More about Grand Beach Hotel
Great stay at the Grand Beach Hotel-In-depth review & pictures!
Before I begin, let me sum up this hotel in one word: WOW!
We had originally arrived in South Beach with reservations at the Hotel Alexander. It was a complete dump (perhaps I'll post a review of that one later...), so we literally walked along the beach, iPhone GPS in hand, trying to find available hotels.
We walked into the lobby of the Grand Beach, and were blown away! It was extremely clean and contemporary; it's obvious the hotel is brand new. They have iMacs in the lobby for the guests to use, and have a nice little bar available there as well.
The front desk staff were extremely willing to help us out, and were very nice. We quickly booked a room for a few nights (and needed to pay to cancel the Alexander reservations).
The hotel's facilities were great as well. The pools available near the beach were attractive and clean; as well, there was a pool area on the 7th floor which we liked a lot (before i forget, be sure to look at the pictures I've attached with this review...they'll help paint the picture well). The pools weren't HUGE, but they were fine. No bigger than a cruise ship's, but manageable. Be sure to reserve seats at the pool on the 7th floor! They fill up quickly, and we often had to grab chairs from other places to bring them to the pool.
The hotel, from what we saw, only had one restaurant: Chez Gaston. It's like a cafe, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's mediocre at best; the food is overpriced, the staff often confused our orders, and it just wasn't high quality. I mean...if you're staying in the hotel you might as well eat there once or twice, but don't go crazy.
The hotel is located on South Beach; while it's nice to look at the ocean, you must keep in mind that it is not within walking distance of anything fun (just a bunch of other hotels). If you're looking for a place where you can just walk out the front door and be entertained, look for some place more inland.
Parking-it's a pain. You have to do valet, which costs money (I think it was $25 a day). At around dinnertime, the lobby gets really crowded as people are waiting for their cars to come, and it is often a long wait.
The beach? It's nice. Nothing too much to say about it. The only thing is, the fact that this hotel (and the hotels next to it) are RIGHT NEXT TO THE BEACH creates a problem: it often gets shady, and you can't tan without moving! We, along with many other people sitting on the beach near us, had to move every 10 minutes just to get sunlight! There is no such problem at hotels farther away from the shore, like the Loew's.
The room was perhaps one of the highlights of the hotel. It was GREAT. I LOVE the plush white carpeting, and the bed was comfy. There were 2 bathrooms, both of which were clean and modern. There were 2 flatscreen visio televisions as well, which was convenient when people wanted to watch different things.
Bottom line: It was a great hotel, and we would return. It wasn't perfect, as I've mentioned a few flaws, but you can't do much better for the money.
Feel free to message me with questions!
We just completed a 5 night stay at the Grand Beach Hotel and everyone had a great time. The hotel is brand new so everything is fresh. Unfortunately, in the longer run, the white furnishings will not hold up so well, but for now it is first class. There are three pools including one on the 7th floor. It is right on the beach so walking on the beach or boardwalk is easy and great fun. There is a huge gym, but could use some additional equipment, that said our sons used it every day. Defintely a hotel worth staying at. On the down side was the restaurant, where food was a bit expensive and menu not so extensive. Also, no microwave or toaster in the room. Overall we would rate it a B+ to A-. Hope this helps.
Great Rooms, Good Location, But...
We (my wife, I and two teenage kids) stayed at The Grand Beach Hotel for 10 days from Dec 27th to Jan 5th. The hotel is newly renovated. It is located on the beach on Collins Drive, about 3 kms north of South Beach. The hotel is situated right on the beach, with three swimming pools.
The rooms were very spacious and new. The beds were comfortable and the rooms had flat screen TV's, coffee makers and a fridge.
We had a really good time staying in our rooms in the hotel.
The BUT's were:
1. The hotel service is a complete mess, at mediocre 3-star level. The dining room is chaotic at best, with IT systems problems, a kitchen which never gets orders right and average quality food. Were it not for friendly Latin serving staff always apologising and trying to make do, I would not have bothered to even go to eat breakfast.
