Ignore the older reviews on here. My wife and I like to visit South Beach just for the day sometimes because we are about an hour away. We decided to stay for the night this weekend so my wife booked a room at the Cadet at 17th and James, on a last minute whim and after just a little bit of research. What a find!?!
This little boutique hotel has all of the charm of the original South Beach era but is modern and clean and a gem among bigger, more expensive hotels. At just over $200 a night, I was not setting my expectations too high but I was very very happy with everything. We have eaten at Casa Tua, just across James street, and often park right down the street for day trips to the beach so I was always wondering what the Cadet was like. It's just two blocks from the beach and right down the street from the Delano and the SLS.
We arrived early at about 9:30 am, not expecting a room to be ready yet, but it was. Within 5 minutes of arriving, our room was ready. The lobby is small and stylish with a traditional terrazzo floor, a baby grand and a really cool little bar. The desk staff were very friendly and although we had very little to carry, Frank brought us up to our room to help us out.
The room was on the small side (room 214) but very clean, very nice, with crisp but soft white sheets and bedding, great pillows. Everything was clean and new, except the bathroom, which was very clean but just a little more old fashioned. We didn't have a tub but we had a nice sized shower with a stone floor, two shower heads and really great water pressure. Great after the beach. L'Occitane products were a nice touch as were the Hershey's kisses in a tiny little white welcome box and complimentary water.
The in wall A/C units are a bit goofy, and a little bit loud but to me it sounded like the ocean and it put me off to sleep in just a few minutes. The room also had a great view of the garden and hot tub and included two great robes, fresh fruit on arrival and was very very quiet. Room 214 is on the second floor and all the way at the end of the hall so it was great.
My wife also booked us a dinner at the hotel's restaurant, Pied a Terre and it ended up being one of the nicest dining experiences we've had anywhere. The restaurant is a petite French restaurant just steps off the lobby and barely seats 30 people. Our waitress Silvia was really attentive and so helpful with the menu. She actually sat down a couple of times to chat about France and make sure we had everything we wanted. The vegetable tart was an amazing dish and we also enjoyed a crab bisque and split an amazing sea bass. We really felt like we were being served by family, rather than being at a fancy restaurant. At the same time, it was very upscale service, food and atmosphere. Patrick recommended champagne to start and then a delicious glass of a white wine I had never tried before. It was perfect. We finished with a delicious creme brûlée and a cappuccino.
Breakfast the next morning in the little garden patio was like icing on the cake. The little patio is surrounded by tropical flowers and hedges. Our young waiter was very attentive and breakfast was delicious. I wish we could have stayed longer! We will definitely be back.
I've read that there is a lot of noise outside the hotel. I did not notice any. I've ready REALLY OLD reviews on here about a hotel that was moldy, needed renovation, etc. etc. I recommend you disregard any review on here from more than a year or two ago because clearly none of that is true any longer, if ever.
Bonus Tip: If you go to the beach, be sure to come back before 7:00 pm and enjoy the little spa pool in the garden. The hotel and it's landscaping wrap around it and it's kind of dreamy. Enjoy.
P.S. When I read Trip Advisor reviews, I often wonder where else the reviewers have stayed. It's hard to know how reliable reviews are if they have never stayed in other hotels in the area. We have stayed at the Gansevoort South (more recently called the Perry), the Mondrian, the Ritz Carlton, the Tiffany (called the Hotel of South Beach), the Z, the Leslie, the Hotel Astor and the Sagamore. I have to say that although this hotel is not on the beach and is on the small side, it was one of our nicest stays in South Beach yet.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for staying with us and taking your time to write this magnificent review.
We appreciate your exceptional compliments about our property and service. It’s always a pleasure to hear your expectations were exceeded.
Considering you visited many hotels in the area and recommend us so highly is truly an honor. We take pride in being different from all the hotels in South Beach. We strive to provide more than just an accommodation for our guest, we want them to feel as part of our family.
We look forward to having you stay at the Cadet again, your home away from home.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.