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“Don't count on the sofa bed.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Boulan South Beach

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Boulan South Beach
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   220 21st Street, 2000 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139   |  
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Ranked #90 of 200 hotels in Miami Beach
Maine
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Don't count on the sofa bed.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

We returned to Miami on a cruise and wanted to experience a little of South Beach's offerings. I booked this primarily based on location, price and the bed arrangement.

The location is great. A 15 minute walk to Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, but in a quiet area where you are not going to be kept awake by traffic or clubs.

The price was great! $300 including taxes and fees for mid-April. So much better than the hotels in the same area. Keep in mind, the Boulan is not a hotel. It is private condo complex with front desk staff and housekeeping. They have an arrangement with a restaurant within the same complex, but accessed around the block that serves a complementary hot breakfast with two options. Pancakes or eggs/toast and coffee or juice. The food is actually excellent and the staff did a great job of getting us in and out within 30 minutes as we had to catch a taxi to the FLL airport. Be advised that you will be charged an automatic gratuity and given prices of the breakfast items meant we had a large gratuity (as breakfast goes) to pay.

The condo is big by hotel room standards, but small by condo standards. Ours was decorated in a white/modern/minimalist style with an emphasis on form over function. The drawers to everything required a push to open, but were of very poor construction. Some were broken. The kitchen was minimally equipped (think 4 plates, 4 forks, 4 glasses, etc.) We didn't cook there, so it wasn't a problem for us. The ice machine in the freezer was broken and despite having maintenance look at it and tell us they fixed it, it still didn't produce ice. Finally, they brought us a bag of ice. The bathroom was enormous with a huge soaker tub and walk-in shower. My daughter wanted to take a bath, but the tub drain wouldn't stay closed. We had to call maintenance again and the gentleman replaced the drain cover, which again you have to push once to close and push again to open. We did go up to the roof top pool, which is a wonderful escape. They have lounge chairs and some platform beds with canopies, but the mattresses on the beds were a little too dirty for my liking.

Now the beds. My husband and I really need a king bed and since this offered a king (Temperpedic) and a sofa bed for our girls (11 and 8) I figured we'd be fine. Our king bed was outstanding. On the other hand, you know when a kid finds a sofa bed uncomfortable, it's a bad sofa bed. First, the sofa bed is not a double; it's a large twin and suitable for only one person, even a child. Second, the mattress is 1.5 inches thick, but has an innerspring interior. Basically it is mattress ticking covering an innerspring - very uncomfortable. Also, when our daughter moved at all on the sofa bed, the whole unit creaked loudly. We called the front desk, again, to ask about a rollaway, but they didn't have them. Also, our unit only had sheets for the bed, but no blanket, so we asked them for a blanket for the sofa bed and a set of sheets and blanket to make up the sofa cushion as a makeshift bed for our 8 year old. They only brought one blanket, and we needed to call the front desk again to explain why we needed the extra set. We finally put the 1.5 inch mattress on the floor for my 11 year old as the creaking was just too loud for any of us to sleep.

I gave the Boulan a three rating as it's a mixed bag. The staff was super, even letting us check in very early (10am), which was so appreciated. They responded to all our requests very quickly, but the fact that I had to call the front desk so many times was unfortunate. I felt like I was a being a pain, and honestly we are fairly easy going people. The adjacent restaurant is great and based on breakfast I'd try it for lunch or dinner without hesitation. It's in a great location. We never made it to the beach, but I loved that they had a section for Boulan guests with chairs. Basically, I'd recommend the Boulan to those who require one bed and understand it is a condo that is going to have it's share of quirks.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Key West, Florida
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

Great clean room. Spacious living. Perfectly situated in the heart of South Beach. Awesome staff!! Breakfast at Charles St very pleasant and quaint. Lots of shops and restaurants in walking distance. A must!

Room Tip: Penthouse for space.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

Writing a review about a hotel seems a bit pointless to me, but this place is a gem that I needed to let the world know! Beautiful, chic and you get treated exceptionally well by all of the staff members. The whole experience is quite amazing. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Our flight had a 7 hour delay and we had problems with the rental car, by the time we got to check in we were cranky and tried. The young lady at the front desk Jessica was amazing, she made us feel welcomed, she was very knowledgeable about thing to do and see in the area, extremely friendly and very professional. We started to enjoy our vacation from that minute..This property is beautiful and the location is great. I can honestly say that this is the first time a have ever written a review. I agree with MS2929 review, if this property ever had any problems in the pasted, they are a thing of the pasted. Keep up the amazing service. I commend you on your excellently trained staff.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

My family and I will be leaving Boulan tomorrow afternoon. Let me start by saying that for 5000 dollars (which we payed for a penthouse) it was absolutely horrendous. We travel quite a bit and have experienced all kinds of service, and for the price this has to be the worst one ever.

