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“Terrible Experience, Even Worse Service”
Review of Whitelaw Hotel

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Whitelaw Hotel
Ranked #66 of 207 Hotels in Miami Beach
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Terrible Experience, Even Worse Service”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

#1 Starting at the airport shuttle - the theming and pictures on the side were trashy and inappropriate - I was so embarrassed to get on that shuttle when it pulled up at the curb at the airport.
#2 Room Not clean - the sheets on the bed were gritty. I don't know how else to explain it, like sand, but small black dots. Not bugs, but grit of some sort.
#3 Noisy- You know, if I were a 20 year old who just wanted to drink and do Lord knows what else for a weekend in South Beach, and had no need for sleep, it might have been OK - for anyone else - it's just too noisy. I got NO SLEEP. I might could've dealt with the music thumping, but the screaming from the bar and all the way down the first floor hallway was unacceptable, as was the continuous slamming doors.
#4 lights-the lights from the patio area never turn off, so in room 108, which has a light hanging right outside the window it's pretty distracting.
#5 toilet did not work- would not flush
#5 Service- after the first night, I tried to check out, 2 days early. The guy at the desk said, "don't you know there are no refunds?" I responded, "No, how would I know that? What if I had an emergency I had to leave for?" He said "Well, there are no refunds." I demanded that he give the key back to the room, as on principle alone, he was not going to get my money and turn the room over again too.
#6 Was seriously disgusted by the clientel and their hanging all over each other and random people walking all throughout- no one did or said anything....
#7 Decor in hall somewhat Dr. Suess like, and the hall floor has holes and weak spots that your feet go right through.
#8 Also, beware of the $100 fee at check in for "incidentals". That is RIDICULOUS. Who does that?
Will never stay there again. Horrible experience. Save yourself the heartache - book someplace else.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Dana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Good Evening Dana M,

Thank you so much for taking your time to post your honest feedback for all of our future guests to read! I am terribly sorry that you did not agree with the photo's that were on the shuttle. We are currently working on finding a solution for the noise that you experienced, as well as the lighting. Were you able to inform our housekeeping department or the front desk in regards to the toilet seat? They would have fixed it right away- if not moved you to a room that had a functioning toilet. We apologize that you did not like the guests that are staying at the hotel. We cater to all kinds of guests and they are all welcome here! Our decor is funky and chic- very South Beach. Every hotel that I know of takes a hold for incidentals. Some hotels do it for a greater amount and others do it for a smaller amount.

Your feedback is appreciated.

Have a great evening!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Other than the great location and a couple of hard-working Israeli ladies running the place, there is nothing offered here for anyone other than a raver on ecstasy needing no sleep!! Music blasting from 8am to 2 am! Walls paper thin. Lobby is a bar only feet from the guest rooms!! And to give you an idea of what kind of place it is, there is no toilet seat on the toilet in the lobby restroom!! The music is so loud that the genius at the front desk (Sterling) couldn't hear a thing when asked basic questions and simply chose not to answer. So many guests I encountered were complaining about his demeanor that I can't imagine why he's still employed there. In fact, there was a large group of us waiting for room assignments but he was focused on his having misplaced $400 during the morning rush and ignored us completely while he tried to blame it on the afternoon clerk who had just arrived for his shift! WARNING: they make photocopies of your license/passport AND credit card and put a hundred dollar hold on the card by posting bogus charges from the bar and double the room rate. IS THAT EVEN LEGAL?!? Location is great, though, and David's Cuban Restaurant is a couple of blocks down the street and well worth the visit. I've stayed at hundreds of hotels around the world over the past 30 years and have never experienced such horrible service and ammenities. The least of the problems: NO HOT WATER IN THE MORNING!!

