I've been saving up my Starwood points for some time, and we finally decided to use them at the W Miami. The entrance and front desk is dark and uninviting, with intimidating security people. This was a strange contrast to the rest of Miami, which is warm both in colour and customer service. The woman at check-in was friendly, and I have no complaints about the front desk.
After check-in, I figured out how to access the elevator (with no instruction from the staff) and headed to the sixth floor. A long walk down a very dark hallway brought me to my room. As I opened the door, it was a sharp contrast from the hallway: sun-filled with light-coloured furnishings and a beautiful view of the ocean.
The bed was wonderful, the view gorgeous, and the furnishings were modern and artsy yet comfortable. I really liked many aspects of the hotel's design, including the many pieces of modern art, but as mentioned, there were some oppressive, "dark" spots. In terms of cleanliness, the hotel was immaculate. One disappointment with the room was the quality of Bliss' haircare products, so if you have long hair that tangles easily, I suggest bringing your own conditioner. Worse, when we sat on the balcony to enjoy the ocean view, we kept hearing the sound of cutlery being put away. We never figured out where it was coming from, but I'm guessing they were cleaning cutlery somewhere above us. Very annoying and took away from the experience quite a bit.
We noted that the rack rate on our room was $1600 USD, which is ridiculous. The room is not THAT nice, and the service definately doesn't compensate. Although I'm a Starwood member, the staff never brought me a paper once in the two days I was there, and when I asked the conceirge for one, I was treated like I was an annoyance. It was as if the conceirge was too busy surfing the internet to help the clientele. As a Starwood member, they also often permit late check-out: not this time.
The pool is nice but the atmosphere felt pretentious (except when we were the only ones swimming in the evening). The cost of food and drink in the room, around the pool or at the ocean was ridiculous. For instance, $12 for 20 jelly worms in our room. On the beach, I paid $14 for a non-alcoholic fruit drink (plus tax and tip). And when I had a terrible craving for cookies one night, I called down to see what it would cost to have some delivered: I was told $25 for five cookies (baked in-house). My craving passed quickly...
The bottom line is, if you don't mind putting out a lot of money to say you stayed at the W, than that's your perogative. If you think you're going to be putting out a lot of money for a wonderful experience, the W will likely fall short of your expectations. On our last night in Miami, we stayed at a boutique hotel a couple of blocks away for $200. The service was far and above what we experienced at the W, and the chocolate bars and treats in the room were $2-3 each, not $12-13. No ocean view, mind you, but I'm sure there are other hotels with a view that don't try to gauge their guests at every turn or treat them like second-class citizens-- and for far less money per night.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 14, 2012
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Thank you for sharing your experience on Trip Advisor. I am disappointed to read that you felt your stay with us was sub standard. We do value our SPG guests and members, and, based on the specifics of the program and upon availability, we gladly allow guests for an early check in, late check out, and upgrade. We do keep our pricing, hotel and food and beverage, comparable to those luxury hotels located within our vicinity. Hopefully next time you visit us we can assist with a different room type (as we have over 15 categories!), and some fun acitivites that can be arranged either in advance or while with us.
W SoBe GM
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.