Check-In: The hotel is situated on Washington Avenue which is two blocks down from the popular Ocean Drive and Collins Ave hotels. We nearly missed the hotel twice because it looks so small and lacks any obnoxious signage often found on hotels in this area. Basically, what gave the hotel away was a valet stand.
A bellman took our bags from our car and took us into the "lobby" which is just a front desk beyond the French brassiere Maison d'Azure. There our name was searched on the computer and then the bellman whisked away us and our luggage to our room. We were a little confused. "Don't you need a credit card?" we asked. The bellman replied, "Nope. We do an in-room check-in."
And indeed, the paperwork was all set up in our room. All we had to do was give our credit card to the bellman who went back inside the main house and ran it through. Fortunately, he came back right away. But this was a nice touch. No waiting in line at a front desk and no hassle. It seemed to us to be a true definition of boutique hotel service.
Room Reaction: We were taken to a pool suite villa, which as we told you last week, has two floors, two full baths, a set of somewhat treacherous spiral stairs and a rooftop deck. It's also just steps from the pool.
These rooms are about $800 during in-season but remember you can sleep four people in here. The rooms in the main tower are $300 and $320 on the weekends. The manor villas are still a bit pricey at $750.
What we liked: First and foremost, the flat-screen TVs offered regular TV and cable as well as a DVD player. But the best part was that there was just one remote control to work all of this. We also dug the mini-bar which came with larger-sized bottles of alcohol, a little sink,a microwave and plenty of goodies. The hotel also has bathrobes (yay) and Aveda products in the bath.
What we didn't like: The spiral stairs. Anytime someone knocked on our downstairs door, it was a heck of a time getting downstairs and back up. Also, the seagrass rug in the bedroom was a little too prickly on our barefeet.
Internet Connect: Free, fast-working internet.
Amenities and Service: Naturally, since the hotel is on Washington Avenue there's no beach access. However the hotel does have a partnership on the beach with Boucher Brothers where guests can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, starting at $9. The hotel has a shuttle to the beach, but we're told most people just walk.
The hotel also has spa services that are done in-room.
Dining: The Maison d'Azure is a standard French brasserie that's a tad expensive but nothing outrageous. It has a lively scene but if you are too tired to participate, they will deliver dinner to your room. Also the room rate includes a continental breakfast of coffee and pastries delivered to your room.
Bottom Line: Our thought exactly of what a boutique hotel should be. Because it is a smaller place, the attention on guests is very detailed. And upon check-out each guests receives either a t-shirt or a tank top in their size in a quaint little box. Ours also came with a note signed by the entire staff.
Even though we stayed in the pricier pool house villa we actually think we would like the studio suites in the main building better. So if it's just you plus one traveling, you won't need all that extra suite space.
For pictures of both the studio suites and the pool house villa suite, visit the HotelChatter Flickr Pool.
· Art Basel News: A Pool House Villa Suite at the Angler's Resort is Still Open [HotelChatter]