I stayed here 3 nights from Dec 22-25, 2012 and the great experience starts from the moment I stepped into the hotel - I had put in a request for 8 AM early morning check-in due to arriving on a 6:30 AM flight, but my flight touched down early, so I actually got to the hotel at 7:30 AM. Despite the early hours, the hotel had a room ready to go for me & I was able to settle in within 5 minutes of arriving at the hotel. They usually greet you with a free pina colada upon check-in but they couldn’t offer me one as I was there too early (although they did gave me one afterwards – point to the staff on this one). You do not have to worry about safety at this hotel because they do ID checks at night (or you just show them your room key) & the elevator requires keycard to access the floors (my keycard wouldn’t work in the elevator on my 2nd night but this was fixed in less than a couple minutes at the reception – very efficient).
As for my room (Classic Room), it was clean & nicely designed (I love minimalist designs, but that’s just my personal opinion). The room was definitely on the small side but was comfortable, room size was not an issue for me as I was travelling solo & I'm used to travelling with only a single carry-on sized backpack. Just be prepare if you book here & you have more than 2 people in the room (or if you must travel with a lot of luggage), that it will feel cramped, you have been warned! As for the bathroom, it was small but again not an issue for me. The partially transparent glass door looks nice although it might be inconvenient if you have a few people staying together and you value your privacy. One small issue I had with the room was that there’s no in room safe (which are pretty standard nowadays), so I had to carry all my cash & my passport with me throughout my trip (this was expected though from my research so I was prepared).
From the other reviews, I had came to the Clevelander fully expecting music to be blaring all night long, but surprisingly my room was REALLY quiet – the occasional music that drifts into the room was not loud enough to be disturbing, this is likely due to my room being on the 4th floor and on the opposite side away from the pool area. If you are a really light sleeper, I believe they do provide you with earplugs (or just bring your own). The only reason I gave the hotel 4 stars in sleep quality was because the mattress & pillows were a little too firm for my taste, but again it’s completely understandable that they can’t customize these for every guest.
I can’t speak to the food/drinks at the Clevelander (or the sister hotel “Essex House”) or the hotel pool area because 1) there are so many better (and probably cheaper) options for food & drinks nearby, do some researches before you go; 2) gorgeous South Beach is mere steps away, so why go to a hotel pool? My one recommendation is definitely check out the Rooftop Terrace, it was quite relaxing & the view was absolutely beautiful.
Finally, the biggest draw for me to this hotel is the LOCATION: right in the middle of Ocean Drive, the Clevelander is in the center of all the South Beach action – the incredible beaches is right across the street (as is the "Art Deco Welcome Center"), you are within walking distance of several great bars & restaurants, & for those wanting to head to Downtown Miami via public transit, the bus stop is conveniently located just a block away.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this hotel if you are staying at South Beach – it’s definitely worthy of a top 20 ranking on TripAdvisor.
One tip on booking: Consider a booking this hotel as part of a flight/hotel package. Since rooms here typically costs around US$250/night on average, you'll get great value this way (my room ended up being less than $100 a night).
1) Definitely request a room on the 4th floor AND on the opposite side as the pool if you want some...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.