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“Great price for the amazing location, nice staff, drinks were strong” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Penguin Hotel

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Penguin Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1418 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #94 of 205 Hotels in Miami Beach
Englewood, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great price for the amazing location, nice staff, drinks were strong”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

Location was perfect and this is why I booked here. Staff was exceptionally friendly, however room was not very clean (first room had what felt like Vaseline all over things in the bathroom and huge chips in the bath tub, second room had clumps of hair on the floor).

Original room was off of the lobby next to a heavy glass fire door that separated the hallway from the lobby. Each time someone used the door it would slam loudly (avoid 1st floor, especially room 108). Front desk staff can’t do anything without the manager who was back in the morning. My nightly rate through booking.com with tax and 'resort fee' was $341.

When I asked the woman at the front desk who thought I had just walked in if there were rooms available, she told me she had an ocean view room on the second floor for $650 for all three nights vs. nearly $1050 I was paying. After she found out I was already staying at the hotel, she told me that I could move to an ocean view room on the second floor for $50 more a night. She said she couldn't move me without the manager and because I already paid for the first night, she couldn't do anything but offer to move me for more $$$, which wasn't going to happen.

I asked her to deduct the $341 off of the $650, move us upstairs and change our reservation but she wasn't empowered to do anything but take my money. The next morning we spoke to someone else who moved us to the back of the hotel on the third floor. No change on the hotel rates. Going forward, I won't pre-book hotels in South Beach as the prices are far cheaper once there, even if it means I have to move hotels during my stay (Penguin was $179, Hilton was $699 when I checked, but once there I looked and it was $182).

I would stay here again, based on location and price.

Room Tip: Upper floors away from Ocean and the lobby.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jenny K, Guest Relations Manager at Penguin Hotel, responded to this review, April 7, 2014
We are thrilled that you loved our location; we couldn't' agree more. We are very sorry for the housekeeping issues you encountered during your stay. We want to always offer a fantastic stay, and your comments help us know where we need to improve, thank you. We also apologize for the frustration you felt over the noise and room rates. Again, we will take your comments into careful consideration. We can't wait to see you again.
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662 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

I guarantee you will love your stay at this hotel! Everything is walking distance. We walked to the beach which is right across from the penguin hotel and also the restaurants and stores were walking distance which was great for me and my friends. The service was excellent, everyone was very helpful especially Carmen. Every time we needed something she helped us with it, she was very kind and professional. The rooms were very comfortable and clean. Also, it has a restaurant and they serve drinks so that was something that really appealed to me. Holly as well was fantastic. I well most definitely come back again!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Jenny K, Guest Relations Manager at Penguin Hotel, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
You’ve made our day, thank you for the fantastic review! We are thrilled you had such a fantastic stay at our hotel. Your praise of our staff is greatly appreciated; we will be sure to pass it along. We can’t wait to see you again when you next return to South Beach.
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Miami Beach, Florida
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014 via mobile

On my vacation in miami I stayed at the penguin hotel. What a surprise. Perfect location. I went to have some drinks at their happy hour. I got a skinny penguin. Delish. The server was so polite and amazing. Totally not Miami beach attitude . Her name was Eva. She was new but work like a Profesional. I'll be back for sure. Eva wait for me! ;-)

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Jenny K, Guest Relations Manager at Penguin Hotel, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
Thank you for the fantastic review! It is great to hear that our staff, especially Eva, offered you such wonderful service. We will be sure to pass on your praise. We can’t wait to see you again!
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Branford, Connecticut
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014 via mobile

After losing our Mom 'n Pop hotel on Ocean Drive in 2013 to a large chain we had to hunt for a reasonable hotel. Our last place for ten years was gobbled by the Marriott group, who doubled the rates; bye bye easy ocean views.

