33130 Travel Guide
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.
We knew that the Hampton Inn & Suites Miami-Brickell Downtown was going for the green, aiming for LEED-certification status. But, as this shot of one of the newcomer's guest room shows, the hotel thinks pink, too.
We kinda like those hot pink accents--and they are certainly timely since it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month--but we wonder how the straight-laced suits who bunk here while in downtown Miami on biz will like them?
One thing they will like in these cash-strapped times is the Hampton Inn Brickell's opening rates--which are as low as $129 a night this Friday.
Downtown Miami will soon get its newest hotel to play with, when the Hampton Inn & Suites - Miami/Downtown-Brickell opens, along with its mouthful of a name, in October.
We hear the hotel will have a soft opening next month, but according to the hotel's page on the Hampton Inn site, you can start making reservations from October 15.
While most of the new hotel action in Miami has been taking place (or about to) on the beach, another hot area of town is preparing for a new hotel, too: Brickell, in downtown.
Much ado was made about Brickell with the openings of the EPIC and Viceroy hotels--and the area is now filled with young professionals living in condos with bay views and hotel-like amenities. But the latest addition to the 'hood this fall will be a Hampton Inn.
That's good news for people who want to stay downtown without paying $300 a night. Developer of the property, Bernie Wolfson, tells GlobeSt.com that rates will be in the $100-$150 range.
The holidays are just 82 days away! So what are you going to get for that person in your life who has everything? (Or nothing, depending on how they fared during this financial crisis.)
How about a hotel-package-as-gift, available from the Tides South Beach? They've crafted three for you to choose from--"Suite Indulgence," "Rendezvous for Romance" and "Bed & Breakfast"--which all come with round-the-clock butler service and--natch--a hefty price tag. (Rates start at $1,200 and are good through 2009.)
The whole thing is done up in the generic minimalist modern that most hotels here are decorated with. The advertised "bamboo garden" is claustrophobic- it's the kind of place Chinese prisoners would get half an hour of exercise a day. The rooms have about a foot of space around the edge of the beds- what you see in the publicity shot is what you get. The beds are Tempurpedic (I can't spell space-age materials), which is very comfortable. The bathrooms are small, but the shower head is in the ceiling, which I am partial to.
The recap? Catalina is so-so, but new. In the end we still end up gravitating towards the pool scene hotels, but there is a new building opening in March that could add to the mix at Catalina..
· Top 5 South Beach Hotel Pool Scenes [HotelChatter]