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“Nightmare on South Beach” 1 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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Hotel amenities
Special Price
40% off room rate
Ranked #80 of 205 Hotels in Miami Beach
Raynham, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nightmare on South Beach”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Worst hotel EVER. We stayed at this hotel in February. The pictures on line are totally deceiving, I don't even think they are of this hotel. It shows a beautiful pool and nicely furnished rooms. Nothing could be further from the truth. It also states that it is a condo. It is more like a horrible effecienty apartment. Furniture was 20 plus years old. Shower was a so called round tub with a horrible shower head and sides that must have been three feet high.

The elevator was broken so we had to walk up and down three flights of back stairs. Management left the door open for access so any one could wallk in.

Parking was only in a garage that you had to pay for and walk thru a back alley.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms at this hotel,
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your review concerning your recent stay at The Congress Hotel South Beach. I want to apologize on behalf of the hotel for your experience and we are sorry to hear you did not enjoy your stay. Please email me with your reservation information so that I may look you up in the system. The Congress Hotel would love the opportunity to make your return stay the best experience ever.

Regards,

Eleonor
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1,070 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (149)
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Helsinki, Finland
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Considering the Congress is right smack in the middle of South Beach and two buildings away from the always partying Clevelander bar, our second floor room was surprisingly quiet as is the actual hotel. Sure, you can hear a little bit of the music and noise from the outside, I had taken earplugs with me, but I did not need them at all. It completely quiets down around 2am and really, this is SoBe, there is always going to be a bit of noise. I was worried about this when when I got the hotel, but after the first night, no worries.

The entry to the hotel is a bit hidden, but the nice thing is that you also need your key to even get into the buildings with the rooms which is great for privacy.

Our room was really spacious. There's a bedroom with a massive king size bed and then a living room and both rooms have an entrance to the bathroom. There's plenty of space for toiletries for several people in the bathroom and we always had plenty of towels. Pots and pans appeared on the second day of our stay but we ended up not using the kitchenette at all.

Really the only negative thing was the sofa bed which was atrocious. It was so uneven that a single person can barely sleep on it, let alone two. The king size bed on the other hand was great. The only other downside is that the windows face another building and other hotel rooms, so you have to keep your curtains drawn if you want privacy. Everything is a bit rundown though form the doors to the floors (bath room double doors didnt close properly) and the curtains were a bit dirty

The rooftop is sparse, but nice. I was surprised there were always empty sun beds or chairs available even later in the day. Guess most folks go to the beach. There's also a bar on the roof, shoutout to the Roman bartender. The view from the rooftop is great! There's not many hotels on Ocean Drive with pools, so Congress is unique in that sense.

I want to give a special shoutout to Diinaa Baby who organizes excellent party packages for very cheap at the Congress hotel. Now I was really skeptical about these 50$ party packages including two hours of open bar and free entry into the hottest clubs in SoBe like Mansion, Dream, Nikki Beach and Cameo. Sounded like too good of a deal to me, I was sure I'd get ripped off, but I was wrong. It was exactly what was promised and me and my buddy could not have been happier about the organizing. The open bars are either at the rooftop or other nearby hotels and the drinks were strong and the bartender never avoided giving out drinks. Then you have a shuttle that takes you to the designated club of the evening and you simply walk in the with the crowd and that's it. You do get to the club at midnight, which is early, since the action starts at 2am in Miami usually, but it's worth it since this way you can get into the best clubs without having to pay for bottle service.

Do avoid most of the restaurants on Ocean Drive. The whole two for one, free shots is mostly a rip off as everything costs even more than on restaurants on Collins or Washington.

I definitely recommend the Congress for party people, friends and couples. The location is superlative: short walk to Lincoln Road mall and everything else is nearby.

