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“My first luxury hotel experience - nice!”

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Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Ranked #43 of 212 Hotels in Miami Beach
Reviewed November 22, 2009

For a long weekend we stayed in the Tresor in an ocean view suite. What this meant was that while on the balcony you have your ocean view to the right. The main building of the hotel is in front of you including a view of the pool action. We were on the 23rd floor so we could also see over the hotel for a nice view of the city lights at night. So it was a view that covered it all. Only thing to make it more perfect would be a spritz of glass cleaner so you could sit in the chairs with an unblemished view.

The bed was out of this world for me. Too soft for the boyfriend. I've never stayed in a luxury hotel before so all I've ever experienced are the typical bedcovers. Here you've got a very soft duvet you can just sink into and lots of plush pillows. In the closet was an extra blanket along with a couple of robes. Lots and lots of towels and toiletries so you never run out. Great whirlpool bath and separate shower. Tiny kitchette tucked in, lots of drawer space and more than enough hangers. Stereo, PC with select free sites without paying a fee, flat panel TV, iron, hair dryer...

The hotel is huge so be prepared for some exploring until you get your bearings. The majority of the staff we passed the entire stay, from the guy painting a fence to anyone with a name badge, offered some sort of pleasant greeting every time. You get so used to it that you find yourself even smiling at other guests. At poolside we were allowed to relax without any bother. But there is plenty of staff available the moment you have any need at all. In the restaurants (Blade and Vida for us) our servers were not only nice but extremely happy. It's almost surreal they're so happy but I'll take it!

At night the place explodes with people. I imagine in Miami Beach this is a main destination for a night out since it has a great lobby bar, nice restaurants, a nightclub and lounging by the pools. (Funny side note, there was an actual bouncer by the restrooms at Blade being sure that any sort of line had some crowd control. Also another guy very eager to give you a shoulder massage while you waited and a spritz of cologne or hairspray on your way back out. I admit I avoided the massage guy since it felt kinda weird!)

Before the trip I was wary because I read that the staff was on the snobbish side. We never encountered this happening except one incident when we were lost the first night and just trying to get out of the pool area and back to the main lobby area. The pool bartender we unfortunately asked must have been who all the reviews were referring. If there are lost guests trying to find the Reception Desk they surely don't realize there are several spread out in different buildings. How about just assume it's the main one instead of a lecture about the property being 22 acres and we obviously have no clue where we're trying to get or we'd be more specific. (Minor vent I apparently still haven't gotten over.)

As for location, can't say there is anything in walking distance to do. There was a Walgreens nearby but never got around to walking to it. A quick cab ride to the South Beach areas doesn't take long at all. If you get Aldo as your cab driver then you're in for a great driver who will truly take care of you. We got him twice so I think your chances are good!

All in all, very beautiful hotel and a great stay!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hamachi_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,861 - 10,867 of 13,610 reviews

Reviewed November 22, 2009

The newly compulsory "resort fee" of 12.95 per day is foisted on you. When you pay this you can use the gym but not the steam room. You can use the internet but only on the iMac in the room - which appears to be doctored to permanently show hotel propaganda on a third of the screen. If you want to use your own computer, you have to pay again for internet, another 13.95 per day. So if you don't use the gym, you are paying 26.90 per day for internet access, which is total extortion. The prices generally in the hotel are eye wateringly high, as noted by others. The rooms are ok, but there is no bath in the bathroom. Plus the location is isolated. Stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MuchDutch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2009

Came before New Years and left after New Years. Great food and service in the hotel and pool and within walking distance to South Beach. Met friends in Miami and took their boat for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. The hotel staff was always helpfull for anything you needed at any hour and when you wanted the car within minutes it was at the front door. John and Cherry Tumino and Family.

