Penguin Hotel

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

1418 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139, United States

5 Reviews

Penguin Hotel
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Satisfaction Poor
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 26% more and rated 11% lower than other 3 star hotels

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Good For Families
  • Families68
  • Couples52
  • Solo58
  • Business48


    My stay at the Penguin Hotel was HORRIBLE! When I checked in, I had to put a security deposit of 150 dollars down that was not told to me and if your driving in be prepared to pay an additional fee for parking your car each day. O almost forgot to tell you that they also charge an additional 30 dollars for beach towels, 2 tickets for happy hour and 2 for breakfast, so even though the rate is cheap you would come out better staying at Lowes which doesn't nickel and dime you. If you book a double bed room be prepared to have only a queen because of over booking and to get a let out bed that would cost you another 25 dollars a day. Customer service was terrible, especially this lady who worked at the front desk had a very bad attitude. Service was terrible as well, if your looking for extra towels be prepared to have the answer no because housekeeping leaves at 6pm, and their is no ice machines in the hotel at all. This hotel reminded me of my years in college, I wouldn't recommend this hotel to any body. I know I stayed on the strip or Ocean drive which is directly across from the beach; however, if I walk to Collins and see those Hotels there I would recommend them.
    My stay at this hotel is a 0 on the scale of 1-5!
    Date I stayed was 8-18/ 8-22-2011

  • Inexpensive Art Deco Hotel South Beach


    The Penguin Hotel is an inexpensive Art Deco style hotel in South Beach. The staff were very friendly. Do not expect top luxury at this price, we paid around $95 and for that rate it was good value, but at an inexpensive price it was not bad. Nice location.

  • JVANYC's Profile Photo

    Cheap on the Beach


    The elevator was broken during my stay, but it wasn't a big deal. Remember for the cheap price this is a fine place. The walls are thin and the amenities are few, but considering the price and that it is in PRIME location right on Ocean Drive you can't go too wrong if you are traveling on a budget.
    Skip the breakfast downstairs, its not that great of a deal really. Head a few blocks south on Ocean Drive to the FABULOUS Tides Hotel for a free copy of the New York Times and pampered breakfast for pretty good price.

    Unique Quality: RIGHT on Ocean Drive. Most of the rooms face the alley or the rear, only a select few are out the front viewing the beach. This is the kind of place to stay when you don't want to spend much time in your room but want to be in the HEART of the action.

    Directions: South Beach in the Heart of the action

  • caddman11's Profile Photo



    The Penguin is a small 3 story hotel with one room on the fourth floor that also includes a terrace; the elevator only goes to the 3rd floor. Depending on how you book the room, it can be had for $125 in the off season. We had this room and it's not bad, but you had better watch your stuff. Our room got broke into and we lost clothes and other items. There is NO security; we were given the wrong key several times at the front desk. You can walk up to the desk, say a room number and they hand you a key, no ID needed; so you have to be careful. The alarms on the exit doors don't work either. We used the in room safe or we would have lost much more. No forced entry. They comped us a day for our loss. We would stay here again, but now I've learned a few more tricks on how to keep things that don't fit in the safe, safe.

    Unique Quality: The hotel is ocean front with a view, right in the middle of everything. There is a sister hotel right behind the Penguin and it has a pool, but no sunlight to it and it's not much larger than a hot tub. Along this section of South Beach, there are very few pools because of land space.

    Directions: Right in the middle of South Beach.

  • pulgaron's Profile Photo

    South Beach, Miami Beach, The...


    South Beach, Miami Beach, The Penguin Hotel, 10th and Ocean Drive. Facing the ocean.
    Since I live in Miami, I donot stay in many hotels. I will post the pictures for you so you have an idea of what the place looks like. Sidewalk cafe right in front of the hotel.

    Unique Quality: One of the famous Art deco style hotel.

    Directions: Ocean(Deco)Drive, and 10th Street, South Beach, Miami Beach.

More about Penguin Hotel

Best in Town!

by BeccaMay about The Front Porch

Great location right on the beach attached to the Penguin hotel. This restaurant is a must for anyone coming to Miami Beach.
You'd sell your grandma for their potatoes and the best breakfasts in town. Omelettes in the morning and anything that comes with their mashed potatoes and gravy.

OK for one night

by TripAdvisor Member Fred_Caro

The best thing to say about the Penguin hotel is the Front Porch cafe in the basement, very good breakfast and reasonable prices. The hotel is located right on the upper part of Ocean Drive and has low rates. However, the rooms need to be renovated and staff is more interested in getting their work done in the morning instead of giving the guests the chance to sleep-in. We were surprised after the comments we read about the strawberry red head at tripadvisor, that she was friendly and helpful

Brings back Bad Memory of South Beach

by TripAdvisor Member Jezzebel

It was our first trip to South Beach and I specifically made research on the best location available with the reasonable price. This was the only reason why I was sure to pick Penguin Hotel. The hotel is located right in front of the Beach. The room was very small but it's not so clean. I have requested for a one queen bed or King bed but when we got there they only have double twins which really made us upset since we were there for our wedding anniversary! The front desk lady was not helpful at all, she was alwaays on the phone whenever we tried to talk to her. At nights you will hear people talking, laughing or yelling on the hallway, no privacy at all. The blanket was not thick at all and the bed squicks whenever you move. If you are planning to have a romantic weekend, STAY AWAY from this place but if you are some young travellers with bunch of friends then you might be OK in this place.

