First I want to point out that I'm rating our experience 4-stars primarily due to the location, the beach club and island amenities, and the very courteous, professional manner in which the staff addressed our issues. There is so much to be enjoyed here, but some kinks just need to be worked out, particularly among the condo-pool (owners' units).
To be clear, there is the "hotel" area of this property which are charming and beautifully decorated historic villas around the Vanderbuilt estate which is a Fisher Island landmark. And then there are individual condo units that are independently owned but are in the hotel pool. When I had originally booked a 1 bedroom condo with an ocean view, what we actually got was rather disappointing. The unit was very small and dated, and had only a partial ocean view. Management, however, was very quick and kind to upgrade us into a direct oceanfront 2 bedroom unit that had just been redecorated. It was very clean with great natural light and nice beach decor, and a gorgeous, over-sized balcony.
But then came the bugs. Big ones. Keep in mind we are very long time Floridians and totally get that bugs are going to be around. Giant, flying palmetto bugs and roaches live outside in the palm trees and shrubbery but will glad take residence in yours if you don't have doors and windows properly sealed. The first thing we noticed was that there was a 2 inch gap under the front door and we promptly called to have maintenance do something to seal it. We had to place a towel against the door overnight until they came to fix it the next day. This would be an example of the issues between condo-owner vs. hotel management. Really, this should have been something the owner should have never overlooked, but the hotel had to hear of our complaints. And for several nights, we had to kill a few roaches that had already creeped in, and on our last day noticed ants had made their way in too. One more thing about the very large, flying palmetto bugs....every evening that we returned from a night out, and made our way up the stairs to the second floor unit, we prepared ourselves to go to battle with these giant disgusting things. They'd be sitting on the wall or front door just waiting. One time as my husband hit one with his shoe, another flew onto his head, and the neighbors must have wondered just what in the heck was going on every night that they'd hear me screaming.
Next issue was frequent internet outages. The first was understandable, due to a severe thunderstorm that had moved through the area. But the internet was out for 24 hours and thereafter continued to be spotty over the next few days of our stay.
These issues aside, the island is a real delight. The beach club is fantastic, and all the restaurants there on the island are quite good. Fisher Island is like a private oasis at the end of bustling South Beach. It is quiet enough that you feel you're just removed from the fast-paced
Miami scene, but yet just a ferry ride away. Speaking of the ferry, learn the schedule so that you're not spending so much time waiting. If you're not a patient person, getting on and off the island via ferry may wear on your nerves.
At the end of our visit, the hotel management was very gracious and understanding of our issues, and gave us a complimentary night as well as removed internet charges. I would consider returning because once the kinks have been worked out it is a very nice getaway, definitely lending a more residential feel rather than staying at a hotel or resort property. It's a unique gem.
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- Also Known As:
- Fisher Island Hotel Miami Beach
- Fisher Island Hotel And Resort
- Fisher Island Resort