More about Hilton Miami Downtown - Biscayne
Hilton Downtown Miami not bad
I stayed at the Hilton Downtown Miami which, not surprisingly, is located in downtown Miami, FL, for two days over the 4th of July. I got a rate over the Hilton internet site where if I paid in advance non-refundable, I got the room for half the rack rate -- a very nice deal if you don't plan to change plans. This was a "stay-cation"; I only live 30 miles away in Fort Lauderdale, and decided to do the tourist thing in Miami. The Hilton Downtown Miami is located on the floors above the Omni Center in Miami; you have to either use the Hilton's valet parking ($28/day) or self-park in the Omni Center's parking garage ($25/day); there is no street parking anyway near this location -- so parking is an expense, if you drive a car here. On the plus side, the hotel is one block from the MetroMover, which is Miami's free monorail-like elevated, automated tram that transports people along the Biscayne Blvd corridor downtown -- MetroMover doesn't go far, but it does go to Bayside Marketplace, making that an easy trip on the cheap without having to pay for parking there, too (Bayside charges about $10/day to park), MetroMover also goes to the MetroRail, which you pay for, but it goes to a few more attractions, like Viscaya, the Miami International Airport, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and more. The Hilton's rooms were not bad -- I was very annoyed, though, to find the toilet paper holder in the bathroom to be all the way on the other side of the bathroom as far away from the toilet seat as it could possibly have been positioned -- if you don't want to fall off the "throne" trying to get some toilet paper, pull a hunk off before seating yourself -- I have to wonder what they were thinking when they installed them. Wifi is not available in the rooms, but for an extra charge you can get high-speed internet in the rooms. Free WiFi is available in the lobby. There is a roof-top swimming pool. Complementary breakfast buffet is provided, and this was a tremendous value -- no croissants and coffee wimpy breakfasts here -- full breakfast fare, buffet-style, serve yourself: load your own plates with tons of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, breads, lots of different fruits, juices, beverages, cereals, cold cuts, and more. I enjoyed such hearty breakfasts (and took bananas, apples and cold cuts with me to eat later for lunch) that I could go really light on dinner (and the resulting expense). The neighborhood between the hotel and the MetroMover and surrounding the hotel has a lot of vagrant types loitering around -- while I was not personally bothered by them, I also did not hang outside after dark -- I think the area is probably not one you want to be walking around outside after dark. Overall, the very generous and free robust breakfasts, free lobby wifi, convenient location to the free MetroMover station and severely discounted rate for a Hilton made this a very good deal for me, and I would stay here again if I could get this deal again.
Bumped at the Miami Hilton
I was with a group of 25 or so that, in January, reserved rooms at the Hilton Miami Downtown for the third week of July. All the reservations were confirmed. But when we arrived, we all found ourselves over-booked and having to wait four to six hours to gain access to the rooms, which caused us to miss important parts of our conference. At least five of us were completely bumped to hotels on the other side of town.
The staff was only mildly apologetic and, in a particularly classy move, tried to blame other hotel guests and our sponsoring organization for the over-bookings.
I'm not aware of any offers of discounts or reparation, other than a few drinks at their bar. One hapless desk clerk tried to offer me a free meal in the lobby restaurant while I waited but was quickly over-ruled by his supervisor.
Once we finally got into our rooms the service was okay, although the elevator system in that hotel is poorly designed and extremely slow.
All in all, I expected better from a Hilton.
We found a great deal for this hotel on a travel website but then when I read some of the latest reviews here on tripadvisor I began to panic. When we arrived at the Hilton Miami Downtown I was SO surprised by how good it was compared to the last reviews I'd read here. Check-in was super quick and the staff was friendly, our room was great, clean, nice view, completely re-modeled. It was exactly what you'd expect from a Hilton. I don't know what those other reviewers were talking about! The only bad thing about this hotel is the parking! It's very expensive! Other than that the location is centrally located, all the rooms have been re-done, the pool area is beautiful, and if you find an inexpensive deal like we did, then it's a bargain!