Front Desk

by A TripAdvisor Member

When I got to the front desk the lady said that I did not have a reservation. I told her politely that I had reserved the room on the internet and was there anywhere else she could look. She got really rude and told me to sit down and wait. After waiting for over 10 minutes and realizing she was not doing a damn thing I went back to check on things. I get stared at for at least 20 seconds and then the old woman starts screaming at me and telling me in that I'm not in the @#$% system and that I'm wasting her time. I mean she was really acting crazy! I didn't do anything to provoke her either. I told her she was rude and she started laughing at me and taunted me as I walked out the door. Not just the lady either, I mean what a dump!

Not Suitable For Human!

by A TripAdvisor Member

Looking for a vacation? DO NOT STAY AT THE PENGUIN. It is just awful, awful, awful! The price was not even that resonable! We paid $150 a night and got a room worth about $20. This place should not be called a hotel and should be shut down. The staff was incredibly rude and the place looks as if it'll fall apart any minute. The lobby (if you can call it that) is the size of my bedroom, there is only one elevator, which can carry only 4 people maximum. There's actually a sign that says that in the elevator. The hallways smell and the paint is chipping. The room was tiny. The bed was unbearable, I did not sleep well once in my whole stay. When we asked for new matresses, they switched it withought taking the wrapper off. The air conditioner was probably 500 years old, the whole room shook when somebody walked, and the bathroom was tiny, with yellow stains on the wall. There were also no toiletries except for a tiny bar of soap. When I called the front desk to ask for an extra towel, they said I had to go downstairs my self and pick it up. Never have I experienced this in a "hotel". When we tried to cancle our reservation, the place would not let us do so. Do not waste your money. If you can, spend more money and stay at a nicer hotel. Other wise your vacation will be ruined and it is NOT worth the money or the major discomfort.


by A TripAdvisor Member

This hotel was terrible. We had just come from the beautiful new Hard Rock Seminole to this place. My cousin had booked this hotel, much to my dismay, and I had no way out. Picture the most dumpy hotel you could find, and this would be it. You have to walk through a restaurant to get to the check-in "desk". Upon getting there, you are stared at by an over-processed older lady who looks at you as if you are completely annoying her by being there. It was here that she finally gave us our key as well as the remote control to our TV (with batteries duct taped in!). We then walked through a heavy door into a dark, stank hallway that smelled like a mix of fried food, mold, and mildew. Upon entering our room, I felt as if I had just entered a prison cell. The "decor", if you call it that, was most likely last updated in the 60's. The gold curtain that rested on the air-conditioning unit was full of mildew. The beds were wrapped in plastic, and the room was barely wide enough to walk through. The bathroom had no counters and again, brought me back to an era before I was even alive. I guess the "bonus" was the bug crawling out of the drain in the shower, or maybe it was the iron-burn mark on the carpet. The ONLY good thing about this hotel was it's location on the strip in SouthBeach, but there are plenty of other places there that have that going for them. Steer far, far away from the Penguin!

Forum Posts

Oceanfront Hotels

by sumit_b

Does anyone have a recommendation for a hotel on the beach - costing less than $150/night?

Re: Oceanfront Hotels

by RichBeau

As mention already you are getting into high season and being on the beach can be expensive. Three blocks east to west on Miami beach is a very short walk and reduces your costs immeasurably. So as long as you are between 5th St and 15th St fine deals can be procured one or two blocks off the beach in a nifty Art Deco hotel.

The prevous poster mention the Holiday Inn. This hotel is a bit north of the action at 22 Street. If you want to be down along Lummus Park and the beach front you might try the Best Western on Collins Avenue which is not your usual run of the mill Best Western but is a complex of four small Art Deco builings. Another to try is the Blue Moon which is a fine hotel. Just keep digging for the deals on this one you never know when it will pop up. All of these can be expensive. If you are willing to step down a bit in style try the Viscay ( and the Beachcomber ( looks like it has something. Try to find the actual hotel website rather than a reseller because you will find your best deals there. Also try calling hotels directly bypassing the bundlers sometimes they find a room that is empty and you fill their slot nicely. You get a deal and they look good.

You've started looking in plenty of time. It make take a few trys but you should be able to find something.

--Rich Beaubien
Discovering South Beach Deco

Re: Oceanfront Hotels

by pulgaron

The Wyndham at Collind and 45th Street.

Re: Oceanfront Hotels

by caddman11

Check Expedia- you can get a room at the Penguin Hotel, 14th and Ocean Drive for under $100 a night and if you book off their web site,, you can get it for about $75 a night, and with 4 nights free breakfast. Just watch your stuff and keep everything you want to keep in the room safe.


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