My boyfriend and I stayed one night in the hotel on Labor Day weekend, and we were able to enjoy the beach both the afternoon we arrived and the morning/early afternoon of the following day. We stayed in room 431, which is the handicap accessible room right outside the elevator. Very clean, very spacious, super comfy bed. The room did not have a hair dryer as expected, but the concierge sent one up at my request. My personal opinion of the hotel shampoo and conditioner is that they have a very strong forest odor - usually I take my own when I go to hotels, but I really regretted forgetting mine. The room was quiet at night, but I noticed around 8am when I woke up that the elevator was very audible from the room.
The beach is just in the back of the hotel, and while it is not a private beach, the chairs/umbrellas section is quite convenient. The service at the beach, however, is sub-par. The first afternoon, we easily checked in, got some chairs and an umbrella set up, and relaxed/swam for an hour before we got thirsty. We walked to the food booth, and they told us to go back to our chairs and someone would come around...that was another 20 minutes, and even then we had to flag her down and it took another 20 minutes to get a beer. Fast forward to the next morning on Labor Day, we arrived at 8:45am, but learned the beach service didn't open until 9:30. We had brought our own beach towels from home and were so glad we did - after chairs were set up we claimed two and and umbrella, and one guy did eventually come by to help adjust our umbrella (since we were doing it ourselves and I don't think they want guests touching the umbrellas). At that time, we asked for towels but never got them. A little bit later (prob 10:30), I walked over to the checkin booth to ask for towels and was told "we're still waiting for them, but it should be 5 minutes and we'll walk around and hand them out to you". We never got towels, never even saw someone come by. We were at the beach until 12:30 and also never saw a waitress come by for a food or drink order, which is probably better since it is pretty pricey and we ended up leaving for a cheaper and tastier lunch, but the poor beach service left me feeling a little gyped.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Featured as one of Conde Nast Traveler UK & US Magazine’s “Hot Hotels of 2013” and now a AAA Four Diamond rated beachfront retreat, The James Royal Palm is The James brand’s third location and first hotel in Florida. Joining sister properties in Chicago and New York City, the ideally-situated, oceanfront hotel offers a total of 393 guest rooms, including studios and suites, with the majority offering ocean views. A combination of personalized comfort, generous complimentary amenities, residentially-styled, artistically-inspired details and impeccable service, create an environment ideal for both business and leisure travelers. Just steps away from the beach and world famous Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, the oceanfront beach retreat is located within the coveted and culturally-rich area of South Beach. The James Royal Palm provides guests with a location immersed in luxury retail, endless entertainment and an unmatched shopping experience.Designed by Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio, The James Royal Palm is as a modern tribute to the original Royal Palm Hotel’s rich history, keeping intact many signature elements of the original architect’s design. The compass rose on the terrazzo lobby floor, original green glass reception desk and porthole windows in the lobby lounge have all been preserved and restored.The James Royal Palm features two swimming pools, a plunge pool, poolside bar, The James Pool and Beach Experience, lobby lounge, coffee bar, renew the spa, a full-service spa with salt-infused treatments, Lil’ James Offerings and play space for children, give: the shop, a retail shop offering carefully curated items, and more than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. Guests can enjoy two dining options including signature restaurant Florida Cookery; featuring regional Florida fare led by local Miami Chef Kris Wessel and Catch Miami; a globally-influenced seafood restaurant.A daily beach retreat charge includes: The James Beach and Pool Experience with Sun Concierge, children’s play area, two beach chaise loungers and umbrella, poolside loungers, towel service, 24-hour gym, Lil’ James play space access, and local & domestic long distance calls. The James offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, triple-distilled water refreshed twice daily and access to bicycles. ... more less
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