We arrived at the Riviera a bit biased after staying at the W Miami for two nights on our Starwood points. The Riviera was off the beaten path, a couple of blocks away from the beach and the W, and presently across the street from a construction site.
I read a lot of reviews before choosing this place, and many of the negatives were bang-on. The decor is kind of cool, but the dark ceilings give the hotel a bit of a creepy feel, at least for me. The furnishings are funky, but it was sort of like the little sister of the W that hadn't quite come into her own. The front desk really needed to be redone, with wires hidden by curtains and paint and wallpaper peeling: a bad first impression for clients. The room was very good for the price when I compare it to the awful rooms I've stayed at in Canada for the same price ($200). The photos online are very accurate. We had a King Studio with a living room/kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. The bed was very uncomfortable as the mattress was too soft and slanted in spots-- I felt like I couldn't get my balance all night! The bathroom shower had low water pressure (I heard a client complaining about this the morning after), but it wasn't low enough to complain about in our room, just not adjustable. The shower wasn't designed well, either - water ran out everywhere on the floor; however, that's the problem for maintenance, not me.
As others report, the walls are thin: in the room above us, we could hear people walking around. It's like being an old house. It was unfortunate that our upstairs neighbors obviously left for a flight at about 4am and woke us up with their footsteps and luggage rolling across the floor.
In the morning, the breakfast around the pool was mediocre. Some fruit, cereal, yougart, juice, granola, dry muffins, and the like. At least it was an effort, and for the price of the room, it was acceptable and appreciated. The shuttle service to the airport was also a great add-on, saving us about $30.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this hotel. I think they are trying, but I think they've got to make some improvements to the hotel if they want to bring it up-to-snuff. The art deco building is likely old, so creaking is to be expected; however, it is an annoyance if you're looking for privacy or if you're a light sleeper. The location is fine but it isn't in the heart of South Beach's action: you need to go further south for that (we rented the Deco Bikes to get there and had fun riding down the boardwalk by the beach). For the $200 we paid, the hotel was more than acceptable, especially if you want to save money by making your own food and taking advantage of the kitchenette. Another bonus was the treats in the room, as they were reasonably priced at $2-4, a massive improvement from the W, which charged about $10 more per treat.
So, I would recommend the Riviera Suites, but if I had to do it over again, I think I'd try to get a room in a hotel on the beach.
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- Also Known As:
- Riviera Hotel Miami Beach