I just spent a night at the Mandarin Oriental - Miami this past weekend as an escape from South Beach where I live, and also to celebrate a birthday. From start to finish the experience was dreamy. I had read that service could be iffy, that the pool was small and cramped, and that the bill might include extra charges. The pool was area was small and cramped (but the pool itself was empty), but the service was fantastic and the bill was correct.
When we checked in we did not wait at all, and the very friendly man at the front desk (Raul) brought us up to our room, which had been upgraded to a junior suite with a huge balcony and a great bathroom. It's true that the bathroom (tub, sink, shower) are open to the bedroom with a screen that can be lowered, but the toilet is separate and has a door. We liked the unique design feature because it made the room feel even bigger (but then again, we got up at the same time as each other). The TV was old and had no movies (but we weren't there for that, so we did not mind.) Five minutes after we entered our room, just as we were cracking open some champagne, room service brought up a delicious birthday cake as a surprise! (There was also a box of chocolates, which I presume is always there.) Turn down service that night left us bottles of designer water as well.
That night we ate at Azul, and the great service continued. (Another birthday surprise after dinner too!) The 2 sommeliers were attentive and helpful. The food was delicious - I particularly recommend the rainbow of oysters appetizer if it's still on the menu, ditto the salmon tartare and the surf and turf. The scotch selection was impressive. The scotch was brought along with a cup of ice each, so we could control how much ice we wanted - nice touch. The cheese selection, on the other hand, was weak. There were only 5 options, and 1 was out. Still, overall a fun, delicious experience.
The next morning we ate at Cafe Sambal. The food was good, but exactly the same prices as room service - in other words, overpriced. It was a bit chilly in the morning and the maitre d' noticed I was cold and offered to bring me a wrap - another nice touch. The individual syrup was also warmed up - again, nice touch. The buffet did not look particularly appealing, so we ordered from the menu and were happy with what we received.
We spent the day at the beach, enjoying the raised beds and hammocks. The attendants were great - not intrusive, but they did bring us water frequently. At the pool (where we went to each lunch and to swim a bit) the attendants provided ipods, magazines, water, mango sorbet, etc. For lunch we ate sushi which we found generally to be overpriced and not particularly appealing.
After the beach we took advantage of the spa by booking a couple's suite for a few hours. As spa waiting areas go, I expected a bit more, but it was relaxing. There are two showers, which separate the sauna from the steam room. No jacuzzi. I would have preferred to have showers near the lockers & vanities. The 2 toilets were also separate from the lockers & the showers. The relaxation area itself was pleasant, although there was a guest snapping pictures, and talking on the phone! Anyway, the couple's suite massage treatments were delightful. We started out with rose petal foot treatments, while we watched dolphins dancing in the bay below. Next we chose to have sea salt exfoliation scrubs, then massages (aromatherapy & hot stone & swedish for me, deep tissue for him), then clay scalp massages. In between the salt exfoliation and the massages, the massage therapists exited the room so that we could shower (in the suite) and return clean to our massage tables. An absolute delight.
Overall, despite the hefty price, I heartily recommend the hotel for spa, dinner at Azul, romantic getaway or just rejuvenation in general.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Contemporary in design and with a prominent waterfront location, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, Miami features 326 elegant guest rooms and suites - offering dramatic views of the bay and the Miami skyline. Amenities include signature restaurants Azul and La Mar by Gaston Acurio, MO Bar + Lounge - a dynamic cocktail lounge, an award-winning tri-level spa, Oasis Beach Club, the luxury boutique Shanghai Tang and extensive meeting and business facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandarin Oriental, Miami Hotel Miami
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel Miami
- Mandarin Miami
- Miami Mandarin Oriental