Doesn't deserve the name Hilton
The Hilton Miami Downtown does not deserve the name Hilton. I've stayed at Hilton Hotels and the Hilton family of hotels and resorts all over the US and Europe and this one is the worst. I had the displeasure of staying there for a week. This was the host hotel for a large convention and even though they knew they had booked the convention, they were no where near ready.
The room was not ready when we arrived and it was after check in time. We were told it would be 3 hours. Not offered an option, just wait. Bar was understaffed, 1 bartender for about 150 people in the bar and no wait staff. Restaurant was understaffed. As I said, they were not ready. This continued for most of the week.
The hotel was structurally unready to host a convention of 5-6000 people. There is no street access except by elevator. Motor Lobby has 4 elevators, one of which was out of service. None were air conditioned. This made for 45-60 minute waits for elevators. Hotel was serviced by 7 elevators, only three were in operation on check in day and by the end of staying there for a week, I had only seen 4 operating at any one time.
Hotel security is lax. Had a laptop stolen from the room, and it took security 90 minutes to arrive to take the case. Case info was written on the back of an envelope and it was up to me to do all the follow ups. No offer was made for them to help at all.
Door keys kept failing. Just imagine the frustration of arriving at your room, after waiting 45 minutes on an elevator, being crowded into an un-airconditioned elevator, and your key doesn't work. The only option is to spend at least another 45 minutes going to the desk, to get a new card key. This happened at least 5 times during a one week stay. And no the card was not kept near anything else or any other magnetic card.
There is no street access by emergency stairwell at this hotel. Emergency stairs exit to a parking deck with little signage to help you get to the street.
The most frustrating thing is that the hotel staff at the front desk did nothing. Their only answer to every situation brought to their attention was "I'm sorry". They took no steps to take corrective action.
Maintenance did increase during the week, but the staff attitude was always the same. "We're Sorry" Well, I'm sorry too, because this was to be a chance of a lifetime, and this "Hilton" does not deserve the name. If you value your vacation, do not stay at this hotel.
the good, the bad, the ugly
We booked a room at the Hilton for a convention, thru the Miami Convention bureau.
The good -- The room itself was nice. I would have preferred to have another easy chair or a loveseat instead of the one easy chair. But the deskchair was comfortable, the bed was comfortable. The linens, both sheets & towels were very nice. Bathroom and toiletries, very nice. One touch missing was a safe.
The bad -- the internet service in the room didn't work. We called down on arrival, and were connected to the service provider's tech support. They diagnosed that their equipment in the room was faulty and needed to be switched out. The tech called the Hilton's engineering dept to have them perform the swap, and confirmed that to me that it would be done. We waited for an hour and then went out. Still hadn't been done the next afternoon, so I called down and asked. Got an apology and promise that it would be done right away. Next morning, I called again. Another apology, another promise -- right away. It never did get replaced. When I checked out I complained about this, and all I got was another apology and the explanation that they were discontinuing that service, and would replace it with wireless. No explanation of why no one bothered to call and explain this during my stay. The worst part -- they billed me $20 for the call to their provider's tech support. The charge was removed when I insisted.
The ugly -- the exterior of the hotel, and getting in & out. From the street, the hotel just looks hideous, hulking, unwelcoming, and repulsive. To enter, you go through a motor court into an elevator lobby, and go up the elevator to the lobby -- past 5 stories of parking, ballrooms and I don't know what. Then you have to navigate the lobby to get to a different set of elevators to go to the rooms. Reverse the process to leave the hotel -- every entry and exit requires changing elevators, like taking 2 subway trains to get across town. And despite this, when we got out of a cab from the airport, with our luggage, there was no doorman or bellman to greet us and direct us to the front desk. We're looking around this little elevator lobby, like WTF? Fortunately, there were some other guests coming back in, who kindly explained it to us.
Nice rooms, everything else awful
I recently stayed to attend a national conference. The room was nice and the housekeeping was good. The good news stops there.
