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“Essencia Restaurant - Good Food but POOR Service!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Palms Hotel & Spa

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The Palms Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3025 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140   |  
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Ranked #59 of 207 Hotels in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Essencia Restaurant - Good Food but POOR Service!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

I have decided to go to Essencia Restaurant following it´s reviews of the organic and healthy food they offer. Yes, the food is really good and tasty, the place has an "colonial style - feeling" at the terrace by the pool. So far, all good and nice!!

Unfortunately when we have to talk about service, Essencia NEEDS a LOT of IMPROVEMENT. I made a reservation for a nice table outside to celebrate my friend´s birthday; when we got there the hostess with some "attitude" told us she could not offer the table I have reserved previously as they were expecting a group (detail: the restaurant was almost empty with most tables available). Our first waiter clearly did not know how to explain dishes, we had several "gaps" of no service (meaning no waiters), I had to poor the wine (at least was a good Sauvignon Blanc from California) and we had to wait around 35 minutes between appetizers and main dish...

As mentioned before, It is a shame as the place has a lot of potential but management needs to invest money and time training it´s staff.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EixampleAusiasMarc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EBarkey, Director of Guest Experience at The Palms Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, December 13, 2011
Dear Diner,
Thank you for visiting The Palms Hotel & Spa to enjoy an evening of serenity and delicious natural gourmet cuisine offered by our culinary team at our Essensia Restaurant & Lounge. I am delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed our ambiance and most importantly our delectable organic offerings, but am disappointed to hear that you did not experience the true genuine service of our dedicated staff. Our General Manager of Essensia, Mr. Alex Karas was aware of your dining experience and has emailed you directly for further follow up. Hopefully, we can look forward to welcoming you back again soon for a true ‘Essensia experience’.
Regards
Elena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,681 reviews from our community

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Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

After a 2 week trip around Florida, we wanted to spend the last 3 days relaxing in Miami in a nice hotel. The hotel in general is really nice but with some negative aspects to it. First of all, the staff taking care of suitcases and cars at arrival were quite rude when we arrived. They could be a bit more welcoming. All other staff were really nice and helpful. We booked a standard king room and got a room facing Collins Avenue. Rooms are quite small but we spent most of the day outside anyway. The size of the bathroom was tiny but still ok to use. Although facing Collins Avenue, the hotel is very quiet and there was no noise from the street. The location of the hotel is not perfect for restaurants or bars. There is hardly anything around and we had to take a taxi or the bus to get to Ocean Drive or anywhere near a decent restaurant (other than the hotel restaurant). We ate breakfast at the hotel once - it's much too expensive! 19 USD for pancakes is just insane when you can get them next door for 3.99 in a little Cuban café. We also had dinner at the hotel once and it was very good and recommendable. The pool area is very nice too although we spent most of the time at the beach. There were enough chairs for everyone at the pool at this time of the year at least. It can probably get crowded during high season. We had a small lunch once in the pool area. The salad and sandwich came in complete plastic: plastic plate, plastic knife and fork, plastic cup for the water. An absolute no-go I find for the prices they charge!
The beach in Miami is wonderful and the beach chairs and umbrellas are included in the room rate which is a real plus. Drinks or food can be ordered on the beach as well if wanted.
The hotel is offering wifi but as I did not have a lap-top with me, I needed to use the computer in the business center once which was an absolute nightmare. The computers were useless. I had to pay 8USD and ended up with a blank screen! The hotel staff gave me a phone number I could call to get my money back as the computers are run by an external company!?! What a hassle! In a hotel of this standard I expect free usage of computers (in cheaper hotels we had free access to computers!). And do not try to print your boarding passes there if you do an early-check in - the printers were also not working.
Despite the fact that we had some negative experiences, we very much enjoyed the stay in the hotel. The atmosphere is very nice and relaxing. There's a beautiful lounge, a nice bar and a good restaurant. For us it was just a bit too far from Ocean Drive and Lincoln Street but if you are looking for complete tranquility - this is the place to go.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ER1108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EBarkey, Director of Guest Experience at The Palms Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, December 16, 2011
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us at the Palms Hotel & Spa. I am most pleased to hear about the helpful and friendly staff you encountered while enjoying your leisurely stay in our beautifully appointed hotel and tranquil sanctuary setting. I am however, very disappointed to hear that you had a negative experience upon arrival with our Valet and Bell service teams and that our Business Center negatively impacted the overall enjoyment of your stay. I would love the opportunity to speak with you personally regarding your past stay and experiences, if you would kindly contact me directly at your convenience. I look forward to speaking with you further.
Sincerest regards
Elena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver, canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

I stayed at the Palms Hotel & Spa for a work conference

Overall, the setting/location of the hotel was nice (although a little far from Ocean drive), the front entrance and lobby appealing, and the staff were friendly and helpful

However, as multiple previous guests have stated, the rooms were not on par with what you would expect for paying $250-300 per night.

On checking in, one lamp was not working. My first room was directly opposite an elevator, and very noisy late at night (guests) and early in the morning (housekeeping staff). So i requested a change of room - unfortunately again being placed adjacent to the elevator! It was slightly less noisy at first, so i didn't complain, but during the night , there were repairs being done on a room above mine (banging with hammer, moving furniture etc) which continued until 1am (and i am not exaggerating) when i eventually had to call down to the front desk. They said that repairs had to be done when the room wasn't occupied. I questioned the sensibility of doing repairs when other guests are asleep - i imagine it would be smart business practice, for a hotel, to avoid work between 10pm and 10am. After calling the night manager , they said it would be 5 minutes more, then would stop. After a few more phone calls eventually the noise stopped at close to 2am. Not ideal when you have to get up at 6am to attend a conference!!!

