I spent two weeks in this hotel with a family of four, and although the hotel indeed looks majestic outside, it's merely a three-four star complex when all things are considered. Let me explain and elaborate a bit.
In short: nice pool, great location, and during the weekends use their valet parking if the nearby $20 per 24 h park house is full.
When we arrived, we were totally exhausted due to long flight, and I decided to ask for a room that's quiet and peaceful - I even offered my credit card to have it upgraded with a view to the beach. They upgraded it, yes, with a $640 tag, but the room wasn't too quiet: behind the wall there was a freight elevator (or something) that woke us up every morning at 6 AM. Sometimes the meooowWHIRRRmeoow woke us up several times per night. It wasn't a public elevator, that's for sure: they were 30 meters away. After the first night I asked for a relocation - not possible. Did that after a few days: not possible. We bought ear plugs and the rest of us slept well, whereas I didn't. The service alley right next to the hotel caused some beep-beep-beeping reversing truck noises, too, not to mention the building right up the Collins Ave - it happened to have dozens of cooler fans on its roof... Well, at least we didn't miss the nice sunrises. ;-)
The Preston's (the restaurant, that is) was supposed to be a really nice breakfast restaurant, according to some reviews. Turned out it wasn't. Instead it was a very clumsy version of a posh-y restaurant that tried a bit too hard. You want water? Ask for it. Want anything? Ask for it. And wait. And pay the premium, with full gratuity added. Even though I'm not a fan of grab-your-stuff buffet á la Thailand resorts, that would've been a much easier and flexible choice instead of this. We ate there only one breakfast, then used the surrounding nice cafeterias for our morning feasts.
What must be said is that the people working there seem to have nice smiles on their faces, and each time I had to use concierge services, the dude was awesome with his tips. Also, I've never encountered more friendly cleaning women.
The pool area is a clear plus - just prepare to wait for a sunbed if you're not an early bird. You could take advantage of their fabulous Soak section too, but that comes with an extra cost.
About extra costs... just about everything costs extra, you can't escape that anywhere in this part of the world. My both children had to have prescription antibiotics due to the flight flu, and they were supposed to be kept refrigerated. I asked whether it would have been possible to use the room fridge for that - but it wasn't. Instead, they asked me for $30 for what sounded like a separate fridge (or probably they'd just open the door of the room fridge and take away the booze). I would've paid otherwise, but I was a bit bitter about the room and the noise, so instead I grabbed new set of ice every morning and kept the antibiotics refrigerated in an ice bowl. The kids were ok by the end of the holiday, so... :-D
Also, there are two bottles of Fiji water in the closet. At seven (7) dollars each they seemed like legal robbery, especially, when the same bottles could be bought at the corner Walgreens for 2.40... hey, it's not who asks, it's who pays.
It seems that they're willing to profile themselves as a business hotel, since quite a few white collar business showcase gatherings were held both in the ballroom and the pool area during the two weeks we spent there. The pricing and the clumsiness probably don't cause any fuss to them, especially if the hotel bill is paid by your company. Loews has a similar feeling to it than what some malls have: in reality it's a staged set, but behind the setting there's just an average chain hotel with a nice pool area and a great location.
One thing: don't use the valet parking unless the weekend prices kick in at the 16th street park hotels. You can put your car in a parking house for $16-$20 per 24 hrs, but sometimes (during the Ultra Music Festival) the surrounding parking houses quadrupled their prices, making Loews's valet probably the cheapest in town.
It was a good experience, after all: During our stay there I did some research among the neighbouring hotels, and that assured me there are MUCH better alternatives right behind the corner. Please use your search engines. And have your breakfasts at Front Porch Cafe.
Forget the service alley side (left side when seen at the front, right when seen from the beach) and...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.