We did not stay at the hotel, but saw the spa advertised in Miami & Ocean Drive magazines, and it looked heavenly.
Looks can be decieving.
A thunderstorm ruined our Sunday brunch plans, so we went to Tempo about 90 minutes before our scheduled spa treatments to have lunch at their restaurant.
Very disappointing. From its location on the 3rd floor, the view is of the on-ramp to the McArthur Causeway and a vacant lot surrounded by a chain link fence. The rooms may have a good view, but the restaurant view is unappetizing at best.
Tempo is trying to be urban chic, and the furniture looks it, but in a West Elm qualilty way. Everything looked cheap, though there were only a dozen tables in the restaurant, and of them we were only the 3rd table in use.
only one server needed to handle that crowd, but I guess it was too much to have the crumbs cleaned off our table before being seated.
The menu was minimalistic. Was hard to find anything to order. What we did find was tasty, though the portions small. At least the price reflected the volume of food. But it was an unsatisfying meal since the limited offering provided nothing of an appetizer I found appealing.
So lunch took less ttime than expected, so we thought we would head up to the spa, maybe sit in the steam room or lounge in their relaxation area and get in the mood for a relaxing massage.
Mistake #2. Got off the elevator at the "spa floor" and found ourselves in a landing with a plain wood wall in front of us. To the left, there was a "fire door" with an EXIT sign illuminated and to the right was a door with a sign that said "Spa Treatment Room" Not wanting to exit, we went through the door marked "spa treatment room" and sure enough, found ourselves standing in a spacious room with two massage tables. Good thing a service was not going on! No sign would have dissuaded our entry, and you can't lock the door from the inside (fire code violation) so I don't know how often lost guests barge in on a massage, but it seemed pretty bush league.
With no sign in the elevator landing to guide us, I convinced my wife to explore what lay beyond the EXIT door. Looked like a service hallway, with several doors marked with Engineering and HVAC signs. Rather warm too. Finally, at the end of the first stretch of hallway was a sign indicating the Tempo Spa was down the hall to the right.
Past more hot, clanging doors -- saw a thermostat registering in the high 70s at this point, and finally we came to a door with a sign indicating the spa was just beyond. Open the door to find a luxurious lobby/landing for the elevators of the RESIDENTS ONLY access to the building. Seems like spa guests/hotel guests were an afterthought to this operation.
Finally found our way to the spa reception where we were greeted by two young ladies behind the desk. They greeted us and handed us clipboards with the obligatory paperwork to complete, while we sat in the only two chairs in the reception area. I never liked this aspect of a spa -- get me out of the view of the public and start getting me relaxed. If I wanted to sit in a public lobby filling out forms, I would go to a doctor.
We were escorted to the lockerooms to change, but I was informed the steam room was out of order. So much for my plan to kill the 20 minutes before my treatment
So maybe dozing in the relaxation lounge with my wife would be the way to pass the time. Except the "relaxation" areas at this spa are separate. I was shown 3 straight back chairs in a small alcove across from a TV. Really, a TV is considered relaxing? No refreshments, no chaise loungers, just a couple of chairs, Sports Illustrated and the Ocean Drive magazine I was cursing because it was Tempo's ad in that publication that led us to this disappointing outing.
After a few minutes, one of the attendancts comes in and says my wife would like me to join her in the Couples Suite -- the "spa treatment room" we barged in on initially. So off I go, down the long hot hallways, back to the start of this journey and find my wife waiting for me in the couples room, SITTING ON THE EDGE OF THE SOAKING TUB!
There was no where to sit in this lavish room -- though there was plenty of space for furniture. There was a balcony with chaises, but it had been storming all day.
Her "relaxation area" experience was a dreadful, more straight back chairs, no refreshments and view of the nail salon stations. Thank good ness no one was getting their nails done -- little more annoying when you are trying to relax than to hear nail salon chatter and smell the aroma of polish remover and polishes. She asked to be taken elsewhere, and a seat on the tub was what they had to offer!
We just looked at each other, flabbergasted. We had specifically asked that our massages take place in separate tretament rooms -- we never bought the whole "romantic" notion of getting massages together. Was never high on her romance meter to hear me snore when I inevitably passout during a massage.
We were so disappointed, even disgusted, we trudged back down the hallways of heat to tell them we had such an unpleasant start to our spa experience, that we were leaving.
No apologies, no "what can we do to make it right", jsut more smiles and off we went.
But the puzzling part was now there were two different girls at the reception. When we set up our massages 24 hours prior, we were told the EARLIEST they could accomodate two massages at the same time was our 2pm sessions.
Even worse, after yet another journey through the hot hallways to depart, the elevator doors open and a young woman in white emerges chatting on her cellphone "What do you mean they cancelled and walked out!?!?!? I can't believe some people"
Guess no one ever taught her the Hospitality Rule of "You never know who that person next to you might be, so speak accordingly"
Naturally, two days later I get a charge on my AX for the services we did not want.
The hotel might be nice -- wouldn't know, and at this point don't want to find out. But avoid the spa and restaurant. Better yet, keep going down Biscayne till you get to EPIC. That place has views, service and fine amenities.
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