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“Best Kept Secret in Town”
Review of Sense Beach House

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Sense Beach House
Ranked #69 of 208 Hotels in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
79 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Best Kept Secret in Town”
Reviewed March 11, 2011

This little boutique hotel (18 rooms) is a real gem. My wife and I were in South Beach for a romantic vacation. Our room was comfortable and clean, with a foam, King size mattress. We had a small veranda which fronted right on Ocean Boulevard. The staff were helpful, polite, and discreet. The location was superb for our purposes. We were tucked at the corner of Fourth Street and Ocean Boulevard, only one block from the hustle and bustle of Ocean Boulevard that begins at Fifth Street, but quiet on our block (even though it was the beginning of Spring Break). The hotel is one half block from the beach and close to a number of good restaurants. Alex the Chief Concierge is a treasure. He knows -- and loves -- Miami Beach inside and out, and seemingly has seen, eaten, drank, and known all there is to offer there. He can give you a tantalizing list of options for bars, clubs, restaurants, beaches, activities, and just about everything else. We will certainly be back!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Goodney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2011

South Beach is an expensive place to stay, so when we were looking for a hotel that had everything we wanted: decent location (without being in the middle of tourist hell), comfortable rooms, pool etc. the Sense hotel was the only one that offered all this at a price south of $300 per night. And to top it all it was voted one of the 'trendiest' hotels on Tripadvisor, a fact which is thoroughly rammed down your throat within the hotel itself.

And this is really the issue - it seems the Sense hotel has been resting on it's 'trendy' laurels ever since this award was dished out. In fact, I'm not absolutely sure the hotel has even been properly cleaned since then...

The pool area was very run down - the floor was dirty (throughout the 3 days we stayed) and there were hastily taped-off sections, which were effectively open holes in the floor around the pool itself (not safe for children.) There were empty beer bottles and food wrappers on the walls and tables too, like the staff had hosted a roof party and hadn't come to work since! The pool itself was nice, warm water and in the sun all day - but we didn't really have a chance to enjoy it that much.

The communal areas of the hotel are rather strange - the lobby is bright, white and airy, but the lift and corridors are dimly lit with red bulbs, giving a the sense of being in a brothel. The carpet tiles in the corridors are odd too, by each room door they have a dark pattern suggesting the walls are leaking water (or worse) which is a weird choice. I'm sure this is all intentional and perhaps I'm missing the 'trendy' point. It just doesn't really work either way. The room itself was excellent and a real surprise, large bed and bathroom with a big balcony and a partial sea view - although again the balcony was very dirty and we had to clean the chairs ourselves before we sat on them.

The location is pretty good, a short walk up to the main tourist drag (or 'art-deco district') and a longer wander up to some of the cooler hotels and bars further north. We found a good range of recommended restaurants and bars nearby too.

Overall I'd recommend the Sense hotel for sure, as it does offer everything you need in South Beach without being too pretentious, touristy or expensive. But I'd wager that for them to win another tripadvisor accolade they're going to need to put a bit more effort in (once they've recovered from their post-award hangover perhaps.)

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Holibobcats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CANADA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

enjoyed our 2 days after our cruise hotel is very clean did not see breakfast like stated but staff was very helpful. south beach is a great place to party. sense is very nice place to stay

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NEWTRAVELLER1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

This is a hip, boutique hotel with only 18 rooms. My friend and I went for a girls weekend and Miami and shared a double room. When we arrived, we noticed what appeared to be an area in the lobby for breakfast or coffee including a bar and a few tables. We soon learned that they served no food there at all--so it was sort of odd. They could just have filled that with some lounge furniture. We called it the faux bar area.

We were also told that it is an "eco-friendly" hotel so you put your room card in a slot in the wall for the lights to go on, etc. to preserve energy. I was excited about it being environmentally conscious, but in some areas, it seemed as the hotel used that term to skimp on basics like hot water. The hottest the shower would get is tepid, at best. No good for shaving your legs, which many of us like to do when we are going to the beach. It wasn't an overall hot water heater issue because the sink would get scalding hot.

