn. The rooms open to the outside, not a corridor. The grounds are lush and beautiful – lots of outdoor family space with a nice pool, hot tub, tennis court and basketball hoop. Half of the rooms are on second and third floors – there is no elevator, so be prepared to use the stairs. If you are a person with a disability, make sure you request a ground floor. There are plenty of ground-floor suites.
I will address the location of this hotel at the end of my review. What this hotel lacks in location, it more than makes up for with customer service. The front desk staff that checked me in was fantastic. I had called the hotel a day ahead to say I was bringing a dog and the girl who answered the phone was equally friendly and nice. I came in contact with several employees and each was nicer than the next. Miami is sometimes deemed “unfriendly” – so I was pleasantly surprised when everybody was wonderful. GREAT customer service for my entire, 3-day stay.
My room was spotless. Both bathrooms were clean and filled with plenty of fresh towels. The sheets were clean and the beds (2 kings) were very, very comfortable. There was speedy free wi-fi; it was really excellent. Plenty of free parking. The property is partially fenced-in – so that’s good for security.
The breakfast was the usual great Res Inn buffet. Everything you could want: Eggs, waffles, coffee, juices, (ham or sausage for those carnivores), all kinds of breads, bagels, muffins, etc., and a variety of cereals. It was very good. The breakfast room was clean and the food kept coming; no shortage of anything. During the week, they had a different dinner spread every night (free). One night it was fajitas, the next night hamburgers (meat and veg). The food was really good! The dinners always had a really good dessert. Free breakfast AND dinner – you can’t beat that. All the employees running the breakfast / dinner area were excellent!
Now, on to my major whining about this hotel (since I live here, I am very familiar with this area, so I know of what I speak).
The location of this hotel could not be worse for a visitor to Miami. There is nothing to do in the area. It is crowded, noisy, under constant construction, too much traffic – it is just lots of apartments and car dealers, and a few obscure shops. There are a couple fast food joints, a restaurant or two, and a Wal-Mart within walking distance. The airport is close – a few miles away – but with the traffic, it still takes a while to get there (plan on at least 20 minutes). The hotel is in the direct path of the airport, so there is airport noise – beware – you WILL hear lots of planes. After about 10pm, the plane noise was much less – I only heard 1 or 2 during the night. The good news is, it is only a minute off 2 major highways that run N/S and E/W through Miami (826 and 836); these are the roads you would travel to get anywhere in Miami.
And, if the plane noise isn't enough - there is also a train track right next to the hotel on the north side; I didn’t hear it until 4:30am the second night I was here. My room was close to the track, so if trains are an issue for you, get a room on the south side near 12th Avenue.
From the hotel website, you may get the impression that South Beach, Coconut Grove, Homestead, etc., are close by. NONE of those things are close by. Again, they are all far away and any road or major artery you take is bumper to bumper traffic, no matter the time of day (tons of construction that has been going on for years on the main expressway that runs east and west – 836). South Beach is not even remotely near here. There are 2 malls; one very close by called Mall of the Americas; it’s not the greatest mall – but does have a movie theatre. A few miles west is a huge mall called Dolphin. That mall has a movie theatre, restaurants, and lots and lots of stores - it’s not MY thing (wild dogs couldn’t drag me there), but some people enjoy a mall and it is the granddaddy of all malls (you could spend the day there). It is NOT within walking distance, but close by – it’s a short drive up the street. A few streets south of the hotel (on Flagler Street), there are a lot of strip malls, grocery stores, fast food joints, etc. – but nothing that would bring someone to Miami.
Miami is multi-cultural, and this area (including both malls and the Wal-Mart) has a high population of Spanish speakers. It is very likely that you will go into a store and find someone who does not speak English; I am not making a derogatory remark, I am stating a fact. That’s Miami and we are proud of our diversity.
So, for everything but location, I give this Residence top of the line 5 stars. I can honestly say that the staff were the friendliest people I have come in contact with – they are an asset to the Marriott Corp. I’m gonna have to go with only 2 stars for location! If they could pick up the hotel and put it somewhere else, that would be great. Hotel still rates an overall 5; it definitely met and exceeded my needs. I’m all about friendly staff, clean sheets, and good free eats – for that, it excels!!
If a train bothers you, get a room on the far south side. If you have a disability, get a first flo...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.