Hotel recommendation needed

Discussion in 'Luxury Hotels' started by viguera, May 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Hi everyone...

    As part of my upcoming family trip to Florida in August, I'm looking for a hotel recommendation -- with a twist. Outbound flight is Sunday (8/21), followed by Mon / Tue / Wed nights at Islamorada, then return to NYC on Friday (8/26).

    Since we're traveling with a 15 month old, the plan is to try to "decompress" on Sunday after the flight before taking the 2 hour road trip, plus do the same thing on the way up... check out Thursday, drive to Miami and crash, then fly back on Friday. The dates are fixed due to previous commitments.

    I already spoke with Linda Terrill (everyone's favorite travel consultant) and she put forth quite a nice list of recommended hotels. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions or maybe something I haven't thought about that would affect my decision.

    So... Cliff's Notes:

    * Two adults traveling with 15 month old
    * 1 night stay 8/21
    * 1 night stay 8/25

    The list of candidates:

    * Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa
    * Four Seasons Hotel Miami
    * Mandarin Oriental Miami
    * ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa
    * The Ritz-Carlton South Beach
    * The Setai
    * The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
    * The Tides South Beach
    * The W South Beach

    So far I'm leaning towards the Four Seasons, mostly because I've been there several times and because the rates are actually pretty good at the time.

    I believe the St. Regis is not open as of yet. And notably the W seems to be suffering from a case of snob-ness as per that thread in the SPG section. :)

    Any suggestions / ideas? Kid friendly activities and the like are not really a priority, since we're technically just crashing and won't be at the property long enough to enjoy much, but it would be foolish to pass up on the collective wisdom of the MilePoint crowd. :)
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I'd think about the logistics of driving between the hotel and the airport in traffic. South Beach can be very congested, especially around weekends. If you were using FLL instead of MIA, the north part of Miami Beach, such as Boca, would make some sense. What about the iconic Biltmore south of Miami, IIRC in Coral Gables? It's not true luxury and is pretty big, but it's a stunning and fascinating historic building.

    For a unique experience in South Beach--although not directly on the water--the former mansion, Casa XXX, that had been owned by the Italian designer who was murdered is apparently a private club--perhaps connected to Trump--but it had been renting out about a dozen hotel rooms semi-publicly. IIRC it was in LHW a few years ago and perhaps FHR too. This place is quite expensive and might not welcome children.

    I don't think of the W and Setai as being at all kid-friendly, nor is the Delano, another stunner in the same style.
     
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  3. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    What exactly do you want to do in the area?

    • Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Cannot comment
    • Four Seasons Hotel Miami Not on the beach, in the boring and dead Brickell Area.
    • Mandarin Oriental Miami Not on the beach, in the boring and dead Brickell Area
    • ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa Cannot comment
    • The Ritz-Carlton South Beach I like the property and it's Kid Friendly
    • The Setai Not Kid friendly and I've heard of uneven stays.
    • The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort Not open until January 2012
    • The Tides South Beach Not Kid friendly
    • The W South Beach Not Kid friendly
    I'm going to toss the Hotel Victor and Bentley into the ring. If you're going to Miami/Miami Beach why stay in an "transitional"/"questionable" area where the sidewalks roll up at 4:55 PM? That is unless you need to specifically be in that area.
     
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  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    This is why we're choosing to "crash" rather than deal with a 3 1/2 hour flight followed by a 2 hour drive. The drive down from the Miami area "shouldn't be all that bad" (yeah I know, famous last words) on a Monday and the drive up shouldn't be too terrible on a Thursday.

    The flight days don't concern me all that much since it doesn't really matter if I get stuck in traffic on Sunday after landing and I can always leave bright and early on Friday and deal with the traffic and construction, arrive at the airport 3-4 hours ahead of time and just lounge about.

    We've been to South Beach hundreds of times, and indeed we used to hang out at the Clevelander, Wet Willies and all those places nearby. Casa Grande, Wet Willie's, the works. For this particular trip however Miami is just a waypoint. The real destination is Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada, so I'm just trying to find a place to crash after landing and before takeoff.

    Thanks... I've stayed at the Delano before and it's definitely "W-like" and I wouldn't consider it kid-friendly either.
     
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