I stayed at the crest suites 7/13 - 7/17 and was very pleased. The location was ideal for me and since the reviews were mixed I decided to take a chance.
The Hotel - Very clean and quaint. Nice sitting area inside and out. The desk manager was extremely nice and accommodating. (And I loved his french accent)
The Room- We booked a studio with a kitchenette At first they put us in a studio without a kitchenette, (rm 202) but I thought that room was nice. It had a separate bedroom, 1-1/2 bathrooms, a closet, plus a large dresser and a king size bed along with a pull out sofa and 2 TVs, very good space compared to the closets I have seen disguised as hotel rooms out in S. Beach... We just really wanted a kitchen or we would have stayed put. As soon as I informed the desk manager that we were in the wrong room (which was at 3:30am our flight was 4 hours delayed) he immediately put us a in different room no questions asked and apologized for the mix up. The room they put us in (rm. 602) was the same as the other, except that it only had one bathroom and a queen size bed instead of a king and we of course had the kitchenette. We also had extra pillows and blankets already in the room which worked for me since my husband likes the room colder than me and I always end up needing extra covers.
The Staff - Really didn't see a staff, but because of the reviews about the maids coming to clean early in the morning, we put the DND sign out every night, and when we left we took it off the door. When we returned, our room was clean EVERYTIME. Even when we were only gone for an hour. As if they knew we had left and immediately went to clean for us.
Now if you are a picky person this hotel is not for you. It is clearly an older hotel and has yet to be updated, but it is clean, it feels safe and the location is right off of Lincoln Road and walking distance to EVERYTHING. The carpet is a little warn and the mattress in my opinion had about 2 years tops left on it before it needed to be replaced, but it was still comfortable. There were no pots or pans in the kitchen to cook with but there were dishes, eating utensils and a can opener. There was no view from our room (AND??? SO WHAT! WE WERE IN SOUTH BEACH!) but I didn't care about a view. My husband walked along the beach at night and got the most beautiful view of the sky, unobstructed.
Other than that everything else was cool. The pool was small (again we're in South Beach! who cares), but it went up to 6 ft. which was unusual but nice. I never ate at the restaurant so I don't know how it was, there was an internet connection in the lobby, but you needed your own laptop, LOL!
As long as you don't pay more than 200 a night, you should be pleased. The next time I go back to S. beach I will be staying at this hotel if I can.
P.S. If you are going down with 3-4 people, book a double studio and everyone will be comfy and you will save a ton of money if you book it for less than 200.
Nice little hotel for a half decent price.
I stayed there 26th Feb to 4th March.
Very nice hotel. Boutique style with the art deco touch.
Very clean rooms and hotel in general. The bar/cafe serve the best Mojito you'll find on south beach. Reception desk staff ok but could do with smiling now and again. Probably best if you don't stay in a room which is beside the alley way as the trash carts can be pretty noisy and sometimes the noise from the Albion across from the alley can get loud.
Rude Staff... missing personal touch
Booked this hotel based on Frommer's review. Location was good. Had to park across the street at open lot for $20. The front desk person didn't know how to do anything, including check us in. He found someone else to help. I asked if we could have a late check out. He was very curt, saying checkout at noon. I asked if there was any way to have an extension. At that point he was rude, insisting that check out was never later than noon. I just wanted 15 minutes to change after a meeting. Room was fine, a bit stark, but the deco feel was appropriate and made a nice change from larger chains. Couldn't watch TV from bed. A fridge that wasn't plugged in to be cold. No coffee for the coffee maker. No amenities in the room at all. Paid nearly $200 and didn't feel like that was good value at all.