Room Tip: Refuse any room on the 1st floor if you need to sleep at all!!!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank UStrvllr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Good Afternoon UStrvllr,

Thank you for taking your time to post your honest feedback for all of our future guests to read!!! I am extremely glad to read that you were content with the location of our property!! We are currently working on finding a solution to soundproof the rooms. I will definitely make sure to remind the front desk staff about the level that the music should be on at certain times throughout the day! I am also going to speak with Sterling about the issue that you encountered with him! This is not satisfactory service!! Yes we do indeed take a photo copy of your identification as well as your credit card, for security purposes. These documents are then taken and shredded by a professional company. We also take a $100 hold for incidentals on the room. We have had many issues in the past therefore we have these rules enforced. Every hotel has almost the same procedure. Depending on the hotel they might make the hold for incidentals smaller or greater. We only charge the card for items that have been consumed from the mini bar. If you have consumed anything from the mini bar, that would be the reasoning for those charges. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!!

Have a great day!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Miami Beach hotels

Venice,CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

I booked a stay here for 4 nights. I had heard from a local Miami ex-resident that it was a good "boutique" hotel and cheap. Others had also told me to try the South Beach Group chain. The price was excellent, however the issues outweighed the good in our stay. They provide a pick up from the hotel by shuttle every hour, so that was nice not to have to pay.

Checking in the place is "hip" and definitely has a trendy vibe. I think the downstairs lobby has a lot of action at night and the kitsch feel of the classic furniture with white paint and popped colors is pretty fun I suppose. The rooms are all a bit small. But location can outweigh that for me. The issues we had were that 1) The building is NOT quiet. I can deal with a little noise and I understand the SouthBeach party vibe, but the walls are paper thin and the actual flooring/carpeting makes the noise factor far worse. You will hear random Portugese or Spanish all night from young partiers who stay up till 10 am (god knows on what).

Even that wasn't the biggest issue. Our other concerns included that there were no towels provided for the beach. They ran out and frankly, they didn't care when they explained this to me.

The 2nd) and biggest issue that caused us to leave the hotel and cancel my reservation for the final 2 nights was that a random woman was issued a key card to our room and entered while we were asleep at 5am. The keys were constantly not working during our stay, but I saw that the front desk checked our photocopy IDs in order to issue keys. This lady had mistakenly given our room number in a panic because she locked herself out and a child was inside. But in my opinion, this is a HUGE security issue.

We later spoke to the manager and left for a better hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank leylabot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Good Evening Leylabot,

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback in regards to your recent stay with us!! Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us!! We are glad that you enjoyed the decor and personality of our property. We are a boutique hotel therefore our rooms are a bit smaller then your average. We apologize that you experienced noise in the room. We are currently working on finding a solution for this!! It is an issue when your room key is given to a person that is not staying with you. As you mentioned the lady was frantic about her child in the room, which most likely caused the front desk agent to get a little overwhelmed. We are extremely sorry for the mistake of our front desk agents behalf!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Worst customer service I have ever experienced!!!! The manager was so inexplicably rude, it was offensive. When my friend and I arrived at the hotel in the evening, the person at the front desk told us we only had our room for one night and that we would need to talk to the manager and relocate in the morning. We had booked 4 nights (in advance!) and had not been warned of the inconvenience. It was beyond irritating - we had to deal with it on our first day and it got in the way of our plans. The manager did not apologize and in fact was almost irritated with us as if the problem were our fault.

It's a great location and the decor is fun, but the management was not worth the hassle!

Note: This review is for a stay from March 2010.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank StephB_NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Hello StephB_NYC,

Thank you for providing us with your honest feedback, in regards to your recent stay with us! We strive on providing excellent service, and I apologize that is not what you were given! There was most likely an issue with the system which is why this happened. We are always trying to improve our service and amenities to guests and it is very unfortunate that we fell short on this one.

We hope that you would give us another chance!!

Have a great evening!

