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“Met my expectations”

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Suites at Congress Ocean Drive
Ranked #140 of 208 Hotels in Miami Beach
London ON
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Met my expectations”
Reviewed January 28, 2014

We had two rooms in different buildings during our six night stay. Both were very spacious and the pictures on the internet were a good representation of what we received. Upon arrival we were met by the Front Office Manager Eleonor. She was so helpful. The rooms were very tidy, and the daily service was just right. The only thing to mention is the noise. This is not a complaint. We choose this location to be right in the middle of things, and that is exactly what we got. If you are a light sleeper, move off the strip. But if you enjoy the sounds of a lively night life, then this place is perfect. Thanks again Eleonor for our stay. We will be back.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HappyTraveler00001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Patchogue, New York
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2014

My wife and I stayed at The Congress for her birthday on Jan.9th 2014 for 3 nights .The hotel was located in the heart of the action on South Beach . The staff here was excellent and very friendly .I had read other reviews that would not agree with that but trust me there are always people that are not happy with anything so we gave it a shot and were very happy with the service .The room was super clean and very modern .If you look at the website we had the room directly above the restaurant the balcony was huge aproximately 25x40 feet ! The front desk upgraded us to that room being that it was my wifes birthday . The view off the balcony was awesome you could see all the action ! Now for the negative aspect of this room and all rooms facing the beach (keep in mind this does not reflect The Congress Hotel it could be any hotel on South Beach) The Noise level is INSANE at night if your trying to go to sleep ! The music does not stop untill 4:30 AM. WE went to bed the first night at 12:30am and could not fall asleep untill 5 am ,the music was pounding ! Trust me one this.. I knew it was going to be loud but never expected that level of noise ,anyhow if you want to party and stay out late South Beach is the place to be .If your looking for a good nights sleep request a room on the side of the hotel definately not an ocean front room .Other than the noise this The Congress was Excellent ! Also check out the rooftop pool bar, it was fantastic.......

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angelo P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 24, 2014

After all we had read online about The Congress, myself, my wife and son were very excited to stay there over New Year’s Eve. So we splurged and booked an Ocean Front suite with a balcony and 2 double beds for 2 nights over New Year’s Eve. We booked 9 weeks in advance through my VISA Reward points. I confirmed the reservation one week prior to arrival. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the room we booked wasn’t available. Here are our thoughts . . .

The Bad:
- Reservation. Even after calling to confirm the week before, they couldn’t honor our reservation for an Ocean front, balcony suite on a high-floor. We specifically booked such a room so we could be above the crowd on Ocean Drive. on New Year’s Eve. Instead they put us in a “partial ocean view” suite with a balcony. We did get a view of the ocean, but we also looked down on a battery of air conditioning blowers on the roof of the lower building next to us. The noise created such a racket we couldn’t enjoy our balcony. Also, we were supposed to get a morning newspaper that never arrived.
- The Room Furnishings. At first glance the room looks contemporary. There’s a nice little kitchenette with cooktop, sink, mini fridge, and cabinets with glasses and some utensils. Looking just a bit closer what becomes obvious is that the closet and drawers are like Ikea prototypes - cheap, poorly put together, with the kinks not yet worked out. The overhead lamp had wires protruding from the top of the fixture, and we had to move the glass coffee table under it to keep from hitting our heads against it. The beds were comfortable, however there was no bedside table between them or next to the near bed, and no lighting for the 2nd double bed if you wanted to read at night. The carpet was stained in several places. No light inside the closet, which held an ironing board so cheap it buckled if you put any weight on it. The thermostat was hanging off the wall from wires. Also, there was no stationery, no info on the hotel, no pen or notepad at the desk. It’s as if the room hadn’t been prepped before we arrived.
- Bathroom. See pictures. Shabby and cheap. The inside door handle was put on backwards. There are no shelves for extra towels, and just one towel bar. No soap dish, glasses, or cups. Bad lighting - meaning one overhead light, and no light over the sink mirror. Like the main room, the modern, free-standing tub/shower looks cool, but it’s placed awkwardly. There were stains on the glass of the sliding doors that open to the bedroom.
- Valet Parking. After checking out we waited a full 40 minutes for them to retrieve our car, which was parked in a ramp just around the corner. The valet (who was very, very contrite and polite) blamed this on the valet company being understaffed and having to serve 8 different hotels. No excuse. Last impressions count in a hotel stay, and this one made us anxious as we had to get to the cruise port in Ft. Lauderdale by a certain time.
- Compensation. The staff at the front desk was nice, but unable to fix our reservation. To compensate for not giving us the room we booked they waived the daily “resort fee” ($12.50/person), and our valet parking fees ($35/day). We stayed 2 days, so it was a savings of $107.50, about the amount we would have saved if we’d booked the partial ocean view suite. And they were very apologetic about the issue (as they should have been). But we REALLY wanted the Ocean Front room. It's the reason we booked there.

