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“In the midst of it all – with all the pro’s and con’s” 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)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Offers & Announcements
$25 Pool Bar Credit/Stay
Ranked #69 of 200 hotels in Miami Beach
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“In the midst of it all – with all the pro’s and con’s”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2010

I stayed at the hotel, which was then known as "The Strand Ocean Drive Hotel", for three nights as part of a holiday and wedding in Miami and on the Florida Keys.

The room was huge, in a separate house next to the one with the main reception. Kitchen, bedroom, small balcony (good for a smoke, but with rattling air conditiong units from the next building making it not a nice place to sit), and air conditioning that made the fridge feel warm.

Nice welcome at the reception, we were a bit early due to the flight so had to come back, but then the room was ready on time. On the rooftop of the main building is a small swimming pool with chairs etc., which provide a spectacular view across the beach, Ocean Drive, and the neighboorhood at South Beach.

Due to the nightlife on Ocean Drive it was noisy, busy, packed with people, hard to find parking - but stepping out of the front door you are in the middle of everything: 2 minutes to the beach, 0 minutes to nightlife.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2010

This hotel has recently gone through a management change and deffinitely for the better. We checked in with ease and the bell hop took care of our bags immediately. The room was immaculatew with brand new carpet in bothe the hallways and the room. The bedding is fantastic and the fact that ther was a refrigerator, microwave ect. made life very easy. Youy cannot beat the location and the value if you like South Beach. The Congress Hotel is smack in the middle of everything or just a short walk away. Great value and location make this the place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Morganville, New Jersey
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2010

We stayed here for 4 nights with some friends. The location can't be beat, great vibe, nice well furnished rooms. The staff was always available and willing to please. For the location , price .. would recommend.
NF-New Jersey

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
US
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

Was excited to visit based on internet pictures. Sorely disappoint. Checked and and had reserved "Ocean Front" room. New management had lost all reservations so gave me room overlooking air-conditions. I tried to explain and "new" management didn't care. They acted like I was aggravating them. The carpets were gross and the pillows and blinds torn. The tv was tiny and it looked like the 32" was removed and replaced with a 15" (see enclosed pix). There are only 2 rooms that are ocean front 401 and 501 even though they are scamming others as ocean front. By the way..those rooms are condos and we were told they are not rented out. Internet never worked either. Parking is $35 a night and the mohitos are $25 each. RUN AWAY!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
congressmanagement, General Manager at Congress Hotel South Beach, responded to this review, August 23, 2010
We sincerely apologize for your inconvenience duirng your stay. The main reason for the management change on August 5th from The Strand to the Congress Hotel were to improve on all areas mentionned.

We have undergone refurbishment to include carpet and pool area. We recognize this was not our guest fault and encouraged everyone who stayed with us during this transition to provide their contact information so that we can invite them back to experience the true hopitality service that the Congress hotel provides.

Unfortunately, the Congress Hotel is not responsible for the 3rd party valet and/or drink prices.

Best Regards,

C. Bono
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2010

#1 Tip Don't do it, DON'T book the Strand, you could end up staying in any of the 4 blocks they have. Which means you have to walk between your block and the block where the pool is, getting hassle from the workers at the bars to eat in their place very time you walk out. Room on first look was ok, but knowing 3 people were staying in the room the extra bed wasn't made up and had to go down to reception to ask for it to be made. Phones were down, internet never worked. Dont think they have every cleaned carpets or furniture, didn't clean bathroom floor, as things left from previuos occupants. Towels were limited, i think as the maid did't like to leave enough bath and hand towels for 3 people. Attitude of some staff on reception could have been more helpful, loads of room for improvement. Beach towels look like they have had them since the place was built, could possibly have used them to clean up after. Noise, if you don't like sleep then this is the place for you. NOISE from the bars until 4am them noise from the cleaners of the bars and roads just made it impossible to get any sleep. Wouldn't put my worst most hated enemy in The Strand.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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York, Pennsylvania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2010

We arrived at the airport and took the public airport shuttle that dropped us off only a few blocks from the hotel. Which bus gave us great directions and made it even easier to locate. The bellboy spotted us and directed us to the lobby; there we immediately were checked and then escorted to our suite. The room was very spacious and clean, it had everything we wanted and more... a full kitchen, nice dining area, balcony overlooking ocean drive and a perfect view of the beach. Wireless internet was very helpful when searching for local food stores, clubs, shops and attractions. The resort fee was worth every penny, providing us with a private section on the beach with beach towels, umbrellas and chairs. The beach was spectacular, clear, well maintained and the lifeguards were good at patrolling the water and safety. The pool on the roof was beautiful and it also had an amazing view of the ocean with plenty of lounging area.

Not much to complain about but the things that we would mention are... Hotel lobby location was hard distinguish due to the location on ocean drive amongst the numerous restaurants in front of the hotels. We were excited to have the iHome provided in our suite but may not be functional because of damage from excessive use or miss handling of others. We told to front desk about the problem and someone came and replaced the device with a working one.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Houston, TX
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

We stayed at the strand at the end of June 2010. This was going to be our 3rd stay at the Strand. Upon entering the lobby we were greeted with the doors propped open. NOT A good sign. Then we notice there is work being down on the elevator. Great. We check in and ask which building will our room be located in. Great,...the contemporary building which is having elevator problems. We ask when would they be finished and we get a canned phrase of "we are having a meeting this evening and will share the information with everyone. Welll long story short...the elevator was not fixed for the entire week of our stay. We had to walk up 5 flights of stairs in a creepy stairwell everyday. The staff seemed not to care that we had to walk up several flights and the manager only could say...sorry i don't have any other rooms....blah!!!

Besides the fact of the elevator not working, the strand has seriously disappointed us this go round. The rooms are hardly cleaned...a simple changing of the sheets and towels and it seems thats all they do. It doesnt appear that they vacuum. The shower rods are really rusted. There were rust spots on the bathroom floor that looked like blood. There were rust spots on the living room carpet (at least I hope it was rust spots)

Overall it is time for the strand to UPGRADE itself! We will not stay here EVER again.
Very disappointed!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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:
#43 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#53 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Congress Hotel South Beach 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Strand Ocean Drive Hotel
Strand Ocean Drive Miami Beach

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