More about The Kent
The Kent Hotel is cool, way retro and clean!
I just came back from my first visit to Miami, and the Kent Hotel was as advertised. Recently refurbished, very cool furniture, CD player in room, video rentals available, free Internet access in lobby, free continental breakfast in the morning, friendly front desk staff, cool old elevator. The location was excellent, walking distance to all the fun stuff, including the inexpensive Electrowave transit system taking people all over South Beach for .25! I had two double beds, room was plenty big enough, nice touch with the safe in the room, cleaning staff very nice, felt safe, ask for the 3rd.floor, not noisy at all. Also, cool patio with lounge chairs, very Miami!
Planning another trip in October, this time my hubby and I will stay at the Kent, wouldn't go back if I hadn't loved it!
Style over Substance
There are some things I like about the Kent, its location is good. If you want to go to South Beach's clubs, the front desk will help you pick the good ones, and even get you on some of the guest lists. The CD players provided in every room, with some good selection of CDs that you can buy if you like them, is a nice touch.
Also, If you are an aspiring model, or just a gay man, then you will meet people who will be interested in guiding you or exploiting you right in the lobby.
But other than that, the Kent is petty much a poorly renovated old building with some hip and some kitch touches to justify the price (seems inexpensive until you relize that there is no service). The rooms are small, and have kind of a dormlike feel, albiet a really cool dormroom. The decor is hip, but it is low budget hip. Laminated plywood, and small off-brand appliances, plus lots of plastic. Looks great in pictures, just passable in real life.
As for service, the Kent provides less than a you would expect. Staying for a few days and travelling with heqaving bagage? There are no bellmen to assist you. Have a car with you? There is a sub-contracted valet service that requires 2-3 calls and 15-20 minutes at off peak times to get your car, long in peak hours.
Overall, the Kent seems to have been intended to travellers who are in South Beach to play, and don't need more than a central place to shower and change. It isn't terrible, but I felt like I could have done better.
Content at the Kent
Looking for an art deco boutique hotel - then you've found it! Recently spent one night and we were very pleased with our 3rd floor north room. Colorful and fun! We did our best to drive the front desk staff crazy with questions - but all were answered with a smile and enjoyed their restaurant recommendations! Breakfast basic but good - we enjoyed ours in 'the forrest'! Part of the fun was riding in 'the slammer' (old elevator! - must experience to understand!) Although we had concerns with the electronics in the room - we had quick response in correcting the situations. Access to all - Ocean Drive, Espanola Way, Lincoln Street Mall, etc! Hope your trip is as fun as ours!
Very good location + good price = great deal
We stayed at the Kent this past February. After booking a reduced rate online we crossed our fingers in hopes that the hotel wouldn't disappoint. It didn't. Better yet, it proved to be an excellent choice. The accommodations were perfect given our needs - a clean room, a little space, a nice bathroom, a little style, and a location close to the beach. They had all of that plus free Internet usage (computer on site) and free usage of their beach towels. The rooms were clean and well decorated. They even provided a nice radio inside our room and a few cd's for our enjoyment. (We are not talking the cheap AM/FM alarm clock kind here.) The bed was one of the better ones we have had at an affordably priced, big city hotel. The space was plentiful. The bathrooms were clean and stocked with some higher end toiletries which my wife loved. The walls seemed thick enough to block out most noise. Try to book a room that is father away from the street as it was explained to us that it can be noisy. (What else do you expect though when you are off one of the main avenues in South Beach?) The beach was a very short walk away. Plenty of shopping and food choices within walking distance as well. Bottom line - we would definitely recommend the Kent and would book it for our next trip without hesitation.
Not that great
When we arrived, it was too early to check in, so the staff allowed us to store our bags in a small room. They offered to let us shower and change but we decided to rough it and just walk around South Beach. We got back still too early to check in but the staff got us in a room. We tried to bring our luggage up on the teeny tiny elevator that could barely fit our stuff, my husband and I, and the small receptionist that tried to help us to our room. The room was cutesy, but the "cd collection" was nothing more than a few free samplers that they give out as promotional items. The linens were kind of Target looking and felt like something from Walmart. I'm not a snob, but springing for at least 150 thread count isn't expecting too much. The tv was small and very high up and there were cords dangling everywhere. Still, no big deal. We were given towels for the beach, which was cool, but they were pretty dingy and faded from too much bleach (they were lavender in keeping with the purple theme). The outdoor lounge area looked to be under construction but then I realized it was just rundown.
