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“The Congress in South Beach” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Congress Hotel South Beach

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Congress Hotel South Beach
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1052 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Formerly The Strand)   |  
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Ranked #83 of 203 Hotels in Miami Beach
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The Congress in South Beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

My husband and I stayed two nights at this clean and comfortable hotel right on Ocean Drive. We booked through Bookit.com and stayed for half price (otherwise the regular price would not be worth it). The hotel is comprised of three separate buildings. The Congress was within walking distance of shopping and eating. I suggest getting off of Ocean Drive and heading to Espanola Way for nice dining options. The hotel room was large and clean and the bed was comfortable. The noise below is a bit bothersome since it's like a party every night until 3-4 a.m. at the bar below, but since we only stayed two nights, we put up with it. The pool on the 5th floor has an excellent view of South Beach and the ocean. Overall all, it you can get this hotel at a discounted rate, it's worth it. Bike rentals can be found at nurmerous rental stations around South Beach. Use them, even if only for an hour. So much fun!

Room Tip: If you want a beach/ocean view you will have to put up with the street/bar noise below. Otherwise, a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
West Bend, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed here from Friday Jan 11 to Sunday Jan 13. Had two rooms. Checked in at noon and our rooms were ready. Was pleasantly surprised to see how nice the rooms were.

After we settled we went down for lunch at the restaurant directly in front of the hotel (not sure if it is owned by the hotel) We were offered 2 for 1 drinks--great, sounds good. Well, there were 6 of us--we each ate off the $9.99 lunch menu and my boys -ages 21 and 23 each ordered a drink and received the 2nd one free for each. Then comes the bill----$236!!!--HOLY COW--those buy one get one free drinks--well the buy one is $55 each. I was really taken aback. But oh well, lesson learned, paid the bill and asked a million question wherever we ate or drank after that.
--Really watch the gimmicks--just ask to clarify first--it really set my budget back a bit.

We used the beach across the street--it was wonderful. The rooftop pool was great and the bartender up there was really nice and helpful. The entire staff at this place was great, very attentive to anything we asked for and always greeted us and we came and went.

My only other small complaint is that the resort fee was supposed to include a coupon for breakfast per person, but the lady at the desk said that since we booked through orbitz, we could not get that. Seemed weird, the resort fee is a set fee for set services--why would it matter where we booked.

Overall a great stay--right in the middle of everything. Noise is there but does not bother me.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Although I travel often, I never sit down and review the places I've been to. None have inspired me to do so. The Congress hotel on Ocean Drive definitely changed that.

My partner and I were looking for the perfect place to celebrate our 5 year anniversary on South Beach from Jan12 to Jan 15th. We researched almost every single hotel on both Ocean and Collins, and came across the Congress and made our decision. I am so happy we did!

Once we arrived at the Congress our room was ready before the usual check-in time. This was awesome since we were pretty tired. Apart from an early check-in we were also greeted by champagne and such lovely service by Sandra and the rest of the staff. So right away we are beginning our South Beach experience with great positivity. Before arriving to our room, Sandra congratulated us on our anniversary and said she'd check back on us later to see how we liked our room.

Our room was located in the retro building which is next door to the main lobby. Once arrived at our room my partner and I were amazed! The room was an absolute dream! Humungous space! Squeaky clean! Lots of sunshine pouring into the room. The balcony view was like none I've ever seen before at any hotel on SoBe. Located on the heart of Ocean Drive you get the phenomenal view of the ocean, palm trees, and colorful deco life that sorrounds you. We were so happy with the room we didnt even wait for Sandra to check on us, we right away called the main desk complimenting them on the gorgeous room provided.

The kitchen comes with a full size stainless steel fridge, glass top stove, dishwasher, plates and silverware, pots & pans, coffee maker with complimentary coffee... the whole sha-bang! Which is great when you don't want to spend too much money on the pricey SoBe restaurants, you can come to your room and make yourself a dinner. The living room is so spacious, you can do a backflip in it. The bedroom was cozy and bed very comfortable and clean. Huge TV... The view from the actual BED was amazing being that you can wake up and see the ocean. My partner and I kept our windows open filling the room with ocean breeze and sunshine.

But my favorite part had to be the beautiful bathroom. Huge mirror/sink area, easy to share with a partner in the morning. Separate private toilet area. And the beautiful tub with the rain shower head above it. I used the tub every day I was there it was so relaxing! Very clean!


Around the hotel you will find the trendy SoBe restaurants/bars. A few blocks down there is a Walgreens and a 7 Eleven for any amenities you may need.

Reading the negative reviews all I see are people complaining about the noise. The hotel is located in the middle of OCEAN DRIVE... which is in the PARTY CENTRAL of SOBE... if noise past 1am bothers you, then why in the world would you book a hotel on ocean drive? That makes no sense. My partner and I are a young happy NYC couple who love to party late and don't mind the noise, so clearly a hotel on OCEAN DRIVE is perfect for us.

Another negative review I see on here is about some room views. Not all rooms will be located ocean front, being that Ocean Drive is a strip. If your room view isn't superb, the Congress rooftop pool offers a BEAUTIFUL view of the Atlantic Ocean just a few steps away from your room, all while sipping on a martini from their poolside bar.

