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“Worst hotel with worst customer service I've ever experienced.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Whitelaw Hotel

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Whitelaw Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   808 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #136 of 200 hotels in Miami Beach
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Worst hotel with worst customer service I've ever experienced.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Whitelaw for 4 nights in Feb. The hotel is in a great location but dont be fooled by the nice looking boutique interior. The service is awful, the rooms were not regularly cleaned. We had to ask for towels everyday because they didnt provide new ones when they cleaned. On our last day there they didnt clean the room at all. They also double charged us for the entire stay under the name of another hotel in their group. When we tried to have it resolved no competent person was available to speak to. The guy at the front was nice but completely unhelpful and the charge has remained on the card for several days now. They also claim to have a free shuttle to and from the airport. We made a reservation at the front desk the day before we left and they told us we had to be across the street at 6:50am because the shuttle runs every hour starting at 7am. We stood out there until 7:15 until I went in to ask what was going on and they told me the bus didnt start running until 8am. They did absolutely nothing to accomodate us or compensate us for the inconvenience. I tried asking for a manager and the guy at the desk called his assistant manager who was totally useless. When i asked for the actual manager she told me the manager doesnt work on Mondays.

Apart from the terrible service and unclean rooms, the location is this places ONLY redeeming quality. I will never stay here again and i dont recommend it.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Good Afternoon Frenchqtpy82,

Thank you so much for taking your time to post your honest feedback on Trip Advisor for all of our future guests to read! We are glad that you were content with the location of our property! We are indeed in the heart of all the action. I apologize that you found our service to be unsatisfactory. Our staff is always eager to serve our guests. I am sorry that is not what you received. Was there a specific person that treated you as such? Our housekeepers clean the rooms everyday unless you specify that you don't want the service. I will definitely mention this to the director of housekeeping so they are aware of the issue that you experienced. We have been having issues with our hotel system that we use. I am sure that the issue that you had with the double charge was because of that. It was a technical issue and it has been resolved already. Was this already taken care of? We do indeed have a complimentary shuttle to and from Miami International Airport. I apologize that there was a misunderstanding in the times that the shuttle picks up guests to take them to the airport. Our shuttle does leave everyday at 8AM. On Wednesday's it leaves every other hour starting at 9AM. I will make sure that the managers inform the front desk staff of the correct times that the shuttle picks up at each hotel.

I look forward in hearing from you!

Katrine
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
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Bexbach
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
144 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Hotel is centrally located in south beach - next to the shopping area and the ocean drive .
The hotel is quite stylish - the rooms are new . The size is ok The bathroom is new - only the sink could be bigger .
The beds are very good.
The hotel has a bar so it s not really quiet in the evening .
Even if you have prepaid your room you have to pay 15 USD + tax for each night at check-inn ,for free transport to the airport , drinks , towels - even if you don t need any of these things !!
Check-inn and valet is slow .

Room Tip: ask for a quiet room !
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Good Evening Khzuerich,

Your kind feedback is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us! I am very glad to read that you had a nice time while staying with us! We are in the heart of it all! Within walking distance to all of the action. We do indeed charge a $15 resort fee which covers all of the amenities that you love to enjoy, such as the R/T Shuttle, complimentary cocktail hour from 7-8pm nightly, etc. We are glad that you were able to take advantage of them.

Please come back and stay with us soon!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I flew into Miami from PHL and our flight was delayed. I called the hotel to notify them and they said no problem, I could pick up the shuttle on the hour, every hour at terminal G. When we arrived and went to the meeting spot at the airport there was no shuttle. I called and they said the shuttle only ran until 10pm and could not pick us up since it was later than that, even though I called them at 930 from Philadelphia and they said it would be fine! We ended up having to take a $40 taxi ride to get there since they have no refunds for CX the room. When we arrived I asked to speak to a manager and they said she was not currently working but she would be in at 11 the next morning. Check out was at 11 so when I went to check out and ask for a manager, they stated she was in earlier and not there anymore. There was no questions about what was the problem or how they could help me in contacting the manager, just a simple "she's not here" and right back to typing away on the computer. I booked this room strictly on the basis of having shuttle transportation from the airport and they never revealed to me there was a cutoff time for the shuttle. This place needs to not only attempt to acknowledge their customers needs but be proactive about helping them have an enjoyable stay and follow through with what they advertise!!

