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Essex House
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All reviewssister hotelocean driveclevelander hotelin south beachhappy hourart decoking suitesmall poolsushi restaurantcontinental breakfastyogurtlocation is greatbeach towelscollins avebars and restaurantsfree drinksvalet parking
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A TripAdvisor Member
uk
12
Reviewed May 28, 2005

We stayed in the Essex House between Christmas and the New Year 2004. I feel I have to write this giventhe many different interpretations I have since read about this hotel.

We flew into Orlando and had to drive down on Christmas night, it got late, so we called the hotel to tell them we wouldn't arrive to the next day, at this point we were told our booking was cancelled, we'd been moved to the Betsy Ross on Ocean Drive, we carried on driving until we reach there, it was stuck in a really run down area but we had no choice but to stay there overnight. The following day after much toing and froing, we found out that although we'd been told we were moved because the hotel was full they in fact had rooms, and our booking had been cancelled by someone who didn't even work in the hotel. We were also told that it was probably to do with the time of the year, the hotel could make more money inflating prices for those trying to get a room of the street for new year rather than the fixed rate we paid. We diid manage however to get into the Essex House, not that it was that great. The rooms are old and tired, stained carpets etc. Brochure and internet pics are definitely misleading. The walls are paper thin. We had to endure the constant rap music from our neighbour for the whole week and when we chose to watch the same tv programme we could turn the volume off on our tv and could still hear clearly the the vocals of the actors from our neighbours tv. Yes the hotel is centrally located but thats about it's only redeeming feature

  • Stayed: December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
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2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2005

Excellent position for the price, close to the restaurants and bars. Reasonably quiet with a excellent and varied breakfast. However, our room was directly above the foyer and the floor vibrated (presumably from the air conditioning unit below) That meant the bed vibrated (which sounds cool) but just kept us awake. I complained to the hotel but just received the usual 'no one else has ever complained, the hotel is full' routine and left to get on with it. The room was large enough for us to move the bed each night but obviously this was a hassle. Also the bedroom (and the stairs) were not vacuumed in the 3 nights we were there. Before going to Miami I was torn between the Essex House and Winterhaven but a local taxi driver told us the Winterhaven was a much nicer hotel. Everything else about the hotel was good and as we got the room for approx $85 per night I still think we had a bargain.

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
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4  Thank Ann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Potomac, MD
18
Reviewed May 9, 2005

I researched the hotels of South Beach to find that Essex House is one of the best values. I would definitely stay here again!!!

ROOMS
Anyone who has ever stayed at a "boutique" hotel (a hotel not owned by a chain) in SoBe knows that they all have small rooms. When they were built, in the Art Deco era, rooms in general, were smaller than they are today. Besides, no one really stays in their room in South Beach!

The pictures of the rooms on the hotel's website are a little old. The rooms have aged a little, but it's still very charming! The room was clean, but not spotless. The walls are thin, and music plays in the halls during the day.

You can have either smoking or non-smoking rooms, 2 doubles or a king size bed, and it comes with a mini fridge (not always fully stocked, but plenty of room for your own goodies), cable tv, ironing board, walk-in closet. Don't eat the snacks in the basket, they are very expensive ($4 for a pack of M&Ms) and there is a convenience store one block away on Collins and 11th.

LOCATION
This hotel has THE BEST location in South Beach (believe me, I did the research)! It is right in the middle of everything...shopping, nightlife, beach. It is located on Collins Avenue, a short block from Ocean Avenue. (Many people think booking a hotel on Ocean Avenue is the best because it's closer to the beach but they are wrong. Ocean Ave hotels don't really have a view of the ocean...the beach is thick and has trees before you actually get to the water. You still have a little walk. Plus, it gets VERY loud from the music the bars and clubs play, and the crowds.) Collins is the quieter side, and you don't have to fight through crowds to get in your hotel. It is located right behind the Clevelander hotel and bar, and lots of shops, restaurants on both Collins and Ocean.

PERKS
This is one of the few SoBe hotels with a pool. It's a small pool, but it's nice to lounge in. It's 4 feet deep and I'd say about 10 feet square. Sometimes you just don't want to go in the ocean!

Free continental breakfast! I thought it was just going to be a dinky selection, but there were a selection of donuts (chocolate glazed...mmmmm), pasteries, muffins, cereals, bread, bananas, coffee, milk, apple juice, orange juice, water.

Free Happy Hour! From 6 to 7 pm, you get free wine.

Free Clubs! Be friendly to the conceirge (sometimes he plays bell-hop) and he will put you on the VIP guest list at some of the hottest clubs in South Beach. We were there for a bachelorette, and he said he could arrange for a limo to pick us up and drop us off at some of the clubs like Mansion or Opium Garden...all for free, no cover charge. Those are popular clubs.

Free Newspaper delivered to your door each morning. Free beach towels at the desk.

Some South Beach hotels offer free shuttle to and from the airport, but unfortunately this didn't offer it. However, there is a "trolley" (it's more of a little bus) stop one block from the hotel, where for $0.25 you can go up and down Collins (it will take you to Lincoln Rd., which is 7 blocks away, where there is a lovely outdoor mall with LOTS of great restaurants with tables outside).

PRICE
Well, I did my homework and actually got the best deal calling the hotel directly. It was $119 a night (I booked in late March for my early May stay). With taxes, it ended up being $135. But when I was shopping, this was the best price with the best perks in the area!

DEMOGRAPHIC
Most occupants are young people stay at the Essex House Hotel, but I did see older couples who looked like they were enjoying their stay.

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2005

Stayed here for 3 nights at the end of April. I was pleasantly surprised as I had got a really cheap deal but the room was great - comfortable and very clean, even bottles of water were provided. Excellent location very close to Ocean Drive although quite a long walk to the Lincoln Road area. The only reason I didn't enjoy my stay was the hip hop concert in town drawing crowds of youngsters who lined Collins Ave at night, making it nearly impossible to get along the street. Apart from that, would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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1  Thank linda789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2005

We booked this hotel along with a flight through British Airways holidays. I was a little nervous about the hotel as I had seen mixed reviews on this site, and we paid such a low price! However, my worries were over when we arrived. This hotel is great. The room was clean and comfortable. The lobby and communal areas are spotless and even feature on walking tours of miami's famous historic Art Deco district! You are one block from the beach and literally a few steps away from Ocean Drive. This really is a fantastic location if you are on vacation in Miami.

The hotel pool is very small but it's heated to jacuzzi temperature so you can treat it as a hot tub rather than something you'd swim in. It's nice for a dip if you don't fancy going to the beach, and has a few very comfortable sunbeds.

The reports of free drinks are true. They didn't tell us about this when we checked in, but we went to the bar one afternoon I think around 5:30 and house wine was free - so get stuck in! The complimentary breakfast is not amazing - and if you are watching your weight you'll have to fight to get the healthy cereals as they are always snapped up quickly. Other than that it's great and offers criossants, doughnuts, muffins, pastries, juice, tea and coffee.

Overall, the hotel is by no means the most luxurious place in town, but it is clean, comfortable, conveniently located and outstanding value! I will definately consider staying here again if I visit Miami again.

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank JonnyBLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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