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled with family
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Thank tumino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2009

We stayed at the fontainebleau for a convention September 09.
All was great until we came back to our room from the convention center and found our laptop, IPOD, Bose QC3's & camera were gone. The door to our room was not broken into so draw your own conclusions. We reported to hotel security and the Miami Police.
To add insult to injury we were not contacted by hotel management, were given the name of risk manager by security who refused to return our phone calls.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank jeffPhiladelpha_Pa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2009

We stayed in a one bedroom, oceanfront Sorrento suite. Sold on the property website as the "premier and most exclusive location in Miami Beach," this place was a terrible disappointment. First, the suites are advertised as being 1,011 to 1,122 square feet. So, imagine my surprise when I walked in and found a small, cluttered, and poorly decorated space. I was so shocked that I immediately called the front desk, convinced that there must have been a mistake since we were paying northward of $600 per night for this "luxury" suite. I was told that we were in a corner suite, one of the largest rooms in the Sorrento. Unbelievable. Horrified, I undertook my own unscientific measurement of the space--pacing from the bedroom to living room, and from kitchen to sliding glass doors. I came up with 28x28. Yes, my friends, that is a grand total of 784 SF of useful living space. The rest was a useless L-shaped hallway to the front door and the half bath. The bedroom had two of the smallest closets I have ever seen in my life, measuring across about two inches longer than my forearm. And, one of them was rendered useless by the position of the hotel safe on the shelf, making it impossible to hang anything at all in that space. This in spite of the presence of two other shelves which could have held the safe. There was one dresser in the bedroom with a total of three small drawers, and the same contraption was in the living room. So one person has to go out of the room to dress? Whoever spent a billion dollars renovating this place should be fired, along with the designer. And, don't be fooled when the website tells you each suite has a "full size" washer and dryer. What they have is a washer/dryer combination machine--one incredibly small and inefficient combo machine-to the point that I had to leave all our clothes out on the kitchen counter to fully dry as they were so damp after coming out of the "dryer." Really, there ought to be a law against this type of outrageous false advertising.
The only good thing about the suite was the bathroom, which was indeed very nice. The balcony and view was also nice. The kitchen was nothing special but as advertised. The service was generally horrible, with the exception of outstanding food and service at the Italian restaurant on property. Skip the steak place. The pool area was beautiful as was the beach.
In sum, if you want a truly exceptional, luxury experience with top notch service, stay at the W or the Delano. Don't waste your money on this place. If you have a family, I recommend the Loews much more than this place. The suites are MUCH bigger, and the service and restaurants are also much better.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank q1380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2009

My experience at Fontainebleau was bitter sweet. On the plus side, the beach was beautiful and the pools were stunning. Service for lounge chairs and towels was superb. Drinks were plentiful. Of course, good looking wait staff all over the beach and pool area. The spa and gym were fabulous. Great views of the water while working off the food. My room was lovely, spotlessly clean, and very cheerful. The grounds are well maintained and the facility is quite manicured. On the negative side, the prices were ludicrous. 14 dollar mojitos and tips are pre-done. 4 dollar cokes, my sandwich and soup at the "lower end" restaurant was about 35 dollars. Food was perfectly good but nothing to write home about. The 28 dollar breakfast buffet was actually delicious. Unlike South Beach, there is NOTHING in the area. You cannot walk across the street to a little cafe for a croissant and coffee. You are STUCK in a very beautiful but self-contained hotel. I read reviews about poor service but I found the opposite. The front desk staff was extremely helpful and so was the concierge. This hotel is for those with an unlimited budget who want an all-inclusive environment. I sorely missed not having Lincoln Rd and South Beach activity within walking distance

Stayed: November 2009, traveled on business
2  Thank michael_davidh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2009

Decided to stay the Fountainebleu in October after hearing about the renovation of this hotel on a TV show. Plus I really wanted to experience a Miami nightclub (LIV). I would have to say the hotel is very large and modern. Very close to South Beach via a short cab ride costing about $12.00 one way. Not an ideal location IMO if you just want to walk out of the hotel and onto the beach/ocean.

We were a couple hours early to check into the hotel. They didn’t have a room with a king bed for us (even though I had asked for it when I booked the hotel). She said one might come open if we want to wait until check in time or we could take a room with 2 queen beds. I said we would wait. We went for drinks out by the pool area. There are many pools, but some are pretty small in size. When it came time to check in, there was no room with a king bed available. Humm, not sure why we had to wait?? She said the hotel is really busy and lots of rooms are taken. Seems odd to me for October and it being a Thursday?? I said okay, we will take the room with 2 beds.

