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Hanging Out At Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell

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  Site Where: 50 SW 12th Street [map], Miami, FL, United States, 33130
December 27, 2012 at 9:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

So far, we've reviewed two of the hotels featured in our "6 Miami Hotels Under $200" guide. And while we enjoyed our time at Cadet Hotel slightly more than Clinton South Beach, we also got to take a look at the new Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell, a simple but tasteful mid-range joint right in the heart of downtown Miami.

Hampton Inn & Suites officially opened in October 2011, but it's still making waves as the city's first LEED-certified hotel, and ranks pretty high on TripAdvisor. And though there about a billion eco-friendly reasons to like the hotel (35,000 gallon rainwater cistern, electric vehicle charging stations, low-flow water fixtures, biodegradable cups and plates), what we found most appealing was the hotel's cool art collection (see above) and its efficient use of space.

Check-in: The hotel is incredibly easy to get to. Though it's not recommended, we relied solely on public transportation getting there from Miami Airport, and we walked from the Brickell Metromover station to the hotel in two minutes.

After showing up around 7pm, the hotel was helpful, professional, and very welcoming. As usual, we made sure to request a high-up floor, and the Front Desk clerk offered room 1405, a Standard King near the top of the building. And after informing us about the complimentary breakfast the next morning (wahoo!), they handed over our key and sent us on our way.

 

Room reaction: We admit, it was a little tough getting over the initial disappointment of the room's bland color scheme (beige walls, beige curtains, grey patterned carpet). But we were at least able to appreciate the room's new-ness, its big, clean bed (topped with a room service tray and TV remote), sleek oversized desk with ergonomic chair, and an easy-to-use air conditioning control.

Best of all, we loved its size. Walking around between the bed, desk and bathroom, we felt like we were in a mini-suite, with plenty of room to spread out. And though that doesn't say much coming from a New Yorker, we were pretty happy about it. And while the window didn't offer amazing ocean views (it rained anyhow), it, too, was big.

Bathroom: Again, there's nothing inspiring about the design of these rooms, and that definitely goes for the bathroom. But functionality-wise, all the bases were covered. Huge mirror (for looking at ourselves), wide counter (for spreading out our belongings), and Purity toiletries (for smelling good). Plus, that endless list of eco-friendly amenities we mentioned above, which help make the hotel so 'green.'

What we liked: What the hotel lacks in interesting room design, it totally makes up for with its public spaces. At night, the high-ceilinged lobby, dotted with original art, is a quiet, relaxing place to sit with a drink while watching a basketball game. No one bothers you, yet it's easy to make friends considering how open the space feels. In fact, the lobby contains 73% ore open space than is required by code.

Alternatively, in the morning, the brightly-colored, open breakfast area is a refreshing place to sit and start your day. We ended up bringing our oatmeal and banana up to our room (deadlines, deadlines!), but we saw plenty of families gathering around their bagels and orange juices, all of which are included in the price of a room.

We also liked the murals of vintage cars installed near the elevators on each floor.

What we didn't like: At the end of the day, it's still a plain old Hampton Inn & Suites, so don't come here expecting top notch service or 500-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. The lobby is punctuated with bursts of color from the impressive art collection, but the vibe is pretty....shall we say, corporate? Bland furniture, robotic staff, and a lack of cool music playing overhead constantly reminded us we were probably better off at one of South Beach's trendier spots.

Bottom Line: We paid a standard rate of $210.35 (including tax), which for the amenities we got (free WiFi, free breakfast, fitness center, rooftop pool), wasn't bad at all.

[Photos: HotelChatter]

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