Sea View Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz
Loved the beach and relaxation!
My husband and I just returned from a vacation at the Sea View hotel. We arrived after 10:00 pm starving! The hotel does not serve any food after 10:00 pm including room service.
Our room was very large (decorated nice, CLEAN) and had a balcony with a great view of the pool and ocean. The room had a huge walk-in closet, but small bathroom. My husband did call the hotel to make our reservation and requested a balcony with an ocean view. (The outside could use some repair.)
We were not looking for a lot of activity which was a very good thing. The pool bar doesn't even open until 12:00 pm and shuts down at 5:00 pm. Oh - and they pretty much shut down the pool and beach services at 5:00, too. They will collect your towel right out from under you!
The beach was great and not crowded even for the 4th of July! The fireworks were great and the hotel offered a special cook-out buffet.
Overall the hotel is nice, but needs revitalizing! We loved the Bal Harbor location and walked everywhere.
Cozy room. Nice beach. Mediocre pool. Avoid the extras.
My family enjoyed our stay last week. We booked direct with the hotel, which I highly recommend. You need to specifically request an ocean view and bed sizes when making reservations. We did, and were satisfied on our arrival.
The weather was unseasonably windy, making the surf too rough to swim. The pool area was nice. But you do pay extra for the comfy padded chairs.
Drinks at the bar were expensive ($9 for a pina colada), and the restaurant was pricey with consistently slow service. Unfortunately, they add gratuity to your food/bar tabs, so there's no incentive for the wait staff to stay on their toes.
Parking was $10 extra a day. The general area is very quiet (unlike South Beach)... but you will need a car to go anywhere.
On our next trip, we'll probably stay farther south to keep things in walking distance.
Not what we expected
This Hotel once had its day, but that was long ago. My wife and 2 kids stayed three nights in April, 2004. The room was clean but small, as was the bathroom. The place closes up at 9 pm, There is nothing to do. If I was staying there myself for a business trip I would have been comfortable, however, as a family trip, it was embarassing. The sheraton next door would have been so much better. I would have checked out to the Sheraton if I hadn't prepaid thru EXPEDIA, who by the way charged more than the hotel did. 199.00 per night. The hotel quoted 189.00 for a second room that connected to our small room. We left a day early, went home to Charleston SC. Should have never left.
Was very disappointed.
We booked our hotel stay through hotels and stayed here for 3 nights during March. I had specifically requested a room with an ocean view and king size bed. We paid $600.00 to stay here and expected something way better than what we got. What they gave us was a first floor room with 2 full size beds and the window was facing the parking lot! I was so upset I went to go complain to the receptionist and she told me that when we book rooms through hotels that is the type of room that they usually give. They ended up giving us another room with a king size bed but no ocean view. The rooms were not that nice either. I had seen their web site and was very impressed but it was totally different in person. I do not recommend staying here. While driving down Collins Ave., we saw many beautiful hotels we could have stayed at for the money we paid.
Ok, but doesn't worth the money
We just came back from Miami and we stayed in the Sea View for 3 nights. Maybe something changed since other people who wrote reviews stayed there ( or hotel's owners wrote these positive reviews) but we had completly different experince.
We payed $200 per night booked through expedia.com. For this price we got the worse room ever! It was very small room on the first floor, facing parcking lot; no balcony; with noisy aircondition stack in the midlle of a dirty window; with very old and cheap looking furniture...
We were so disappointed!!! Especially because I called a couple of weeks before our arrival and personally asked for a room on a high floor and a balcony.
After several complains (we were told - 'what do you expect, you pay only(!) $200 ' ) we were transferred to the second floor. The room was same small, but at least it had a balcony (still facing parking lot).
Also it was located next to the service elevator, so we were waken up every morning 7am by it's noise. The bathroom was pretty nice though and it is was probably the only good thing about this room.
The crowd in the hotel is mostly retired people ( most of them own rooms there and live there ) and their visitors.
The hotel charges you for everything - beach chairs, pool cushions, gym and etc. The pool area is nice and spacious, but looks old.
From my personal experience, I will not recommend this hotel. At least not for the price we paid. It wasn't that bad as it probably sounds from my review, but definitly doesn't worth $200 per night! We were pretty disappointed.
Great Place to Relax!!!
We stayed two nights in late October. The Hotel is very well located; on the beach and within walking distance from Bar Harbour Mall. Staff (with very few exceptions) is very helpful. Rooms are nice and clean.
We had an oceanview room with a balcony...just great! Breakfast was very good and service at the restaurant was excellent. The Pool is clean and its staff is very attentive. Beach was nice and quiet. We definitely recommend the Sea View Hotel.
So Nice We Did It Twice!
