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“Get dreamy from the glamour... then get a wake up slap from the hotel service” 2 of 5 stars
Review of W South Beach

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W South Beach
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (City Center)   |  
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Ranked #17 of 204 Hotels in Miami Beach
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Get dreamy from the glamour... then get a wake up slap from the hotel service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

As introduction, I have been a Platinum Starwood member for several years and I have stayed at Starwood properties in several countries, including every single W there is in the NY and Miami area (about 7 of them) plus a regular visitor of the rooftop of the W in DC. I don't ever bother to write reviews but this one really wrote itself as I thought about the strange paradox of a brilliant design and horrific service of the W South Neach. If there is one place where I know I will get treated NOT like a celebrity, that's the W South Beach. I don't know if it's because of the property's popularity or the misplaced desire for exclusivity, but the service staff just has this general "we don't really care about you" attitude that's impossible to ignore. I have stayed there 3 times just in the past month and a half ( I know what you are thinking - what is wrong with me?!?!) so you know at one point that some things are just not your bad luck. Here is the track record:

- Lost keys to my $1k/weekend car rental by the valet service. For the record, the Manager of the hotel valet (a completely separate company from Starwood) actually did a great job making up for it by getting another car and crediting my hotel account. However, to this day I am dumbfounded by the response I got from the hotel front-desk staff: "we are sorry you won't have your car on a Saturday night, but look at the bright side - the valet will get you another car." yeah, I am not joking - that's what she said to me! No "we are sorry" token, no points, no courtesy call on how I am doing after, nothing, except for the on-the-spot "bright" advice.
- sitting for 3.5 hours around the pool waiting for "the first available bed" call back, while being the 3rd person on the list. We sat at a nearby table, spent $260 on food and drinks (for 2 people) and for fun counted 23 people leaving their beds and new people sitting on them. And since I have been there so many times, I know every bed that belongs to the residence owners and I did not count those in. Finally, the waitress felt really sorry about our miserable, hungover looks and went and got us 2 beds immediately (yes, there are some professional and competent staff members there too). An hour before sunset, I finally got the call from the condesending, having hard time smiling girl in charge of the beds that some beds were now available. Didn't know if I wanted to laugh or cry.
- every time you come back to the hotel in the evening, 2 club bouncers guard the door and demonstratively hold you off and do you the favor to check the records that you are indeed a guest of the hotel. You have no choice but thanking them for letting you back to your room.
- ordered a breakfast in bed. The metal milk container had some disgusting yellow stuff on inside and outside that I didn't see until it was too late. Looked like an egg was dropped on it (I didnt order eggs, just croissants), but that's just a guess. Almost puked when I found out I had that milk in my coffee.
- went to the restaurant (not the Dutch, which I really like) late - at 11:40pm. The hostess was nice and assured us the kitchen was still open. Then comes the server... Boy, did he pull the menus off our hands so we can order faster?! And did he not bring us the drinks we ordered right away per his request while we saw them sitting at the bar for 20 min...

I can go on, but I'm afraid it will start sounding as rambling. I will just say - if you are a well known celebrity, that's your spot - you'll probably love it. If you are not famous but have a taste for fashion and glamor and you like starwood, you will love it on your way in, and hate it on your way out. Everyone else - just do yourself a favor and stay at the other trendy hotels nearby (e.g. Delano or Fontainebleau) and just come to W for a drink. You will get all the benefits of the amenities and likely get treated better than the hotel guests. And if you encounter a good service staff member - please tip them. It's rare and refreshing so it's worth it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WSoBe, Manager at W South Beach, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Hello MDD_83,

Thank you for supplying your feedback from your stay. We strive for great service and we would like to speak with you in more detail about the issues you encountered. Our pool area is very active and we understand your frustration in regards to finding a daybed. We do have a beautiful beach footsteps outside our hotel and could provide you a space very quickly. If you could please send us your contact information to wsobesocial@whotels.com we would like to speak with you in regards to your past stay. Your feedback is very valuable to us.

Best regards,
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Jersey City, New Jersey
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I'm not sure what happened, after a "surprise & delight" experience on my first visit just over a year ago, our visit in January 2013 fell short of expectations. The hotel was sold out, so I can understand that we weren't given an upgrade to a suite. However, we just simply didn't feel the love at all. We happen to be SPG Platinum but even if I had been a standard guest I would have been disappointed with some aspects of the experience. Here's what you need to know:

1) The rooms are indeed spacious and have an upscale feel to them.

