Just finished a 3 night stay at the Palms. Had a wonderful time. There are some aspects, however, that guests will want to be aware of.
- Delightful accommodations. Nice pool area. The beach was spacious and not too crowded. Tiki Bar was well-equipped, and the porch and lounge area were great in the late afternoon. The size was a good fit too. Not insanely huge like some of the larger resorts, but had everything we wanted with none of the crowds.
- Location. The resort is in between the popular deco strip downtown area and the Clubby Fountainbleu Resort. We were able to walk to both and enjoyed its location right on the boardwalk. Not a far cab ride either.
- Value. The rooms themselves are wonderfully decorated, and well-maintained. For the price and the location, the room rate is a great deal.
- Fees on fees on gratuity/tax on fees. I knew this going in, but in case you didnt, Miami is EXPENSIVE. After visiting, it seems obvious that the Resorts make the majority of their money on the food and booze you buy, not the rooms. Menu prices are not inclusive of a hefty Miami tax or a 18% tip. I think most people would tip 18% anyway, but with the taxes and gratuity added on everything, it always felt that the bill was much higher than what you'd expect looking at the menu. Again, not a big deal, but something to be aware of.
The bigger deal were some of the fees. Resort fees of $14 a day per person add up, and other fees like $75 early check in are certainly not appreciated. We we're checked in at 11am, which was very nice, and worth the money in my opinion, but still seemed a bit excessive. I have not experienced this in any other hotel around the world, but again, this is Miami, so expect to pay up. There was also an odd $39 lost towel fee, which we didn't experience, but was widely advertised. Its these little ticky-tack things that make the place feel less luxurious than it is
- The Staff. The majority of the staff we encountered were very nice, but they were sparse and few between. Long waits for food and drinks were not uncommon, especially if you were ordering from the beach. The poor guys are very hard workers, but they need more help. I hope hotel management considers it.
OVERALL - Had a great stay and would come again. If you know it's going to be expensive, and anticipate it coming in, you'll have a great time. Relax and enjoy the sun, and try not to think about being nickel and dimed - you'll have a much better time.