Highly recommended as long as you dont expect a five/four star hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Congress Hotel South Beach, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your recent review regarding your stay at The Congress Hotel South Beach. The rooftop view is amazing and the prepartys are an awesome way to meet new friends. Our rooms are very spacious and have more than enough space to have friends come over. Next time you’re in town we can’t wait to see you back at The Congress Hotel South Beach.

Thanks,
Eleonor
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Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

I loved the hotel, it was clean and very nice! Most of the people that worked there were extremely nice, very friendly and very helpful and the rest were jerks! NOT HELPFUL AT ALL and not very polite! -the only thing i didn't like about this hotel other than some of the workers was the WiFi! Their WiFi system was so low! We literally had no connection to the internet but other than that, everything else was PERFECTLY PERFECT! had an AMAZING TIME! -Me and my boo LOVED IT!

Room Tip: rooms near the restaurants and the bars are not quiet at all! -you will not get a good sleep! people...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 14 nights march and april 2013. 3 persons in a 1 bedroom Ocean view room. Therese is 3 buildings and we had the first 4 nights in a side building. (Trough a narrow and noisy restaurant) but were allowed to switch to a balcony view room in the main building the rest of the stay. We were away for 3 nights and the front desk reduced the valet for theese 3 nights after we Asker for it.

Plus: the front desk personel is friendly, Nice, warm and want your best of the stay, little to much to do tough, see minus. The rooms are big and in the middle of Ocean drive. The rooftop pool is Nice with a great view. You feel welcome. Front desk fix everything when You ask. Modern rooms and kitchenette.

Minus: noisy area, be aware. Expensive valet (35 USD per night). The bartender at the rooftop pool Washington most occupied with his own texting, guests arent asked for anything, and his not willing to fix anything. He must cost the hotel money. Slow valet. The fastest they picked up the car was 10 minutes, they once used 52 minutes. (Dont be hasty here). Something You must remind or give a list to the front desk what is forgot in cleaning the room.. Every third day.

There is also 12,5 USD per person/ night hotel tax, plus local tax. Sofa beds quite poor, bedroom beds very good. Close to the beach, 30 minutes to aventura, bel Harbour. 3 hours drive to Universal, 1.30 to west palm beach for 2 or 4 nights Bahamas cruise.

We are 32, 37 and 39. Fits for everyody young spirited that can handle some noise and minuses, for location and big rooms well equipped.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

Upon arrival we noticed that Bookit had placed us in a single room sleeping four. No problem for the hotel manager. She switched us to separate bedrooms in an instant. Since the hotel was fully booked at the time this was probably not an easy task. Not only is Ms. Eleonore the most professional and competent person her outstanding beauty shined over our six days stay and we loved it. We highly recommend this hotel and congratulate the management to their choice of employees.

Hans

  • Stayed April 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
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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, April 22, 2013
The entire staff at The Congress Hotel South Beach wants to thank you for your wonderful review. It pleases us know that we were able to make your stay while at The Congress Hotel South Beach a memorable one and we can’t wait to have you and your family back.

Sincerely,

Eleonor
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Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

Found this gem through bookit, and all I can say is WOW! The Congress is amazing, the entrance is beautiful with the fountain and it is a champagne check-in! Everything went very smoothly, plus they recommended the best driver - Fritz. The room was perfect, two of us stayed in a junior suite, the view was nothing but palm trees, sandy beaches, and the ocean. Kelvin and the other staff were always on call, anything you needed was delivered promptly. Loved the security guy with the great sense of humor :) I will definitely book this place when I return, the rates are reasonable, the location is right in the middle of everything, and the bartender on the roof pool was adorable. I can't say enough good things about this place. Thank you for a great first experience in Sobe! Loved it

Room Tip: I would recommend the Junior Suite, we were on the fifth floor and it was fantastic!
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  • Stayed March 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

Loved the renovated hotel. The staff was super friendly. The hotel is located in the heart of everything and on the beach. Great value. This would be my pick to stay here again if I returned to Miami.

  • Stayed March 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:
#54 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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