Let me preface my review by saying that I'm not the type of person who expects 50 bucks worth of service for 50 cents worth of payment. And it was, sort of, a worthwhile learning experience -- we had made our reservation as part of a cruise package three months in advance. For which, paying essentially the rack rate, we were given the wrong type of room (a single double bed) a long trek from the lobby but very near a laundry room. But the hotel staff were very pleasant throughout our stay, including when they did put us into the type of room we HAD reserved (one with double beds), conveniently (?) located right next to the elevators. For a future cruise, it might make more sense to use a site like Priceline or even book the hotel directly with appropriate discount codes and arrange the transfer separately,
I do have some very positive things to say about the Carabbas Italian restaurant in the hotel, and about the swimming pools, but those will come later. I should mention that we were at the hotel only from one afternoon until noon the next day, so we did not have the chance to make use of the whole environment, and this may color my perspectives.
General. This Courtyard by Marriott is the former Cadillac Hotel, built in the Art Deco period and very attractively updated to reflect this heritage. In addition to a large hot tub, there are two separate pools, one apparently intended for swimming and the other, labelled Playpool, presumably intended for more recreational activities. The hotel is just the boardwalk away from the beach. On the other hand, apart from the Tiki Bar by the pools, which serves only bar food and which appears to be open only from noon time, there appears to be no food service available before the Carabbas restaurant opens for dinner. I don't know if there's any casual place to eat anywhere close by on foot -- there didn't seem to be.
Throughout our stay, the hotel staff were friendly and also helpful in correcting things that shouldn't have needed to be corrected in the first place. As noted, whether the fault of the cruise line or the hotel, we didn't get the type of room we had requested. Although I do not understand why, our having paid essentially the rack rate months in advance, we were given one of the worst located rooms in the first place and then one of the not so great rooms to match what we had reserved. The printed welcome information brochure in the room indicated complementary coffee at 5:30 a.m. I found out that actually the coffee starts an hour later and is NOT complementary. I was given to understand that the breakfast buffet was included in our package. Nope, and although it was good, and the omelette cook was very outgoing and attentive to what was requested, it was not inexpensive. Knowing that the transfers to the ship were scheduled for 11:45 a.m., the hotel locked us out of our rooms at 11. But the staff were very friendly in dealing with all this.
As others have noted, the faucet in our room was schizophrenic as to whether it wanted to provide hot water or cold water. As it happens, the week before I had stayed at a Courtyard by National Airport in Washington, and the following comments apply to that stay as well. I have never tried to make coffee from mulch, so it is just a supposition that the "coffee" provided for in-room brewing tastes like it was made from mulch. It certainly doesn't taste like it was made from coffee beans. It would also be nice if Courtyards were to provide a guide to TV channels so that people don't have to go from one channel to the next to the next.
This is an older hotel, but it is clear that they have made significant efforts to become accessible (although I'm not sure how someone who uses a wheelchair is supposed to get into the hotel -- I myself have no need for accessibility). While there might not be much call, though, I think it would be nice if it were possible for someone who uses a wheelchair to have access to the entry patio so that s/he could watch the traffic go by.
A Bright Spot. The Carrabas Restaurant. The Carabbas Restaurant is part of the same chain that does Maggiano's Restaurants, but is differentiated from them in that the cuisine is contemporary Italian as compared to traditional Italian. We were served by a very affable and extremely knowledgeable waiter, Guy, who was very familiar with the items on the menu, including the spices and techniques with which they were prepared, and who was very willing to let the kitchen staff know about restrictions. It was also clear that other diners were also able to benefit from his product knowledge across the menu. Definitely Guy is a "keeper" and the bright spot of the stay. And the food was very tasty and well prepared and reasonably priced.
Summary. This Courtyard by Marriott Cadillac might be a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to stay there again.
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- Also Known As:
- Courtyard Miami Beach Oceanfront Hotel Miami Beach
- Miami Beach Marriott
- Miami Beach Courtyard