2) When we'd stayed in October of 2011, we encountered a great staff member, Francheska, who has since moved to a different property. We had reached out to let her know we'd be back and she alerted the W South Beach "Whatever Whenever" team since she'd moved. Last time, we were surprised three different times during our stay... Upon arrival we had a note with complimentary Fiji water and free cocktail vouchers, then we had a knock at the door with a drink cooler bag, and then in the evening we had a box of high end chocolates and another note! This time around there was simply zero effort to make us feel any love. It seemed like our patronage was taken for granted.

3) My partner went down to the pool. It was packed and he couldn't find a seat. The staff at the door didn't acknowledge him. He had to proactively ask for a towel and they handed to him and made no effort to try to accommodate him. My partner ended up just returning to the room. We weren't able to spend any time at the pool.

4) The Living Room is expensive. The staff is great, but for 4 drinks and 3 appetizers, we ended up dropping nearly $200 with tip.

5) We were excited about the complimentary in-room dining breakfast for Platinum members. It arrived quickly, but it was simply coffee, juice and a basket of croissants and such.... no protein, cereal or anything of substance. Just empty carbs.

6) At checkout, the front desk associate asked how our stay was. I told her it wasn't nearly as good as it had been last time. She literally said nothing in response. I felt like she asked me because it's part of the script but didn't seem to care whether or not I enjoyed my time with them.

I'll take my business elsewhere going forward unless they figure a fix to the service issues. A nice room is great, but the guest experience is what counts. The nearby Conrad in downtown Miami treated us much better. Ironically, we enjoy ourselves thoroughly when we stay at the W Fort Lauderdale which is half the price. The W South Beach isn't what it used to be.

Room Tip: Go 30 min north to a room at the W Fort Lauderdale or to head to downtown Miami for the Conrad
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WSoBe, Manager at W South Beach, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Hello johnruda,

Thank you for giving your feedback from your stay. We would like to convey that we do appreciate you as our guest. During your first stay with us in 2011 we had been celebrating our 2nd year anniversary and gave several gifting’s to our guests. We would like to apologize for the service issues you encountered during your stay. The service we provide to our guests is very important to us and we will address this with our Hotel Manager to reinforce our service culture. We would love to speak with you in regards to your stay if you could email us your contact information to wsobesocial@whotels.com. We value your continued business and SPG membership.

Best regards,
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Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

construction on the adjacent hotel (north side of w) meant jackhammering all day weekdays. this should have been communicated but wasn't, two attempts to change rooms went unresponded. on the plus side an alarm/wakeup call was not needed early mornings...
various problems with stay throughout, from checkin (room key software not working, 30 minute delay and so we were walked up to room- half hour later after unpacking we were told to move rooms to the construction side of hotel - annoying in hindsight); water from shower leaked onto floor as the sealing strip was missing, about a gallon's worth per shower, took three phone calls and two days to repair. were we the first stay with such problem?; overcharged per person breakfasts in the dutch - only me and my wife- first two days. coincidence? other irritations but you get the idea. stay away until construction moves past the noisy phase and hopefully the hotel shapes up on other fronts.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WSoBe, Manager at W South Beach, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Hello R J,

Thank you for your review and business on your past stay. We would like to apologize for the noise coming from the building alongside us. We are keeping a close eye on the construction happening during this time. Having a shower that leaked is frustrating and we do apologize for this. Your experience during your stay is very important to us and we strive to provide the best service. We would like to speak with you more in regards to your stay if you could email us your contact information at wsobesocial@whotels.com.

Best Regards,
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mi
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Stayed at the W for one night. I thought that the hotel was just beautiful and the room and views were spectacular.

We arrived in the morning (just got off of a cruise) and to my surprise, the room was ready. We had a room with a view of the ocean. We dropped off our luggage and headed to the pool.

The pool was pretty crowded but we did manage to find 2 lounge chairs. They also offered us chairs at the beach which they said were complimentary.

We ate lunch in the hotel and although it was good, I found it to be quite expensive. For a hamburger and a lobster roll and two iced teas it was $ 71.00.