Overall, the room was pretty clean and updated. We were on the third floor so it wasn't too noisy other than the walls being paper thin and our "neighbors" waking us up. Also, we had no hot water in the am but they were able to fix that pretty quickly.



  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Hello Rygold,

Thank you for taking your time to post your honest feedback on Trip Advisor for all of our future guests to read! I am extremely sorry to hear about the lack of communication that you experienced with the employee that you spoke with over the phone. There was 2 days where the manager showed up earlier then expected and had to leave earlier as well, for emergency reasons. Perhaps the day that you experienced this was one of those days. I will definitely have a talk with the front desk staff to make sure that they are acknowledging our guests.
I am glad that you were content with your room and the cleanliness of it. I would hope that this would not steer you away from staying with us in the future!

Please let me know if you when you will be in South Beach again. I would love to handle your reservation.

Have a great night!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

#1 Starting at the airport shuttle - the theming and pictures on the side were trashy and inappropriate - I was so embarrassed to get on that shuttle when it pulled up at the curb at the airport.
#2 Room Not clean - the sheets on the bed were gritty. I don't know how else to explain it, like sand, but small black dots. Not bugs, but grit of some sort.
#3 Noisy- You know, if I were a 20 year old who just wanted to drink and do Lord knows what else for a weekend in South Beach, and had no need for sleep, it might have been OK - for anyone else - it's just too noisy. I got NO SLEEP. I might could've dealt with the music thumping, but the screaming from the bar and all the way down the first floor hallway was unacceptable, as was the continuous slamming doors.
#4 lights-the lights from the patio area never turn off, so in room 108, which has a light hanging right outside the window it's pretty distracting.
#5 toilet did not work- would not flush
#5 Service- after the first night, I tried to check out, 2 days early. The guy at the desk said, "don't you know there are no refunds?" I responded, "No, how would I know that? What if I had an emergency I had to leave for?" He said "Well, there are no refunds." I demanded that he give the key back to the room, as on principle alone, he was not going to get my money and turn the room over again too.
#6 Was seriously disgusted by the clientel and their hanging all over each other and random people walking all throughout- no one did or said anything....
#7 Decor in hall somewhat Dr. Suess like, and the hall floor has holes and weak spots that your feet go right through.
#8 Also, beware of the $100 fee at check in for "incidentals". That is RIDICULOUS. Who does that?
Will never stay there again. Horrible experience. Save yourself the heartache - book someplace else.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Good Evening Dana M,

Thank you so much for taking your time to post your honest feedback for all of our future guests to read! I am terribly sorry that you did not agree with the photo's that were on the shuttle. We are currently working on finding a solution for the noise that you experienced, as well as the lighting. Were you able to inform our housekeeping department or the front desk in regards to the toilet seat? They would have fixed it right away- if not moved you to a room that had a functioning toilet. We apologize that you did not like the guests that are staying at the hotel. We cater to all kinds of guests and they are all welcome here! Our decor is funky and chic- very South Beach. Every hotel that I know of takes a hold for incidentals. Some hotels do it for a greater amount and others do it for a smaller amount.

Your feedback is appreciated.

Have a great evening!

Katrine
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Santa Monica, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Other than the great location and a couple of hard-working Israeli ladies running the place, there is nothing offered here for anyone other than a raver on ecstasy needing no sleep!! Music blasting from 8am to 2 am! Walls paper thin. Lobby is a bar only feet from the guest rooms!! And to give you an idea of what kind of place it is, there is no toilet seat on the toilet in the lobby restroom!! The music is so loud that the genius at the front desk (Sterling) couldn't hear a thing when asked basic questions and simply chose not to answer. So many guests I encountered were complaining about his demeanor that I can't imagine why he's still employed there. In fact, there was a large group of us waiting for room assignments but he was focused on his having misplaced $400 during the morning rush and ignored us completely while he tried to blame it on the afternoon clerk who had just arrived for his shift! WARNING: they make photocopies of your license/passport AND credit card and put a hundred dollar hold on the card by posting bogus charges from the bar and double the room rate. IS THAT EVEN LEGAL?!? Location is great, though, and David's Cuban Restaurant is a couple of blocks down the street and well worth the visit. I've stayed at hundreds of hotels around the world over the past 30 years and have never experienced such horrible service and ammenities. The least of the problems: NO HOT WATER IN THE MORNING!!

