I Really wanted to be in love with this place but it feels like the hotel is content with letting its beautiful pool area and beach accessibility be its selling point, rather than consistent service and better-maintained amenities. I spent hours combing through the "Excellent" "Average" and "Terrible" TripAdvisor reviews and spent nearly $700 on my Pool View suite reservation back in February so I was ready to be amazed!... Amazed, I was not, however, but it wasn't all bad. I'll start with the staff.
First, it seems like the lowest ranked hotel employees were the most approachable and the most knowledgeable. Juan and Lacey at the Bar were Standouts for their professionalism. Juan makes a tasty mojito and Lacey's suggestion of the breakfast burrito was some of the best advice I'd gotten from a Savoy employee. I owe a huge debt to Michael at the valet as well for pointing me in the direction of Puerto Sagua (great ropa vieja)! At the pool Rocky had me rolling with his wit. I should have gotten the names of the bellmen and housekeepers as they too were friendly and very helpful.
This was all in very stark contrast to the conduct of the daytime front desk staff, who couldn't give any assistance in terms of finding places to eat or visit and didn’t even bother to point out the kiosk hidden behind a plant at the front desk that provide that information. I was especially disappointed by Yvonne, who was the second Savoy staff person I’d met. As a customer service representative myself, I totally get how hard that job can be and I am the last person in the world who would tell you I am good at what I do, but I even I could have done a better job of checking in guests than she did. No eye contact. Flat, condescending tone of voice. Generally disrespectful young lady. I had to tell her “good afternoon” before she did in order for her to greet me. Massive failure for a front-of-the-house staff member. I avoided walking past or even calling down to the front desk while she was working (Tuesday afternoon/evening shift June 25) because she made me feel as I was wasting her time when I asked her a question. She was just as rude to other lower-ranking staff as well (seemed pretty chummy with one of the Valets, though), even snapping at one of the bellmen who’d also made the mistake of asking her a question. I’ve honestly gotten better front desk service at a Holiday Inn. I would never ask that someone be fired and it is possible June 25th was just a bad day to be Yvonne. Still I think she would be better suited in a position FAR away from the front desk if she is to be retained as an employee at the Savoy.
Now to the rest. $32 night valet is reasonable in any city so take advantage of that. I got my money’s worth out of the $15 resort fee, spending hours on my two beach chairs and sipping mimosas on the sand. Ahhh, indeed that was one of the high points of my stay here. My two room pool suite with a separate kitchenette and TWO balconies in the original wing of the hotel was impressive, though there were some clear signs of wear that shouldn't be visible in a room that costs this much to rent. I looked just as it did in the pictures which is always a plus! I had two flat screen tvs and a comfy bed. The light in the shower was out though and I don’t know why there was a rust/wear stain on the rim of the bathroom sink but its there (room 223). Additionally, there were no pots, or cups provided that would allow me to use the two-burner stove-top. There were also no utensils provided that would allow me to use the 4 plates that were provided. Had I planned to fix something for myself or my kids, I’d would have been out of luck.
This is was the kind of thing that perplexed me about the Savoy. Why would the hotel have amenities that can’t be fully used other than for the sake of being able to say they were available? Why not divert this same effort toward having staff on the floor of the restaurant during dining hours so people know that the place is actually open? How about tidying up that closet-space of a gym? Fixing the two lights that were out in the shallow pool wouldn't hurt. Having some kind of live entertainment on the pool deck or restaurant would make the Savoy feel less institutional like another reviewer described it and more like the South Beach destination it markets itself as, which is crucial since the Savoy is actually 3 blocks away from the true SoBe nightlife (which makes for a great night’s sleep for parents and solo travelers like me). Still, those factors should encourage the Savoy management to make itself much more competitive to other travelers who would need a reason to stay anywhere other than the actual ArtDeco district. It’s important to note that this is not the only hotel with beach access in SoBe, as the Hilton is a few blocks south of this property, and the Lowes and The W, while a few blocks north of the Art Deco district, are on Collins Ave and closer to Lincoln Road and other destinations that SoBe travelers want to see. AND they have beach access and late night on-site dining options too.
As a budget traveler who is still wondering if she fully got her nearly $700 worth out of her stay, I am paying close attention to both the competition and my cash when it comes to making a return to SoBe and while that room was very spacious and that resort fee very reasonable, I can’t say if that’s enough to justify another stay here...not at full price anyway.
Get a Pool or Ocean View suite on top-floor to avoid street and room noise, both of which are minima...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 10, 2013
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Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review of your recent stay here at The Savoy Hotel.
We are very happy that you enjoyed the beach & pool area, your spacious pool view suite and the interactions you had with our restaurant & pool service staff. It sounds like you had a restful trip to South Beach!
We regret to hear the comments you had regarding one of our Front Desk associates. It is quite surprising as Yvonne has consistently received very positive guest compliments and has performed very well since she started working here. She is liked and respected by her colleagues and we are sorry that you felt that the service she provided you was not up to your standard.
Again, we thank you for your feedback as it is always useful to hear exactly what our guests are thinking.
Take care and we hope to welcome you back once again.
Francine - Director of Sales & Marketing
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.