I recently stayed at this hotel, the price is steep, but so is everything in South Beach.
All of the rooms have been recently remodeled so everything is new and clean. There are stairs leading up to the hotel, so keep that in mind if you have mobility issues, there is an elevator for use, but it is not obvious.
The staff is very friendly overall and work hard with what they have to work with.
The highlights of the hotel, nice rooms, nice beach area with direct access, good views from most rooms. Keep in mind that there is a distinction between "ocean view" and "ocean front" "ocean view" means you may see a glimpse of the ocean if you go to the extreme edge of your balcony and look between the two buildings. Ocean Front means you get full view of the ocean, no gymnastics needed to see it.
The room, to me was efficient, clean and airy but it felt more like a business hotel vs a "contemporary retreat" It seems they are trying to meet the needs of both types of visitors. The decor was very cool and I liked the gray and white theme in the room. I didn't like the long desk against the wall-this is where I guess they are tying to meet the needs for both types of visitors.
The location for me was perfect, away from the noise past 5th st, but still close enough if I wanted to go there. It's surrounded by some of the better restaurants in the area and close to a very nice park by the water, where you can watch the cruise ships come and go, which I wish I had discovered sooner while I was there.
The concierge was very helpful with suggestions and was extremely friendly and thoughtful. He also followed up to make sure that we had a good time with his suggestions.
Free mojitos at 4pm on most days and flavored water in the lobby and by the pool most of the time.
The views from the pool and bar area were fantastic.
Their spot on the beach was also ideal-no complaints there. It was actually cleaner than further down the beach and quieter.
extra charge for a room with two beds vs a king bed. In most of my travels, I usually want a room with one bed, but I end up getting stuck with the double beds room because every one wants the king sized beds. This was the first time I encountered an extra charge for two single beds. I guess that's to make some money off of the spring break crowds. At the price that they charge I find this ridiculous. The lowest available at one point during my stay, when I checked to see how my rate compared to a last minute booking, was $569 for one room, I can imagine someone feeling squeezed when being asked for an additional amount for a room with two beds.
Internet charge is $14.95, yes you can go down to the lobby and use the slow, free wi-fi. But given that this is 2014, such a steep charge for internet service should be a thing of the past. It's probably a way to make money off of the business travelers with expense accounts.
The sitting area for the lobby is on another level than the check-in area, so few people really used it. That's part of the boutique feel, you have to make do with the space.
Room for improvement:
Charge for beach chairs and umbrellas on the beach, which is managed by a contracted company and it seems that beach chair rentals aren't just for guests of the hotel. So get there early.
Those guys setting up the chairs worked really hard to make sure that guests got what they needed, but it was somewhat chaotic with a few misunderstandings. But they remembered me and greeted me by name each day. They also kept their cool under intense heat, both the sun and cranky guests and locals.
Food service on the beach is slow, first day I was able to order one drink for the 6 hours I spent on the beach. The second one, I walked up to the bar in the hotel because I was tired of waiting. There was still a wait at the bar, because there's only one bartender for the pool, beach, and restaurant. Second day, I raised my flag, asked the beach guys to send the food guys, that took about 3 hours. One food guy showed up without a menu, said he'd be right back and never returned. So we had to wait, to flag down another person. At one point, during this wait I walked to Starbucks and Big Pink to search for alternatives. We were offered free water or lemonade for the wait, but didn't receive that either.
But they did check in on us often after that and were very friendly. Part of the problem is that the restaurant is understaffed. Marriott hire more people, they need the jobs.
It seems like poolside received better service. The flag system-no real system. Didn't work. They are set up randomly, the umbrellas make them hard to see, so the food guys still need to walk around and figure out who ordered what and where they are sitting. Take the time at set up the flags in some type of order in the morning. Use a seating chart, pin it up in the shed.
The drinks were watered down and not worth the $19 each including the 18% service fee. The food needs improvement. $18 for a mahi mahi sandwich which is a chunk of fish between a toasted bun, a piece of tomato and a piece of lettuce and some mayo packets . We asked for fruit instead of fries-guess what-we received fries. But after waiting so long for the food, we were just happy to get anything.
Their restaurant needs to be competitive with the surrounding hotel restaurants.
Plus the poolside received free bottled water, but not those on the beach? I didn't know if that was an option or if what I saw was for a Marriott member with elite status.
According to the front desk staff, beach chairs are available at 9 am. So when you head out to the beach at 9am and the beach staff tells you that they don't start until 9:30 am, you end up causing unnecessary confusion between the guests and the beach staff.
The balcony chairs are uncomfortable, can't really relax in them.
So, I liked the hotel more or less and I'm content with this choice for the quick getaway. It is one of the better options in South Beach.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott South Beach Hotel Miami Beach
- Marriott Miami Beach
- Miami Beach Marriott
- Marriott Hotel South Beach
- South Beach Marriott