Read a lot of negative reviews here about this hotel but I do feel most are unwarranted. We knew that there was construction going on at the hotel when we booked (Marriott's website does a very good job of advertising this). While it is a bit noisy during daytime hours, it did not bother us at all. There is construction all over Miami / South Beach areas. As a Platinum member, we were upgraded to a corner room (did not have ocean views but it was on the opposite side of construction). Check in process was a breeze - front desk staff was VERY helpful during our entire stay. The valet guys were incredible to deal with - offered free bottled water every time we left and returned to the hotel and always opened the doors for us. The beach staff (Greg and Lee) were awesome and made us feel very welcome everyday. Since construction is going on, they are waiving the $5 chair / umbrella fee at the beach. Chairs are very comfortable and the umbrellas did a great job at providing shade for those of us who wanted it. There is also a server from the Tiki Bar that delivers drinks and food (if you want) all day at the beach. To be honest, I would expect this service from a JW Marriott or Ritz property - but I was floored that a Courtyard did such a good job - and made it look effortless.
Rooms are well appointed, bed was comfortable, and it allowed us to relax when we were in our room - which wasn't much. Did not eat at the Carraba's attached to the hotel. We did walk across the street a few times for breakfast (there is a nice cafe / small grocery store) and that provided good options for breakfast as well as lunch. There aren't too many dining choices close to the hotel. It is a walk to get to South Beach area (about 30 minutes to get to the heart of South Beach). However, you can take the boardwalk and it is a really nice walk right along the beach. We walked down daily and it was not bad at all. Cabs aren't too expensive there - you can catch a cab from the Courtyard down to South Beach for about $10. So you do have options if you do not care to walk.
I would recommend this property for couples, families, and groups. While it is not in the heart of South Beach, it is a nice property. Once the construction is completed, there are going to be some really nice rooms with phenomenal views. I applaud the property for doing the improvements necessary to be competitive. There is no good time to do construction. And there are TONS of other hotels doing the same thing right now. Miami Beach prefers to restore old buildings instead of building new ones - this is a fact of life there. It is the only way that they can maintain the art deco feel of the area. Don't let the bad reviews of construction steer you away from the hotel. We were with a group of 8 people and not one of us complained once about the noise or inconvenience of no pool right now. We didn't go to Miami to swim in a pool (although they do provide access to a pool at another property for free). The hotel is oceanfront and the ocean is spectacular. Hit the beach and let the staff take good care of you. Book with confidence!