My partner and I spent our anniversary at The James Royal Palm recently. Having never stayed at this property, I wanted our trip to be perfect. This is an exclusive resort and for the prices, I expected perfection. What we got was near perfection, but they still need to work out a few bugs in the system. After making the reservation for an oceanfront room, I called back to ask for their "best" room in that category as it was a special occasion. After years of staying in hotels, I know that the staff knows which are the best rooms, some have better views, locations, etc. I was told that we had the "best" room on the property. After checking in to our room, I was surprised at how small the balcony was and that the window was rather small. Only after lying at the pool later and looking up at the building, did I realize that their were corner oceanfront rooms that had wrap-around balconies and much larger windows. I went to the desk to inquire about moving, but was told that the rooms were all the same. The desk clerk obviously did not know the property. I asked for a corner room and was told, rather brusquely, that no corner rooms were available and that they were "exactly" the same as the other rooms. The next morning, we went to the Florida Cookery, the resort's in-house restaurant, for breakfast. We were staying on the "Bed, Breakfast & SoBe" package, and our breakfast was supposed to be included. We were given no vouchers at check-in, only told to sign for our breakfast and it would be taken off our total bill. The Hostess at the restaurant immediately asked for our vouchers and I told her that we had none, that we were on the "Bed, Breakfast & SoBe" package. She had NO idea what that was or what I was talking about. I walked all the way to the front desk to inquire, leaving my partner waiting at the restaurant. The clerk at the front desk also had NO idea what my package was or what it included. He said it must be the Continental breakfast and gave me 2 coupons. I went back to breakfast and presented the coupons. The Continental breakfast was the worst I have ever had. The breakfast consisted of granola, fruit (which was bruised apples and several hard plums), and very dried out croissants, bagels and bread. Nothing else. Florida Cookery is advertised as a unique dining experience, etc. It was terrible. The resort caters to many foreigners and they attack the continental breakfast and don't care what they get. This explains why we were asked for the vouchers by the Hostess. She just assumed we were getting the Continental breakfast. One mustn't assume! I was very disappointed that a resort like The James would have several of their staff who had no idea about their packages, rooms, etc. Seems like the staff should ALL be familiar with the entire resort. Later in the day, I saw the clerk who checked us in, Lakeisha. I spoke with her and explained the situation about breakfast. She was very apologetic and explained that we were to receive a $56 credit each morning for breakfast and only had to order off the menu and sign for breakfast and it would be removed from our total. She worked it our that we could have lunch there that day and receive the credit. I also asked her about the corner room and she was able to get us one for our second night. What an angel she was! She was the type of employee that I would expect at The James. She could not have been more helpful. She even sent up a bottle of champagne for the problems and our anniversary. Lakeisha saved the day! The corner room was fabulous and so much brighter and we could even lay in bed and see the ocean. The layout of the room was much better and the room was larger. If you stay at The James, I would recommend a corner oceanfront room. The breakfast off the regular menu the next morning was perfect and tasty. The rest of the facility was wonderful. It was clean, the staff was friendly and professional, evrything looked bright and shiny and new. The service at the beach was great and you could get bar and dining services, which was quick and easy. The 2 pools were great, but the water was actually a bit too warm in the pools, not refreshing, more like a hot tub. The pool staff either needs to wear a nametag or a shirt identifying as staff. They were hard to distinguish from all the guests other than they were wearing white polo shirts and dark blue Dockers, as were some of the guests. We always had to ask if they worked there. If you wanted to use the pool in the later evenings, there were no staff available, meaning no pool towels. Everyone was bringing their room towels to the pool. Uopn checking in, they charged us a $150 refundable security deposit. I thought that was very wierd and have stayed at some of the best hotels in the world and have NEVER been charged a security deposit. Felt a little "cheap" to me, like they thought we would run off with the robes or towels. Overall, this is a fantastic resort and I would recommend it to anyone. The location is perfect, near the Art Deco District and Lincold Road area, you can walk anywhere. Safe, quiet (not like some other resorts that are "party" oriented), and upscale. Their prices are high, but this is South Beach and you get what you pay for. Give The James a try and you will have a great stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Palm South Beach Miami boasts an enviable location on Collins Avenue, just north of the iconic Ocean Drive at 15th Street. With direct access to the beach and boardwalk, the resort is near the most appealing attractions of vibrant South Beach. The resort comprises a wealth of refined facilities, including a pampering spa and a pool encircled by cabanas. Dining venues serve authentic plates and cocktails in a relaxing ambience. Some 10,000 square feet of space is available for enchanting events. With iconic ocean or city views, guest rooms and suites house environmentally-friendly amenities and stylish areas for business and leisure. Poolside Suites are distinguished by their expansive outdoor terraces and proximity to the beach and pool. ... more less
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