2. The lobby is a disaster. It is full of bored children, chasing each other noisily, dribbling basketballs, and using it as a playground. We had an unfortunate altercation with a very agggresive English father who wanted to "break my jaw" and called me a Nazi when I asked him to get his young son to stop playing basketball in the lobby bar area while my wife and I were trying to have a quiet drink at around 5pm. The front desk manageres sided with him, saying that it is "family hotel". Well, if "family hotel" means that the lobby bar and sitting area become a playground for kids, then I won't be back.
3. The valet parking service is poor. It takes twenty minutes to get them to retrieve your car, which they charge US$25 per day to park, even though there was open parking spaces available outside the hotel most of the time. When I tried to park there, the valet guy told me that I could not, for my own security.
The hotel will have to sort out their service, reorganise the lobby and get the kids to play outside. They will also have to up the response times of the valet guys.
Beautiful New Hotel, Terrible Service.
I stayed at the Grand Beach Hotel during the busy Christmas week with my husband and 2 young children. Overall, I give the hotel accomodations an A-/B+ and the service a D- (the only reason it wasn't an F, is because there was 1 person who was actually helpful).
- Suites are modern, clean and spacious.
- 2 TVs came in handy so our kids could watch their shows while we watched ours
- While there wasn't a full separation between bedroom and living area (where the kids slept), it was sufficient.
- We were the first people to stay in our room, so I felt comfortable letting the baby crawl around, which is nice. But, I shudder to think what these all white rooms in a family hotel will look like in a few months!
- Despite being brand new, there were rust stains on our bathtub (???)
- Noise level from hallway is VERY high -- when people walked by, it sounded like they were having conversations IN our room.
- Pool areas are very nice. 7th floor pool is an added bonus because it has sun in the late afternoon when the sun is blocked from the main pool area. I liked the 2 smaller pools in the main pool area, rather than 1 big one -- it made the pools feel less crowded. But, pool areas get very crowded early -- hard to get seats.
- Location: While well located on a nice strip of Miami Beach (close to the Foutainbleu) -- previous reviewers were mistaken -- it is NOT in South Beach. It is up on 49th street - mid-beach. Don't stay here expecting the nightlife/restaurants on South Beach. The only real night life in the area is at the Fountainbleu.
- We got there, unloaded our many bags and 2 children, and sat by the curb waiting for someone to help us with our bags. Nobody did. Then, another car pulled up and -- with us standing there with our piles of bags -- the valet ran to help the people in the car. When I complained -- they were not at all apologetic - stating that it was "First come first serve" -- they didn't seem to understand when I said that I was first!!
- We had to ask for the crib (that we requested with our reservation) 3 times before it was brought to our room.
- Breakfast in the cafe was HORRIFIC. They brought me the wrong thing, then I had to wait 30 minutes for them to replace it -- and only because I continuously complained. I did refuse to pay for it in the end and they complied. Also, what hotel restaurant only has 2 kinds of cereals? (it's Fruit Loops of Special K - if your kids want Cheerios - bring them yourself!). Also, waiters didn't speak English - so may have been hard for them to get my order right!
- Valet service was VERY slow. When my husband inquired about the status of our car, he was treated rudely.
- This one I think is the worst of all -- Concierge gave me flat out WRONG information. I went to the concierge on the 2nd day of my 4 day stay and asked him 2 questions. 1)Where can I rent bikes that can accomodate kids in South Beach? 2) Are there any car services that we can get to the airport that provide Child Car seats.
Answers: 1) Yes, there's a place on 15th and Collins. Result - there was no place on 15th and Collins. We spent our morning, instead of having a nice family day - wandering South Beach looking for bike shops. We were unsuccessful and had to explain to my disappointed 3 year old that there would be no bike ride. 2) He said that there were many car services that offered car child card seats to the airport -- no need to reserve in advance -- they're plentiful. So, the morning of our departure, I went to the concierge desk to reserve a car. Oops - in fact there are no car services that offer car seats. I know this because the one helpful staffer in the entire hotel called every car service in Miami to find out. If I had know this when I asked the first guy, I would have made alternative plans. Instead, I travelled to the airport carrying my one year old in my lap. Nice and safe!
Overall - while I hope hotel management reads these reviews and makes some adjustments to their service, I won't hold my breath. I would recommend this hotel - especially for peopl travelling with kids - as the suites are much better than sleeping with kids in the same room and relatively affordable. However, you will have a much more enjoyable stay if you go in with NO service expectations.
