Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach
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... as possible this slooooow pace may take some getting used to (J).
After a relaxing morning and a very strange hostel provided breakfast of sweet pastries filled with either mince meat or cheese :s we headed to the main part of Miami’s South Beach.
The beach was packed (mainly with locals) and it was easy to see why, the sand was soft and fluffy and the sea was lovely and warm, calm and fairly shallow - excellent swimming conditions.
We stayed on ...
... s very sad considering shore excursion companies are often owned by overseas investors, charging customers top dollar and paying employees minimum wage. This problem isn't isolated to Jamaica. The same story was told in all of the 12 Caribbean islands we have now visited. Tipping is essential for their survival.
On a lighter note, once we arrived back to the ship, Dave gave himself a drunken haircut. Rum punch led to this new 'hairdresser' having an early night, so it ...
... at $700 and going to $30,000 for courtside seats. Americans are very serious about their sport.
We then went to Petersons Harley Davidson in Miami to book in the bike for a checkup - just to make sure all is running well before we take off on our adventure.
On the way home we stopped by a T mobile store to arrange new sim cards for our phones so we can call each other and home. It has been 32 degrees C all day and we ...
... via the 'short cut'. "Trust me, it's quicker" the driver said as we sat in a stationery queue whilst waiting for a boat to pass under the open drawbridge. A quick pit stop at the hotel to change into swimming things, and off to South Beach (SoBe to the initiated) for an afternoon swim and walk. Really crowded as far as the eye could see, but nice, wide sand to sit or walk on. Lots of bands and stages along the waterfront, mostly in honour of ...
... and a bustling food market. Michael and I went for a walk and were spoilt for choice for dinner options. We settled on a neat place where Michael chose his own pasta ingredients which they then cooked up in front of us and I did the same at the salad bar with a choice of about 30 different options to add in – delicious!
After watching the sun sink down behind the buildings in front of us, we were out like a ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach Miami Beach
Housekeeping needs major help!
Come on guys; get your act together!! Help is needed very badly at the Bentley Beach Hotel in Miami Beach. Had to wait until about 4:30 for my room, when checkin is at 3pm. Kept being promised, and promised just a few more minutes. Now I understand why! During my stay had requested services for my room...never happened, called Housekeeping for toothbrush, never showed up, called for turndown, never showed up, called for a blanket, never showed up, called for towels, never showed up...had to go to front desk for towels...very kind and extremely sympathetic to the situation. New hotel, needs major help in housekeeping. Will never reach 5 star status as they claim if this continues! Ever hear about the Help Wanted's.
Beautiful New Hotel
This is a beautiful boutique hotel. As of this writing (March 2005), the Spa and restaurant have not opened. We had 2 rooms.One was the one bedroom "grand" suite. It had beautiful furnishings and a fully equipped kitchen. The other room was the efficiency room. It was of course smaller but again had beautiful furnishings and a fancy flat wall TV. Both bathrooms were full marble and beautiful.
The front desk was friendly and responded quickly to any requests. The pool was small but adequate. It was pretty quiet. They will give you beach chairs and umbrellas for free (well, they add a mandatory $10 charge to your room each day). However, they have a limited number of beach chairs and when we were there, there were some very angry guests who didn't get chairs. Maybe they bought more by now. They should -- since the beach chair charge is added on to each rooms' stay, you should be guaranteed chairs. I liked it because it didn't have the hustle bustle of the crowded hotels like the Lowes. There is no restaurant in the hotel, but all the Ocean Drive restaurants are a few blocks away, and a Starbucks is right next door. I thought it was great for relaxation.
I found a great grand opening deal on Expedia and I'm so glad I jumped on it. It was the cleanest room I have ever stayed in (maybe because it was brand new). The bedding and towels were top notch. The bathroom was huge and marble throughout. The location was perfect for our interests. It is at the quieter end of South Beach, but within walking distance to all of the art deco hotels/bars. It's really close to Joe's Stone Crab (another place I'd recommend). The hotel is on a beautiful stretch of beach with comfortable lounge chairs. The desk staff and concierge were really nice and helpful. I should mention a few things that could be improved: the breakfast was expensive and served on an extremely windy patio on the 4th floor; housekeeping was unresponsive to requests for additional towels; the shower did not have a curtain (intentionally) and water got all over the floor. These things did not bother us because the postive things outweighed them. I know this hotel will be a lot more expensive when it's fully up and running. I hope I can afford to stay there again some day!! It made our first trip to Miami memorable.