Worst Hotel Experience Ever
We arrived to find the very clean but small room described by others. The air conditioning was not working. We were moved to another room. The elevator was not working. I got in the shower to get ready for dinner and could not wash my hair because the water was so hot. More importantly, I could not turn the water off. My fiance tried to turn the water off; he couldn't either. We were running late, so we told the front desk on the way out that our shower was still running because we could not turn it off. We came back after dinner to make sure that it had been fixed and the front desk guy said he had forgotten about it and then called maintenance at midnight. The maintenance guy could not turn it off either. They informed us that we would have to be moved again. We intended to go out that night since this was our only night in south beach...we wanted to have some fun! After 1.5 hours, they still had not moved us, we were just sitting in our room. I went downstairs to see what was going on and tell them that I was beginning to become annoyed. The manager was the rudest person I have ever dealt with in my life; he kept telling me I was free to leave if I had a problem. I told him I was missing my entire night in south beach, my vacation was being ruined and they were doing nothing to help. I had been waiting for them to move me (a second time) for almost two hours. He told me if I would "get out of his face" maybe he could help me. Finally, he offered me a new room. Except it wasn't a new room...it was the first room we were in...with the broken air conditioner. At this point, we took up his invitation to leave. We left South Beach and found a room int he middle of the night somewhere in Miami. This was the worst experience I have ever had. Any hotel can have problems but the way the management deals with it is really telling. He did nothing to accomodate us. We were paying almost $200 and he didn't care at all that our entire evening had been ruined. We sat in the room from 11:30 pm until 1:00 am (when we wanted to be out in the bars) waiting for them to find a place to put us, and then they were rude to us. I have never experienced anything like this. I would never stay here again.
A good stay
Booked two double beds for $115 (ask for the internet rate if you call by phone to reserve) and had a nice stay here. This hotel was the best value of anything we purchased on South Beach - even though the amenities are a bit minimalistic (don't fret this because you won't spend much time in the room - you're in South Beach!). The lobby and portico are lovely. Breakfast at cafe on Licoln just a short walk away. If you don't mind walking a bit, don't want to fork out the bucks to stay on Ocean Drive, and want a quieter location - then give this place a try.
5 of us girls stayed in the Crest Suite, which is a 1 bedroom with a kitchenette and sofa bed and were very comfortable! It was clean, the decor was modern and the location of the hotel was close to everything. We walked to the Delano hotel for dinner, which is a popular beautiful hotel as well. I'm not sure how reasonable the price is because we went for the Winter Music Conference when every hotel is booked, but we thought we paid a good price. There's drug stores around the corner, clubs are walking distance as well as the beach. It's on a quiet street so there isn't any traffic noise. They also have cute shops just across the street that sell cheap bikinis for $10. h----------------
It really depends on the room
I now understand why all the reviews of this place are so schizoid -- either folks really liked it or really disliked it, no middle ground. As always, it depends on the quality of your own room/experience, and apparently at the Crest, the quality can really vary.
We were lucky. My mom & I stayed here during the middle of the 2nd week in April, right after high season had ended. We had the 1-bedroom suite (the largest room) for $155/night (plus $20 tax per night). The parking lot across the street charged us $15/day for 24hr access. No other charges (except when I lost the room key -- they charged a $10 fee, which pleasantly surprised me since it was lower than I expected).
Our suite was just the right size, and larger than I expected after hearing so many stories about small South Beach hotel rooms. The main room had a sofabed, a TV, a sitting chair, a dining table with 4 chairs, and a kitchen nook with fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and limited dishes and silverware (no pots or pans). This was useful, since we ate breakfast and leftovers in the rooms. Both the bedroom and the bathroom were the right size. Our particular room, since it was on the corner of the building, had lots of windows and got lots of light. And since it was at the back, it was quiet. The furnishings in the rooms and the lobby are simple, but that was fine with us since that's what we like.
The one small problem we had was in getting a blanket. I had to ask twice. The second time, the front-desk clerk didn't have anyone who could get one, so he gave me the keys to two rooms so that I could get one myself. This didn't bother me, since I don't like being waited on anyway, but this might be an issue for some people. Both of the rooms that he sent me to were unmade, and their furnishings seemed to be a tad shabbier than the room we were in. Plus, I guess it might be an issue for some people that I was told to get a blanket from an unmade room, but again, this didn't bother me.
I was also a little bugged that the gate for the wheelchair entrance was usually locked. This was a bit of an inconvenience since my mom doesn't walk too well. Also, the cafe wasn't open on weekdays, I guess since the season was over. And it's true, the pool is chilly since it's in the shade most of the day.
Still, overall, my mom & I both like the hotel a lot, which is saying something since we have very different tastes. It's a clean and attractive place, with a nice front porch and a nicely landscaped walkway separating the two buildings that make up the hotel. The location is excellent if, like us, you're looking for a place away from the crowds but still relatively convenient. James Avenue is quiet since it's only 3 blocks long and it's not a through street. And the hotel is only a short walk from the beach and Lincoln Road Mall.
My main advice would be to ask for an interior room overlooking the walkway that separates the hotel's two buildings, at least if you want to be sure that you're getting a quiet room.
We would definitely stay here again.