The next day i wrote a letter to the manager to emphasise how ridiculous it is to have a policy to get repair work done in the middle of the night. They did supply wine and a cheese platter to apologise, but in reality i would have just appreciated a guarantee that it wouldn't happen (ever again) to me or any other guests.

Anyway, can't comment on anything else (pool, beach, spa) as i didnt get a chance to use any of these facilities

A quick note - if it rains, buy or bring your own umbrella (don't trust that the hotel will provide one for you - even if you're paying $300 a night!)

The truth is that once you are kept up until 2am with someone banging a hammer above your head, the rest of your stay will be coloured by that experience

Room Tip: Avoid rooms near elevators, and ask if any repairs being planned in the hotel during your stay!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ninja25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

I had a birthday party at the hotel for a large group of teens with arrangements made somewhat last minute. We stayed overnight with the group in a couple of suites. The service was remarkable in all aspects and we were a bit demanding. The suite was lovely with a huge balcony and a view you could not pay to have. The rooms are designed with brains. The bathrooms are divided so one can shower in one room and use the facilities in the other. Robes were there with extras brought in to keep the kids warm. Closet space is more than sufficient. Blow driers and lighted mirrors are in the bathrooms.

The pool and garden areas are superb and look like the Keys. Chikee huts and hammocks surround the area with a bar right in the middle. THe terrace is wide and cool with great fans and ocean breezes. THe beach access is secured and there is a bar serving drinks and food. Chairs are included in your stay.

THe hotel is not really in south beach so you have to walk 10-20 minutes to go to Lincoln Road or to Ocean Drive, the heart of the South Beach area. A taxi ride is less than $10 and should not take more than 5-10 minutes. The restaurant at the hotel is great and the brunch is fantastic. Parking is exorbitant at $29 a night.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank southmiamibeachbum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manlius, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011

We chose the Palms because of the value, location slightly away from the chaos of South Beach and the amenities included, like the pool and beach.
Staff were very helpful and friendly. Room was modern and clean. The "split" bath was a great idea but the location of the toilet by the door was less than ideal and the eco friendly toilet sink combo was interesting. Bedding was luxurious.

Grounds were lush and gorgeous with plenty of shady or sunny spots and just steps to the beach. Pool was average, no hot tub. Also tiki bar hours were limited.

Be sure to have a drink on the porch. It's very pretty.

We liked the location of this hotel away from the chaos. It's just a $10 cab ride anywhere and for a romantic 2 night getaway this was perfect.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EHP2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

Just returned from a 4-night stay at the Palms. Sad to leave! It's a beautiful, low-key hotel in a quiet spot removed from the crowds of South Beach. If you plan to spend most of your time at the shops and restaurants in South Beach, you may wish to stay elsewhere—cabs are pricey and it's a good 20-25 minute walk down the boardwalk to Lincoln Road. But we loved how peaceful it was—the beach in front of the hotel is spacious and is shared by only one other hotel so you don't feel packed in. The pool is fairly small but nicely landscaped with plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas. There's also a sandy area just behind the pool that has chairs and palapas. The pool bar has tasty options for lunch and you can get your order delivered to your lounge chair there or on the beach, though as other reviewers have noted, the drinks are expensive. The one downside to the hotel is that the rooms are pretty tiny. Ours had a separate toilet and shower, which was nice but there was very little room around the beds.

We ate one dinner at the hotel's restaurant. The food was good and the setting is great—you can sit outside on the porch or the patio. We also visited the spa, which I highly recommend! The massages were fantastic as were the manicures. It's not a big space, but it felt relaxing and private. The service there and throughout the rest of the hotel was excellent. Highly recommend!

(One caveat: There is construction happening at the property next door. The noise isn't terrible, but certainly loud enough to be noticeable.)

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank xyztravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramsey, New Jersey
Level Contributor
160 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

we were really impressed with this hotel. the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. the lobby is gorgeous, the pool was excellent, the restaurant and outdoor tiki bar/restaurant were great, the beach area was beautiful (which includes the same menu as the tiki bar). the only thing that wasn't as spectacular was the room itself, which was much smaller than we expected. still, it didn't stop us from having a great time. the room did have a comfortable bed, lcd mounted on the wall, big walk-in closet, nice bathroom with a walk-in shower. the water pressure in the shower wasn't spectacular, but it did have a rain-showerhead along with a handheld which was nice. still, the room wasn't as important to us this time so it was good enough for what we wanted. to get the pool and the beach service they offered was enough for us. it's in the northern section of south beach though so it's about a 20 minute walk to the fun areas of south beach and lincoln road mall. still, overall we loved the stay.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iTravel242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Palms Hotel & Spa

Address: 3025 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Spa Hotel in Miami Beach
#26 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#28 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#34 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
#39 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4 star — The Palms Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Let us welcome you with genuine service and laid-back sophistication at our serene oceanfront resort, set in the heart of Miami Beach. Soul-reviving AVEDA spa experiences, natural gourmet cuisine at Essensia and newly renovated rooms, all inspired by the beautiful nature surrounding our sanctuary. Discover Miami Beach’s award-winning independent beach resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palms Hotel And Spa
The Palms Hotel Miami Beach
Palms Hotel Miami Beach
Palms South Beach
The Palms South Beach
Miami The Palms
Palms Miami

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