This review is pretty comprehensive and I hope that Canyon Ranch management takes the time to read it through to take note of the suggestions made throughout. We loved our stay and will definitely be back, but if the improvements suggested are made, it would be even better.
To start, the check in process for us was very efficient and personalized. We were in our suite quite quickly. I have to say in my experience, for the most part, the service and friendliness at Canyon Ranch Miami is amazing. The staff was always pleasant and accommodating. The service here is top notch!!!
Our key card to enter the room was a bit tricky at times, but after a few days I got the hang of it, just hold it close to the sensor and tap it gently away from you.
The room was beautiful, large bathroom, kitchen, 2 TV's, Bose radio, large soaker tub, etc. We stayed in a Carillon King room on a higher floor that overlooked the sunset pool. Very nice. We did not have a balcony this time but we were hardly in the room with all the activities. The air conditioner worked well, except weirdly enough, at night it seemed not to work as well.
The housekeeping staff is amazing and thorough. Twice daily including turndown service was a lovely touch. Really made for a care-free vacation.
We took the tour the next day after arriving and it was very helpful and pleasant. They could, however, offer a printed map of the area showing where to go, even though after a day or so you get the hang of it, it would be nice to have a quick reference, especially for some who take longer to get used to the grounds.
There is a great and long boardwalk just outside the hotel, between the beach and the hotel, that is wonderful for power walks or just a stroll. The beach is large and the beach attendants are courteous and helpful with set-up of very comfortable loungers and umbrellas, and cabanas are for rent too if you want, but you don't need them, you can get as many umbrellas as you need. There is also beach service for snacks and drinks with a really cool concept of having flags near each set-up so that if you want to order something you can just raise your flag and a waiter/waitress will come by (but they come and introduce themselves at the start anyway).
The Aquavana spa is really cool too, I particularly liked the warm room and the polar room opposite to it, and the tropical showers were super interesting. The staff there is impeccable too, very attentive and keep the place really clean. They also bring around pineapple and green tea drinks to cool you off, and will even come into the steamroom to give it to you. You are provided robes and slippers and lockers and their hours are great too.
The "continental" breakfast was far from that, in a good way. It has a nice selection of fruits, yogurts, toppings, nuts. scrambled eggs, potatoes, gluten-free oatmeal, toast (you can ask for gluten-free and they will bring it with condiments), pastries, cheeses, an amazing smoked salmon and accompaniments, and so on, and includes juice, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. Really the best value for breakfast I think and more than enough variety, especially for a "continental" breakfast, BRAVO.
NOTE: If it's not that busy the eggs may not be out, just ask the server to bring you an order of scrambled eggs (other egg preparations are extra). TIP for hotel: If the eggs are not out (like when it's not that busy in the restaurant), they may want to inform people that they can order them and it's included (i.e. scrambled). We knew to ask because they had them on the buffet earlier in the week and then didn't later on, but someone who just came may have thought eggs were not included. This is where communication is important between wait staff and customer.
Also, if you order another type of egg, the wait staff should inform you that it will be extra. We ordered 2 poached eggs and got charged an extra $7. No big deal, just think the communication can be improved so that there are no surprises.
Lunch was inconsistent. I still don't know the difference between a small salad ($10) and a large salad ($16), since we ordered both and the only difference was the price. The chicken breast at dinner was flat and dryish but at lunch was plump and well cooked, go figure?? Not sure why the inconsistency.
I ordered the tenderloin for dinner one night and they didn't get the cook right on it and after sending it back two times I just opted for the chicken.
The seabass and mashed potatoes were amazing, especially if you ask them to couple it with the 12 year old aged balsamic and truffle oil sauce they use for the striploin dish. You can also ask for garlic on the side if you like that, as we do.
The soups were very "clean," but did lack seasoning, but it seems they go easy on the salt in most of their dishes and don't even place it on the table unless you ask for it. The dressing for the Greek salad is very acidic and I would recommend asking for it on the side, or better yet, ask for the balsamic vinaigrette instead.
The smoothies were good too as well as the juice bar.
I liked that they supposedly use many organic and natural products. However, they could offer a few more organic or biodynamic red wines by the glass. Their own pinot noir, in my opinion, was not very good, and it was the only organic red wine available by the glass. Sustainable just doesn't cut it, so a few more organic selections would have been nice. For that reason I opted out of wine with dinner, went to Publix and bought my own to drink in the room.
