There are two pluses. The location is great, and the rooms are modern. That's where it ends.
The background: Myself and four friends planned to stay at this property over the weekend; we traveled from Boston to celebrate my bachelorette party. I paid $500 back in January to book two rooms, with two double beds each, for Friday and Saturday night. I used a third party vendor, such as Expedia or Travelocity, to book the reservation. The reservation printout CLEARLY says "Junior suite, 2 double beds, 2 adults per room". We planned on the 5th girl just sleeping in one of the double beds with the other girl. We figured this wouldn't be an issue, as it was learned while doing research on trip adviser prior to booking that the maximum per room is 4 adults. The reservation online, as well as the pictures and room descriptions that are hanging on the wall at the office of the hotel, both indicated that there would be kitchenettes in the suites with refrigerators, etc. There weren't.
The beginning: I called from the airport after landing to ask if we could check in early, as we anticipated arriving at the hotel around 1:30-2:00, and check-in is at 4:00. I was told by an employee that no guarantees could be made, but that she'd note the file and see what could be done. I called again about an hour later while on our way to find out if we could check-in early and was transferred to a booking manager, who told me that no, we could not check in early, that check-in time is at 4:00, and that there were "people ahead of" me. I'm still not sure what that means. Check-out is at 11:00 and check-in is at 4:00. So apparently 5 hours is not enough time to prepare two rooms for people that were arriving before 4:00. So we stowed our bags in the back room of the office, not a big deal. Not the best taste in my mouth.
The middle: While trying to kill time until 4:00, we walked down to the strip and got some food and drinks. We came back after 4:00 and were given room keys. We opened up the rooms and discovered that each had one double bed and no kitchenette. I promptly walked back into the office and addressed my concerns with the three employees that were sitting there. I showed them my reservation printout and made it known that I had booked two rooms, both of which had TWO DOUBLE BEDS, and that each room had TWO ADULTS listed. A female employee then told me, in a voice that sounded quite rehearsed, that there's nothing that can be done, the hotel is all booked, and we're going to have to make due with these rooms. She then proceeded to take her pen and underline on the printout, a line that says "Availability of accommodations for extra guests is not guaranteed." After explaining to her that this is a moot point, because I don't HAVE any extra guests that would impact the two rooms with TWO BEDS that were booked back in January (again, the 5th person planned to double up in one of the beds), she told me quite matter-of-factly that I'd have to take this up with the third party company that I booked the reservation through, and that it's not the hotel's problem. She then handed me the office phone and with that, handed off all responsibility.
At this point, I'm beyond pissed. While in the midst of trying to figure out who else I can talk to, a male employee who was sitting there told me that "this happens all the time" and that the third party company is responsible, they book rooms in the hotel that aren't available. After more hemming and hawing by the hotel employees, I finally was able to get the general manager "Eddie" on the phone, and explained my plight. Eddie's reaction? Complete lack of sympathy, accountability, or concern. Basically, blame it on the third party company, we can't do anything for you. Did a curse word or two come out of my mouth? Yup, you better believe it did. Eddie then decided that he felt I was "going on a tirade" and his tone turned condescending. I explained to him that I've worked in customer service for years now, and I know that the hotel must have some sort of contract with this third party company, obviously. Eddie agreed that they did, and also voiced that this particular vendor books rooms in the hotel for customers that aren't available quite often. So my next question was, WHY KEEP DOING BUSINESS WITH THIS VENDOR? And guess what Eddie and staff, THEIR customers are YOUR customers, so how can you evade responsibility and let this happen? Even worse, how can you not make any sort of moves to alleviate the situation?
At this point, I was in tears. I felt like I was being backed into a corner and I was the one in the wrong. I asked Eddie if he would do a three way call with me and call the third party company to see if anything could be done, and I was shot down. Nope. So then I resorted to trying to think of different ways out of this. I voiced that the hotels website advertised cots for an additional fee; can we at least get a couple of cots? I was then quickly told that the cots aren't on-site, they're at the hotel's other properties and it would be a POSSIBILITY but he didn't know if he could be done. REALLY!?