The Congress supplied us with beach towels and chairs daily. Their beachfront location was very convenient, located right in front of the hotel and not crowded at all.


I can't really think of any negative comments to say... although I do wish there was a bigger full size mirror in the room. The couch in the living room is not comfy to sleep on but nice to sit on. These are all very minor things that did not affect our stay at all.

We had a superb time at the Congress. I used to live in Miami and travel back quite often. I've gotten to know some of the hotels in SoBe and I must say the Congress is top notch for the price and amazing location. The staff was incredibly helpful and sweet. Sandra at the front desk helped out from the start all the way to the end... where we had a bit of a misunderstanding about charges. Brandon the poolside bartender was absolutely charming as well as the bellman Rafael who was so willing to help out in every way.


Thanks to the Congress for helping our anniversary be amazing!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Congress Hotel South Beach, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
On behalf of the Congress Hotel I want to thank you for choosing to stay with us and for your review! We are so happy to hear that Sandra and the rest of our staff provided great customer service and that you enjoyed your stay. The balconies at the Congress are the best on Ocean Drive and we are glad that you were able to experience the best view on SOBE.

Sincerely,

Eleonor
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Our stay at the Congress Hotel in Miami was very nice we had a suite there with a balcony and a kitchen set. We went during new years and also during the BCS Championship which was happening the same week as well so Ocean Drive, the street that the hotel is on, was closed down from traffic for pretty much the whole week that we stayed. We had an amazing time on our honeymoon and we would totally go back to the hotel but on one condition, not during the holidays. The only thing that hindered the stay was the time of the year. The music was very loud at all hours of the night to include time all the way up to 5am but it is South Beach so that's all that needs to be said. One of the biggest contributing factors to my return to this hotel in the future will be that, Rafael, one of the employees there was so nice and helpful that it made our stay that much better. At one point during the stay we had a little emergency and Rafael went out of his way to make sure that we had our issue resolved ASAP. If more hotel employees were as courteous and so people friendly the hotel business would be in a better state. Thank you very much Rafael for you amazing customer service!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Congress Hotel South Beach, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay at the Congress Hotel while on your honeymoon. Rafael and the rest of our staff take pride in providing excellent customer and making sure that all of our guests needs are met. Ocean Drive can be noisy especially during holidays and special events but Im happy to hear that you did not let the noise hinder your stay and I hope to see you guys at the Congress Hotel in the future!

Best Wishes,

Eleonor
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

I looove this hotel and the balconies are amazing the view is spectacular the view will remind you that your in paradise!! the rooms are roomy the services and staff was amazing. Rafael the bell hop/valet greeted us with a huge smile and showed us to our room we extended our vacation two extra days due to paradise!!! I highly recommend the congress

Room Tip: Get a balcony room
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, Rhode Island
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

When we first arrived at Congress Hotel we were so excited to see that it really was just steps away from the beach and that it was in the heart of all the action. We took advantage of the complimentary towel and chair, which was a touch we were thankful for. The bars and restaurants surrounding the hotel are very trendy and young, and certainly capture the essence of Miami. It was very, very loud at night into the morning but this is what you are signing up for with any hotel in this area.

The room itself was enormous with a kingsize bed, living area, desk, full-size fridge and freezer, microwave, stove, dishes, etc. It is moderately up-to-date as far as appliances and design, but there were some veryy dirty nooks and cranies. There was a hole above the shower through which a baseball-sized chunk of mold was growing. It looked like a giant patch of moss and literally made me feel sick to see it there. The ironing board was completely stained with brown splotches as if it had seen its fair share of beer pong so I could not iron my clothing. There was also a dirty bottle under the bed and the white curtains were very dirty.

It is too bad that the hotel doesn't take care with these details because we would have easily given it a four star if it had the same level of cleanliness as a Marriott would. When you see those details that can be easily fixed (and SHOULD be fixed in the case of the massive mold ball) it makes you wonder (and shudder to think) what else was skimped on and ignored.. You CAN be GREAT so put in that extra effort and pay attention to those details that MATTER!!

One last thing- the guy at the front desk tried bribing us to say how great our experience was with him in our TripAdvisor review in exchange for a future hotel discount. That rubbed us the wrong way considering the purpose of this site is to get honest reviews from real experiences (and it clearly violates T.A. policies). We hadn't even talked to him during our stay before we checked out anyway! Not impressed there...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

My family and I stayed at the Congress Hotel the night before leaving on a cruise. I must admit I was not sure what to expect due to all the bad reviews however to our surprise it was magnificent. We arrived a bit early but were able to store our luggage till check in which is at 4pm. In the mean time we were able to use chairs and towels at the beach which was a plus. The girls at the front desk were very attentive and made sure we had everything we needed. We called down for towels and the housekeeping lady I believe her name is Gladys was as nice as can possibly be. Overall we had no issues and have no complaints :)

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Congress Hotel South Beach

Address: 1052 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Formerly The Strand)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#41 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#60 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Congress Hotel South Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Strand Ocean Drive Hotel
Strand Ocean Drive Miami Beach

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