Our worse problem was the noise. There was a construction site right outside our window and the old windows couldn't keep out the noise of even a car driving by. The staff (who were great) moved us, although it wasn't until almost 6 pm when we complained at noon, and they even lugged our things for us. The next room had plumbing problems and the paint in both rooms was chipping from the walls. The hotel itself was very mediocre.
The staff on the other hand was wonderful. The plumber came right away. Everyone was warm, freindly and helpful. They knew us by name by the end of the three days and were extremely halpful with our booking problems with Carnival. The computer in the lobby with Internet access was a Godsend and since the staff knew our troubles, they didn't hound me to get off for other guests. They delivered our faxes as soon as we got them and called to let us know our progress with resolving our Carnival cruise issues. I wouldn't stay there again but I'd hire the staff for any customer service jobs in a heartbeat. Oh, and we had a great time at the club they gave us a plugger for.
Clean and hip, but...
I stayed at the Kent in May 2004, my first trip to Miami with my boyfriend. This review may be geared more for people my age (24) who want to get the most for their $ and have a great time in South Beach. The Kent is very clean, it's definitely not a "roach-motel." I have no complaints about that. Our room was on the second floor in the corner and actually had a huge bathroom. The noise from Collins got to be a bit annoying while we were falling asleep, even after a long night out ourselves. The location was good, because we got to walk to the southern tip of South Beach, and all the way up to 22nd. The walk to Lincoln Road takes about 20 minutes, which got to be annoying, since we wanted to go there pretty much every night. Overall, the Kent gave us a great room to stay in, but no other hotel ammenities to brag about. My advice is to stay at a hotel with a pool!! It will make a huge difference in your trip.
I have since gone back to South Beach, and this time around, we stayed at the Marseilles. Check out my comment there. The pool made all the difference. Our party style was more Delano/Sky Bar/Raleigh which are all about a 25 minute walk north of the Kent.
Overall good choice
My boyfriend and I went to Miami, Fl for the first time this past weekend. We decided to stay at the Kent based on location, price, and the reviews on this site. We were happy, but not overly impressed.
The rooms are funky (ours was all purple, which is fine with me, but others may not like it), and fairly spacious. There was a safe in the closet, which was great. Our room was on the 3rd floor (heat rises, so we weren't too thrilled with that--but the AC works fine if you blast it). We're both in our early 20s, so we went to bars, clubs, and the beach. Our room was facing Collins Ave, which is pretty noisy regardless of the time of day, and you can hear everything. The breakfast was nothing like a regular continental breakfast...just hard danishes, cossaints (sp?), and OJ.
The staff was really nice--even the guy in training. They had beach towels, which helped a lot, and the front desk people were helpful with passes/VIP for the clubs.
Overall, we liked it. We may not stay there again just to try something else, but it was in an absolutely perfect location--clubs, bars, & restaurants on Ocean Dr, Washington Ave, & Collins; shopping on Lincoln, and the beach 1 block away. I wish it had a pool, but other than that--everything was fine. Definitely recommendable.
South Beach/The Kent hotel
I am arriving at midnight Saturday, and wish to stay in South Beach for the night before my Sunday cruise. Question is, do I have enough time on a Sunday AM to do a little shopping/people watching before I board at about 2:00? I am flying into FLL, but decided to stay in South Beach for this purpose only.
I currently have the Kent hotel booked for$104. I am pretty much just sleeping there (hopefully), but I am wondering if it will be worth giving up more comforts from a regular chain to have this very short "South Beach experience"....
Any thoughts or suggestions?
RE: South Beach/The Kent hotel
I like your plan. SB should be on fire that night to bar or club hop, and a walk in the morning & breakfast would be a great way to start your vacation.