Best in South Beach
My wife and I just returned after four nights at Bentley Beach. She was on business for a non-profit so the $195.00 rate was a must. I am sure that prices are likely to double because the property has a lot to offer. Our room #613 was facing west, but the skyline is quite nice and you can see cruise ships heading out to sea. Also it was amusing to my wife to see the steakhouse below continue to take diners well past 1:30 in the morning. The room had a small kitchen and a surround sound DVD player with a plasma TV. Top of the line I would say. Bring your favorite movie. The location was better than I expected. You are right next door to the Nikki Beach Club, and a short walk to reasonably priced Big Pink restaurant. Also near is Tavern Opa which is greek and quite lively as guest dance on tables while bellydancers move about. Also Joe's Stonecrab has a takeaway store that is quite nice. Many of the more popular nightclubs are within a walk if that't what you enjoy.The Beach area is every bit as nice as National and Sagamore, be sure to tip Pedro the cabana manager, he works quite hard.
Amazing room, views and location
Although this condo/hotel is still working out the kinks, it is truly amazing. we stayed in suite 905a (corner unit) only way to go, it had a huge balcony ocean and inlet views, flat screen tv, marbel bathroom the whole 9. When we got there they did make us wait 45 min past check-in, but made it up to us by having a bottle of complimentary champagne waiting for us in our room. we got an amazing rate of 195 per night on expedia, my advise is book early in the high season (at least a month in advance). Beware some rooms have small balconys, request a 05a line or another corner unit and you won't be dissapointed
Booked a two-night weekend stay. Arrived Fri night at 11pm to be told that they really didn't have any rooms. Sent us to the Doubletree where the spring break crowd was overflowing. Bentley told us they had booked a suite for us, the DoubleTree didn't even have suites. Told to call back the next day to see if they had any rooms for the following day. Called to talk to the reservations manager, put on hold and hung up on three times. Finally got to him to hear they had no rooms for the second night either. Told not to worry that "it happens a lot to a lot of people". Said he would send out a voucher for a free weekend in the future, of course never arrived. They have quite a lot to learn about running a first class hotel.
Good but not great
I just returned from a weekend(2/25-2/28) at the Bentley Beach Hotel in South Beach. It has only been opened a few months and it shows.
The good: rooms are very nice, large, marble bathrooms and balconys. Textiles and furnishings are elegant. Excellent and comfortable bed. The location was good, on the beach, right by some excellent restaurants and Pearl, a good club. Not too close to all the action, so you can get a good nights sleep.
The bad: Checked in at 4:30 pm. Room was not available and I was told I would have to wait half and hour for it to be cleaned because other people had checked out late! Only when I complained was I offered a complimentary breakfast. During this time in the lobby I witnessed many an annoyed patron, and the front desk staff simply seemed overwhelmed , distant and slightly out if control. The pool at best looked like a Holiday Inn pool, as it was surrounded by concrete, bad deckchairs and a view of a carpark. The beach was very nice, with cabanas and towels, but an amazingly slow beach attendant with no English skills to speak of, was painful. When my friend and I wanted a cab on Friday night, the door man offered to get one , and then promptly disappeared. Turn down service arrived at 7 ish each night when we were getting ready for dinner, so we were unable to take advantage of it. The doors to the rooms banged close with such an crash it would make you jump.
A lot of these things may not be a big deal if taken individually , but together they leave an impression of a hotel that doesn't have it together.
Also, the high expectation you might have if you have stayed in other Small Luxury Hotels of the world, will be largely left unforfilled. This hotel will only be up to those standards once some serious wrinkles have been ironed out and the staff overhauled.
Can't wait to go back
This place is going to be the next Delano when it is fully up and running. We stayed there during the Food Festival, and it is the perfect location, big comfortable suites and great staff. Location is perfect, on the beach and near all the action but not right in the middle. We go to Miami each year for a few days, and this will be the place we stay.
Just opened, and already 5 Stars!
Because the hotel is having a "soft opening", we got a great rate, but the place is so nice and location is so magnificent that we will pay full price. Also like that it is smallish. We had a one bedroom suite which was perfect for our 4 day visit. It is in the hot new area called SOFI (south of fifth) which is a great location, just next to all the action without being too far or in all the chaos. I loved the fact that it was ocean front, and our room had a balcony. Liked the fact there was a full kitchen too, sometimes it is nice just to eat in and enjoy a great bottle of wine while listening to the ocean! This place will be the hot new location once it is up and going full steam.
Bentley Beach Hotel-Great Spot
Spent two nights at the Bentley Beach Hotel mid-February. Great location; oceanfront, within walking distance of all the South Beach action, without being in the midst of the craziness. Beautiful rooms (we had a one bedroom suite, with seperate living room, kitchenette, jaccuzzi tub, large ocean view balcony). No restaurant on the property, but plenty of choices within a short walk in any direction. Friendly, attentive staff. Will definitely stay there again, later in the season when it is a touch warmer, and more conducive to beach activity.