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Not a clean hotel! Strong odor in the lobby and bar/restaurant. Rooms are very outdated and dirty, there was large pieces of paint flaking off of the doorways. Pool was dirty and not well maintained, and hotel staff were less than motivated to help. I also noticed a waiter feeding a dog from the leftovers from customers plates. Worst of all he was putting the food between his teeth and letting the dog take it. Stay away from this dump and find a better hotel!
Worn out quarters in a quiet but nice location
Once you get past the...um...startling lobby and restaurant decor -- which features more old cars and street signs than you've seen inside a hotel -- it's very clear that this hotel needs some renovation. All the things you think of that wear out in a hotel room seemed to be worn out in ours -- bed, bathroom, paint. The pool and hot tub didn't look so hot, either. On the other hand, it was very cheap, so you have to decide whether price or comfort is most important to you.
We really liked the location, as it was a quiet spot but within an easy drive of South Beach and everywhere else.
And here's one interesting thing about our stay. The hotel seemed crowded with German speaking tourists, and we soon discovered why at least a few of them had chosen to stay there. While we were enjoying the nude beach at nearby Haulover, we saw one couple we'd seen in the lobby, and also the family who were staying in the room next door to us (who gave us a cheerful, naked "good morning!" when we walked by).
The Dezerland Surfside Beach hotel is a nice hotel. Only negative thing is: this hotel is located around 85th street which is not near Ocean Drive.
For the rest: each morning you get a paper, the pool is OK and the restaurant is amazing. Nice cars in which you can eat.
We stayed in 1998 in this hotel.
Been in many hotels and motels in the USA, but this one wasn't so great. Unfreindly staff, a little run down, AC in room was broken, they didn't fix it properly (still looked as if it was falling apart). Also I did not like the location at all! Far away from everything!
Only good thing was breakfast, yes in an old car. But then again, grumpy staff.
It was fine
Ok, it's old and it's not ART DECO and definetely not GLITZY but the rooms were clean, the beds ok, the TV worked and the Aircondition too!
The Parking cost something like 8 $ a day, which I think was ridiculous, since the parking lot was open to EVERYBODY.
It's a OK place to stay, good price.
Have BREAKFAST somewhere else, like RASCALS or @ DENNY'S!
nice and clean hotel
We stayed in summer 2001 in this nice hotel direcly on the beach and had a wonderfull week. The staff of the hotel was friendly. The breakfast was good at the restaurant full of oldtimers. Near the hotel are a
lot of fine restaurants and shops. We are comming back!
Depends on what you're looking for
(My last visit to Dezerland was on 9-12-04) I have stayed here more than once, so obviously I'm ok with it. It is actually a Howard Johnson Hotel, though it is not identifiable as such. It is also a very large, high rise hotel. First and foremost, it absolutely is a good VALUE! Using certain web sites, Dezerland can sometimes be booked for as little as $44! Almost always it can be found in the $49-$59 range, an incredible price for a clean, comfortable large hotel with a pool and restaurant on the beach in Miami Beach. I have 3 major negative points, then I'll get to the positive. Overall, the good outweighs the bad, depending on what you need in a hotel for your trip. The first negative is the outside (basically I mean everything outside the rooms) appearance. Now, the overall look (appearance) of the hotel, most especially the lobby, is just not very good. THe building is obviously fairly old and the outside shows some signs of wear and age. My personal dislike of the lobby decor is admittedly a personal opinion and undoubtedly some will like it. It is done in a 50's motif and even has some 50's model cars inside and outside. Again, to me, the old cars outside look more like abandoned cars than historic displays (even have flat tires!). The decor in the lobby includes a lot of old 50's area advertisement signs (such as Mobil oil, Gas signs, etc). Just looks cheap to me personally. (2.) My second and probably biggest complaint is the location. It is a long, long way from the core action and center of activity in Miami Beach and is MILES from South Beach. Worse still, there is really NOTHING very close to this hotel except high rise condos. No nightlife, no restaurants, no shopping, no vendors of any kind, just nothing to do off the grounds of the property until you go a long way. Many of the web sites like hotwire, priceline, expedia, and Orbitz list Dezerland as being a Miami Beach hotel. That may be true technically, but it DEFINATELY doesn't feel like Miami beach, and so you might as well be in north Miami or some other beach location since Dezerland is not close enough to the Miami Beach atmosphere to take advantage of it. My third and final complain is the staff. They are absolutely RUDE! I'm always skeptical when I read reviews complaining about rude staff, because it isn't fair to hold the bad attitude of one employee against the whole hotel. And second, rude staff may be provoked by rude guests. However, I assure you that the rudeness and/or apathy of Dezerland employees is SYSTEMIC and consistent and judging by the number of reviews commenting on this, it is an ongoing problem for the hotel. There were some exceptions of course, especially the restaurant staff.
Those are the negatives. The positives are plentiful and notable. For one, the rooms themselves are incredible! They have obviously been renovated at some point in the recent past. The decor is basic, but very comfortable, attractive, modern, clean, and cheerful. Most of all, they are HUGE! I suppose I had a typical room, and it was extremely large, as was the bathroom. It also came with the conveniences usually associated with only higher priced hotels (hair dryers, irons w/board, coffee maker, room service, etc.). The room service food was from the restaurant, and both have wonderful food. Nothing fancy- about what you would expect from a 1950's dinner which is the look, style, and menu of the place. Burgers, onion rings, etc. But very, very good AND reasonably priced. Another plus is the pool, which is large, well maintained, and very enjoyable. The beach is not the best in the area, but it is fine. I mean, it is sandy and clean so what is really the difference when it comes down to it? And the hotel is DIRECTKY ON the beach, which is significant for that area. Many, many rooms therefore have an ocean view, and as far as I know (at least in my case) they do not charge any more for ocean view rooms. The hotel ALSO has a spa, and it is far superior to the decor and feel of the rest of the hotel. The spa offers all the usual services (messages, pedicures, etc), it is very upscale in appearance, very large, very professionally operated. Overall, while much of the outside and grounds of the hotel do look like a budget hotel, the Spa looks, feels, and is operated like one in a 5-star hotel. The prices are a little less, however (though not a lot less!). There is a parking lot adjoining the hotel and I noticed there are security guards literally walking around that lot all night, so it is very safe! Don't know the cost.
Overall, if you are looking to find an affordable place on the beach in the general area of Miami and you and/or your kids really just want to have a pool, beach, place to eat, and be within a (taxi) drive of other Miami attractions, then this is a clean, very cheap, safe, affordable hotel with nice rooms and should meet your needs. Especially for a family on a budget, I'd say it is great. On the other hand, if you want something in the middle of the action (or even within a short walk) or near almost anything else like shopping, restaurants, nightlife, etc), or if you want an upscale hotel, or something with a more Miami Beach look and atmosphere, or if friendly staff are a big deal to you, then this is not your choice. Overall, the thing to remember is that it is a GREAT VALUE....very good price, and more hotel and amenities than you'd get at a regular hotel in this price range. Good luck. If you have more questions, feel free to e-mail me at the yahoo, using: kevin_breeding. ENJOY!
I am sure there are better youth hostels and boarding kennels than this. Accomodation was tatty, depressing and below average. Located on a busy main road with unfriendly and unhelpful staff. We stayed at this hotel for a day in September 04 before demanding that our tour operator move us to a different hotel!