we just spent one week at the Richmond Studio Apts, on our third getaway trip to miami beach, and had a great time. i feel compelled to offer our account to offset these negative reviews that seem to stem from misunderstanding. these studio apts really suit the way we like to live when we are traveling, plus you really do feel like a local in this apt complex setting. we had initially only booked our arrival night, as none of our other first choices were available for a late saturday night arrival. (we have stayed at 2 other hotels on the same block in previous years, also with good experiences. we like the 1700 block of Collins ave, and also like to explore the art deco hotels.) since we have been here before, we judge bad reviews with a grain of salt--- most vintage hotels in this area understandably are small, and battle mold, etc. what makes a place stand out is what it offers, and it's service. we were quite satisfied with our stay at the Richmond and would stay here again, despite the few hiccups we had. if you want more details, read on, some praise, then a few suggestions for improved service at the end.
i had spotted the Richmond hotel in previous years, and loved the continuing art deco theme, and the fact that it is family owned was something we wanted to support. so we were happy to check it out for a few nights and then decide. well-- we looked at the Hotel rooms after our first night in the Studios, to see if the view and closer location was worth the change... and decided we would be quite happy to stay in the Studios for: the generous size of the room, the coffee maker, free wi-fi, outside access to "balcony", and use of hotel amenities: pool and beach chair discounts. i am happy to report we were perfectly content to stay where we were for the week, and they offered us a good rate for staying multiple nights.
Yes, this is a vintage building: we found the glass/swivel windows charming-- (please know this is the usual kind of window in most of the vintage buildings around town.) the door had triple locks, i felt perfectly safe, and it is right behind the Catalina on a sunny side street with other art deco hotels. the room has a fridge/ microwave/ coffee maker........so we had lazy mornings on our front step with a cup of coffee, sun streaming in the palms, with a breakfast of yogurt, mangoes, bananas and donuts we got the night before at the walgreens/or 7-eleven from down the street. you feel as if you have your own private balcony, even though it's a shared walkway, no one is out and about on it, just us...
food: they do serve a breakfast (at the hotel) for 10 bucks a person, includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, coffee and juice, which is reasonable for this area, but we never ate it because it ended at 11:30am. (we flew in from the west coast so getting out before noon just didn't happen!) we also showed up to the pool at 3pm hoping to get lunch, but they stopped serving at 2:30pm. also, no dinner or late hours food: that was one bummer, but not a big deal-- as we were set to eat cuban as much as possible!
we enjoyed that the pool stayed open til 11:30pm-( quite rare, and actually- this factored into another reason we wanted to stay here! ) and enjoyed warm night swimming, usually all to ourselves. they also have a hot jacuzzi pool which felt great after a long bike ride. they have a deal with a beach vendor for half-off beach chairs: 2 beach chairs and umbrella was $20 day--a good deal!
we were very happy with our stay-- and love love love miami beach. it is hard for me to feel any serious annoyances when i am in sunshine all day and strolling warm nights. (we're from seattle and come for the sun!) so the following complaints were not deal-breakers for me, and are more like suggestions to what i feel would really up the experience of staying at the Richmond studios:
1.) we had to call and ask for our coffee to be refilled almost every day. the Keurig single serve pods are not something we can buy ourselves, and our unit was stocked with teas and decaf-- and getting regular coffee for the mornings was something we had to follow up on every day. we didn't like feeling like we were haranguing the front desk for coffee requests, and felt we had to explain that we weren't asking for more, just asking for 2 pods: what wasn't re-filled. (the hotel rooms do not have coffee makers, just the studios, so it may be confusing --and housekeeping routinely haphazardly left you with some miscellaneous pods of herbal tea. ) dear Richmond: please note that in the morning-- most people are going to want to drink caffeinated coffee-- and if it's offered, it shouldn't be a hassle to get it. -thank you.
