So here's the story. I forgot my friend's 40th birthday a couple of months ago (I know, I'm bad), and I said I'd make it up to her by treating her to a Miami trip the last weekend of June.
This was my first time at South Beach so I did some serious research on Tripadvisor and other websites before selecting a hotel. I found that Edgewater had consistently great reviews, so I took a chance and I'm so glad I did! A lot of other hotels on Ocean Drive and the around the vicinity looked pretty icky/shabby from the outside although you'll still pay a lot of money for them (I checked their prices). I've also read horror stories about uncleanliness which is a big deal for me as I am a "germaphobe".
When you walk up to this hotel you can immediately appreciate its beauty and cute architecture. The only other hotel that looked just as good in my opinion was the Betsy Hotel further up the block (but is also a lot more expensive per night than Edgewater).
Edgewater is not the cheapest but it's not ridiculously expensive either. You get a lot for your money here. It is right across from the beach and walkable to the Lincoln street shops. There is an $18 per day fee, but it covers the continental breakfast (bagels/croissants/pastries, cereals, yogurt, milk/coffee/tea) and happy hour which happens on the roof top terrace (with awesome views of the ocean). The staff who runs the breakfast and happy hour are very friendly. Neither event was noisy, but I liked that. It's very relaxing on that rooftop and I especially enjoyed its serenity during breakfast time with the morning sun and beach views! The hotel also has a restaurant by the entrance and hotel guests get 20% off their meals from their full menu.
One thing I also appreciate about the hotel's location is that although it is right on Ocean Drive, it is on the quieter northern side of the street. That means you can get a good nights SLEEP! But if you want the crazy parties it's only a short walk away. We appreciated a quiet place to sleep after a late night out.
Overall the hotel is modern, CLEAN and quiet! It looks just like the hotel pictures. When I opened the door to my standard studio room I was SHOCKED at how HUGE it was! It was just me and my friend staying there but you could comfortably sleep four people if you wanted to. There's a kitchenette in there with a sink and refridgerator and lots of cabinets with cups in them. The bathroom was beautiful and spotless. Closets were spacious and also had drawers.
There's also a nice fresh scent that permeates throughout the hotel. Some hotel guests might not even notice it at all, but me and my friend noticed it and found it very pleasant. I'm sure it's some kind of essential oil mixture, but I can't put quite my finger on it. It's not perfumey or overbearing at all. It's a a very light, refreshing, and dreamy scent that adds a nice touch to the hotel experience.
This hotel doesn't have a lot of amenities and frills like a gym, pool, or room service, but you will feel a "luxury hotel ambiance" with its beautiful modern decor and wonderful service. I can't emphasize enough this hotel's attentive service. Here are some examples.
- When it seemed that the last couple of beach chairs were gone, we were going to head to the beach without them, but Rafael just came out of no where and brought us some. It was like he overheard us from another room and immediately sprung into action. That was awesome.
- My friend and I were all dressed up to spend a night out. As soon we walked out the hotel onto the sidewalk, Rafael came out of the hotel to get us a cab without us even having to ask!
- Jonathan was extremely helpful suggesting activities and restaurants. He made sure we got our rollaway bed we that requested, and even called our room the morning that we were leaving to ask if we needed a taxi reserved (which coincidentally happened JUST after my friend said we should call for a taxi ahead of time lol).
So again, you see this recurring theme of the hotel staff anticipating your needs before you even realize it
- One day it was raining pretty badly during our usual happy hour so it happened in the lobby by the front desk instead of the terrace. My friend and I met Alejandro who was running the front desk at the time. Very friendly guy who was also knowledgeable about activities and places to eat like Puerta Sagura (a cuban restaurant). Somehow he not only juggled his front desk duties, but he was also able to contribute to making that happy hour a memorable and fun one for everyone despite the rain. He got everyone talking and laughing, it was great!
These are just a few small examples that stuck out in my mind but there was so much more. All the staff from the front desk folks, resturant staff, and cleaning staff were super friendly and always asking if you needed anything. Everyday they say good morning and ask how you are doing.
The only negative is that I wish that there was more lighting in my room, which was towards the inner courtyard. The room was pretty big, but there doesn't seem to be enough lights in the room to brighten it. It's no big deal. It's not like you'll be spending the day indoors anyways. Those rooms that are facing the ocean are probably brighter since they take advantage of the natural light coming from the east.
My friend, who had previously stayed at a higher-end hotel on South Beach last year, said that when she returns, she'll definitely be coming back to this hotel. She greatly enjoyed her belated-birthday weekend.
Thank you Edgewater South Beach staff for making our stay a memorable one!
- Lynda & Nadege