We stayed here for Halloween weekend in 2012. It was still considered a soft open at the time but considering they were doing the official opening in just a few weeks, it was disappointing.
First of all, the hotel itself is gorgeous. Just beautiful. Feast for the eyes. I do understand what one reviewer mentioned about there not being a flow of design in the lobby. They were right. But it is still beautiful non the less. This is the definition of modern design. Wonderful. The beds and the bedding in the room is amazing. Oversized tall beds that you never want to leave. Try your best to get a room with ocean views. The windows make it look like a picture frame. Amazing. Especially sunrise. Bathrooms are with with pink acrylic details. I cant imagine any female not being in love with these rooms. Even the mini bar is set up lovely! BUT, as soon as you get in, ask them to take the mini bar out, this way you have a little closet and a free fridge. (They made this suggestion to us as soon as we walked into the room, so take advantage, they staff understands there is limited space and is accommodating). By the way, the staff that does the housekeeping, the maintenance, even the girl that checks the minibar, are exceptional. Every interaction was great. The maintenance guys, from guy fixing the iPod connection (it sucks, and he admitted this, which I appreciate as a computer geek, he also said they need to change them, so hopefully by the time you read this review they will fix this), to the guy trying to explain to us the 15 settings on the central air were beyond helpful. To the housekeeping and the room service (you need to call room service often for thins like coffee or tea and they right to your request and send whatever you need to the room with in minutes). It is odd to even notice "the little people" but in this hotel they were the highlight of the stay. So, thank you.
Now for the service outside the rooms.... oy. Let's start with the amazing basic things like a doorman when there massive, super heavy doors that need to be pulled to open to enter the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel it was early, so we thought maybe the person assigned to open doors was running around elsewhere. Later we realized that there is definitely no one assigned to do this simple, most basic service. Mind you I'm not a princess, but I do expect this at a 5 star hotel. I am also no light weight and I tell you, this is a necessity, those doors are incredibly heavy and at night there is always wind to add to the inconvenience along with drizzle. I just cant get over this.
There are 2 small pools. One is hotel only, and it has sunlight only during the morning hours. Taking this into consideration, they let you lounge at Hyde beach pool with out an issue as a hotel guest. The atmosphere there is so lovely, you never want to leave. On another level of relaxation. BUT, if you want a drink or the waitress, good luck. Give it about hour and a half from moment you crave one. It will take you about half hour to notice a waitress, she wont notice you, dont worry. And after you order your drink give it about 45 minutes to receive it. I am not exaggerating. There is a bar right when you enter the pool area and another one right under the shade between the 2 pools. I dont know where they go to pick up the drinks, but it must be down on Lincoln Road. And they're not understaffed either, that's the sad thing. They have guys walking around the pool in different tshirts (so I'm sure they have different duties) that work hard to attend to the pool guests,being super friendly, cleaning up anything ASAP, and finding out what the guests need, but most of the time, if it's a special drink or a food order, they have to find a waitress. I feel bad because you can tell these guys are actually really trying to make sure everyone is have a pleasant time, but they don't have the power to provide what we need. By the way, our first day at the pool, the girl directing people where to sit, was super helpful and sweet. She set us up on the chairs and left. The cocktail waitress comes up, I thought she would ask what we would like to order, but no, assumes we are not hotel guests and goes on to tell us something about prices of chairs or where to sit. Trying to stay cool we tell her we are indeed hotel guests so she goes to speak with the girl that sat us down. After (i guess) having proof, she presented us with what I suppose is her friendly demeanor. Not a bright girl, hopefully her 1st time working in the service industry and she will learn after this. Won't base my opinion of entire staff on one person, but do keep in mind they do employ these types here. Again, that's not luxury staff level, sorry.
The drinks at Hyde are indeed really exciting and fun. Food options are a mix from Katsuya and Bazaar, so you can try best of both worlds in one place. Amazing. We had few rolls and a cobb salad. Codd salad a bit too fatty by the end, but some might like that. Rolls are wonderful, even the naruto roll with no rice. Prob best naruto roll I have ever tried. The waitresses that work the pool are all very pretty but super different. Very very different body types, looks, most yes brunette but still, it's rare to see this variety, usually they go for one "type". I think it's pretty cool.
Try to sit on the chairs towards the beach entrance if you want sunshine.
Also note that hotel room's windows do not open. So, if you are a bit claustrophobic at times like I am, it might be a problem. I woke up with a panic attack the 1st night. Found out that only 3rd floor rooms (with balconies) had real airflow. Unfortunately, they and were booked for at least part of our stay so we couldnt move. Before cancelling the trip or moving to another hotel, we realized that if you sleep on the bed towards the window, you do get airflow. It's like night and day. So if this is an issue for you, make sure you sleep on the bed towards the window or do not stay at the hotel. It is NOT a good feeling.
There is a hotel car, good luck with that one. I'm not sure who's joy riding in it most of the time, but even requesting it in advance doesnt work most of the time. Hopefully you'll enjoy it once or twice if you are persistent.
Front desk (upon entry to the left) has free delicious coffee in the early morning. They also free apples on the counter mid week. Very cute.
Girls, keep in mind it is very dark in the bathroom to do makeup. The room has a full length mirror.
Gym has a few tredmills, some free weights, yoga blocks and a full bathroom with shower and awesome towels.
Breakfast looked poor, glad we didn't include it with the room.
Great location, half block from Lincoln road.
To sum it up, it feels like you are part of someone's economics/hospitality class final project. They read the textbooks through out the semester then were given a 5 start hotel to run for a few weeks. C+ ! You pass!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Your luxury hotel in South Beach, where you can call on close friends,Philippe Starck, Chef José Andrés and Lenny Kravitz for a beachfront getaway like no other. Tuck away in our Miami boutique hotel, score the hottest reservations in Miami or play it coy at Hyde Beach, no matter your destination at SLS Hotel South Beach, you can always count on welcoming service, redefined luxury, and undeniable style. At SLS, you don't need to go to South Beach. South Beach has come to you. ... more less
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