My friends were wondering what was taking so long and walked into the office at this point and saw how upset and emotional I was. Within minutes, we were told that we'd be granted access to one of the "better" rooms, a suite, and that we'd still be keeping the other room, which was suddenly supplied with a cot. The suite had ONE double bed and a tiny, hard leather couch. It did, however, have the kitchen area that was advertised for the other rooms. So here's the end of the middle: We ended up sleeping in two beds, one cot, and on an uncomfortable "couch", and I prayed that we wouldn't need to ask the staff for anything again throughout the weekend because I desperately wanted to avoid dealing with them ever again.
The end of the middle, and the end: Sleeping in this hotel is like sleeping in a paper tent. There is no noise reduction whatsoever, and if someone is whistling down on the street below, you can hear it clear as day. Both nights were sleepless. The clubs are open very late down here, which is something that all hotels must have to deal with, but this one is particularly "exposed" to the slew of drunks walking the street at 5:00am. The second night, it was unbearable, as the noise was coming from the room next to us. There were about 5 people out on the balcony, screaming yelling hooting and hollering at everyone and everything. When it got to be too much at 4:15am, I called the front desk and spoke with a male employee, quite briefly, explaining that if possible, if he could ask the room next to us to quiet down, that'd be great, as we had to wake up in a matter of hours to get to the airport. He snippily told me that he'd deal with it and hung up on me. An hour later, the noise finally quieted down. Later that day, when checking out, a female employee asked us if we needed a cab called to get us to the airport. I thought this was very nice of her and said yes, we'd love one. After returning from lunch and facing a different employee, we wanted to double check that the cab was called and asked her to confirm. She looked perplexed, and then wrote down the information again and called for us. Good thing we asked her to confirm.
Conclusion: If you want to feel treated like a spring breaker, or with little to no respect, this may be the hotel for you. As someone who grew up working in inns and bed and breakfasts (my father was in the business for 30+ years), and someone who currently works in a customer service role, I was BLOWN AWAY by the treatment that I received at this hotel. I will be calling the third party vendor, as well as the BBB, and I will encourage everyone that I can to stay away from this place. I got the feeling that because this property was so close to the beach and the strip, they felt that they COULD act the way that they do because regardless, people will book rooms here based on the good location. As someone that has trip adviser reviews dating years back, all of which have an overall positive theme, I rely on this website to give me credible, raw advice for booking hotel reservations. I wish now that I had paid more attention to the customer service specific issues that are noted on here. To the manager Eddie, please don't even bother responding to this review with your transparent consolations; I heard more than I ever want to hear from you during our phone conversation on Friday.
South Beach is a colorful, vibrant, cultural place and can be an absolute blast. Just do yourself a favor and avoid this place at all costs.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Erin, I will reply to your review because its important to us to reply to all of our customers concerns, but it will not be to offer any apologies or "consolations" - as I explained before, when you book a reservation at our property through a 3rd party, and you are asked to fill in a "request" for the room bedding that you prefer that does not mean that your room bedding is guaranteed, hence the title of it being a "request" - it is important to us, operationally, that all guests be honest in the amount of people that will be occupying a room when booking their reservation, the amount of guests affect the cost of the room, and we prioritize all of those room bedding "requests" by the amount of people in a room, therefore if you have 3 or 4 people in a room you have priority for a room with 2 beds before a reservation with only 2 people. The hotel was not at fault in this instance, nor was the vendor, a request is a request, not all requests can always be met, that is just reality. Regardless of that, we upgraded you to the Palm Suite so you would have more space in the room (free of charge), and we provided a cot in the room (free of charge), we did not even charge the 5th guest which you brought that was unaccounted for, we did all we could to accomodate you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.