The Palms is one of those places you really want to love but it falls just short of expectations on too many little things to make it great. On the positive side it has a nice lobby and reception area, very competent pool and spa, and terrific access to the beach. But our experience was not very good from the start. We arrived around 1 PM and were told our room wasn't ready. The desk clerk said he'd call me as soon as it was so we went to the poolside bar to wait. By 3:30 when no one called (and our bartender had checked with the desk twice) I went back inside to the complain and was told the room had been ready since 2. No explanation as to why we weren't notified.
The room itself was OK with a nice ocean view, but the configuration was a little odd--the entry corridor bisected the bathroom so the shower and one sink were on one side of the hall, and the toilet and another sink on the other side. The window curtain was stuck and never was fixed during out stay. Minor point, but reflective of the experience.
The location is North Beach. This was my first time in Miami Beach so I didn't realize North Beach is isolated from the action and shopping areas of South Beach and Lincoln Ave. There is absolutely nothing near the hotel--no restaurants, bars, stores--nothing within walking distance. So if you want to do anything outside the hotel, it means getting a cab or driving.
Finally the nickel-and-diming: You don't come to Miami Beach and expect to find a bargain, and the Palms will not disappoint you in this regard. But the drive to generate profit by adding little charges reaches new heights at this place. Think $7 for the bottle of water placed in the room , Parking fees of $35, a daily $15 "resort fee" (my least favorite surcharge of all time) and an automatically-charging mini bar with a hair trigger. On that last point, we never even opened the door to the bar but charges showed up on our bill. The clerk said the bar must have sensed movement in the room and misinterpreted that as use of the bar. Not sure I buy that, and it doesn't explain why I was also charged for the $7 water which we never used.
Finally the on site restaurants and bars: Don't expect a bargain. Typical charge for 2 top-shelf martinis (tip automatically included): $35. Servers were nice. We didn't use the restaurant but the prices were eye-popping even for Miami Beach.
Honestly, I really wanted to like this place but by the end of our second day I was really, really ready to go. Good thing I scrutinized my bill before leaving and had them remove all the inappropriate charges or my rating would be even lower.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An oceanfront sanctuary in the heart of Miami Beach, just minutes from the South Beach entertainment district, The Palms Hotel & Spa combines refined service, laid-back sophistication and beachside serenity into a destination where wellness and environmental awareness are at the center of each guest experience. Enjoy freshly renovated lobby areas with an elegant colonial flair, a lush tropical garden oasis with secluded relaxation areas, a large swimming pool and comfortable lounges, cabanas and umbrellas at the pool and beach. Rooms offer either views of the ocean, tropical gardens or the cityscape, and feature flat-screen TVs, AVEDA toiletries, coffee makers, iPod docks and luxurious bedding. The hotel’s signature restaurant, ESSENSIA, offers local farm-to-table cuisine with unique Miami flavors on breezy covered terraces. The Lounge specializes on craft cocktails while the TIKI BAR offers casual fare and classic pool cocktails. The Palms AVEDA Spa offers a full-service salon, retail area and holistic spa treatments, delivering a highly personalized experience with rituals to awaken the senses. Inspired by the pristine environment surrounding the resort, tropical nature inspires all facets of the hotel, from the decor, to the products & services offered and its commitment to green practices. It is an independently owned and operated AAA 4-diamond rated hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection and Florida Green Lodging certified. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Palms Hotel And Spa
- The Palms Hotel Miami Beach
- Palms Hotel Miami Beach
- Palms South Beach
- The Palms South Beach
- Miami The Palms
- Palms Miami