Of five elevators, about three were ever running at the same time to serve this highrise hotel. The original atrium entrance was abandoned so everyone had to squeeze into three elevators from a "motor lobby" up to the main lobby. I routinely heard stories of people waiting 20 minutes to get to their rooms. I usually took the stairs to my fifth floor room.
There were numerous problems on check-in. The first clerk claimed never to have heard of me. The second clerk checked me in later with almost no problem. Almost, because my card key didn't work and I had to go back down for another one. A friend of mine had booked a special suite months in advance and guess what? They gave it away and he had to pull a hissy fit to get something even close.
In the mornings there wasn't enough coffee and at night, during planned events, there weren't enough bartenders. About half the staff made an effort to be friendly but the rest were as surly as they come. I actually had one lady pretend not to hear or see me when I apparently annoyed her too much!
It seems Hilton isn't much interested in running this hotel they recently acquired. Well that's fine, because I'm not interested in returning nor in staying in any other Hilton for quite a while.
Worst Hotel Experience in over A Decade
I travel all the time and this was by far the worst hotel experience I have experienced in over 10 years. 2 employees were involved in an altercation (in front of me and other guests) in which one threatened to cut the other one. The elevators were being renovated and there were no stair alternatives. The front desk staff were inconsistent at best. One employee would not work at all. He would not even look in the computer for anything we asked. He would not give us our Hilton Honor vouchers. One day he said he was "out" of them. The other time he said they would be sent up to our room. No such luck. We went to someone else and got what we needed. We were there for a conference and they were not staffed appropriately. We were trying to eat at the restaurant. There were only a few tables, but no one would wait on us. We left. We were over-charged for everything (as in FALSIFIED bills). And the prices were already too high for the experience. They lost MANY reservations and over-charged almost everyone in our group. The fitness center had just been renovated and some of the equipment did not work. The ceiling was too low and one person hit a weight on the ceiling (accidentally). You could see other ceiling "dings" as well. Every single employee we asked would give us different answers. Highly unorganized. Highly overpriced. Horrible service. I would have rather stayed at Motel 6. At least I would get my money's worth.
Nice hotel, location satisfactory.
Everything you would expect from a Hilton. Rooms are very nice, very clean, we had a gorgeous view of the city. There is a pool on the 4th floor outside very nice. The buffet in the morning is top notch everything you would expect in a Hilton buffet.
After staying in a lot of hotels in the last three years a few thing I have come to appreciate are: continental breakfasts, free parking and free wireless. This hotel has none of the above. If you are not on business in downtown Miami I recommend staying at the beach. This hotel is really not within walking distance of anything of interest. It will cost you 25 bucks a day for parking, spend the extra money on a nice hotel at the beach. Just my opinion.
Great stay @ the Hilton on Biscayne
My boyfriend and i spent our anniversary at miami beach. We wanted to stay away from the noise and crowds of miami strip but wanted to be close enough to get to it. Downtown Hilton was the best location that met our needs. We stood there on the week of July 17 for one week . The hotel is only 10 mins away from miami beach on the I95 and 20 min from the airport . The hotel room was clean, there were enough towels and the bed was absoultely wonderful. Our room was a great escape from very busy week at miami. As far as the negative, yes there are still renovations but no big deal.. just be patient waiting for the elevator. The biggest gripe however, was parking in the hotel at around $30 a day . There is alot of construction going on in the entire area so there is nothing scenic but only few miles away you can be on south beach. As i mentioned right over the expressway is the beach and a great night life. Also, we constantly over heard others stating the not to eat the food at the hotel. So, we decided to take the warning and find other places to eat in the vicinity which are plenty. For breakfast there is Denny no more than 5 blocks away. I must note for good, tasty and inexpensive meal go to the Latin Cafe. Good cuban cuisine and awsesome coffee... a must when you visit miami. Also, on Biscayne blvd no more than 5 min driving distance. Another must see nearby for shopping, eating, music is Bayside Marketplace .. nicer and bigger version manhattan seaport. A Good way to end your vacation by hearing great music with a diaquari by the water. All in all...a great stay at biscayne!