“Great Place, but Pretentious Bathroom Renovations and Pet friendly attitudes that I dread while there!”
We've been customers of the Loew's Hotel in South Beach since 2002. We have been there every year since then, and well over 10 times coming up on 15, last visit Christmas 2012. We got a decent deal because we booked on Cyber Monday, otherwise it would have been too overpriced as usual.
Over the years, the prices have kept increasing steadily, but not the amenities so much to keep up with the bigger hotel bill. So I think the value really is simply not there now. While we got 2 Queen sized beds in Vegas at every hotel we've been in, here you get two FULL size, not big enough for two grown adults and a teenager. One person is comfortable, the other two are squeezed together, never get a good nights sleep. OR you can get a king and a roll away, only problem is my husband ends up uncomfortable in the rollaway bed the entire time, which is unfair to him! The Loew's renovated what needed no renovating, and DID NOT renovate what they could really use to renovate. They should give 2 Queen sized beds for this price per night.
I think we're actually footing the bill for their dreadful bathroom renovations, and the lobby renovations. The bathroom is really the worst thing about staying there now. They USED to have decent normal bathrooms, with a little separator by the toilet and a normal tub and shower curtain for privacy so that there COULD be more than one person in the bathroom doing their "thing", without being on display. Nothing fancy, and the toilets have always been hideous, and still are. Well they kept the toilets, but the rest they ruined altogether.
Now the Loew's seems to have made this renovation, thinking of only young single couples with perfect bodies who want to gaze at each other showering and more, or with uninhibited nudists and exhibitionists in mind. Do families really want their kids sliding open a heavy glass door that's dangerously able to chop their fingers off, then seeing mom and dad naked in the shower or sitting on the toilet? If you have a playful child, that's what you'll be in for if you stay here! My child is older, but that doesn't make these bathrooms any more user friendly. How anyone can say this is kid friendly based on the room, I don't know. They better keep their kids fingers in mind, and not mind kids watching them on the toilet or naked showering I guess?
First, they removed the nice standard normal, SILENT completely closing, and LOCKING bathroom door. This door as I said, is super heavy, and makes a roaring loud sound every time it is rolled open and closed. If you go to the bathroom at night, you have to wake up the other people in your room thanks to this loud roaring rolling heavy glass bathroom door. Plus the light comes through it too, so it lights up the whole room as well! It DOES NOT EVEN HAVE A LOCK! It is all too easy to keep opening a door on someone, privacy? Who wants privacy? Some of us DO! Also any sound made, is loud and clear, so no privacy there either, this can be embarrassing to some of us who prefer our bathroom visits not be heard by everyone in the room, which is MOST people.
Then if the door wasn't enough to keep you out of this place, they ALSO replaced the practical old bathtub and privacy of a standard shower curtain, with nothing but a flat, shallow shower stall, no more tubs at all. Curtain is gone, and nothing but clear glass, not even frosted or textured! It's like a floor to ceiling window into the shower! At LEAST also have a curtain you can draw there, but NO. You will be completely on display for ALL who decide to come right in the un-lockable sliding door, while naked and showering. Very disconcerting. I cannot believe it, a clear all glass floor to ceiling enclosure?? AWFUL and caters to PRETENTIOUS types only when they have all sorts of families, and older people staying who don't want to be on display.
The clear shower enclosure doors are not only ridiculous from a personal standpoint of privacy, but from a practical standpoint too, because they do not contain the water, as the lip of the stall is shallow, and the floors always flood even if you're careful! You have to waste clean towels soaking up puddles after your shower. Meanwhile I find that I need those towels to hang over just half of the dreadful glass enclosure that has the top open and a handle on the outside of the door, to try to have some sort of privacy since the stall is completely clear, and the stupid door doesn't lock. GENIUS design! I have to stand in the section of the shower by the door and away from standing under the shower head too, because the door where I can hang towels, is on the other side of the stall. The water pressure is poor enough already when standing UNDER the shower head. Not good.
This is the dumbest renovation and the most dreadful irritating thing about staying at this hotel. Who didn't realize that having a stupid heavy glass sliding door for a bathroom door is a lawsuit waiting for them. I am shocked no one has sued because their kids were playing with the door and got their fingers slammed in it. I got MY fingers slammed in it as it slid shut on them and bounced open! It really hurt!
The most ridiculous thing of all, they DID NOT replace the GROSS TOILETS?? THAT part they left from before. The only part I thought they SHOULD update, they didn't. The toilets are really gross, ugly and creepy looking, with a weird creepy shaped wide narrow bowl that looks frightening, and these thick sides that come down straight from the rims like an extra layer in the toilet. They're disgusting looking, and it gives me the creeps sitting on them. One time the toilet started to overflow the tank and toilet, and it was a very good thing I knew what to do to stop the toilet, or the room would have been entirely flooded out. If you get sick there, expect the toilet to smell like vomit the entire time, because the maid doesn't seem to know how to get the bathroom smelling fresh again if this happens.
On to some positives, because I would not be there over close to 15 times if there were no positives, the food is excellent. You cannot get a better platter of smoked salmon/lox anywhere, just amazing. Nice selections of food too, caprese is also great, nice wraps too. You can eat by the pool which is a plus. Most of the servers are very nice, and we are known there because we've been there so many times, so the staff is very friendly and welcoming.
The pool is great, but I am fortunate that my husband is willing to get up early and get seats, which becomes impossible even if you get there still early in the morning. There are not that many seats compared to other hotels in other places, and it's a pretty big hotel.
My other PET peeve is simply that, I do not like being subjected to people's pets while on vacation. What ever happened to not pets allowed? "Loew's Loves Pets" and all their special pet friendly stance they advertise, makes me ill. Are we really needing to be that tolerant of people's pets these days? We should forget that people who DON'T love dogs, and are allergic like me, have to deal with dogs sitting on lounge chairs? Being walked through the grounds? Last year there was a big pile left by a dog that I almost stepped in on my way into the pool! How disgusting is that? I should have to think about what residue I might step in after it's been picked up? I should sit on a lounge, or stay in a room that could have pet hair, even FLEAS?? I am sure the Loews does not screen the health of these pets that are allowed to sleep in beds, sit on chairs in the common areas too, even in the lobby? I saw a dog sitting on the cushion of the wicker chair by the Sushi restaurant in the lobby. I find it another reason I don't enjoy staying there. We heard a lot of barking as well. Should we deal with barking dogs on vacation while paying several hundred per night? I don't think so! I always specify to sanitize the room for pets, smoking, ect, but really do I KNOW they did this? How much dog hair is on the carpet I am not seeing. I think they need to have only special pet rooms, but they have said that pets are allowed in ALL room, contaminating the entire place. I think the Loew's is slowly going to the DOGS.
We recently stayed at the Mirage in Las Vegas for Spring break for the first time in many years, being that we went here in December already this time. Over there, the pool was several times the size, there were no pets allowed, two QUEEN sized beds that were superbly comfortable, in their bigger, and nicer rooms with nicer amenities. They had lot's of privacy in the bathroom with a real locking door, and a real tub with an actual curtain!! REAL comfort, REAL value for a third of the price. I think we'll be returning to South Beach less often!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.