2.) we had to do a lot of our own legwork to figure out what the hotel offered: the website doesn't list all the hotel amenities, nor were we informed upon check-in with what the hotel offered. we had a self-proclaimed "please forgive me, i'm new" employee, however: when i asked what time the pool closed, she said she didn't know, she was new. i actually really wanted to know, as the pool is one of the things we specifically wanted to use. she did not offer to find out so i asked the valet standing right next to her, and he said 11:30pm. --that cracked me up! also, i asked about the restaurant and was told food is served from 7am - 7pm, but that is not technically true, -- they break between meals and when i arrived at noon, breakfast was over and i was not able to order anything til 12:30, lunch only til 2:30, i found out the next day when i came at 2:40pm and really wanted a sandwich, but they were strictly only offering appetizers and cocktails. i was not notified of the these timings, so it was annoying, and then we never went back for food and ate elsewhere. again, not a problem for us-- as we were happy to source out cheaper local food, (became regulars at Bella Cuba just around the corner! - the best cafe con leche in town, in my opinion) but if you're counting on getting your meals at the hotel it's good to know when they are serving! also-- there is no happy hour offered-- which the hotel could benefit from as all the other area hotels do some kind of happy hour discount, and it would get people to hang out longer by the pool. dear Richmond: please consider some kind of happy hour special: we would have used it!
3.) a regular complaint seems to be the dirty floors, and the floors were indeed very dirty-- as can't be helped from living one block from the beach, however, a daily sweeping would be appreciated and would go very far with the satisfaction of the customers who stay in the studios. we always tried to shake off as much sand as possible, and remove shoes when entering, but on the first night i noticed my feet were indeed black on the bottoms, and the floor felt gritty, so i had to wash them before going to bed. from then on, i wore my shoes in the room. again-- not a big deal for us. however: i do not think our unit was swept or wet-mopped the whole week we were there, (as evidenced by the sand) but i do not know how regularly these units get serviced in this way. i have stayed in a hotel nearby where they wet-mopped (or wet-swiffed) on a daily basis.. so i know what wonders a clean floor can do to your general satisfaction. dear Richmond: please adopt a more frequent cleaning schedule for the studio floors, your customers will be happier and want to come again! -- thank you for your consideration.
4.) dishes: the units provided 2 mugs for the coffee- after that it's hit or miss. one unit we were in had only 2 mugs, then we moved to an upper unit the next night, where we stayed for the rest of the week: and it had 2 mugs, 2 plates, a bowl and 2 knives, which we then ate breakfast every morning on our little "patio". there was no dish towel or washing sponge, so i had to regrettably use a washcloth every day to wash up as room service does not do this, which is fine, but i had no means to do it myself. if the unit had even just the barest of cutlery, some paper towels, a few dishes, -- it would lend itself to those of us who like to eat in, get take out, etc. it seems like these studios have a bit of an identity crisis: are they hotel rooms? or self-sufficiency units? because it has a kitchen, it makes me want to use it. dear Richmond: please consider making the studios a little more self-sufficient with a few more dishes and cleaning supplies, so people can enjoy eating in.
i will say the staff was friendly and helpful, no objections to service except check-in was non-informative: but as we got checked in by someone new, i do not know how forthcoming normal check-ins are. for example: i didn't know they offered beach discounts til 3 days into our stay when i overheard a different desk employee telling someone who had asked. i would have liked to know all these things up front when i check in. we were given no sheet of paper that listed what the hotel offered, restaurant hours, beach discounts, check out time, etc. we had to call almost every day with questions for these things, things we should have been told at check-in.
but all in all-- minor details to a great vacation for us.
we were happy staying in an apt so close to the beach.
we'd come again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy old Miami Beach charm in our budget-friendly South Beach get-away.Spacious, authentic deco accommodations located on James Avenue (one block from the beach)offering complimentary WiFi and special use priveledges of all of the amenities (Concierge, Cafe, pool & deck, jacuzzi and fitness center) of our oceanfront sister property: the Richmond Hotel. Easy walking distance to the Miami Beach Convention Center and all of the excitement of South Beach's food scene, shopping, nightlife and much more! ... more less
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