Stylish hotel within easy walk to all the south beach restaurants and attractions. Rooms are a good size and most have nice views based on the clever design. Direct access to the beautiful beach and walking path leading to Lummus Park and nice restaurants lining Ocean Drive. The cleaning was not the best - there was a used bandage in a corner of the shower among other lack of detail we discovered when we arrived.
I have to agree with the other complaints about the service and access to the pool area lounge chairs. Employees are often clueless about the rules, charges and policies of the hotel and there is always confusion if you are renting one of their residences through a third party agent. Also as a regular guest you just get put on a waiting list for the pool area since the owners of individual residences within the W have priority or reserved loungers. They say they will inform you but they never contacted us and we checked ourselves several times but there was no availability. We have a German cell phone and they refused to SMS us though it costs very little to do so. They sent us to the beach where they said chairs are complimentary for guests (Wow - gee thanks!) but only if you want to lay exposed and sizzle in the heat. If you want an umbrella you need to pay another $15 which is ridiculous when you are paying so much for a room. OK this kind of scam seems to be the norm in Miami hotels for beach umbrellas (or you pay a resort fee) but at most of those you at least have access to the pool and don't feel like a 2nd class citizen compared to the owner of the apartment you are renting. You only get access to the pool when the weather turns bad and then only on the wind-tunnel side. The other side of the pool lies abandoned and wind-still with nice empty loungers, but they won't let you go there just in case a resident or movie star decides to come out and lay there when it is overcast.
They also said the valet parking was $15 a night which we thought was reasonable but then there was $37.50 a night on our bill at the end of our stay, and we had to haggle with them to get it back down to $15. Apparently the $15 is only for the owners of the residences and not guests who are renting a residence or staying at the hotel, but they should have informed us upfront. Also seems silly as they have three different charges for parking and they can't seem to keep track themselves. The parking is outsourced to a different company, so the hotel itself doesn't really help you and you have to negotiate directly with the manager of this company.
The staff are mostly kind of arrogant or aloof, as if they are very disappointed that you are not a celebrity. When we left they asked if we need help with the bags and we said no since we just had one rolling suitcase each, but then no one even opened the heavy lobby doors for us on our way out, as if to get us back for not asking for help!
Opposite to that was at the Dutch Restaurant, which had outstanding quality food at reasonable prices, but there the staff was almost over-attentive and about 20 people came up to us to ask if we have been helped, if we have ordered, if we are enjoying our meal, etc. And they were always hovering around just waiting to sweep up your plate the minute you put down your knife and fork. It was a little stressful. They also have the strategy of most restaurants in South Beach where they try to give you the worst table first, even though better tables are available, just hoping you will go for it. They all seem to want to save the better tables for the "better" guests. Still, despite the over-attentiveness they were friendly and professional otherwise.
Despite our complaints, if you can afford it or if you can get a good deal through a third party agent on a residence, then it has many benefits, such as that it is still fairly new, has a great location and fun bar for people watching and the Dutch really has fantastic quality food. You just have to be prepared to not be able to lounge by the pool, which is a shame because it is a beautiful area. And you have to be prepared for being treated like a poor relation. :(
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At The W South Beach, wake up to spectacular sunrises over the Atlantic or wind down to scenic sunsets in 395 rooms and bungalows featuring the best of resort living. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- w South Beach Hotel Miami Beach
- w Hotels Miami Beach
- w Hotel Miami Beach