Located a couple of blocks away from the Fontainebleau, this hotel is easily accessed coming from Miami. It's away from the noise of South Beach. Yet, I found the location convenient, kind of the juction between South Beach and Miami. It's also far from active construction sites (several of them on Collins Ave as of November 2012, Courtyard Marriott being the biggest one).
Check in was a breeze, thanks to Joyce. We got room 531, which is a great corner room w/king bed (very comfy), more square feet than usual, ocean and pool view, OK bathroom. Room negatives: as pointed out by other reviewers, no exhaust fan in the bathroom. Also, sound proofing is bad. You can hear a lot of what's going on next door and upstairs.
A/C works well and is silent.
Pool is nice. Music playing around the pool was actually pretty good (and not too loud).
Holiday Inn (as all other hotels in the area) doesn't have direct beach access. You must cross the boardwalk. Once on the beach, there is no reserved spot. If you want a chair and umbrella, you must rent those from the beach guys (plenty available, chairs go for 10$/day).
Fitness center is minimalist. One threadmill, one bicycle, one exercise machine. No weights.
WiFi was really slow and inconsistent in our room, so I used my 3G card all the time.
2 computers available in the lobby with printers and Internet access ($ by the minute).
The lobby area is kept very cold (must be under 65). It prevented us from staying there for any longer than we needed to. Way too cold.
Breakfast was under par. No real espresso available. They have one of these phony machines which produces a kind of syrup that has nothing to do with real coffee. My recommandation: walk 5 minutes to the Eden Roc hotel and hit the Starbucks. They have real coffee, and a few options for healthy breakfasts (yogurt, fruits, oatmeal).
One thing that we regretted, but it seems to affect all hotels at this time of year: by 3pm at most, the hotel itself casts a huge shadow on the pool area, so there is no way of sitting in the sun around the pool.
Now the Valet thing: True, you know in advance and they make it very clear they will charge you 29$/day for mandatory valet. I still couldn't help being frustrated by it. First the amount is ridiculous, second the service is not up to par. Several times we had to wait 15 minutes or more for the car to arrive when we needed it. They asked us to call before we came down, but that only seemed to create confusion and make things worse. Several times we were waiting for the car and the guys were chatting and having a good time. For 29$, I expect to see guys running... If you plan to walk most of the time or stay at the hotel and make a trip or two to Miami during your stay, take a cab, or rent a car from National or Alamo, which are right across the street from the Hotel.
Pros: Nice staff, good location, nice pool, free WiFi, quiet
Cons: !VALET!, inconsistent WiFi, under par food, no real espresso, arctic lobby
Tips: Don't come with a car, or get a rate that includes valet. Closest decent lunch is Carraba's italian grill, make a right on the boardwalk and it's a block south. Closest dinner (and one of the best places to eat in Miami Beach): Cecconi's, in the Soho Beach House, make a right on Collins and it's the second building heading north. Dress up and enjoy a classy setting and great italian food. For joggers: make a right on the boarwalk, run to where the wooden boardwalk ends, and you have run approx. 2 kms. Or make a right on Collins, cross the street to be along the waterfront after the curve, and run north. When you reach 5500 Collins, you have run approx 2kms. 6000 Collins, you have run approx 3 kms.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Miami Beach hotel has a premium oceanfront location! Welcome to the tropically inspired Holiday Inn Miami Beach - Oceanfront, where our 1950's Miami Modern exterior blends seamlessly with vibrant contemporary South Beach style to wrap you in modern comfort. Eleven miles east of Miami International Airport, our Miami Beach hotel is located where I-195 meets A1A at the Atlantic Ocean.Our hotel in Miami Beach offers you an unparalleled location, with the Atlantic Ocean's sandy beaches as our backyard. Follow the South Beach Boardwalk into the Art Deco world of South Beach for shopping, dining or the vibrant nightclubs. Take a moonlit stroll on the beach by night and play in the surf by day, or simply relax by our large pool overlooking the beach and our lush, tropical garden with its hammock oasis; it's a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Families will find it easy to get to Miami's museums and attractions, as many are within 15 miles of our hotel.Business guests appreciate the close proximity of our hotel to the Miami Beach Convention Center, two miles away. Our Miami Beach accommodations are within 10 miles of Sony, Mt. Sinai Hospital and the University of Miami. The free wireless Internet access will help you stay in touch while you travel.Our non-smoking hotel is perfect for a Miami Beach trip. You can enjoy a delicious meal at our Paradise Cafe, dine in your room, or have a yummy Mojito at our Blue Parrot Bar. We have it all. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Miami Beach Hotel Miami Beach
- Miami Beach Holiday Inn