We enjoyed the Sea View Hotel and recommend it to anyone seeking an oceanfront hotel in the calmer Bal Harbour area. We planned our week-long vacation to be split in half starting in Bal Harbour/Miami Beach and then ending in Key West. The Sea View could use some exterior updates, but all interior spaces were beautifully done. You can tell care was taken into decorating the rooms, even down to the cute stained glass turtle nightlight. Every person on staff (front desk, security, concierge, bellman, restaurant, housekeeping) was extremely helpful and friendly. We definitely felt like they aimed to please. We were originally booked on a 1st floor bayview room, but couldnt see anything so we asked for a room with a better view. They accommodated us to a higher corner room that allowed both bay and ocean views, with a balcony to boot. Mid-week, we left for Key West--our hotel in Key West (Key Lime Inn) ended up being a disaster so after two fitful nights, we headed straight back to the Sea View. On such short notice, they accommodated our request for a higher room with a view and put us in a 12th floor bayview room with balcony. The point being, they will do whatever possible to accommodate their guests. To give a total objective review, I have to mention that pool lounge cushions are $5 and cabana rentals are extra. If you bring a pillow from your room, the hardwood lounge chair (sans cushion) can actually be comfortable. There is also an $8.50 charge each time you use their gym. We asked why there wasnt a flat resort fee to cover all these extras and found out there are private owners of units within the Sea View so that is the system that has been set up for guests. The gym consists of 2 treadmills, an elliptical machine (legs only), universal weight machines, free weights, 1 Reebok step set and 2 t.v.snot the latest and greatest, but they serve their purposes for diehard workout fanatics. The gym and salon are located on the same floor as the housekeeping laundry room and kitchen. The pool is big, but there are some tiles that need to be replaced. If you want a party hotel, dont stay at the Sea View--head down to the Sheraton instead. There isnt much to do near the hotel other than shop and lay out by the pool or beach, but South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale are nearby and easily accessible by cab or bus if you dont have a rental car. If you want a beautiful quiet high-end hotel with an attentive staff, then head to the Sea View. (p.s. If you love playing piano, bring your sheet music--theres a music room with a piano.)
Home away from home
I stay in scores of hotels for business and they all generally feel like hotels. They have that hotel smell and well they just don't feel like home. Sea View was different. Not only was it in a great part of town, but the accomodations were wonderful.
That's not to say that the hotel is perfect. The dining options are limited, but there are a significant number of alternatives. The staff were friendly and very guest focused (with only a few exceptions). From the outside the hotel looks old compared to it's neighbors, but the focus is on what's inside.
The only bad experience was finding out that you are automatically charged $10 a day for parking and it appeared that the maid made long-distance phone calls on my phone. The front desk was more aggravated with me and treated my claims of innocency over the calls with doubt. Those two elements knocked my rating form a five to a four.
Pleasant, but limited
Chose the Sea View because of the Bal Harbor location and the suspiciously low rate ($99/night for a guaranteed high floor, bay view). The room was all that I would ask for for the price -- well kept, simply decorated, nice balcony and a personal refrigerator rather than a minibar. The service, however, was real spotty (sometimes clueless, sometimes slightly rude). I felt like I got my money's worth, but would not have paid one penny more.
What a find!
Elegant hotel on the beach. We were in Miami for family wedding and this hotel was perfect for our needs. Since Miami Beach hotel reviews so mixed we took a chance on this older hotel in Bal Harbour. Since it was off season it was quiet but the room was lovely (the hotel is remodeled--check out their website) and the hotel service and food in restaurant were excellent. Pool, cabanas. Clublike lounge off restaurant and lobby. Bal Harbour Shops and restaurants across the street.
TripAdvisor Reviews Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz
Travel Blogs from Bal Harbour
... to walk back along the ocean boulevard instead, hoping to find somewhere there to get a drink & get some change to jump back on the bus again. We couldn't have been more wrong, this whole stretch was residential, no shops and no buses passed us. A pleasant but long walk back took us a good sweaty hour. At least it wasn't raining and some of the houses were amazing to look at. Once back at the hotel, we headed straight to the poolside bar to quench our thirst. ...
Clearing thru customs, rechecking our bags and reentering the secure area for our Charlotte flight went smoothly. We're now at our gate waiting another 2 hours for boarding our 7:10 flight at 6:40. We'll grab something to eat and hopefully will leave on time. Weather forecast is thunderstorms for CLT and delays into and out of CLT are expected. Bummer! Well, so far so good. We're pulling away from the gate on time. ...
... but it killed the whole day as I probably walked about another 15km in my refusal to go on an open top tour bus. There were some dudes playing dominoes and that was about it. No Spicey Bob’s – Disappointing! Had a couple of beers with Diego in the evening sitting out on a bench viewing the skyline which was pretty cool before retreating back to his air conditioned haven to try and plan my ultimately pointless trip out the Florida Key’s.
On paper ...
... to time but it is not cold. Late in the afternoon we intercept another cruise ship to port and follow them into Miami. Our final dinner is followed by the last show Time which was a spectacular rock music show by the Suns dance troupe. Enjoyable though not really our music scene. Off to bed with an early rise to disembark after breakfast then once clear of immigration we will head for the Amtrak station and the silver star. A fabulous 14 days, a great ...
... found here)!
The crowd was sexy, music was great and the atmosphere was absolutely beautiful! But be sure to make reservations! This place get PACKED!!!!
Nikki Beach's service is phenomenal though! I see exactly why it was voted one of the sexiest beach bars on the Travel ...