Ahhh, South Beach! And South Beach hotels... it's so hard to choose! I spent countless hours researching between the prices, locations and amenities. I chose the bay side rather than SoBe beach front because the Mondrian website talked me into it. Ha. My boyfriend and I were headed to SoBe for his birthday and to celebrate the end of a busy summer in terms of work load. The Mondrian looked like the perfect posh escape.
Things that I enjoyed:
- The Mondrian is gorgeous. The lobby, the bar, the restaurant, and the pool is absolutely beautiful. Sunsets are unparalleled from the pool / bay side room. It was breathtaking. It's very euro / trendy, I loved it.
- Our bedroom (we got a one bedroom suite) was amazing. There are track lighting all over the suite and it gave an appealing seductive vibe to the entire place. I loved our room, so much closet space, huge windows, comfy bed, vanity area, trendy wallpaper. I could have stayed in just our bedroom forever! The balcony from the living room area overlooked the bay and downtown Miami. I was torn between paying less for a east view, but now am so glad I spent the extra to get a west facing room. So beautiful.
- The vibe was perfect. I'm 30 years old and my boyfriend was turning 31. We love to drink and go out, but are not obnoxious in our room partying noisily. Everyone was around our age in the hotel, it was a sophisticated trendy group.
- The service was good, our bell boy gave us a tour of the room which was a great introduction to the Mondrian. There were always helpful staff on site by the pool for towels, as well.
- The bar downstairs, tucked on the north side of the pool had a great happy hour with delicious drinks and food. Yum. Friendly bartenders, too.
- The location. It's not in the heart and heat of SoBe, but rather a quaint neighborhood with unique restaurants, shopping and Whole Foods. I loved the location and felt like I saw more of South Beach because we biked everywhere (rental bikes are directly across the street from the hotel).
- They have partner hotels on South Beach where you can rent chairs and towels for free. Nice perk and a good change of pace from the pool.
Things that I did not enjoy:
- They pushed an upgrade on us, and we bit. It's our fault but they promised us a penthouse level upgrade, and ultimately the penthouse is the exact same room as any other suite, only on the highest level. Granted, the room / balcony / view was still gorgeous, but I expected the room to be a bit nicer than the rest of the hotel. You're definitely going to pay for this room!
- Internet. Terrible, terrible experience with this. We receive free internet with our purchase (online deal) and it took me four calls to the front desk and a tech person to get it set up. Finally they just gave me an online code (why didn't this happen the first time I called?). It was a cluster and very frustrating to deal with after a long day of traveling. I had to have internet due to work obligations. Once we were set up the actual internet connection was so slow and sometimes didn't work, it was basically worthless to us. We ended up leaving once a day to check our work at a bar with wifi (happy hour and work = actually a great combination). They could use some serious improvements in this arena. It left a bad taste in my mouth since I was dealing with it for over 40 minutes upon arrival.
- The living room decor. Yikes. It was supposed to be minimal and trendy but the living room couch was torn and looked like something that belonged in my grandmother's basement in the 70s. Everything else in the room was gorgeous but that, which sorely stood out. Spend the extra $ and repair a ripped couch or better yet get new living room decor.
- I read a review at some point that they have free bike rentals. Not true, you have to rent bikes and pay for them.
- Bites. I hate to wrongfully accuse, but on the last day I left on the last day with bites up and down my legs, side and arms. It was horrid. I was out biking and enjoying the outdoors every day and evening, so perhaps it was mosquito bites... but with the bed bug epidemic, I was paranoid and scared I had buggers in my luggage. We went straight from Miami to my parents house. I played it safe and dried EVERYTHING before unpacking, which was a pain in the butt. The bites lasted for days, and were uncomfortable. I emailed that week to tell them about it and they shut me down immediately, saying they take bed bugs seriously and are proactive. It felt like a standardized response. I responded, please check out this exact room for the sake of future guests. They immediately replied that they did and it was cleared... so, it is what it is. Hopefully they don't have bed bugs, but whatever it was that bit me was unpleasant and drying all of my clothes was annoying.
All in all, I loved the Mondrian. We paid quite a bit for our upgrade, in the future I would just pay for the bay side one bedroom suite, not a penthouse suite. I loved the decor and the vibe, and would stay there again. I can't stress enough about the sunsets by the pool. I'll be back at some point! And hopefully next time they'll have better internet and free bike rentals ;)