You can spend a lot of money on O.D. (Ocean Drive) but if you're not a sheik visiting with his family for the winter you want a reasonable, clean place with a responsive and responsible staff. We couldn't get the ocean view at the Penguin but we got a very quiet room in the back (silence is like gold on O.D.) for half the price of a back room at the Marriott. Aneesa at the front desk was able to get us oriented and everything we needed.

It's a low frills place with style but you get a continental breakfast at the sister President Hotel (walk down the side to the alley and let yourself in the President). There are always crazy discounts up for grabs; by booking an extra night we got 45% off our whole stay.

The hotel's restaurant has everything you need for ordinary, healthy favor, and it closes early enough that you can sleep if you're above it in the ocean view suites. The bar is cute. Grab towels from Aneesa as you head to the beach for the day. There's an efficiency fridge, too.

South Beach offers lots of diversions. If all you need is a decent hotel that won't get in your way; a place to rest up in before heading out, this is the place. If you're looking for a resort that's it's own freak show to entertain you, look elsewhere but be prepare to spend. My only complaint: no HBO, but then again they have free wi-fi.

Enjoy, we did!

Stayed March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jenny K, Guest Relations Manager at Penguin Hotel, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Thank you for the wonderful review! Your positive attitude and laid back enjoyment of South Beach made us smile! We are thrilled that you loved your stay with us, we hope to see you again for many years to come!
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Lorton
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

The front dest receptionist Aneesa working Saturday night around 9 pm, very polite, professional. Rooms are very clean, bathroom very nice. Showers modern and clean. Everything walking distance from hotel.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Jenny K, Guest Relations Manager at Penguin Hotel, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
It is fantastic to hear that our staff took excellent care of you, and that you found our rooms and bathrooms clean. We are glad that you loved our location. We hope to see you again when you next visit South Beach.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

Never been to South Beach before, but very pricey there in general, and this rating is in part based on price/value consideration of hotel which I might have given 3/5 if it was cheaper. Once you get over price consideration it is in a great location on Ocean drive with lots close by and access to the beach.
However, the rooms are a different story. Art deco style is OK but should not be an excuse to avoid upkeep. Flooring, walls, mirrors, tiles, furniture all showed age in an unflattering way as well as paint. This was evident not just in rooms but also lobby. Rooms could also be noisy, and if this was in a busier part of SB would be a huge issue as even relatively quiet area seemed loud with any noise.
Very minimal room with a cheap chair and a relatively comfortable bed but smaller room in general. Very minimal continental breakfast included which has cereal really in another hotel around back not with view of ocean drive.
Not bad service but in general the whole experience was one of doing the bare minimum, in both service and upkeep.
Stayed before in smaller type older hotels in Europe and this one charged more and gave much less, very bad value for dollar.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jenny K, Guest Relations Manager at Penguin Hotel, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
We are very sorry that you were not impressed with your stay at our hotel. Your honest opinion is appreciated. We are always striving to improve our comfort and quality, and your comments help us know what we need to focus on. We would welcome the opportunity to make things right.
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New York City, New York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

So my trip this past weekend went off without a hitch thanks to the amazing staff at the hotel.

I arrived early for my Feb 28th to March 3rd trip, and thought I may have to wait on a room until after 2 or 3pm for a room. Man was I WRONG the ladies at the front desk told me if I wanted to check in a room was ready if I wanted it.

Mean while my friends were having issues with their $600 a night hotel and I was already checked in and taking in the Miami sun.

The room was clean (I was in room 117), and the cleaning staff was sweet. I am not sure what was going on with those who stated in their reviews that the hotel was dirty.

This was just not the case for me during my stay and I look forward to returning.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Jenny K, Guest Relations Manager at Penguin Hotel, responded to this review, March 10, 2014
Happy Birthday! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your celebrating. We are thrilled that you loved your stay at our hotel. We will be sure to pass on your praise to our staff; we know it will make their day. We hope to see you again when you next want to celebrate South Beach style!
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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 Penguin Hotel

Address: 1418 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #94 of 205 Hotels in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Penguin Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 43
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