I have stayed at all four incarnations of this property since it opened around 2006. Originally it was The Regent, then Vincci Beach, and then Hotel de Soleil. A few weeks ago it was rebranded as Z Beach Hotel. Fortunately, each time I stay my experience becomes more pleasant.
There's really not a better location in terms of diversity in all of South Beach, which I why I continue to offer my patronage despite less-than-stellar previous experiences. The hotel is located at 15th and Collins, just a couple blocks away from the beginning of Lincoln Road and just off the far, quieter end of Ocean Drive ... across the street from the beach. Thus, there are plenty of things to keep you busy within easy walking distance without the obnoxious noises that surround most of the hotels on Ocean between 5th and 12th Streets.
The rooms are generously sized and have very comfortable beds with feather duvets both under the sheets (on top of the mattress) and on top. There's a Nespresso coffee-maker that gets replenished daily, a powerful rain shower with accompanying massage jets, generous amounts of Aveda toiletries, two large plasma TVs, a functional work counter in the kitchen area that serves as the desk, and a large balcony with table, chairs, and loungers. Wireless internet was free, though I never got a great signal and opted to use my Sprint wireless service instead. Just about the only downfall was that my room had no bathtub.
Housekeeping was exceptional for SoBe. Each day the service was fantastic and thorough. I never had any problems like I have often had at the other dozen or so properties we often visit on the beach. Additionally, the front desk staff was courteous and eager to satisfy, although a few things still fell through the cracks (namely, my dry cleaning was temporarily delayed because of miscommunication but was corrected within 24 hours). In fact, all the staff I encountered were helpful and in positive moods.
The primary restaurant in the hotel, Table 8, was rather quiet on this latest trip. In the past, this was one of the most difficult restaurants to book in all of SoBe. I suspect the general economic downturn is at play. There's now also a sushi bar in the hotel called Zushi Flirt. Just about everyone at the pool was raving about its quality, although there was the natural grumbling about the price, as well. Given the kitchenette in the room, I suppose it's possible to make your own (small) meals and reduce eating costs. But you'd have to request the tableware and pots. Plus, there's a warning on the small refrigerator that it's not really a refrigerator but rather only a cooler. I'm not quite sure what that means -- my milk stayed fresh for three days in there. Further, eating out is one of the highlights of South Beach so why bother cooking!
The pool was inviting, with the temperature being appropriately warm five of my six days. The beach across the street has ample chairs and umbrellas. The mandatory $15 per day resort fee pays for those, and you share the facilities with a couple other neighboring hotels. It was never crowded and it is well run.
Overall I enjoyed myself here and observed a marked improvement in quality and hospitality. Note that this is a Crowne Plaza property, so you might be able to use your Priority Club points to upgrade! If you're looking for a comfortable, modern room with a small kitchenette, cozy bed, and excellent location -- as well as a reasonable price -- Z Ocean should be on your list of candidates. I will certainly return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience true luxury at our Miami Beach resort, Z Ocean Hotel South Beach. Offering much more than other suite resorts in Miami Beach, Florida, Z Ocean Hotel is ideal for your escape to SoBe. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Miami Beach
- Miami Beach Crowne Plaza
- De Soleil South Beach
- Vincci South Beach
- Regent South Beach