Room Tip: Refuse any room on the 1st floor if you need to sleep at all!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Good Afternoon UStrvllr,

Thank you for taking your time to post your honest feedback for all of our future guests to read!!! I am extremely glad to read that you were content with the location of our property!! We are currently working on finding a solution to soundproof the rooms. I will definitely make sure to remind the front desk staff about the level that the music should be on at certain times throughout the day! I am also going to speak with Sterling about the issue that you encountered with him! This is not satisfactory service!! Yes we do indeed take a photo copy of your identification as well as your credit card, for security purposes. These documents are then taken and shredded by a professional company. We also take a $100 hold for incidentals on the room. We have had many issues in the past therefore we have these rules enforced. Every hotel has almost the same procedure. Depending on the hotel they might make the hold for incidentals smaller or greater. We only charge the card for items that have been consumed from the mini bar. If you have consumed anything from the mini bar, that would be the reasoning for those charges. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!!

Have a great day!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice,CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

I booked a stay here for 4 nights. I had heard from a local Miami ex-resident that it was a good "boutique" hotel and cheap. Others had also told me to try the South Beach Group chain. The price was excellent, however the issues outweighed the good in our stay. They provide a pick up from the hotel by shuttle every hour, so that was nice not to have to pay.

Checking in the place is "hip" and definitely has a trendy vibe. I think the downstairs lobby has a lot of action at night and the kitsch feel of the classic furniture with white paint and popped colors is pretty fun I suppose. The rooms are all a bit small. But location can outweigh that for me. The issues we had were that 1) The building is NOT quiet. I can deal with a little noise and I understand the SouthBeach party vibe, but the walls are paper thin and the actual flooring/carpeting makes the noise factor far worse. You will hear random Portugese or Spanish all night from young partiers who stay up till 10 am (god knows on what).

Even that wasn't the biggest issue. Our other concerns included that there were no towels provided for the beach. They ran out and frankly, they didn't care when they explained this to me.

The 2nd) and biggest issue that caused us to leave the hotel and cancel my reservation for the final 2 nights was that a random woman was issued a key card to our room and entered while we were asleep at 5am. The keys were constantly not working during our stay, but I saw that the front desk checked our photocopy IDs in order to issue keys. This lady had mistakenly given our room number in a panic because she locked herself out and a child was inside. But in my opinion, this is a HUGE security issue.

We later spoke to the manager and left for a better hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Good Evening Leylabot,

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback in regards to your recent stay with us!! Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us!! We are glad that you enjoyed the decor and personality of our property. We are a boutique hotel therefore our rooms are a bit smaller then your average. We apologize that you experienced noise in the room. We are currently working on finding a solution for this!! It is an issue when your room key is given to a person that is not staying with you. As you mentioned the lady was frantic about her child in the room, which most likely caused the front desk agent to get a little overwhelmed. We are extremely sorry for the mistake of our front desk agents behalf!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Worst customer service I have ever experienced!!!! The manager was so inexplicably rude, it was offensive. When my friend and I arrived at the hotel in the evening, the person at the front desk told us we only had our room for one night and that we would need to talk to the manager and relocate in the morning. We had booked 4 nights (in advance!) and had not been warned of the inconvenience. It was beyond irritating - we had to deal with it on our first day and it got in the way of our plans. The manager did not apologize and in fact was almost irritated with us as if the problem were our fault.

It's a great location and the decor is fun, but the management was not worth the hassle!

Note: This review is for a stay from March 2010.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Hello StephB_NYC,

Thank you for providing us with your honest feedback, in regards to your recent stay with us! We strive on providing excellent service, and I apologize that is not what you were given! There was most likely an issue with the system which is why this happened. We are always trying to improve our service and amenities to guests and it is very unfortunate that we fell short on this one.

We hope that you would give us another chance!!

Have a great evening!

Katrine
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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 Whitelaw Hotel

Address: 808 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #136 of 200 hotels in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Whitelaw Hotel 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Whitelaw Hotel Miami Beach
Whitelaw Miami Beach

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