Katrine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
58 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2013

South Beach is what it is! This hotel is the epitome of what South Beach has to offer for the crowd that is there to drink and enjoy the neighborhood. I have been to most of the South Beach Hotel Group properties, and this one seems to be the best of the group. The bar is actually positioned immediately inside the front entrance, so that is where the fun begins. I checked in fairly late, so it was like trying to communicate in a nightclub. Basically, a shouting session to get the points across the front desk. And yes, there is no escaping the noise. If you are coming here to get a restful night's sleep, not a good idea. However, if the SOBE atmosphere is what you are seeking, this is thee place and for rock-bottom prices. (I broke out the ear plugs for effective counter measures.) The rooms are in fact some of the cleanest you will find in the area, with fresh smelling linens all coupled in a room that is...well...equipped for the reason for it's existance. Very atypical, and somewhat of a fantasy style decor. No need to get out of bed here for any beer, wine, or other beverages. They are all neatly housed in the refrigerated nightstand! However, if harder liquor is needed, you will need to cross the room to the fully stocked shelf with almost any shot you might need. Forget the view here, the drapes will be closed for the duration anyway. Of course, no one will hear what is occurring in the room due to the ambient sound levels. But afterall, this is South Beach, that is why you stay here...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FLBUG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria VA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Overall a nice place with a couple of problems. The floors are wooden so be aware that you will hear people walking around in their rooms. The 1st floor rooms open to the lobby which has music playing all day and night and you can hear any conversations going on.

Room Tip: Overall a nice place with a couple of problems. The floors are wooden so be aware that you will hea...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hatleyde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Hello Hatleyde,

Thank you so much for taking your time to post your honest feedback on Trip Advisor for all of our future guests to read! We are glad that you found our property to be nice, despite a few minor issues. We are working on controlling the sound within the hotel. We apologize that you experienced this, and hope that you would give us another chance.

We hope to see you soon!

Katrine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Park Ridge, Illinois
1 review
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Youth and beauty and booze and beach---recurrent words describing South Beach.
Dauntless, my husband and I, both senior citizens, decided to visit the famed place and chose to stay at the Whitelaw. Jessica who made our reservation was very helpful. With a bit of trepidation, we arrived. Our fears were immediately dispelled. We so enjoyed our stay....friendly staff, especially Sydney and Raul and bartender Doreen....clean, attractive decor...great location-one block from the beach and right in the midst of SoBe happenings. The hotel has a very fun and comfy ambiance. We hope to return.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mmburgis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBG_GuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Whitelaw Hotel, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Good Afternoon Mmburgis,

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and we are very glad that you chose to share it with us! I am content to read that you had a fun and comfortable stay with us! It seems to be like you enjoyed everything here at the hotel from the location, to our staff, to the cleanliness and the decor of the property. I will let the mentioned staff know about your kind praise!! They love to hear what the guests have to say about their hard efforts. Please come back and stay with us again soon!

Have a great day!

Kind Regards,

Katrine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Whitelaw Hotel

Property: Whitelaw Hotel
Address: 808 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139-5808
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #66 of 207 Hotels in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Whitelaw Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Whitelaw Hotel, South Beach's hip, chic boutique hotel, offers guests the ultimate vacation experience at an affordable price. In the heart of South Beach on Collins Avenue and 8th Street, the hotel is located just steps from the beach, shops, restaurants and nighttime hotspots. The Whitelaw combines Art Deco embellishments with whimsical design to transport its guests into a world unique from any other Miami Beach accommodations. IMPORTANT -- Credit card used for booking must be the same credit card presented for payment at check-in. The name on the credit card must match the name on the reservation and the card holder must be present along with a government-issued photo ID. Holiday and Special Events require a non-refundable prepayment 30 days prior to arrival. No early departures are allowed. Reservations are completely non-refundable within 30 days of arrival. Events include but are not limited to: New Years (12/26 to 1/3), Boat Show (2/12 to 2/16), Winter Music Conference & Ultra (3/15 to 3/31), Memorial Day (5/21 to 5/25) & Art Basel (12/3 to 12/9). A mandatory daily resort fee of $20.00 plus tax ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whitelaw Hotel Miami Beach
Whitelaw Miami Beach

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