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The Smooth Operator Reports on the Not-So-Smooth Viceroy Miami

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  Site Where: 485 Brickell Ave [map], Miami, FL, United States, 33131
July 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM | by | ()

Welcome to the first of several hotel dispatches from our newest special contributor, The Smooth Operator. We can't divulge his identity but we can tell you he's spends about 70 percent of his time on the road, staying in all the hot hotels and checking out their restaurants and bars to see if the social scene is up to snuff. If you're deciding whether or not to take a chance on that hip boutique hotel in the city, read The Smooth Operator for his opinion first. (Or send us an email and we'll have him answer it for you!)

As part of the Icon Brickell complex, the Viceroy Miami holds the front tower leaning over Brickell Avenue. The Icon at Brickell is supposedly designed by Philippe Starck, yet I challenge if he ever even visited this property – it’s one of those Yoo projects where some young things working under Starck’s name have put together a collage of Stark-inspired design arrangements and mash-up furniture. [Ed. Note: While the Icon at Brickell was designed by Philippe Starck, which includes the hotel pool and the spa, the interiors of the Viceroy Miami were actually done by designer Kelly Wearstler.]

The room was a good size overall with an extremely large bathroom with shower and enlarged tub. Along with a kitchen and wet-bar area, the room is well equipped for an extended stay.

While the hotel is only a few years old, it’s getting beat up and some of the room’s props were dirty. The sofa in the lounge area of the suite could have been covered in plastic sitting in my grandmother’s cottage – definitely not the Miami pieces you’d expect in a hotel like the Viceroy.

The only thing worse than the sofa was the dilapidated bamboo style curtains that had worn out and provided holes for the sun to peak in and throw weird designs across the room in the morning. They need to be replaced, along with the towels that have expanding holes.

Room service was just half-decent and reflects the food at Eos overall. I’d give the restaurant 90 days before it’s closed (Ed. Note: It's still open btw.) Upon visiting the restaurant for breakfast, the food was served cold and the service was equally frigid – the staff are well aware they’re working in a sinking ship.

The pool area was out of towels and the staff noted it would take 20-30 minutes for towels to show up but when I suggested I return to my room to grab mine from there, they told me not to and that they’d bring me one after my swim. I never saw them again and when I approached to get a towel they did not remember I was staying at the hotel and still had not received clean towels – forcing me to ride the elevators wet and drip back to my room.

The room was outfitted with a solid Italian espresso machine but one of the building’s residents at the pool informed me that the building was going through water issues and the water was not drinkable, so it cost me $5 for bottled water to pour in the container to generate a coffee, slightly less expensive than the $7 latte at the Café Icon – the small little spot adjacent to the pool.

Jogging in the back of the building in the morning and along the water, I noticed that Cipriani’s is opening in the building in the near future, so that should bring a culinary experience to the complex. [Ed. Note: The restaurant will be a stand-alone business, not associated with the hotel.] Hopefully they can clean up the space prior as the back path is full of broken glass, garbage, and the smell of urine.

The other strange smell surfaced in the hallways and in the rooms – smells like cheap shampoo, as if someone spilled Pantene on the carpets – very potent in many spots, which was quite strange.

Rates at the Viceroy Miami can be found for as low as $159 a night in August. That's for a king room. A junior suite like Smooth Operator's is only $191 this month. For more on the Viceroy Miami, read the HotelChatter review from 2009 or go here.

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