The lights in the bathroom were motion activated. Good idea, poor execution. The sensor for the lights was located in the corner of the bathroom so if you had the door open or were standing in front of the mirror at all the light would go out. Also, the sensor couldn't detect when you were in the shower, so unless you took a 3 minute shower, it would go off and you'd be in the dark. In addition, there's only one light in the bathroom so it's difficult to see to put on make up and there are no mirrors in the actual room.

When we arrived, we only had two full towels--no hand towels or washclothes. We had to request those and when the staff cleaned the room, they took the hand towels (which we had hanging up for reuse) and didn't replace them. They weren't great about stocking toilet paper, tissues, etc. We had to make special requests for them. They also didn't have paper or pens in the room, which was strange. You don't realize how much you use those until they aren't there.

They advertise a the pool on the roof, which looks beautiful on their site, but in reality has a large trough around it (looks like it may be a water feature that was turned off) with caution tape around it. Not the best image for the place.

Finally, at night, when we would come in after being out (around midnight or 1) there tended to be a number young men loitering in the lobby with the desk clerk (who was looking at inappropriate websites on the front desk computer) that made my friend and I feel very uncomfortable.

The good points were that the hotel is in a great location in SOBE on 4th and Collins--close to everything, but quite. The other is that the beds are tempurpedic and delightful. The rooms are nice and clean.

None of the complaints would make it a dealbreaker on the hotel, but when you are spending $300 a night, you want the service and amenities that go with that. Both my friend and I travel quite a bit for business and stay in places where the middle range chain hotels in the $100-$150/night range have better amenities and service than this one. If the Sense wants to compete with all of the other hotels in the area they need to step it up a bit.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LEF559
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2011

This is one of the worst hotels I have encountered. To start off they were over booked the night I reserved so they had forwarded our reservation to another hotel along with my credit card information. When I checked into Sense they had room to accomodate us and told us it was no problem and assured me that my credit card would not be charged and my info was safe only with them. Well that was all a LIE. They forwarded my credit card info to Prime hotel where they were sending the guests that they couldn't accomodate and Prime hotel charged me a night stay and a NO SHOW fee for the res that Sense had sent them. Sense hotel also charged us our night stay and the vallet got a partking ticket with our car and NEVER TOLD US. 4 months later we got a parking violation that was 4 time the original fine because we didn't know we had one and there were late charges on it. I fought for months with my credit card and Sense hotel and have yet to recieve any compensation for anything. end result I got charged by two hotels for the same night along with a no-show fee at one hotel and a parking ticket 4 time the original fine.
I WILL NOT EVER BE STAYING HERE AND WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT NO ONE ELSE DOES!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank 010Love2travel010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2011

We stayed in this hotel very last minute after having problems with a reservation elsewhere, and it was such a pleasant surprise. The hotel was beautiful, our room was clean, spacious and immaculately decorated with high end modern finishes. The staff was extremely helpful and accommodating and the location was absolutely perfect! It was across the street from the beach and a short walk to all the nightspots but the street itself was quiet. Can't wait to stay again, great place for a South Beach trip.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VacationCouple20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2011

We stayed for three nights over the MLK weekend. The staff was lovely and the rooms were very comfortable. The neighborhood was great, off a bit from the South Beach scene yet easy to walk to the action. The beach is one block away and beautiful and the rooftop deck/pool was great to sunbathe. The night manager was so kind and moved his car so that we could park outside the hotel when we arrived at 1 AM.

Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Traveler5556_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sense Beach House

Property: Sense Beach House
Address: 400 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139-6614
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#58 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sense Beach House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sense Beach House is just steps from the beach, offering a personalized and casually sophisticated vacation getaway. The hotel offers 18 modern rooms, a rooftop pool and lounge area with ocean and skyline views and indoor/outdoor restaurant, The Local House. Perfectly situated on the southern end of South Beach, in the chic SoFi neighborhood, Sense Beach House provides what South Beach has been missing – a true beach escape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sense South Beach Miami

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