Overall - Great Vacation and Hotel
I did not read any reviews of this hotel before and I am glad as they might have prevented me from discovering a new "hidden gem" in Miami. I used to stay at the Fontainebleau when it was part of Hilton and before it was closed (as I used to asset-manage some Hilton properties in the past). The Fontainebleau is open again, but I found a much better rate for this new hotel in the same location.
Now to my experience
- Rooms: very spacious, nice balcony, 2 TVs end the fight over the remote control ( a definite plus for Monday Night Football). I would not have selected a white carpet for my hotels; too expensive and/ or difficult to keep clean, but time will tell how the hotel manages this problem. The 2nd bathroom is a nice touch, if you would bring small children. Did not check the Sofa Bed, so I can not comment on this. Grade A
- Front Desk/ Reception: staff was very helpful - efficient check-in and out. Due to the number of guests, they seemed to be rushed; probably management may have to hire more staff. Grade A-
- Housekeeping: I can only say that the room was clean every day - that's what I would expect. Grade A
- Restaurant: I have to agree with the comments about the restaurant; a lot of things can be improved; quality of food, level of service (waiters are lacking in training and service etiquette); menu is limited - so we decided to take a cab to South Beach one night, went to Fontainebleau the next (4 blocks South) and to Shula's Steakhouse (4 blocks North) on our last evening. I also saw that they delivered Room Service in a styrofoam box - like a take-out container at a diner. Grade D (and only because the breakfast was ok and the outdoor seating is nice)
- Language barrier: Tourists come to Miami for the cosmopolitan flair and mix of cultures. I do not speak Spanish myself, but found that staff will be friendly and helpful, as long as you make an effort. A "Buenos Dias" does go a long way :). Quite frankly, if you expect everyone to speak proper English, Miami may not be the vacation spot for you (but the same applies to most major cities in our country)
- Valet Parking: $25 per night is relatively reasonable - as we pay almost the same amount or more per HOUR in the City (New York). Other hotels charge more than that and don't even have parking at the hotel (which will lead to an even longer waiting time). From a business standpoint, nobody can afford to provide free parking in a major city with limited land; the acquisition cost for land is just too high. Staff was nice and efficient. Grade B
Here are some recommendations to make the hotel better in the future:
* Spa: In-room Spa services may not work for female tourists who travel alone (just a tad too dangerous to let people know where you stay). It is also not convenient when you are a couple and only one wants a massage etc.
* Business Center: there are 2 computers in the lobby - standing room only. I had my laptop, so I did not use the center, but sometimes the lines were long. A dedicated area away from the lobby might be an idea.
* Concierge: using the bellman as Concierge is somewhat surprising - I have been to Miami before, so I did not really use the service, but based on the rate I paid I would expect a dedicated concierge at a hotel.
Total Grade: The Hotel is a solid B due to the missing Spa, Business Center etc; without the Restaurant, I would have given it an A-.
Overall -we are glad we stayed here and will definitely return again in the Summer for our Miami vacation. Look forward to seeing the progress the hotel makes
Happy New Year!
NEW CLEAN ON THE BEACH HOTEL
I think this hotel opened in November 2009. We were there for a few nights. It is two hotels down from the Eden Roc and three hotels down from the Fountainbleau. If you have a car parking is $25 per night. If you do not have a car, it is a nice 10 minute walk to Walgreens to get any essentials you may need. Lincoln Road is a 10 minute taxi ride. We visited during peak New Year's weekend. I am sure when it's not such a peak time the hotel is much calmer than what we experienced.
They hotel is brand new. You can not beat for the price getting brand new beds, the smell of brand new carpeting, new towels and comfortable pool chairs and cushions. The lobby has a small bar and the restaurant is enough for a quick meal or to order lunch by the pool. Restaurant pricing is about what you would pay at any restaurant in that area. The lobby also has two Mac computers and a computer for airline check in. The hotel has free wifi, which is an added bonus on Miami Beach. I only had a few things that I didn't like, but I think they didn't know what to expect ie: parking and pool area( VERY VERY busy for New Years). It looked like it was the first time the employees and mgtment encountered such a full hotel since opening. They are not worth mentioning. The fact that the hotel was brand new was good enough for me.
