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“Beautiful property, but horrible service and expensive”

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Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Ranked #46 of 208 Hotels in Miami Beach
Miami, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, but horrible service and expensive”
Reviewed May 12, 2010

This renovated property is in spectacular condition, and the rooms are nicely appointed. It does have its share of quirks, such as a flat screen LCD TV that has only analog service, resulting in a horrible picture (no HDTV service). A full mini-bar, but no wine glasses in the room. An in-room refrigerator that doesn't cool very well. No ice bucket or ice machine. No coffee machine in the room. But the Apple computers in each room are a nice touch.
The real problem with this property is the service. It is absolutely horrible, the worst I have ever seen (and I travel quite a bit). It took a long time for the luggage to get to the room. Every time we called for something we needed in the room (ice, extra pillows, etc.), it took at least 45 minutes. The restaurant service (Vida) was also horrible. We sat for 20 minutes (with tired and hungry kids) with no attention whatsoever from the wait staff. The only time a waiter came to the table was when I went to the host to complain, which I had to do at least 3 times. Nobody came to check on our meal or whether we needed anything else. Absolutely horrible. And, by the way, the food was bad and overpriced. (I think the chef dumped a whole container of salt in each of the entrees).
Service by the pool and beach is terrible as well. It was difficult to find anyplace to sit, especially because most of the seating close to the pools is taken up by the overpriced cabanas that they sell for hundreds of dollars a day. Unlike the Ritz or Four Seasons, they don't have any ice water, and you have to track down one of the bar servers to get anything, which can be quite a challenge. Again, the only way were able to obtain any service was by literally getting up and chasing down one of the pool servers.
The departure was horrible as well. It took 20 minutes for the bell service to get to the room, and over half an hour for the valet to get our car (even though they were not busy). The attitude of the staff was horrible as well. They just didn't seem to care. Although we waited so long for our car (in the hot sun, with nobody offering any water), there were at least 8 valet persons standing around doing absolutely nothing. We asked for our car at least 3 times, and nobody apologized or seemed to care.
And yes, prices at the resort are outrageously expensive. Not worth it.

Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank iiiJBH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2010

I stayed here during our annual girls weekend (my mom, sister and myself). We were here for a week and had a wonderful time. We booked through an owner of one of the condos on a website called vrbo.com and due to that had a free breakfast everyday, access to the owners club free, access to the gym and also free beach chairs. This is not a cheap hotel, so booking this way really saved us!
The gym was amazing. I have never had a view like that while working out in myentire life. The ocean and pool all visible amde me WANT to work out everday. Besides that, the equipment was outstanding.
Our room had a view of the ocean and the pool (yeah!) and they had parties on the main lawn for the different conferences during the week. We got to enjoy some great bands from our balcony for free. Also, I slept like a rock due to the rooms being completly soundproof.
Overall, one of the best vacations I have ever taken within the US.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank flys8cj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ft lauderdale
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2010

Lets start witht he positive.. The restauraunt Hakakasn was delicious, I will give credit to where its due. The architechectual's were nice as well. We did get an upgrade for our anniversary, right on tiop of nine exhaust fans whcih made the view mush less enjoyable.

Now the down side.. other than the check in gentleman, the staff holds themselves with very little class, and evern a firendly hello is touch to achieve here. Stuck up, snobby, aloof, and disrespectful are the words to describe the staff here. I would never give the stisfaction of ever giving my money to this hotel again. This is why South Beach is going down the tubes, and I stopped going to begin with. All the locals heads are to big, they all act like they have money, but after work they drive home to the ghetto two miles away. The locals are either burned out, or scared that the Fountain Blue is going bankrupt.. I would be embarrassed if my hotel staff acted this way. the security there are all haters, and try to act tough,

Especailly when you yourself are buff and good looking. They hold you at the door after they have seen you ten times, and shuffle thru papers, after you've shown them, to hold you up because they are bored. Bottom line.. go down the street, dont waste your hard earned dollars, unless you like getting treated like crap, and waiting at the bar 15 minutes without anyone asking "can i help you." News for you South Beach locals.. your not that kool, your not that great, I make more $, Ill go to cabo for less money and get treated like a king. Odios Fountain Blue!! Muy malo...