I read in another review of complaints about portion size, I would disagree. Unless you are used to truck-stop portions, you will not leave hungry.
The creme brule was good. The poached plum, not so much, could have been cooked longer, but still, not the best in my opinion.
The Cabana's food, however, was lacking in good quality, which was surprising. We ordered a shrimp cocktail and the shrimp were mushy and tasted like chlorine. They need more variety from that menu and better quality, as well as on the beach. It would have been nice to be able to order a salad from the Canyon Ranch Grill and eat it on the beach.
Room service was quite speedy but we ordered a pizza and it was missing many of the ingredients listed in the menu. We were told it's because the chef was a trainee. I would recommend that the trainees are supervised by the main chef and that all food goes through a quality control checkpoint before going out to the diner, whether in room dining or in the restaurant.
I think consistency is the biggest challenge they have at the restaurant.
The fitness classes were good, some better than others. The meditation class was strange because it was not guided, just sitting quiet with a whole bunch of other people in the same room. I could have just done that on my own in my room or on the beach. I expected some guidance or a guided visualization or something that would make it an actual class.
Also, sometimes the instructors, while understandably trying to motivate, can come off as insensitive to the fitness levels of some people. It's all done with humor and we were not in the least offended, but I can see how someone with low self-esteem may be deterred from trying it again. These instructors do this day in and day out and they should not expect the same level of performance from everyone. I think it's more about doing it at your own pace rather than being pressured to go beyond your limit in that moment. I think the best is to ignore peer pressure and just do your thing with confidence, gradually improving as you go. This was not true for all instructors, just a couple.Others were very respectful. Maybe management can send out a memo to all instructors to gently remind them to be sensitive to all fitness levels, to guide but not pressure.
Zumba was a fun class. Great instructor for that.
The candlelight stretch would be nicer if they actually had candles. Why call it candlelight if it's not??? But the stretch for it was nice and nice teacher.
The Qi Gong on the beach was nice and informative.
The tea with the energy healer was interesting, although some of it seemed like a bit too much advertisement or rationalizing of credentials. But there was some good information provided and demonstrations, which were interesting and worth the time.
With the housekeeping service, they came later in the day at the beginning and I requested an earlier time and even though it took a couple of days, they started coming earlier. Also, requested to fix light bulb in washroom and they got right on it and then even called the room and left a follow-up message, which I thought was very courteous.
Water is available in many places and you can fill up your complimentary bottle (BPA free) whenever you need it. They could, however, maybe place a few more bottles in a few more areas, like the Cabana pool, maybe closer to the elevators too, even on each floor if they really wanted to accommodate.
The pools are nice, well maintained, and clean. They don't smell like chlorine either, but I am not sure what they use. The pool attendants are also very helpful and pleasant.
The gym was spotless and fresh, actually, the whole hotel had wonderful aromas throughout, really felt like a spa environment, especially nearing the spa area. Movement studio 3 was a bit stuffy. Loved the ocean studio but get in front of the fans because it may get hot, depending on time of day and weather.
The temperature in the hotel was very comfortable. A lot of places in Miami feel like freezers (or they did when we were there last a few years ago). But Canyon Ranch maintains a very comfortable temperature so that the transition from hot to cold is not intense.
The schedule is packed, always something to do. I don't know though if you stay for a couple of weeks if the lectures would be different.
We wanted to try the Burdenko water class but the instructor was 15 minutes late so we left. When we brought it to the program staff's attention they were very accommodating. But when I received a follow-up phone call about it, they called it a "miscommunication," where I guess the instructor said he was there and no one wanted to take the class. He likely failed to mention that he was unreasonably late, so much so that we couldn't take another class because of waiting too long. A reasonable solution might have been to offer us a complimentary make-up session with the instructor because we were leaving before the next scheduled class. But all we got was an apology and the offer to tell me what other classes were available in general, like pilates, but I could see the schedule for myself and didn't need a phone call for that.
This hotel is close to Bal Harbour (maybe 5 minute cab drive) and I think close to south beach too, but the immediate area is residential and not much to do. This hotel is a good destination hotel, but if you want to party, probably go elsewhere. It was perfect for what we wanted. Quiet, no smoking, relaxing, active, beachy...not much to do at night but good for early to bed early to rise people. Again, love the non-smoking policy, and very secured entry everywhere, felt very safe. Pretty sporty and casual atmosphere. Laid back.