I will say that when they decorated the rooms they really should have stayed away from the white and off white colors. Our room already had a stain on the carpeting ( which looked like fruit punch). It is going to be difficult to keep it brand new looking in the rooms.
Each room as two full marble bathrooms and two large flat screen TV's. Perfect for a family with children. There is a safe in the room and plenty of closet space.
There are three pools with plenty of towels. Two are ground level by the restaurant and the other on the 7th floor. On the 7th floor there is a bar where you can order lunch.
The staff was very helpful and always willing to assist. Harold was very helpful when I originally booked. I did not use the concierge, but I did notice hotel guest getting reservations made for tours.
I would highly recommend this hotel. I just hope that in a year the hotel stays in the shape it's in now ( room conditions considering the colors they picked to decorate). I want this hotel to stay a brand new clean gem for a few years so I can keep coming to it. I would have booked for New Years weekend next year, but they did not have rates yet.
Major hiccups in service
Let me start with the fact that my new grand total of complaints during hotel stays is up to 9. 7 of those racked up during a 5 night stay at this hotel.
The location is nice. The hotel is right on the beach. You pretty much need a car or taxi for going anywhere though. Lincoln Rd is about a $10 taxi ride away.
Valet parking was $25 per day and the guys running the show were fast and friendly.
Free wifi is a major plus. Two brand new iMacs and a printer were also at disposal in the lobby.
We were given a wrong room (1 BR instead of 2 BR) and had to change rooms for the second time when our first 2 BR suite was on a floor that had to be emptied due to some engineering work (although we suspect the engineering work had nothing to do with it). The seemingly friendly chaps at the reception refused to compensate our troubles with any refund. They promised a $100 gift certificate for us, which we never received (not that I'd ever go back anyway :)) As a 'bonus' the eventual bill had $30 extra on top of the rate we agreed to, not good...
The room itself was quite ok. HDTV:s in every room, a small fridge, a balcony plus a nice bay view to Miami. The build quality was poor and the rooms will likely look and feel quite worn out pretty soon.
Housekeeping was the absolute worst I've ever experienced. We got a feeling that the ladies had just stepped off the immigration boat and had no clue what they were doing. On some days we had one bed made, on some days we had trash taken out, while on one of the days the only thing noticeable were the changed towels.
The restaurant serves basic stuff; breakfast salads, sandwiches and so on. Prices were typical hotel prices, so you get a much better deal if you have a chance to eat out (I dont know if the restaurant is even open for dinner). The food was edible but nothing to write home about. Service was quite good, with the waiting staff serving drinks and food to the pool area. Be sure to check you actually get what you ordered and nothing extra is added to the bill. We had 2 minor issues with this.
Overall, I dont recommend staying here, unless you absolutely need this location or get a super cheap deal.
Great value, great rooms, high standard
Very enjoyable visit to Grand beach. fridge in room was very useful and allowed me to take breakfast in room and keep costs under control.
Room was huge and very plush , restaurant served food for $15 or less, gym well equipped and quiet.
The hotel had a very relaxed atmosphere. The Pcs in reception were very useful to be able to plan dayssnd evenings out.
Staff helpful , everything cleaned to high standard
The hotel has potential but left us disappointed
Let me begin by saying that we have been staying in the Miami Beach area for over 20 years. We have stayed in many hotels and condos along Collins Avenue while visiting family. When we saw this hotel online, we thought WOW, this could be great! Well, let me begin our journey into disappointment.
Now, we realized that this is a brand new hotel and would have a few kinks to work out. However, there were too many to count. First, valet is a rip off.....$25 a day for guests plus we had a visitor come to join us for dinner and he just wanted to put his car to the side until we came down to meet him (talking 5 minutes here we were in the elevator) and they charged him $17 for 5 minutes!!!!
Lobby is impressive, clean, sleek, new....but the carpet in the hallways are filthy...stains, not vacuumed...too yucky for a brand new hotel. The rooms are also clean looking, sleek (we had a corner unit 2 bedroom, 2 bath with sitting area, 3 tv's and a refrigerator) but have the potential for becoming stained and dirty as well since everything is white including the carpets. Rooms were not well cleaned while we were there, never vacuumed and at times, the mini coffee machine didn't have the grinds removed from the previous day. Once we had to wait until 5 pm before our bed was made because they ran out of clean sheets!! None of the housekeepers spoke English. Coffee was spilled (by the cleaning staff) on the white carpet and housekeeping never came to clean it up. Room phones didn't work so you couldn't call down to have your car ready so we needed to wait up to 15 minutes to get our car.