THE OK
- The Staff. As I said, the staff was uniformly nice, respectful, and responsive - to the extent that they could be. We asked for extra towels and pillows, and they arrived promptly. And, again, the valet staff really tried to help, but were hamstrung.
- The Overall Facility. The rooftop pool could have been a nice place to hang out but it wasn’t very well kept. There was only a makeshift bar at night, and seemingly no food or drink service during the day. The lobby was neat, though very small. I liked walking down the little alley to get to the front door - like a walk of solitude out of the mayhem.
- Extras. Free internet service in the room. Newspaper in lobby.
- Location. It’s a great location if you want to be right on Ocean Blvd. and next door to the nightly party at The Clevelander. Now that we’ve done it once, though, we don’t have to do it again. Too many tourists, too much noise. Too much $$ for a cheap experience masquerading as a quality hotel.

Summary: This was not the premier hotel experience that's depicted or we were expecting. I get that hotels on Ocean Drive can charge a lot for their location, but this facility was a major over-promise, and not worth the money.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RichardLee2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Suites at Congress Ocean Drive, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Thank you for you honest review about your recent stay at our hotel. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay and that the room was not up to par. If you could kindly email me at eceballos@congresshotelsouthbeach.com your reservation information so that I may look you up in our system to further investigate your complaints. Hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,
Eleonor Ceballos
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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

Palm Springs, CA
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

The Congress Hotel is located in the most bustling part of South Beach and with that comes the loud noises such as the house music, car and motorcycle motors and screaming and laughing crowds....all of which is expected when your balcony opens up to Ocean Drive. That's actually part of the reason for staying at this hotel.....it's great fun with an even better view! However, it's clear that the management of this property has given up on customer service and the care of the building and rooms.

Our stay was during one of Florida's cold spells and our room was 58 degrees upon check-in. The heat was not working and we were told "this is Florida. We don't have heat." Strangely, the hallway vents were blowing nice warm air, but not into our room. We had to find our own extra blankets. At checkout we were told that we should have been offered a space heater...who knew?!?

Though our mattress was comfortable, the sheets were one bed size to small and kept coming off during the night. We woke up to find ourselves knotted in the sheets and sleeping on the bare mattress. We were told they didn't have other sheets.

We had a $400/nt 1-bdrm/living room suite. No coffee table, no night stands, not a single drawer in the entire room....we lived out of our suitcases.

The hotel hosted a party at the rooftop pool on Saturday night. Fun...but not when it lasted until 4am with music so loud that the windows and walls in our room were vibrating. When I called the front desk, I was told the noise was not coming from the party, but from the street. Seriously?.... I'm not stupid and I know where the sound was coming from..... 4am is excessive and this place needs to decide if it's a hotel or an all night club.

Called down to the front desk to ask how to dial another guests room in the adjacent tower. I was told to "try" 7 or 9 along with the room number. Really? "Try"? Neither worked and I just walked over to my friend's room.

Patio doors did not lock in our room or our friend's room. Lights switches were broken. TV remotes were missing....I could go on and on.

Sadly, the Congress could be a fantastic hotel. They have a great rooftop pool and a nightly happy hour that is the best in town thanks to great employees like bartender, Hailee and front desk clerk Henry. But $400/nt for a good happy hour doesn't cut it. I'm still so upset about the cold, unlivable room that I'm considering having my credit card company deal with this.

My recommendation......stay here if you're OK with a frat house environment at 4-star prices. Otherwise, do your research and stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank skitramp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Suites at Congress Ocean Drive, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Thank you for your review concerning your recent stay at the Congress Hotel South Beach.
On behalf of the hotel I would like to apologize for your less then spectacular experience and would love to have the opportunity to make your return stay a SPECTACULAR one. Please contact me with your reservation details so that I may look you up in the system ans see exactly what went wrong. My email address is eceballos@congresshotelsouthbeach.com, I will be waiting on your email.

Sincerely,
Eleonor Ceballos
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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 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2014

Coming from NYC in the middle of a tremendously cold winter, snow storm after snow storm, The Congress Hotel is just what the doctor ordered. It was a quick weekend escape so I was looking for sun, fun, nightlife, relaxation, beach, and a comfortable place to lay my head...that's just what I got. The Congress is in the perfect location on Ocean Drive, right next to the Clevelander, across the street from the beach, and in the middle of everything that I absolutely needed. Being able to walk out my door and walk steps to everything I wanted was perfect.

As for the room, amazing. We had a great balcony to have drinks on, a fridge big enough to stock for the weekend, and a huge bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. The room was immaculate and anything we needed they tended to. They provided us with breakfast vouchers for the delicious restaurant downstairs and the morning mimosa that they served me was to die for.

The rooftop pool was perfect for a quick dip, small but perfect. The free daily happy hour from 5pm - 6pm is such an added bonus. They serve amazing drinks and they definitely don't skimp on the alcohol. There's something good for the soul when you can sit next to a roof top pool with a free drink in hand and a view of clear blue ocean and palm trees for miles...it really just doesn't get any better.

