Just returned back from a weeks stay at The Raleigh...from start to finish it was absolute bliss! When we were first booking our Miami trip, I originally looked at hotels on Ocean Drive - thank god I didn't book to stay there - Ocean Drive, despite its glam associations is totally tacky with loud music and touts from all the restaurants hassling you to eat on their strip of the pavement.
The Raleigh is so different.... it sits on a strip of Collins Ave that includes classier joints such as the Delano and the W Hotel.
The room itself ( Sunset View King- 6th floor) was great - spacious, with Miami Deco/ Mid Century furnishings - a vintage corner sofa, vintage 1950's table, Florence Broadhurst "Kabuki" fabric curtains and fab vintage style lightshades. I loved the bathroom with it's vintage-style fixtures and Deco details...and everything was super-clean. They also seem a bit fashion-savvy, which is great - the magazine reading material in the rooms was the CR book and W magazine - cool!!
Every-one on the front desk were friendly and polite and all the hotel staff seemed helpful - we didn't encounter any problems with service.
The wonderful pool is exactly how it is in the photos - Just stunning!! Towels are provided and the loungers are clean and comfortable. The music at the Raleigh was better than most - we heard the techno blaring out from most hotels, and were thankful that the Raleigh's music was of the Amy Winehouse, Smiths, Beck and Gossip variety.
The Martini bar is great - but very quiet! Plus their cocktail list isn't as extensive as I had imagined - but great nevertheless.
Beach access is great, also.
The only downsides were the dinner menu - as vegetarians there was no real option for us- a shame, as we had much more choice on the lunch menu. Also the restaurant and bar were super-quiet in the evening - quite dead really. Would have been nice if they could create a bit more of a vibe and liven it up a bit in the evenings.(We ended up going out to neighboring hotels such as The Shore Club's Red Room, The Delano and SLS just to be around other people for a drink).The lobby also feels a bit like a dead-zone - it's all a bit brown and heavy - it could use a bit of pizzazz or glamour to match the rest of the hotel.
The Raleigh was perfect for us - full of vintage-glamour, rat-pack cool during the day - just a pity that vibe didn't carry through to the evenings.
Over-all, a great hotel, fab service, great rooms and definitely the most glamorous pool in Miami.