My sons surprised me with a 3 day weekend trip to Miami Beach to celebrate my birthday. I was informed that we would be staying at the SLS and, admittedly, I was concerned that the hotel’s reputation for catering towards the young adult crowd would not accommodate a family group with ages ranging from 9 to 60 year olds; however, I quickly realized that the hotel was professional, service oriented, and accommodating for all. In short, we all had a wonderful time.
When you arrive, the first impression that you get is that the hotel is ready to roll out the red carpet. In fact, you literally walk on a red carpet up the stairs to the front door where the staff greeted us with a warm welcome. My 9 year old grandson was wearing a super hero t-shirt and was greeted with "Welcome Captain America." This event marked the first of many wonderful surprises that were meaningful and brought smiles to our faces.
We immediately went to check in to unload our luggage. Jamie at the front desk was efficient and cordial. We were a few hours early and our rooms weren’t ready so Jamie recommended brunch at the Bazaar.
Needless to say, we had brunch at The Bazaar. The food for the brunch by Chef Jose Andres was a culinary experience, a journey filled with a delicious and abundant selection. The choices of food ranged from caviar and omelets to pancakes and waffles. And the desserts….who could resist?!?! Our waiter Guillermo was courteous and a wealth of information about the hotel and the area. During the rest of our stay, he always said hello when our paths crossed and assisted with any questions.
After brunch, we went to our rooms which were now ready. We were pleasantly surprised when a bottle of champagne with a hand written card was waiting for us in the room. We later deduced that Jamie at the front desk had discovered it was my birthday after asking my sons for the reason of our trip.
We had dinner at Katsuya, which is located in the hotel. The restaurant had a great ambience with elegant décor and appropriate lighting! Our waitress Kate may have been new on the job; however, it would have gone unnoticed because of her knowledge of the menu and great suggestions. She played a large role in enhancing our dinner experience from the warm greeting to serving us fabulous food. It was truly a wonderful experience.
The rooms had stylish modern decor with a beautiful view of the ocean. They were small; however, they reminded me of my years living in Japan, where space is scarce and has to be used efficiently. It’s quite surprising the vast amount of amenities tucked away in the room. Anything that wasn’t tucked away (i.e. we needed extra pillows) was just a request away. The robes were soft and luxurious and so were their linens. The Wi-Fi had a strong signal anywhere in the hotel which is always a plus.
I recommend using the text option when using valet to request the car about 15 minutes beforehand. Otherwise, it takes minimum 10 minutes to get your car and valet can get extremely busy. Depending on what time of the season you go, you may be waiting in the heat if you don't request the car pickup beforehand.
I did notice that the young adults were having a great time during the pool parties. It seemed like no matter the demographic, everyone was having fun. We all had a wonderful experience and SLS really does stand for Style, Luxury, and Service, with the service way beyond my expectations.
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