I stayed at the James Royal Palm in January, 2013 on business for 3 nights. Here is my assessment: First, the good, if not great: The hotel is beautiful, the lobby exudes Miami cool. Its staff, while young, was uniformly good. Ceasar at the front desk was particularly helpful but I cannot find fault with any hotel staff I encountered. All were friendly, helpful and polite. The hotel also has a great beach club. The beach attendants were also A+. Upon arrival at the beach, you are guided to a chaise lounge chair (one of the most comfortable that I have ever experienced), an umbrella if desired and food/drink service that is fast. Guests are also treated to a "James Box" on the beach which is a wicker basket with bottled water, fresh fruit and other helpful sundries. This was a nice treat and I've never encountered anything like it. Nice work. The pool and restaurants were beautiful.
What I didnt like. First, the rooms are sterile. All white with white tile floors. The rooms are also noisy. Conversations in adjoining rooms were easily heard. Also, the hotel does not provide the usual toiletries. Shampoo, etc. is in the shower in wall-mounted Costco size containers. When the hotel goes to the effort of the James Box, the failure to provide what is a routine item in the room is inexplicable. The decor in the room is, in my view, what my 14 year old daughter would choose if I told her to decorate with items from Jonathan Adler. Not cheap; just weird. At first I was on a lower floor and later the hotel moved me to an oceanfront room. If you can afford it, go for the oceanfront. It was quieter. All in all, I would return to this hotel but would be choosy about my room. The hotel is not The Breakers, but it is beautiful and if you are going to South Beach, you could do alot worse than this newcomer.