Pool area on the 7th floor should be renamed!! Well, they claim to have a "Tranquility" pool on the 7th floor......not the right word to describe what was going on there.....kids screaming, food and beverages all over the place and not cleaned, kids in the hot tubs so what adult would want to have a peaceful soak! It was just gross! The other two pools were similar with kids in both hot tubs. I was splashed the one time I went in and no parent bothered to calm their child. I am the parent of two children so "been there done that" with the kids but really, I would never put my child in a hot tub (kids as young as 4) and have them act so poorly behaved. I know it was a crazy week with tons of families but there was no one of authority to keep things under control for the consideration of other guests. Additionally, you had to get to all pool areas by 8am to reserve a seat with just books and/or magazines since the pool person doesn;t arrive until 9am to get towels.
The restaurant, Chez Gaston, had decent food. They had a buffet breakfast from 8 to 11 for $14.00 It consisted of eggs (real scrambled not the powdered stuff), bacon/sausage, potatoes, mini waffles and pancakes, mini muffins and danish, yogurt and assorted cereals, fruit and beverage. Overall, the breakfast was a good deal. For lunch, the salads were good and the sandwiches OK(except grilled cheese which seemed old). The staff were very curtious but seemed often so overwhelmed. Granted, this hotel only opened right after Thanksgiving so the holiday madness was something new I'm sure.
The evening conscierge, Servio, was wonderful. He too was overwhelmed with the number of requests for dinner reservations, car reservations and assorted hospitality related tasks. However, he found us some great new restaurants and truly went out of his way to be as helpful as possible.
Overall, we were very disappointed and while there, made suggestions to the management of the pros and cons during our stay. I hope they listen since this could really be a great hotel but if it continues to be run in this manner, it will not last. There is a reason that hotels such as the Fountainblue and Eden Roc have been around for so long.
Decent value, but still coping with growing pains
We booked this hotel after doing a pretty exhaustive search on the internet. Most of the best known hotels in Miami Beach were either booked up or exorbitantly priced so we settled on the Grand Beach. We knew that it was a new hotel and therefore we would be taking a bit of a risk. In the end it was not perfect but we were still happy with our stay.
Design: very nice lobby, pleasing on the eye. Cute little bar in lobby area.
Rooms: good size, nice configuration, two bathrooms and two TV's in each room. Comfortable bed. Pull out couches are great for kids.
Pool: two pool areas - one on beach front, one on rooftop - fairly busy but considering that most people just sit around sunbathing the actual pools are under-used.
Beach: right on the beach front, good access to very quiet part of beach. No beach front food/drinks service yet.
Pets: we were able to bring our small well-trained dog with us for a fee.
Wireless internet: free and available everywhere. iMacs in the lobby.
Cleanliness: Like other reviews indicate, much of the carpeting and walls were stained which is quite inexplicable given that the place has only been open one month. However, I still gave it for stars, because the stains are merely cosmetic - the actual hotel was clean: no bugs, dust, filth, etc.
Service: staff were friendly, but poorly trained. There seems to be a lack of leadership amongst the staff, and management has not clued into the fact that staff need to be rigorously trained. However, I attribute this to the fact that the hotel is brand-spanking new and not part of some big chain.
Location: somewhat far away from the action on South Beach. Need a car to get around, but this is America so you pretty much always need a car. Walking distance to Fontainebleau Hotel which has terrific restaurants and spa. Plus you can easily sneak into their hug pool area!
Food: Pretty mediocre restaurant. As indicated above service could use improvement, but staff were friendly and motivated and things were already improving by the end of our week long stay. Decent value for breakfast and lunch. Go elsewhere for dinner.
Parking: Slow valet service, but also improved as time went by. Eventually we learned to call ahead for our car and it was usually there on time.
A pretty good hotel. Good value for Miami beach, decent location and good room sizes and configuration. Some growing pains and room for improvement, but you could do a lot worse or pay a lot more.