More about Hotel Biba
Little slice of Paradise
I had a wonderful stay at the Hotel Biba and reccomend it to anyone who wants to just get away from the hustle and bustle of mainstream hotels. The rooms and decor were very hip and trendy, and the hotel bar was equally posh. The staff was very helpful and curteous, especially the front desk-person Jenny, who provided ample information on things to do in the area. I will definitely stay at the Hotel Biba the next time I am in town. A++!
Bohemian Little Hang Out!
My boyfreind and I just came back from a stay at the Hotel Biba. We loved it. The place exemplifies what a botique hotel is. The linens were totally luxurious and the Aveda products refreshing. The hotel bar was grooving. The bartender was very nice. We basically had the pool to ourselves, when ever we swam. The place is totally relaxing. It is not high end Hyatt...but who wants to be chased around by bell hops in funny uniforms? We also liked that the hotel had an office where patrons could access the internet for free. I would highly reccommend Biba...espically if you feel a little Bohemian.
I Can't Wait to Go Back
We’re so glad we didn’t cancel our stay at Hotel Biba after reading these reviews. Perhaps our experience was different because we went off-season and it wasn’t crowded, but we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The staff is friendly and accommodating, the landscaping is beautiful, the pool is great, and the beds are fantastic. I loved the breakfasts, which were mainly fruit, yogurt and the like, but there’s an IHOP down the street if you need the whole lumberjack deal (the hotel is an oasis on a busy main street). Some complaints on this site are accurate (there isn’t a lot of storage, for example, but that didn’t bother me; I wasn’t crazy about the aroma therapy machine, but it can be turned off), but other complaints are weird (who cares that the air conditioner is built into the wall – it works and this is an historic landmark building!) and (in my case anyway) wrong (e.g., the windows in my room and bathroom opened, and the bathroom was very clean). I suppose this place isn’t for everyone, but we’d go back in a second!
Not a HOTEL, barely a motel
I read other reviews the night before our trip and was braced for what I found at the Biba. NOTHING. Not a drawer in the entire room, which smelled nothing like a lavender scented boutique. The bare floor under my feet felt awful. The room was NOT cozy at all. The shower was moldy, there was not place to "put" my toiletries. We did not have access to an ice machine but had to wait for "room service" to bring it...3 calls in 3 hours, finally a TINY bucket of ice. We were asked to PAY to park there yet there was never a space available. The outdoor pool was warmer than our jacuzzi tub at home. The bar had odd hours and no beer.
The wet bar in our room was actually a small silver basket of expensive snacks. I was ready for a beach side, inexpensive stay but not prepared for this. The beds were very comfy as were the pillows and the staff was considerate when we checked out early (no one to help with our many bags, not a cart or anything). I am not sure WHO this hotel would appeal to, but we ended up at the Hampton Inn up the street, they were VERY accomodating and had ALL the amenities you could want. DO NOT let the Biba's web site fool you! Their advertising is excellent and very misleading.
Would Not Return
The downsides of this property outweighed the upsides.
* No central air--all rooms have unit air conditioners, which are noisy, and which you must leave on 24 hours because
* The windows don't open. Even then, there's a musty smell to the rooms, and it takes several hours for the bathroom to dry out after a shower.
* The showers are very dingy--old truck stop showers repainted in a "hip" color, only the paint is peeling, the drain grate is loose, and the paint is bubbling from the ceiling.
* The bar is disappointing. $9 glass of wine; they were out of most other alcohols and a couple mixers (no gin; the only whiskey was Johnnie Walker Black, no cherries; in fact, no food at all in the bar).
The rooms have thin walls--we could hear every conversation that took
place outside our room.
* There is no patio or balcony. This was a problem coming back from the beach--there's no place to hang your towel or wet bathing suit.
* The rooms are small, and mostly taken up with the bed.
*There isn't much within walking distance--the hotel is across the street from a strip mall with a 7-Eleven type shop, and a thrift shop. Otherwise, there isn't much in the area.
