33126 Travel Guide
There's yet another new hotel in Miami to consider and this one is the most sensible option we've seen yet.
The 122-room Cambria Suites Miami Hotel from Choice Hotels opened today in the city's Blue Lagoon District, just five miles from MIA. Designed to appeal to "lifestyle travelers", the Cambria Suites hotel features large all-suite accommodations with all the tech amenities we've come to expect like flat-screen TVs, free WiFi and MP3 jacks.
There's also a Reflect, contemporary bistro serving a dinner menu of local specialties but Chef Michael De Maria along with liquor, wine and beer. It's where guests can grab some prepared items to take to go as well. Refill is the hotel's "barista bar" serving coffee and a hot breakfast buffet while Refresh serves at the fitness center. There's also an outdoor pool and poolside bar.
We're still counting down until Element Miami International Airport makes the prospect of a long layover something we'd actually look forward to. But, it turns out, there are other hotels in the MIA sea, and one of them--the Regency Hotel Miami--has just completed a refurbishment. And it has a pool.
First things first, this property is not to be confused with the Hyatt Regency Miami, which is located downtown. In fact, this Regency bills itself as the only independent boutique hotel at Miami airport.
Righto, so what's it got?
UPDATE: The hotel has gotten an "All Clear" from the bomb squad and guests have been allowed back in their rooms. Phew!
Miami Beach hotels are no strangers to evacuations at this time of year when tropical storms and hurricanes are swirling all around but at the Sofitel Miami near the airport was evacuated this morning due to something far more sinister--a bomb threat. WSVN-TV reports:
According to Miami-Dade Police, the threat was phoned in to the hotel located at 5800 Blue Lagoon Drive, and people inside the hotel, including staff and guests, were evacuated at around 11 a.m. Monday. Officers and firefighters went door-to-door at the hotel to make sure everyone had been evacuated. Blue Lagoon Drive has been shutdown in both directions. As the evacuees stood in the hot sun, the crowd was offered food and Water. Miami-Dade Transit buses were called to the scene to allow those waiting outside to cool off until they are allowed back inside the building.
To be perfectly honest, the phrase "airport hotel" doesn't conjure up the most pleasant associations. While they boast close proximity to the Arrivals and Departures gates, the overall experience usually pales in comparison to those hotels located in city centers. We're pretty sure the constant stream of planes flying overhead has something to do with this.
But Marriott be damned if they won't try to reform the image of airport hotels, namely by feeding $15 million into a renovation of their Miami Airport location. Our first peek at the Marriott Miami Airport reveals space age light fixtures, vaulted ceilings with bright paneling for openness, and row upon row of cushy chairs for businessmen to take power naps in pre-meeting.
The layout of communal areas around the lobby is meant to support both work and play, with a living room-esque feeling that invites you to actually take advantage of your surroundings and mingle with other travelers rather than retreat to your room.
People go to Miami for two reasons: The music and the heat. For those types of trips, luxury is the only route. But it seems a lot of people traveling through either get stuck at the airport or are awaiting cruise ship departure. That's the only reasons we could think of as to why the Hampton Inn & Suites: Miami Airport/Blue Lagoon is rated #1 on TripAdvisor.
The hotel is not viewlicious in any way, it's a drive from any of the happening Miami nightlife and there's no Blue Lagoon in sight. And did we mention it's by the airport?
Still, recent guests staying here must love sending reviews to TripAdvisor and the ones for this place cite the hotel as having new rooms with reasonable prices and a nice staff.
We got stuck in Miami for two days and we only had the clothes we stood in. The guys on the front desk were fantastic and any problem I came up with was no problem at all.
Ok, we get it. This is probably the best hotel in Miami to check-in to should your luggage be lost or your flight home is delayed for a few days. But we still don't think it's #1 in Miami.
[Photo: Trip Advisor]
· Miami Hotel Reviews [Hotel Chatter]
I can't believe this is a Marriott branded property. No FI update has been done to these rooms and they are on par with a Red Roof Inn.
The carpet is torn in Rm 2144. I got in late on the 6th and went to bed, when I got back from a meeting on the 7th during daylight I saw "poop stains" all over the bottom of the bedspread. It was as if a person with a dirty butt sat at the end of the bed to watch tv.
I called housekeeping. I put the tv on and the remote wouldn't work so when the maid changed the spread, I asked for a working remote and she said she would have somebody do it and the time was 4pm. At 8pm I walked down to the front desk to do it myself because since it hadn't shown up. The lady at the desk said she didn't have any but someone would be up to my room shortly to exchange it. I went to bed at 11:30 pm and nobody came with the working remote.
The drama continues after the jump with WiFi issues.