If South Beach were a person, the Clevelander would be their heart. I’ve been to South Beach 5 times now and each time, I’ve stayed at different hotels. On the whole, the Clevelander was great and I would recommend it. It’s a good value for the money.
I am a pro fashion and glamour photographer, and I was at the Clevelander with my wife and also a model (who had a separate room). Our mission was sunrise shooting on South Beach, so we needed to get up early. This fact is relevant to my assessment of the hotel.
We rented two Rock Star suites. One of the rooms is the room that has a balcony facing Ocean Drive. We stayed for two nights.
What I liked:
1) The Staff. The staff members are great. In fact, it was the Clevelander’s excellent restaurant staff that convinced me to stay there as a guest in their hotel. On a previous trip, I ate at the Clevelander’s restaurant and their service was by far the best I’d ever had in South Beach. Note, for those of you who have never been to South Beach: the service in South Beach is horrible on average. The Clevelander is a shining example of how service ought to be done in South Beach.
2) Clean and comfortable: The hotel was very, very clean. More importantly, our room was spotless and fresh. The bathrooms were large, which is rare in South Beach. The bed was very comfortable, which was nice.
3) Size of room: The room was very big, especially for South Beach standards.
4) Safe: The hotel seemed very safe. In the evenings, and perhaps before, the hotel has staff members at the front of the hotel and they check IDs of everyone who enters.
What I didn’t like:
The rooms overlooking the pool are super loud. Our suite was literally right over the DJ booth. I probably slept 2-3 hours at night and that was it. By checkout day, I was exhausted. The hotel provides earplugs, but they didn’t work well for me. However, my wife and also our model friend told me that the earplugs worked very well for them. To be fair, I am pretty sure that rooms that do not face the pool would be fairly quiet. If I decide to stay there again, I will definitely not stay in a room overlooking the pool.
Bottom line: Would I stay there again? Maybe. I like staying at different places in South Beach so I can check out new places. If I could get a very quiet room at the Clevelander, I would almost certainly stay there again.