We went to the room on the 12th floor. Gorgeous room. Very new and beautifully decorated. Great view of the ocean from the balcony. Those the noise on the balcony was loud due to the building below having some sort of rooftop fans. The bed has to be the most comfortable I have ever slept in. I didn’t want to get out in the morning. The pillows and covers were so soft. Even the robes in the room were really soft. The TV was a large flat screen mounted to the wall. The bathroom was a bit small, but had a lighted make-up mirror which was nice. No tub, just a shower. There was a TV in the bathroom. There were some hairs left by the previous guest that were still there when we checked out. YUCK! Our last night there, there was someone playing loud music in their room next to us. We had to get up at 4:00 am to leave for the airport. I called the hotel 4 times because I couldn’t sleep. Either nobody came to tell the guests about it or they just ignored the complaint.

I was thinking about having a Spa service while staying at the hotel, but I tried to call several times and nobody answered. I even left a message, but nobody called me back.

We tried the Gotham Steak restaurant one night. Was seated right away w/o prior reservations. Great Jazz player there, but got seated next to him and could even have a conversation because it was so loud. Ordered food rather quickly, but nobody came in the middle of our meal to see if we needed anything. Since they automatically tack on their 18% gratuity on your bill, I guess they don’t care. The new york strip steak was $45 and didn’t even come with any side dish. The steak had a good flavor, a bit tough, was supposed to be well done, but it was more like medium rare. The wedge salad was excellent as well as the creamed corn!!

Solo for breakfast food was really good. Very fresh. The latte was excellent. No gratuity included in your bill and the only time the server smiled was when you tipped her.

Scarpetta: Service was good. We had pizza and it was very good! Price was reasonable.

La Cote - Had the snapper for two. Very good! No side dish. $38. We are small people and left satisfied, but I would think the average person would need more to eat. We sat at the bar and the service was good. I like the dress of the staff here, very casual. One waitress wore her bikini. 18% gratuity added.

Bleu Bar - I loved how the floor was lit up in blue. Nice atmosphere, but we got annoyed when we had 3 different people wait on us who rang up 3 different bills. I guess they were worried about getting their 18% gratuity. Only went there one night, probably would have gone back, but the place left a sour taste in my mouth.

LIV: I didn’t even get to see it….waited in line for 45 minutes (pushing/shoving and people worming their way in front of you). I almost tripped over a beer can that someone threw on the floor. It felt like cattle being herded in to the gate (there was no real line). They only picked and chose certain people that would allow in. Gave no preference to hotel guests even thought I asked. We didn’t get chosen. I was pretty upset. I complained to several people at the hotel. I was told, “welcome to Miami”. How do you leave outsiders into your nightclub and not your guests. Please do explain this to me. Very irritating!!!

Concierge: Very helpful and friendly without getting an 18% tip!!! I give you an A++ rating.

Management of the hotel staff if you read this: Either get rid of LIV if you are not going to cater to your hotel guests/give preference to them to get in. Also, with the spread of H1N1: please teach them appropriate manners when they have to sneeze. Saw them sneezing into their hands then waiting on customers. Take out the mandatory 18% gratuity. I want the option of what I want to/ tip. When service is poor, then the tip should reflect that as well as vice versa. You have a beautiful hotel with some major drawbacks! There is room for improvement.

Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
1  Thank lovetotravel46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Address: 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140-3227
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Miami Beach
#10 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#16 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
#18 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#20 Spa Hotel in Miami Beach
#30 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range: $304 - $793 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fontainebleau Miami Beach 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1504
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A spectacular blend of Golden Era glamour and modern luxury, Fontainebleau today reinvents the original vision of legendary architect Morris Lapidus – a stage where everyone plays their unique part. At Fontainebleau, striking design, contemporary art, music, fashion and technology merge into a vibrant new kind of guest experience. We invite you to enter a world where you are free to play, shop, dine, spa, meet or simply relax – however you define your perfect day. Express yourself in an environment that surrounds you with every kind of pleasure and invites every sort of adventure. Following a $1 billion renovation, the 22-acre oceanfront hotel features signature restaurants by award-winning chefs; two chic nightlife venues; a two-story, 40,000-square-foot spa, expansive poolscape, a pristine Atlantic Ocean beach and state-of-the-art conference and event facilities. A landmark since its debut in 1954, Fontainebleau has been restored and transformed by a team of renowned architects and designers to create the most dynamic destination resort on the eastern seaboard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel Miami Beach
Fontainebleau Hotel Miami Beach
Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach

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