I booked our recent stay at the Doral Resort and Spa two months ago, after a lengthy research process and conversation with the hotel. We were informed about all of the construction, about the main pool not being open, had read all of the recent bad reviews on TripAdvisor, knew about the unreasonable $18 self-parking charge, and $20 resort fee.
Despite all of this we had one reason for staying at this hotel. We were told that we could take a shuttle and use all of the amenities at the Trump International Hotel on Sunny Isles. The construction wasn't much of a concern to us as we anticipated spending most of our time on Sunny Isles.
When we first got to the resort we drove (because you couldn't walk since the walking path was under construction) around the property, and it really is in as bad of shape as people mention. The Spa building however, is quite lovely, but the Spa pool (the only open pool) while looks nice at first glance, was really quite run down and dirty, so much so that I didn't want to go in.
When we checked-in the first thing we mentioned was that we wanted to take the shuttle to Sunny Isles. This seemed fine. We got a pass written out for access and signed up to take the shuttle the next morning. They also granted our room request for an upgraded room in Lodge 4 as it is right next to the main building and not too far from the self-park lot. I was excepting the rooms to be upgraded as shown on the website, but it seems they were in a stage somewhere in between the old rooms and the final product, but were definitely satisfactory. Note: the Internet failed to ever work, and Verizon cell service was awful.
The next day, we went to the main lobby to take the shuttle. The shuttle turned out to be an escalade which was nice, but that's where our delight ended. About a half hour into our trip it came to light that we were not actually going to Sunny Isles but Hollywood Beach as the Trump Resort was not taking guests for the holiday week. This was shocking to us. We had spoken to the hotel at length at the time of booking and even checked about it being a holiday week, we had spoken to the staff the night before at check in, and we had no indication of the change when boarding the shuttle. We were given the option to go back to the hotel at this point, but at 30 minutes+ each way that would have cut into our day immensely and we had no contingency plan.
Our driver Elmo, who also turned out to be the front desk manager, was kind enough to call Sunny Isles to get us in, however they would not permit it. After a lot of frustration he said he would work on getting us to stay at Sunny Isles since the point of our trip was to be near the beach. He proceeded to leave us at the beach to try and enjoy while he went back to work on it. We did our best to enjoy, but with no chairs, no umbrella, and no bathroom (I didn't go in my suit figuring I would have a place to change), plus spending much of our time trying to figure out a solution so we could enjoy the rest of our limited vacation we didn't have a great time.
When Elmo picked us up he explained he was still working on the situation, trying to figure out if he could get the rate down for the 4th of July. We were still pretty furious at this point, after feeling like we were hijacked without any communication as to a change of plans, but were thankful for his efforts.
When we got back to the hotel Elmo stayed in touch with us keeping us updated on his progress. To our surprise, while waiting in the lobby we saw Trump himself walk through, so for those of you who mentioned he should come see the place, I can assure you he has.
Ultimately, they couldn't get in touch with the other hotel and were kind enough to not waste more of our time and refund our stay. Now I have read A LOT of bad reviews of this place, but a) in terms of the construction you really need to research what you are getting yourself into ahead of time and b) you need to book through the hotel, not Priceline, etc. If fees weren't communicated to you through Priceline that is not their fault and they can't refund you for that.
Overall the place is in bad bad shape, yes, but that is why it costs $100-$150 to stay a night at a hotel that still has five-star staff. We really appreciated how we were treated throughout the whole experience, we just wish they would have done a better job communicating the facts to their guests ahead of time and that there wouldn't have been so much miscommunication.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Retreat to a tranquil Florida spa and golf resort designed to offer peaceful rest and relaxation in a tropical atmosphere. Situated on 650 lush acres, the world-renowned Trump National Doral Miami provides guests with premier Miami resort amenities and golf course views. A NEW ADDITION. Trump Hotel CollectionTM has recently added Miami's iconic Doral Resort to its portfolio with plans for a spectacular multimillion-dollar redesign to restore Trump Doral to its former grandeur. Trump Doral boasts 693 guestrooms across 10 lodges; world-class golf courses including the Blue Monster; 100,000-sq.-ft. of meeting space including a 24,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; a sprawling 48,000-sq.-ft. spa with 33 treatment rooms; highly regarded golf school and teaching facilities; retail boutiques and a private members' clubhouse. "When completed, Doral will be the finest resort and golf club in the country." Donald J. Trump, Trump Organization chairman and president.The comprehensive redesign of the entire resort begun in 2013, occurring in phases, and is slated to conclude in late 2014. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Doral Golf Resort And Spa, a Marriott Hotel Doral
- Marriott Doral
- Doral Golf Resort Spa