There are five of us, and so we booked the penthouse which promised a spacious apartment with two bedrooms and a sofa bed. To their credit, the apartment is gorgeous and very spacious, and has a great view. However, the sofa bed was nonexistent and when we asked the bellman if he knew anything about it, he simply said he did not think the apartment had one, and went downstairs to get us a roll-in mattress. The bellman was BY FAR the most helpful person we had here, just to put things into perspective...

Next, the "complimentary" breakfast. We were told we would have complimentary b-fast every day for the duration of our stay. The breakfast is served right under the hotel at a little restaurant called Charles St. While nice and quaint, the ONLY breakfast options we had for 6 whole days were either eggs on toast or pancakes, and orange juice or coffee. Anything else we wanted we had to pay EXTRA for. What kind of complimentary breakfast at any hotel offers TWO options only, let alone a hotel this upscale? Not to mention, every day was different portion wise. One day we would get a spoonful of eggs and 3 large pieces of toast, and the next we would get a plateful of eggs and half a piece of toast. The service here was also horrible, and they seemed to pay more attention to other customers rather than the ones who came from the Boulan. Not to mention we were once told we could not eat complimentary breakfast because it ended at 10, when we had gotten there WAY before 10 (they said by the time they would have gotten us seated it would have been past 10).

Next, housekeeping. We are staying in a large penthouse which requires a fair amount of housekeeping. Now it would make sense for the most expensive rooms to get cleaned first...but not here! They start from the bottom up, so one time when we came back from the beach at 5 pm there was no housekeeping done at all. We called the manager, who apologized repeatedly, as they seem to do here. They apologize constantly but do absolutely nothing to fix the problem! They finally sent up a housekeeper who cleaned our room, and it's been cleaned early on since. The ONE thing they actually did for us!

Next, the beach. Don't be fooled by the claim that you will get a private beach with chairs at the Boulan! We were told we would get beach chairs and an umbrella every day if we needed one, we only had to pick up a voucher at the front desk. On the first day we decided to go to the beach, we got there and they told us that the Boulan ONLY gives you two chairs and one umbrella PER room PER day! There were five of us! Needless to say we had to pay for the extra chairs. The next day it got even worse. We handed them a voucher at the beach and they told us we could only get two chairs and no umbrella, because, and i quote "I'm sorry miss, but the Boulan does not pay us and so we cannot provide you with an umbrella. They have not paid us in a while". WHAT THE HECK? not only is this incredibly unprofessional, it's also not our fault! Again, we paid for an extra THREE chairs AND the umbrella. When we came back to the front desk to complain I asked to speak to the manager for about the fifth time this week, and all she could do was apologize. I had called the manager earlier from the beach and they promised me TWICE that they would call them and have them bring me an umbrella and chairs which they DID NOT do, so I'm assuming they just refused to call.

Finally, after all the trouble, we asked if we could be given a check out extension since our flight left later on in the day. She said she could do that until two or she would have to charge us... Charge us...? How about they give us our money back for EVERYTHING that went wrong this week?

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Beautiful Room, 24 hour room service, great restaurant, completely boutique feel. I honestly don't understand any of the previous reviews. If there was ever a problem before, it certainly is resolved now.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Modern clean and stylish hotel, situated at bottom of Collins Avenue, and circa 20 min walk to clubs etc., on Ocean Drive. Beach access is just across the road, but there is a little traffic noise during the night, so choose a room on the 5th floor. As we were minding our two grandchildren, we had a suite, which was extremely large and well equipped. As their restaurant was being renovated, we took our breakfast in the adjoining restaurant where the quality of the food and service, were both excellent. Hotel staff were all very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Boulan South Beach

Address: 220 21st Street, 2000 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #90 of 200 hotels in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Boulan South Beach 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boulan South Beach is ideally situated in the heart of the Collins Park neighborhood, the cultural and social epicenter of Miami Beach. The Collins Park neighborhood features the best dining, nightlife and the arts that Miami Beach has to offer. Within walking distance of Boulan South Beach are the hottest restaurant and bars, most fashionable shopping, and celebrated cultural establishments in Miami. All this, set amidst the gleaming backdrop of sandy beaches and the shimmering waters of the Atlantic Ocean. ... more   less 
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