Overall, the photos on the website are quite impressive--and not a good
indication of reality. We found a deal for $100/per night (early April
2004), but this was overpriced. The bed is very soft (a negative, in my
mind) and the linens are better than your average $150/night hotel. The
bath products are Aveda, with bottles about half the size of what one
finds in a W Hotel room. Breakfast (juice, coffee/tea, apples/fruit,
stale bread, Cuban pastries) is complimentary; it can be eaten in the
patio area of the bar. As long as traffic on the road (ten feet away)
is light, it can be pleasant.
I would not recommend the hotel, and would not return.
Biba is is not a Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, etc. If you don't feel comfortable outside of cookie cutter subdivisions and sterile shopping malls, you won't like Biba. Biba is like a cool person you meet sitting on a city park bench - quirky, interesting and charming if not a little rough around the edges.
Biba is a classic, well done, preserved yet updated motor lodge with modern, minimalist expressions. Our room was clean, large, comfortable and a great value. The grounds are absolutely amazing.
With any sensitive restoration, nothing is perfect. The choice must be made in restorations whether to rip out classic materials just to make something look "new." I am glad Biba had the foresight to preserve great touches such as the rounded ceilings and terrazzo marble floors in the rooms even if they couldn't be made to look like "new."
Beyond the structure, the staff is amazing. Jennifer set up a birthday weekend for my partner including balloons, chocolates, a massage and even a cake in the room. Every dining recommendation she made was perfect.
The location is great for hanging out on Clematis St or going to City Place for dinner or a quick drive to Palm Beach. We will be back - soon. We loved it so much, we even bought the T-shirt!
Ok so me, my boyfriend and another couple are headed to west palm beach to see a concert. I call in April to reserve TWO rooms for July 31. I call in June to verify if they are next to eachother...they are not..thats ok we are in the same hotel. Then the night before I call and guess what! We are only booked for ONE room. We have to book our friends in a seperate hotel...a crappy hampton inn smoking room...drive back and forth from hotel to hotel to get everything worked out and let me tell you...i havent even started driving there yet. the only reason we are staying there is because there are no rooms left in west palm beach at all. i havent even started to drive there and i HATE the place. I hope we get something out of this....if not...theres going to be much more than a simple review coming out of this...I say dont go.......
Funky but failed
Never again. It is such a pity that this stylish hotel is in the middle of what appears to be an industrial estate, miles away from anywhere. I was forced to call for a pizza the first night, and waited 20 minutes the second evening for a taxi to take me to something resembling civilisation.
The worst moment of my stay was being awoken the night before I was due to appear at an important conference by blaring loud techno music right outside the window. I was told this was due to the weekly singles night, and in the end was forced - at 2am - to demand that it stop. I hated to be the party pooper, but there are limits.
There was no iron in the room, the breakfast was woefully inadequate and the pool is located next to garbage dumpsters. Trendy retro furniture and funky staff is no compensation...
Awesome Little Place
Biba is awesome: bright, cheery, and unique. It's more fun and memorable than a chain hotel. Located just a few miles south of great shopping and nightlife, it's very easy to get from Biba to anywhere. Biba was base while we searched for a home in the area, and the staff was helpful about where to look. In fact, the map they provided was more useful than the map from the rental car company. One of the best features of the hotel is the (free!) Business Center, from where we made phone calls and used the Internet. Our room was clean and "retro"; the bed was VERY comfortable; and the bathroom was bright and well-mirrored. The pool was great, and the continental breakfast was satisfying. The bar was totally cool, although a bit pricey, but the bartender had great tips on where to go in town. We would absolutely recommend Biba to anyone!
Bad, Very Bad
I stayed with another family at the Biba. The hotel location is seriously bad, you truly never feel safe. If you decide to walk any where, you truly need to rethink your plans. West Palm comes off as a dirty little city, a battleground if you will. The Biba staff were very nice, but all the niceness in the world can't paint this place into anything more than what it is....a lower end rest stop trying to make a neat theme a reality. The idea is cool but the physical plant facilities fall very short. I do believe this concept in a different location has a shot.