Stayed at the Grand Beach for three nights following a week long cruise. Departed the ship at 9am and arrive at the hotel for 10am. We were expecting that the room wouldn't be ready on arrival, however the reception staff couldn't have been more helpful and noticing that we had lots of luggage quickly checked us is in and ensured we well versed with the hotel and surrounding area. Although a few miles out of Miami (opposite mlillionaires rows), I found the location to be the best feature of the hotel. The hotel was right on the beachfront and the beach itself was a lot less populated than the main south beach; all in all, a little exclusive retreat from the main hustle and bustle. We were there over a weekend and found it nice to escape back from the 24hour party atmosphere of south beach / down town areas. There were frequent buses outside of the hotel too ($3.25 one way) to south beach and the Art Deco area. Make sure you have exact change, however, as they don't give out any. Taxis cost no more than $15 either. However, the best way to explore and get about is to use the deco bikes, 2 hotels down. Such a fantastic idea. You just pop your credit card in, take your bikes and drop them off at any bike station in the city. So reasonable too. From memory, about $10 for two hours!
The rooms were huge with a lovely comfortable bed, two bathrooms and very modern decor. Although the carpets were a bit weathered, the rest of the furniture was quite plush with lots of nice in room touches, complimentary coffee and wifi, bathrobes, free safe etc. Think cream; which explains why the carpets are a little bit mucky! ;-)
Two pool areas; one for families and one for adults only. The views from the adults only pool are stunning. Overlooking millionaires row and downtown Miami with Fantastic sunsets and lots of camera opportunities every night.
Excellent breakfast and reasonably priced too, as were drinks and cakes during the day, Thankfully , the hotel automatically adds the 'tip' to all charges, which is a real lifesaver to us Europeans who find the whole US tipping system baffling and difficult to fathom!
Only downside, I personally felt that the hotel lacks a main focal / meeting / socialising area. Although there is a bar and chairs / sofas in the hotel lobby, it is not somewhere you would like to while a away a few hours, meet with friends or enjoy a relaxing drink. Too transient and not very chilled. We had friends staying at the Marriott so met with them instead and started the evening there; a real shame as it would have been nice to have enjoyed a few drinks and met at our hotel once or twice.
All in all, a very good hotel, spacious rooms, beach location away from the hustle and bustle down at south beach. I think the hotel sums it up perfectly with their description of "affordable luxury".