My first stay at the Mandarin was a nice one. It is one of the premier hotels in South Beach and has an amazing view of the Bay, not beach. So if you like hanging on the beach and walking 2 minutes to your room, do yourself a favor and move on.
The hotel is located in a very nice community in South Beach, but the only places to go within a 5 minute walk is Whole foods and a CVS. All the action is on the other side of South Beach about a 25 minute walk from the hotel. Cabs are a necessity when staying here. So if you want the convenience of walking to the beach, Lincoln Road restaurants and shops, Ocean Drive, stay at other comparable hotels that Morgans Hotel Group has to offer: Delano or Shore Club.
Service was excellent at the spa! Can't say that about the dining area outside of the pool. The poolside service was great, ask for Ashley!
Ask for a bay view room, a little extra, but well worth it!
I'll be back when I want to be a little out of the madness of South Beach.