I have only stayed at a W once before and it was beyond horrible. This hotel is the exact opposite of that experience. I would defiately stay here again...without question.

As a side note, I just booked the W in Barcelona. From looking at the photos and reading the reviews, I feel that I am in for the same experience that I encountered in South Beach.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WSoBe, Manager at W South Beach, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Hello zoo-ma-goo,

Thank you for giving your feedback and we hope to welcome you again very soon. We take great pride in the service we offer our guests and having the largest rooms in South Beach. We would love you to send us an email at wsobesocial@whotels.com with Whatever/Whenever you may need at W Barcelona or your next escape with us.

Best regards,
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We stayed at the W South Beach for two nights in January of 2013. Impeccable hotel - all of the staff was courteous and friendly. Our room was an accessible room that overlooked the pool and the ocean - a fabulous view! The room was clean although the furniture looked like it was a bit worn and had been through one too many parties. The room had an extra wide sliding glass door that lead into a balcony that overlooked the pool. It created a party-like atmosphere right in your room. It was a tad loud on the balcony but they closed the pool area relatively early so we still were able to sleep at night. The bed did not seem as comfortable as other W properties. We also had to call to get housekeeping to make up our room - it still had not been cleaned by 4:30PM - if you stay here, I'd make sure you call when you're ready for your room to be cleaned.

The hotel itself is steps from the beach where they provide chair/food/drink service (in addition to the pool). The pool got pretty full when we were there, but there wasn't a problem getting a chair and umbrella on the beach. We had a nice snack at the Dutch restaurant - the guys at the bar made great drinks and treated us well. The gym was nice and provided us a way to work off some of the (expensive) drinks we drank on the beach! Did not get an enhanced room as an SPG Gold - and also did not get to check out a minute after the 11AM check out time.

All in all, an OK stay - although I may check out other South Beach properties on my next visit.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WSoBe, Manager at W South Beach, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Hello tj722,

Thank you for your feedback from your stay. We are thrilled to offer Andrew Carmellini’s The Dutch as our main restaurant for our gusts to indulge in many of his unique dishes. Were you also able to try the amazing creations of Mr Chow? Our oversized rooms are the largest in South Beach with a private balcony in every room to enjoy the ocean view. We would like to speak with you more about your stay and any future plans you may have in South Beach. Please email us your contact information to wsobesocial@whotels.com.

Best regards,
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River Vale, New Jersey, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

it would seem obvious but it is not. when you stay at this hotel in order to get the VERY BEST room for the price you pay you MUST ask for 'the best available room' --this would be on the highest floor, closest to the beach AND on the south side of the building.

other than that the place is phenomenal. from the staff to the food/drinks/rooms, etc. it is the nicest W in the world and they keep the clientele top notch.

Room Tip: YOU MUST ASK FOR high floor, south side, near beach. if you dont ask for they will just rent the roo...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WSoBe, Manager at W South Beach, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Hello David G,

Thank you for supplying your review from your last stay. We would love you to email us when you plan your next escape. Please feel free to email at wsobesocial@whotels.com with Whatever/Whenever you may need.

Best Regards,
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Chicago, Illinois, United States
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

The location was very disappointing. We had to take a cab to the shopping, restaurants and bars in South Beach. The staff was neither helpful nor polite. Also, we were very disappointed in the small, plain room. It was like a Motel 6 or something very cheap looking!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WSoBe, Manager at W South Beach, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Hello Kathleen I,

Thank you for supplying your feedback. We will be addressing these concerns with our Hotel Manager to reinforce our service culture. We do offer the largest rooms in South Beach with a private balcony in every room. We would love to speak with you in more detail about your stay. Please email us at wsobesocial@whotels.com with your contact information.

Best regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about W South Beach

Address: 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach > City Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#8 Spa Hotel in Miami Beach
#11 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#11 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
#15 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — W South Beach 5*
Number of rooms: 312
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At The W South Beach, wake up to spectacular sunrises over the Atlantic or wind down to scenic sunsets in 395 rooms and bungalows featuring the best of resort living. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Starwood, Prestigia, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Despegar.com, Priceline and HotelTravel.com so you can book your W South 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:
w South Beach Hotel Miami Beach
w Hotels Miami Beach
w Hotel Miami Beach

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