Traveling to Miami on business for a couple days - this place had the most reasonable prices for the area (it's about a 20-40 minute drive downtown, depending on traffic and if you're going all the way to South Beach) and looked pretty nice. Easy to find, plenty of parking.
I walked in and instantly felt like I was in a swanky restaurant - I don't know if that's a good thing, but it's definitely different. No traditional hotel vibe here. Very modern - the front desk is small and round, and instead of a concierge they have two ipads set up (also connected to printers for those who need them - a nice touch). Check-in process was easy and fast, and everyone was very friendly, and I headed up to my room on the fourth floor.
The rooms are nice! Again, pretty modern and sparse, but they have everything you really need. 1 person in a king size bed with a gigantic wall-mounted TV? Yes please! The bed was sooooooo comfortable. Notes about the room:
-It could use a little more counter space and/or some hooks on the wall (there was a huge wall next to the bed that was totally underutilized). The room had a small desk, a fabric bench (a nice touch), and a counter on the other end, under which was the A/C unit. There was a closet and I suppose some shelves around the corner in the bath area, but it's not terribly convenient to use. Overall it was fine, just something I noticed.
-Speaking of the A/C unit, you can't do anything with it. All the buttons are there, but none of them work, including the power. This was pretty annoying, as it was somewhat warm during the day, and as far as I could tell it pretty much shut itself off at night, meaning a very sweaty morning for those who like to sleep with covers. I suppose I could have said something to someone at the front desk about it and I bet they would have helped me, but it's pretty annoying to have to do that in the first place.
-The bath area is nice, but small. I had a worrisome moment when I first turned on the shower and I couldn't figure out which side of the handle was hot vs. cold, especially because both sides produced relatively cold water for a good 5 minutes. Luckily that was the only issue of that kind during my stay, but it would be nice if the handle indicated it. Also, ladies with long hair, the water pressure is pretty bad, so be prepared to add a good 5 minutes to your typical shower time. They provide liquid body soap and a dual shampoo/conditioner, as well as a small bar soap by the sink and a little body lotion. One annoying element, the shower door is very heavy and multiple times it slammed shut scaring the s**t out of me. I'm used to those style of doors swinging in and out, so I never really got used to it. Probably not something they're going to change, but something to note.
-The TV is really nice and has tons of channels as well as a guide menu. It also has a nice concierge menu that tells you about the hotel. I think someone on tripadvisor mentioned being frustrated that there was no book with information in the room, but this essentially takes it's place.
Other hotel elements:
-The free wi-fi is nice, but it would be nicer if it planted a cookie on your computer so everytime you closed it and opened it more than 5 minutes later you didn't have to log into the internet again.
-The gym is awesome. Would be awesomer if they had bottled water in there as they do in the rooms, but it's a small complaint. I used it all three days I stayed and it was a major perk.
-The pool area is equally awesome. Plentiful sun from about 9:30am-5:30pm (assuming it's not cloudy), and tons of seating/laying options. I particularly love the two gigantic cabanas which provided much needed shade at times. It's very peaceful, beautiful, and the water is the perfect temperature. I suppose some might not love that it's right next to a closed off construction site, but I think the hotel is building a shopping area there (maybe?) so hopefully it won't be like that for long.
-I really didn't love the very loud piped in music at the pool area. What if I don't want to listen to pop music? At the very least, they could turn it down. At best, they could play instrumental music to make it more neutral.
-I came back on Thursday night around 11:30pm and the lobby had essentially turned into a night club. LOUD club music with lots of people having fun (or so it seemed). A little awkward for a hotel lobby, but probably a great feature for those who want it (and pretty much in keeping with the Miami night-life style).
-They have a snack/food area that's open 24/7. I can't say the small bug flying around in the pastry case stopped me from grabbing an empanada when I was starving, and it's a nice perk. The only downside is I could never figure out how to properly pay for the food. I saw some people come up and get food/a drink and just walk away, but I felt like that was probably akin to stealing so I couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead, all 3 times I took something, I stood by the hotel desk for 3-5 minutes waiting for the person who was always on the phone to notice me, and I told her my room # which she jotted down. Maybe they could figure out a better system? It was awkward.
Overall for the rate I got ($143/night) I would definitely recommend this place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Aloft Doral hotel makes travel fresh and fun, with bold modern design, bright social spaces and a spirit of adventure - perfect for travelers who want unique experiences. Aloft has a variety of features like grab & go gourmet, a thriving bar scene, free WiFi and a cool concierge - each ideal for today's active lifestyle. At Aloft, energy flows and personalities mingle in free-flowing, no-walls/no-limits space. ... more less
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