We booked The National after much deliberation in light of the largely glowing reviews and recent renovation.
Booking.com had the lowest rate by far so that's where we booked, but the hotel claimed not to have a record of our booking when we arrived the next afternoon. They located it after a while (and only after we gave them the reservation code), then tried to put us in a king room instead of two doubles (according to the reservation line at the hotel, the double rooms are $50 more - we had paid for this on booking.com). When we pushed back, they they were glad we told them - what kind of booking system is this? We got a double, but on a low floor (they said all the rooms were taken - I had spoken to the reservation line the night before, and they told me there were plenty of available rooms of the double variety still available and they were far from selling out).
So check-in: minus points
The room itself is fine. Basic, not dingy but not fresh off a renovation. The small console under the wall mounted TV has marks all over it from either liquids or I don't know what. No trash can in the bedroom. Beds are a bit odd - the mattress sits on slats that are clearly visible inside an immovable bed frame. Good number of outlets by the bed and under the TV.
The bathroom is TINY. Not sure why, because there's walk in closet directly next to it that could have expanded the size. Anyway. No shower curtain, a partial glass screen between the basin and shower. Not enough hooks for towels, robes, swimsuits. Shelves were dusty.
The rod holding the hand towels FELL DOWN as I went to get a towel to wipe my hands... We called maintenance to fix that and also the toilet seat which was very tight. When we came back, toilet seat had been replaced and hand towel rod was back in place. Went to get a towel again - rod FALLS DOWN. Called down again. Maintenance comes up again and does something while we are out - this time there is with white glue or putty sticking to it. We leave it be till the morning. Unprompted, it falls down AGAIN.
So I called the front desk. The lady asked me what heavy things we had putting on the rod. Of course, the towel rod at this newly renovated 'luxury' hotel falls down and it must be the guests' fault. Really? I told her it wasn't possible to put anything on it and she should check that this was the THIRD call for the same issue. Oh customer service where are you?
Other observations so far:
Pool is quiet and pretty which is nice. Towel service is spotty at both beach and pool - have to find the guy. But servers at pool are friendly and helpful - one of them even came out to the beach the first afternoon to set us up when no one was to be found (well, the guy at the beach ignored us - walked right by us and went into the hotel...).
The restaurant and bar appeared to be closed on Thursday evening - the poolside kitchen was open till about 4 or 5, but then both that and the bar shut down which was surprising.
The guests seem to have a large proportion of Europeans.
Hopeful that the rest of our stay is less so-so and more positive. Unsure where all the hyper positive reviews come from.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in South Beach's celebrated Art Deco neighborhood, our oceanfront resort evokes cinematic elegance, boasting 116 newly designed city and direct ocean view guestrooms in our Historic Tower, and 36 luxurious cabanas and suites, skirted alongside native tropical palm trees and the city's longest infinity-edge pool. Fully restored in 2014, the hotel was recognized by "Historic Hotels of America" for maintaining its architectural authenticity while bringing subtle and sophisticated elements of contemporary design for the discerning traveler. The National Hotel's Tamara Bistro, among other unique onsite venues, offers old Gatsby glamor with New World fusion cuisine. We invite you to visit Miami Beach's 30s and 40s classic era of grace, elegance and style at the National Hotel. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, BookIt.com, Travelocity, Odigeo, TripOnline SA and Tingo so you can book your National Hotel Miami Beach reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- National Miami Beach