we just got back from 6 days at this resort. traveling was a party of 4: myself, my husband and our children (2 and 4 yrs old).
like most people who check this site, i was nervous coming here bc of the bad reviews. also thinking of trumps hotels in atlantic city i wasn't expecting anything nice, either. boy was i wrong!
Arrival: we flew in from fort lauderdale airport which is actually closer than miami's airport. we took a cab over which cost approx $45
Check in: the room wasn't ready (but we were there before 11am anyways) so we went outside by the beach in the meantime. they said they would call us when the room was ready but never did. i found out the room was ready by calling them. its no big deal. we got into our room before normal check in time which is 4pm)
The room: we were on the 29th floor in a corner property. now i am a complete germophobe (i travel with bed bug spray and lysol) but i can honestly say i didn't have to use it!! the room was VERY clean and i have very high expectations for cleanliness. the room to me, didn't seem "outdated" at all, as others mentioned. we had an ocean view room with a balcony then a side balcony that was a bit bigger with a hot tub and small table w chairs. The bed was comfy and the bathroom had a shower and tub separate. we had a view of the ocean and a view of the city which was great!
The pool: there were 2 pools but we mainly used the upper pool because of its kid-friendly features. our kids are still little and are nervous in pools but bc this was zero entry they loved the fact that they can stand in parts of the pool and not get nervous! it was also relaxing to sit in the pool in the shallow end while the kids played near the waterfalls part. chairs do fill up but if you get there by 9am and put your stuff down before you eat breakfast, you are fine.
The beach: the men that work on the beach to get you chairs, umbrellas, drinks are GREAT! they are in HOT weather in uniform working so hard to make you happy!! the beach is beautiful! the water is in comparison to the caribbean waters. the water is shallow and you can go out soooo far before it even gets deep! the beach does fill up too but i noticed that people constantly leave the beach which the men working will then give you their old chairs, etc. i never once had a problem where i didn't have a seat and there were days i went to the beach late in the afternoon around 2pm.
restaurants on site: EXPENSIVE. we spent at least $100 a meal but we would order an appetizer, main course, desert, drinks and kids food, too. be prepared to spend $$ on food!
-breakfast: basic menu. not a HUGE selection but then again this isn't IHOP. they have a buffet breakfast daily in which children under 5 eat free! their eggs benedict is great! we ate outside there every time and it was nice to feel the breeze and see views of the pool.
-we had lunch and dinner at neomis too. never made reservations. the food was good.
(the children's menu is the same throughout every restaurant on site) example: mac and cheese which is the kraft kind you buy from the supermarket is $8 in the restaurants!
Gilli's Pool food:
-service is slow for the size of the place (approx 10-12 tables). the food is your basic "pool food" but do have some different options like mahi sandwich, etc. their tuna salad wrap was GREAT!! it is outdoors so without an umbrella you will sweat while trying to enjoy a meal.
-pretty much its all the food items offered in all the restaurants on site. they were prompt with the food. waited about 30 min each time. we ordered for dinner one night then breakfast another day. they come up to your room, set everything up for you and take their time making sure everything is right.
the staff: EXCELLENT! i am so surprised to read peoples negative reviews. unless the people who wrote the reviews are miserable or the hotel read these reviews and made their staff change their attitudes i am not sure what it could be!!? EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE WE ENCOUNTERED WAS SOOO SOOO NICE. i can't stress that enough. after reading the reviews, i warned my husband how nasty they are supposed to be. we were so shocked when we were proved wrong!
-trump offers a free shuttle (nice mercedes shuttle!) to some local places such as aventura mall, south beach and a couple other places.
-Piazetta restaurant in the Aqualina (which is 2 doors down) was great! Little italian feel to it. the prices were expensive as well. That hotel is beautiful but not super kid friendly from what we saw.
-Aventura mall was very nice. since it was pouring one night, we took advantage of going there. the shuttle drops you off and picks you up at the same spot. there was a restaurant in there called something "on the alley" and it was great, too BUT expensive as well.
-tony roma's SUCKED! we were disappointed with the quality of the food.
-manhattan bakery across the street makes great cuban coffees!!
-there are a couple strip malls across the street that have a supermarket, CVS, fast food places, other restaurants, etc which is convenient since you can walk there.
-we bought bottled water and snacks from the CVS. when we went to the beach we asked the wait staff for cups with ice so we can use it for the water which helped with our children!
-mixed drinks cost about $10-12 each and they seemed cheap with the alcohol in them.
Overall: the hotel was great! it is very super kid friendly (which i didn't think it would be). there were kids all over the place ranging from infant to teens! there were mainly europeans there and yes, men did wear speedos but it didn't affect us. there was no topless bathing or anything crazy of that nature. sunny isles is a beautiful area. it is part of miami but from what we learned, they like to consider themselves different from south beach. it is very quiet. i am very surprised that i had such a tropical feel without even leaving the united states! i was super impressed. the food prices, however are the downfall BUT you can easily goto the supermarket across the street and buy breakfast and even lunch foods if you wanted to. (the hotel rooms have small kitchenettes and some have full kitchens). we loved it here so much, we wanted to buy a condo!!! i recommend this hotel to families, couples, etc!!!
Room 2912 has great views bc of its corner property.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.