What WE were looking for was a place that was near the airport (as we had to overnight in Miami both going and returning on our vacation trip to St Lucia and our schedule didn't allow much time for anything else), clean and nicely priced. On that scale, the Holiday Inn Express Miami Airport -Central-Miami Springs (how's that for a mouthful? All you have to remember is it's the one in Miami Springs) is a 4-star. But you know, that's about what it is. If you are looking for more hotel for your hotel money, well, that takes it down a peg.
We arrived late after two flights and a cross country trip. We went to the curb with our bags and wondered which shuttle we should grab. We were looking for one marked HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS but didn't see one. After a bit one came by marked SLEEP INN - as it was passing by i noticed it said Holiday Inn Express on the side in smaller letters. i shouted out and the driver pulled over to pick us up. Turns out the Sleep Inn and the Holiday Inn Express are sister facilities, not all that far apart, either.
Check-in was just fine - efficient, friendly, accommodating. The elevator was terrific - oversized which made the entry-exit dance with the families and businessfolk we encountered easily accomplished. The room seemed smallish at first - if you're thinking vacation lodgings you have to be ready to catch your heart before it descends all the way to your stomach on first seeing the room which enters into a narrow "hallway" with the bathroom to your left and closet space on your right before opening into larger quarters. Actually the size was okay for what this is - there was a cushioned sit-back chair, a desk and chair, a large-enough bed and enough room on the other side of the bed to stand and walk to get to the bathroom (if you remember not to swing you arms much). Certainly more than merely adequate for a one-night stay.
The bathroom was also good for our needs. The shower is a section at the end of the bathroom that backs up on the rest of the room (rather than the hallway from the elevator) that is a bit lower than the rest of the room with a drain in the floor and a curtain that can be pulled around (in an arc) to avoid making you spray water all over everything. The shower head is - i think - detachable (i didn't bother) and worked well. i experienced a similar set up on my one trip to Venice, Italy years ago - this one was more efficient (though the setting, alas, left more to be desired...). It works.
The room was clean and quiet enough. The wakeup call (at O dark hundred, alas) came through right on time if the ring was a bit on the quiet side. The coffee downstairs was hot (there was a maker in the room i think - as i think back over this - but we didn't bother with it) and just before we were to board the shuttle back to the airport, we did wander into the breakfast area. The eggs had a certain pre-packaged quality to them - i haven't a clue how or when they were made and there was no problem with the taste - my wife tells me. The breakfast looks to be adequate though i don't think many will be writing rave restaurant reviews of it.
On our return trip, we actually landed - and cleared customs after miles it seemed of walking and walking and waiting and walking and waiting and walking some more - early enough to be in need of dinner. There are three places within easy walk of the restaurant, most notably a sports bar that was recommended by the shuttle driver and the hotel staff - it's fine especially if what you want is sports bar food - hamburger fries and a beer - that sort of thing (skip the steak special) and there's an IHOP right across the street from the hotel. Good to know for next time.
A word about the shuttle - and whatever around Miami: polish up your high school Spanish if you can cause it will certainly help. Everyone we encountered was seriously helpful in attitude but Spanish truly helps. Our shuttle driver our second trip was truly a delight - funny, friendly, very helpful - but he spoke mostly Spanish -- it was fun for us to dust off the old High School Spanish - and in my case that is VERY old now - and have a conversation. He enjoyed it too - helped with a suggestion here and there. Turned out it was a lot of fun - anyway, some comfort with Spanish does help both around the Miami airport and getting to and from the hotel.
So - how does one rate this place? As i said at the start - if you're looking for clean and near the airport at a reasonable price, this is a place you're looking for. If you're looking for much more than that, you may not be whelmed too much. But look - the room is larger than those old one-small-room motels in your memory; it's clean; there is food to tide you over in the morning; there is coffee; the staff is friendly and efficient; it's near the airport.
Is it a four star hotel? Certainly not, by no means. But is it a very good example of what's in the paragraph right above this one? i believe it is.
And, bottom line - given a reasonably tight schedule and a desire to avoid traffic and commuting time, would i choose to stay here again in the future?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Today is the day to indulge as you will find modern convenience and excellent service located right here at the Holiday Inn Express Miami International Airport. Fresh from a multi-million dollar renovation, this unique bed and breakfast style Express is the perfect stop for your visit to the Greater Miami area. Our newly revitalized location is centrally located near Miami International Airport with free 24 hour shuttle service to and from Miami International Airport to cater to all flight patterns. Our hotel is easily accessible to the Port of Miami for cruise vacation getaways, and nearby to the greatest shopping venues in Miami, as well as ideal for exploring the sites of Greater Miami and the beaches. Our Express Start hot breakfast buffet provides the energy for you to begin your day in this extraordinary city. Please allow our comfortably restyled hotel to treat you to a new level of relaxation, in a friendly environment. We look forward to your arrival! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Miami Airport Central-Miami Springs Hotel Miami Springs
- Holiday Inn Miami Springs
- Holiday Inn Express Miami Springs
- Miami Springs Holiday Inn