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank mikemita26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2010

I was so upset. Being a local, my wife and I try to visit one of the nice Miami Hotels, once per month. We heard about Fountainbleau through a newspaper ad and decided to take advantage if the Mothers Day weekend special. Our "ocean view" had a view of a rooftop with only a small ocean view. The staff was very rude, especially at the pool areas. The hotel us so big and there are so many empty room, yet they try to to charge you wherever they can. For example, this morning my wife and I went to one of their pools and there was absolutely noone there. So we sat by one of the cabanas. Immediately one of the pool boys runs over and days $150! I said there is noone here! He says we must sit in the middle of all these chairs and would need to move. I told him to fly a kite. Noone ever came so we stayed. But just the fact that they intimidate you is bad enough. The Lapus Spa is way overrated. My wife had a manicure/pedicure. $150. The lady was so rude to her during the whole experience. My massage sucked. They charge a 18% tip automatically and they didn't even deserve 5%! I will NEVER come here again and would not be surprised if they are out if business soon. It's just unaccepable in this economy that a hotel can overcharge and underperform in every way.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Jbart76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tacoma, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2010

We stayed at this hotel before a family cruise. My parents wanted to take our entire family on the trip of a lifetime. This meant the best hotel that Miami could offer. Boy were we wrong. When we arrived late we were quite hungry. The restaurant was open, but it took over 2 hours to get food. This would not have been a huge deal, except we were the only ones in there.

My sister and her husband and kids found a dirty pair of underwear in the closet of their room. I thought the rooms would be amazing for the price being paid, but they were less than adequate.

The next morning we had to catch our bus to the port at noon. We went down to breakfast at 9:30 so that we would have enough time to eat. It took our server over an hour to even take our order. Then we were still waiting for our food at 11:30. Parties that sat down after us were served first. When we went to talk to the manager, it took several times to actually get him to show his face. When he did, he did not seem to care that we were having issues. All my father wanted was an apology, and he never got it.

All in all, this hotel is awful. I work in the hospitality industry and have never seen anything like this. I have stayed at hotels that are $59 a night with better service. The only reason they are still in business is because they are famous. It is the name not the service.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank akosher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2010

I booked Fontainebleau knowing not to expect too much from an hotel of this size. Never been to Miami before, I was just looking for a quick getaway with reasonable prices. I booked a Chateau Ocean Front Suite......it wasn't quite ocean front, but it was one of the penthouse suites. I thought I'd get full ocean view instead I can only see a bit of ocean to my right and the island to the left. The room was of decent size consist of a living area, bedroom, walk in dresser and a big balcony...ohh..they also had a iMac in the room with internet....for full internet access you had to pay for, but most of the sites relating to information I needed was available. The room is pretty nice, but nothing special for a penthouse suite.

I was pleasantly surprised that Tiesto was having a party at LIV, no ticket was available, but I ended up "taking care" of the bouncer and got in for just a bit more than the ticket price. The party was great, the bar price is about the same as NYC clubs. The beach is crowded as I expected, same with the pool area. I find the big beds by the pool area reasonably priced.....$100~$150 utnil 5:30pm, but was surprised the loungers at the beach cost $18 each. The concierge is weak and super busy. I couldn't get good advice on where to dine. I crossed referenced their suggestions on internet and all had bad reviews....luckily I did some homework before going.

I don't think they really nickle and dime you like others have mentioned, if you go to any big resorts, that's pretty much how it is. It would be nice if they had some all-inclusive programs. Tuesdays at the Vida restaurant have all you can drink champagne/OJ for $20.....pretty cool. I didn't have a chance to dine in the hotel restaurant, but had room service dinner on my balcony ordering from the Vida menu. The food was alright, the price is not bad...about the same if you go out to South Beach and eat. The hotel is quite far from South Beach....taxi rides cost me about $60 a day. It's about $15 ride down to South Beach.

Next time going to Miami, I think I would opt for a hotel in South Beach instead. But for the price I paid, I think the overall experience was quite pleasant. I think this place is more suitable if you're traveling with many friends, if you're looking for something romantic, this is not it.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank mojohomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2010

OK...We didn't actually stay at the hotel, but met another couple and rented a Cabana at the pool. The music on Sat was Gangster Rap, (F-THIS F-THAT, NIG... every other word...I am not a prude by any means, we are 2 fun couples in our 30's and have partied in Miami many times, usually stay at Shore Club, Delano, Gannsevort and the DJ/atmosphere is always great, Anyway, the service at the cabana was horrible, we had our own waitress which we rarely saw the whole day, and had to go track her down. The bartender was so slow, and there was hardly anyone at the bar when we first arrived. We went to Liv Friday night, highly overrated ., DJ was not good, Rude staff. I have been to LA, Vegas, NY and this was the worst. Just a tip , there are much better places in the area, save your money.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LALAINFL
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

Property: 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
#18 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#21 Spa Hotel in Miami Beach
#21 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
#32 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
#37 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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