A note for those who are gluten-free, double check some menu items, like the cheesecake, it says GF on the menu but with a graham cracker crust, so I asked and the server told me it was a typo. They should fix that ASAP. For me it's just a mild sensitivity, but for a person with a severe gluten intolerance, it can be a big deal.
They give chocolates at turndown service, which is lovely, but they may consider choosing ones that are made in a gluten-free facility so that those who don't eat gluten or don't want cross contaminated chocolate can enjoy them too.
I think they could have provided complimentary water in the room, in case one doesn't want to drink tap water and forgot to fill their bottle. You can buy a 750 ml bottle of still or sparkling in the room for $10 each, which I believe costs more than if you buy it in the restaurant. Weird. But at the end of the day, it's not a big expense, just a nuisance.
You are also provided with a tote, personalized water bottle (with name), and pens. This is a nice touch, however, I had to change my bag 3 times because it was of such poor quality that it fell apart quite easily, in one case the zipper flew off on the first opening, another the mesh bottle holder ripped quite easily, strings falling off, sewing coming undone....I think it's nice to be given these totes, but if you do it, do it 100%. If the the quality was better the tote would last longer, and if it lasts longer people would use it elsewhere on other trips, and if they use it elsewhere then it's free advertising for Canyon Ranch. It just sounds like a good investment that may cost more to produce initially, but the pay off would be greater. We already got asked about Canyon Ranch coming off the plane because carrying the tote. But unfortunately I don't think it will hold up too long as it is already falling apart.
The beach is beautiful. You can get drinking water there too, as well as by the ocean studio (inside north tower), the gym by the machines, and near the spa area by the washrooms, and inside the spa area too.
The lectures were all really good. The feng shui lecture, the hormone harmony lecture, the personality type lecture, the neuro-science lecture...all very good.
Overall, we had a great time and will be back. I hope they make the improvements mentioned though as it would make the experience that much better.
P.S. the concierge recommended Fifi's restaurant, which is just down the street, and while taste is subjective, I have to say it was not a good restaurant, at least what we ordered, which was the paella for 2. It had lots of scallops, shrimp, calamari, and langustina tail, and the portion was huge, but there was NO flavor whatsoever. So while it may have been a fluke, all I will say on the topic here is don't be surprised if it's not that great. However, their complimentary flan was delicious.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The first of its kind, this spectacular Miami Beach boutique hotel combines the flexibility of a la carte hotel services with many of the limitless healthy choices of acclaimed Canyon Ranch health resorts. A feast for your senses, Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach offers inspiring healthy living opportunities in a stunning luxury hotel setting – plus easy access to everything an exciting city has to offer. Housed in the modernized and restored Carillon Hotel – a classic of Miami Modern architecture – Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach will enchant you with its exquisite design and matchless views. Situated on more than 750 linear feet of uncrowded white beach, Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa is convenient to both Bal Harbour and South Beach. This all-suite hotel just 30 minutes from Miami International Airport is an oasis of tranquility, warmth and healthy living in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. In a serene atmosphere of casual elegance, you can relax in your spacious, luxuriously appointed suite, float in a sparkling pool, savor healthy gourmet cuisine and organic wines and spirits at award-winning Canyon Ranch Grill™, work out in the largest and most beautifully appointed Spa in South Florida, and discover unsurpassed Canyon Ranch spa, fitness and health and wellness services. With its beautiful beach and menu of activities for parents and children, this splendid oceanfront hotel also offers a taste of the Canyon Ranch healthy living experience for families. From morning walks on the beach and the thrill of our two-story indoor rock-climbing wall to integrative health experts to advise and inspire you, you’ll find endless ways to reawaken your spirit and refresh your soul at Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, our Miami Beach boutique hotel offers an abundance of choices. In this magnificent oceanfront setting, kick back and relax, get outside and play, or explore our holistic approach to health and wellness with top experts to guide you. You can also take advantage of the legendary Canyon Ranch signature spa services that are conveniently offered a la carte to fit your schedule. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Canyon Ranch Hotel And Spa Miami Beach
- Canyon Hotel Miami Beach
- Canyon Resort Miami Beach