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Last-Minute Art Basel Miami: Using HotelTonight to Score a Dream

December 7, 2012 at 5:01 PM | by | Comments (2)

If you want to talk about high hotel rates, let's talk Art Basel Miami Beach. The annual contemporary art event—which encompasses several art fairs, art installations around the city, and a gajillion parties—brings in the big spenders and the struggling creatives alike for four days of fun in the sun.

The official days are Thursday-Sunday, December 6-9, but we've been in Miami all week hotel hopping, so we decided to throw caution to the wind for a little experiment: last-minute, day-of hotel reservations for what are the highest peak days in Miami's calendar. We're calling it "Operation Last Resort."

First up: the night before Art Basel, which would be Wednesday, December 5. Since we had some credits to kill, we turned to the iPhone booking app HotelTonight. They kind of specialize in these things and didn't disappoint, offering six choices from $169 to $399. The sales go live at noon local time, but we didn't check it until 2pm and, in under a minute, had decided on and confirmed one night at The Dream South Beach for $209, $237 total including taxes.

Not only was that price reasonable, but the resort fee of $7.95 per day (for WiFI, poolside chaise lounges, towel service and 2-for-1 cocktails) was as well, considering $20/day is the norm.

What we liked:
· Etro toiletries in the room!
· A very club-like design influence, which works for South Beach
· Freebies.The drinks were excellent and, since the hotel's Serafina restaurant just opened the night before, we scored a coupon for a free black truffle pizza with an entree purchase.
· Location! Not only is it on Collins and nearby other hotels hosting Art Basel parties, but it's like a two-minute walk to the Untitled art fair happening on the beach.
· The price was far less than we thought the property would go for on the night before Art Basel.

What wasn't so great:
· F*cking WiFi. It was slow (confirmed by other guests we spoke with at the bar) and wouldn't allow us to upload images. As a result, we were on edge all day and spent less time in our room and more time at a Starbucks. SAD.
· Yeah, the restaurant had just opened but was closed that night for private dining. No black truffle pizza for us.
· The room's window is behind the bed and really not worth the trouble to open.The room can feel like a cave.

So far, so good for Operation Last Resort, with more to come tomorrow.

If you're in Miami as well (or any of the other multitude of international cities HotelTonight serves, download their free app, register here, and get to booking!

[Photos: HotelChatter]

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Just paid total of $227 for two nights at The Richmond an Ocean front art deco hotel on Collins ave next to Delano and SLS hotels!
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