The reason I give this hotel a 5 star rating is because it deserves it. It was everything I was looking for and more. I know for certain that The Congress Hotel is where I will stay every future visit to South Beach from here on out.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lydia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Suites at Congress Ocean Drive, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Thank you so much for taking your time to provide us with your wonderful 5 STAR FEEDBACK!!!!!!!!!!!! We are very grateful for it! We are extremely glad to read we were just what the doctor ordered during your quick weekend escape. Consider the Congress Hotel your home away from home!!

Sincerely,
Eleonor Ceballos
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
1 review
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I was recently wowed by the great customer service, attention to detail and overarching level of customer satisfaction displayed at congress Hotel. Initially i had no real reason to really choose Congress Hotel for an overnight stay with my wife and I, we reside on the beach but wanted to have a night out. I also had a previously bad experience which they lost my car key during my overnight stay in Nov 2013 (I am sure a rarity); however I gave it a second chance and I was really impressed with their attention to detail and my overall experience the second time around. The room was nice, well stocked with liquor and premium linens, and my wife loved the modern vintage bathroom fixtures. I was upgraded to a better room by a remarkable desk attendant Eleanor who went above in beyond in removing any previous bad experience from my recent memory. I would recommend the staff and rooms at Congress Hotel, it is the best value in an awesome location with friendly people enjoying their work.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JRstocksnBonds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Suites at Congress Ocean Drive, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
The entire staff at the Congress Hotel South Beach wants to thank you for giving us the oppurtunity to change your previous bad experience with our hotel into an EXCELLENT one. We truly enjoying spoiling our guests and exceeding all expectations; Remember to stay with us the next time your in need of a night out. We hope you consider us your home away from home.

Sincerely,

The Congress team!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, NY
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2014

We're still here, in the hotel and loving it. I also saw the mixed reviews and took a gamble on this place-- but I'm so glad that I did!! Love The Congress Hotel (TCH). Let me preface this by saying that this was a very impromptu trip and I only booked hours before we check in.

First, we don't normally use valet, but the cost of public parking ($40) and TCH was cheaper ($35) so we went with it. Dello was our valet-- very personable and went the extra mile to make sure we knew where we were going and that our car would be safe.

Next, we were greeted in the Lobby by Stephanie. She was immediately likeable. I told her about the mixed reviews I saw online and she assured me that we'd have a nice experience and to call her for whatever we might need. Even offered us beach towels right away to go up rooftop pool while we waited for our room.

Then Louis, the bellman showed us to our beautiful room with a view of the ocean. We asked him where we should have lunch and he directed us AWAY from Ocean Drive to a reasonably priced Cuban restaurant at 7th and Washington. Nice touch.

One of the complains about this hotel is the noise. TCH has three buildings-- one that's by The Celevlander, one on the center, and the one next to the former Gianni Versacci's house. I talked to others staying here and they confirmed that that building is pretty noisy, but we stayed in the building by the Verascci house and there wasn't any overly obtrusive noise.

From 5-6pm is happy hour on the roof! What a great time we had-- Hailee is a great bartender and serves drinks with smile and good conversation. The drinks are also not watered down-- we met some great people there and had a blast!

After a long night we arrived back and were greeted by Eleonore. She gave us fresh towels for the pool, and kindly extended our checkout time.

The motto here is "Let me spoil you" and that''s how we've felt from the second we got here-- spoiled. We will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the center building or by the Versacci mansion. First building by The Celevelander...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bOOleansVarKK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eleonor C, Front Office Manager at Suites at Congress Ocean Drive, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
We thank you so much for taking the gamble and staying at the Congress Hotel South Beach and are ecstatic to read that you had a BLAST. It brings us great joy when we read reviews like yours regarding our excellent customer service. I will let Stephanie, Louis, & Dello know that you truly enjoyed your experience at our hotel and that they exceeded your expectations.


Many Thanks!!!!

Eleonor Ceballos
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 Suites at Congress Ocean Drive

Property: Suites at Congress Ocean Drive
Address: 1052 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Formerly Congress Hotel South Beach/The Strand)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#95 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Suites at Congress Ocean Drive 3.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live the South Beach lifestyle at our hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Located in the heart of Miami's Art Deco Historic District on Ocean Drive, we offer spacious, stylish suites with all the amenities of home. With stellar views of the ocean and the bustling action of Ocean Drive, our beachfront hotel is exactly what you need for your stay in Miami. Because we are located right on the beach, fun in the sun is literally at your doorstep. Stake out your spot in the sand and enjoy the signature Florida sunshine. With the average temperatures in the 70s and 80s, you can enjoy the beach and the sun almost all year-round. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Strand Ocean Drive Hotel
Strand Ocean Drive Miami Beach

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