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“Bad at first, then nice” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Clay Hotel

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The Clay Hotel
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1438 Washington Avenue, South Beach, Miami Beach, FL 33139   |  
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Ranked #109 of 206 Hotels in Miami Beach
Malmo, Sweden
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Bad at first, then nice”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2006

Well, we got room 134 (twin bedroom w shared bath)on first floor, facing the street at first. We're nonsmokers, and the rooms had clearly had it's share of in-room smoking, som it kinda smelled of old smoke, as it was probably in the walls, carpets and so on. Air conditioning sounded like a loud vacuum cleaner, and what good is the cool if instead you get the noise? So, all in all, we complained to the staff which was very helpful in finding a better room. They actually upgraded us to a much nicer twin bedroom on the second floor, en-suite bathroom. And we only paid for the room rate of that first room.

So: bad room experience, nice staff experience, and the location couldn't be better!!! On wonderful espanola way in South Beach Miami.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,047 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 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 (86)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2006

The Clay Hotel was perfect for the price!! Friendly staff, clean public areas and rooms. Location is excellent, 2 blocks from the beach and the Ocean Drive... Plus, all the nightclubs are on Washington street, so just a 5 minute walk will bring you to the hottest clubs in SoBe. If you wish to go down at the nikki beach club, just take the local bus for 25cents!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2006

I arrived after a two-day bus ride at 7 am in the morning and the front desk crew were very helpful and very cheery. They let me freshen up upstairs, stored my bags, and got me a room as quickly as they could. All the staff I encountered were very polite, helpful, and very knowledgeable about the city. They had maps right in the lobby to plan your exploration of the area.

My room was clean, but very small, so small you couldn’t completely open the door to the bathroom because it hit the end of the bunk beds. The small room didn’t bother me much because I was hardly in the room anyway because there were so many things to see and do there. The ceiling fan and air conditioner were both in good working order. The shower controls were a little difficult to operate, but there was plenty of hot water.

I saw two cockroaches in the room during my two-day stay, but from what I heard, many accommodations in South Beach have these extra guests. I heard horror stories about the other hostels in the area. There were quite a few people I met that had moved from the 9th street hostel and said it was much cleaner and safer at the Clay Hotel hostel.

There are no security lockers in the rooms, but by the front cash I got a small lock box for 25 cents that was large enough to hold my CD player, my extra money, and all my travelling papers.

The location of the hotel is great. It’s two blocks away from the beach. There is a 24-hour market across the street from the hotel, and there is a really nice Cuban bakery just up the block.

I had quite a bit of trouble with the internet terminals they have at the hotel. The front desk suggested I try the internet cafes along Washington Blvd. I ended up using one, the Kaiser Kafe a block up from the hotel, which had high speed connections, and you pay by 15 minute time blocks, which was great if you didn’t need to use the terminals for a full hour.

Just a note about the ocean – they get a lot of jellyfish there from time to time. If they are flying the purple flag at the beach that means “marine danger” and most likely means jellyfish have stung people already. One of the days I was there I was seeing hundreds of Portuguese man-of-wars, and they have a really bad sting. The lounge chairs can cost up to $15 for one day, so I opted to just lay my towel on the beach.

It doesn’t take too long to get to the hostel by bus from downtown Miami, and the bus stops coming and going to the Greyhound terminal are close by, and the fare at the time I travelled was $1.50. I was even able to get the K bus at 5:40 am, and arrived at the Greyhound station by 6:00 am.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2006

I stayed at the Clay last year for a few nights before we went on a cruise out of Miami. Altho it is very basic, our room was clean, cool and comfortable. I really liked the chill out area at the top of the stairs and the little balony looking out over the street. They had a super little street market and a great art gallery across the road. I spent many a happy minute looking out over the comings and goings. It was just a short walk to the beach and the shops and a great tattooist! There are lots of nice places to eat nearby and the breakfast at the clay is fabulous.
The staff were really helpful (i was on board ship when i discovered i had left my favourite shoes in the room, i emailed them and they kept them safe for me until we got back).
I enjoyed the time i spent there.

Stayed September 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2006

I don't know what people are complaining about in regards to The Clay. Maybe some of the private rooms are nicer than others. I didn't see any of the hostel dorm rooms because I stayed in one of the private rooms with my boyfriend for five nights last week (March 13-18), but I can say with complete honesty that our room was just fine. The bathroom was clean and the shower had great water pressure. The bedroom was small but certainly adequate for our needs, had a digital air conditioner (which worked very well), a comfortable, clean bed, there was no odor to the room at all, and we had a variety of cable channels on the TV (although occasionally the sound seemed to go a little crazy on the set). Our sheets and towels were changed out every day by a cleaning person, and at night it was definitely quiet enough to sleep. Our possessions were safe in our room, and we felt safe in the hotel in general and even walking to it late at night. The Clay's young, international staff was also very friendly. The commons area was clean with several large tables and chairs to eat meals at, and there were three computers with Internet access for $0.07/minute, which isn't bad for hotel rates!

My boyfriend and I agreed we would stay at The Clay again if we returned to South Beach. You can't beat it for less than $100 night! Sure it isn't a five star hotel with a coffee maker in the room or free breakfasts (and face it, most hotel breakfasts are awful anyway), but it was definitely a clean, safe place to stay and that was all we needed. An elevator would've been nice, but three flights of stairs is not bad unless you have a physical disability or one really enormous suitcase. The Clay has a lot of character too: lots of international students and different languages to hear, and unique, pretty paintings on the hotel hallway walls. It was right next door to a popular Mexican restaurant that looked delicious, but we never got a chance to actually eat there. Maybe next time!

Oh, and whoever said it wasn't close enough to the beach is a little confused. It was quite close, I assure you, as we walked quickly to the beach from the hotel each day. In fact, The Clay was an IDEAL South Beach location--we walked to a variety of awesome restaurants, shops and clubs from the hotel. We only needed a cab to go to the Miami Seaquarium and to and from the airport!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2006

The room was very basic but clean with good location and that's all we needed. Espanola Way is a nice and also safe street with restaurants, shops and bars and you only have to walk 5 minutes to get to the beach.
I preferred to stay a bit further away from the buzz of the Ocean Drive and I don't think we would have ever even ended up to this part of the town if our hotel would have been right next to the beach.

Our friends had a room in a hotel in Collins Ave. which cost twice as much as our room and had rotten ceilings, no fridge and no towels provided.

76$ per night saves you a lot of money to other activities, you don't go to a vacation to spend all your time in a comfortable hotel room?

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2006

If you are looking to save money this is your place if you want to share your room with mosquitos. The carpets are worn & nasty. In one of the three rooms we rented the bathroom floor was caving in & covered with a rug. We didn't feel safe returning to our rooms via the dark alley with abandoned bldgs. The hotel isn't in walking distance of the beach. For all the money the hotels are making with tourists, they should put it back into the hotels with renovations. The staff was very friendly. Only provided towels, no washclothes.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about The Clay Hotel

Address: 1438 Washington Avenue, South Beach, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #109 of 206 Hotels in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — The Clay Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 130
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Also Known As:
Clay Hotel Miami Beach

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