I am back in Miami for another project. This time, I needed a hotel close to Downtown or in Downtown Miami itself. After checking out the available hotels and rates, I decided to go with the Marriott Courtyard in Downtown because it was the closest hotel to project site I am working on and the price was somewhat decent as well. I tried to snag a spot at the Intercontinental, but it was just too expensive during my visit.
Even tho the address says the hotel is on 200 SE 2nd Ave, you can’t enter from this street. At the intersection of SE 2nd Ave and SE 2nd St keep on going on to SE 2nd St and the hotel entrance will be on your left side. SE 2nd Street is a one-way street, take the very left lane as soon as you get a chance. The entrance is right around the corner. I had to circle twice to find the entrance. It’s a bit tricky because your GPS will probably put you right on SE 2nd Ave and then you can’t turn anymore.
The first thing you will notice when you walk into the lobby, is the giant aquarium at the end of the lobby, separating The Bistro from the lobby. Check-In was quick and fast as I used to at Marriott properties. Surprisingly I got upgraded to a 1 Bedroom Executive Suite with a King Bed. The front desk clerk explained the amenities of the hotel to me and gave me an additional keycard. This keycard is for the parking garage to enter and exit you have to swipe it. You can leave this keycard in your car. It only opens the garage to you. You can enter the hotel from the parking garage with your room key. Behind the doors are the elevators to your right, which makes it easy to get to your room.
The biggest problem with the garage is that it is a public parking garage and not dedicated to the hotel. A lot of people working in the city using the same garage as well and if you leave early and come back before lunch time, it could be that there is no parking space. I came back before lunch time once and it looked like I got the very last parking spot in the garage. I don’t know what would happen if the garage is full and you can’t park because you are paying for that spot.
After I finished checking in I went outside to my car and parked it in an empty spot, grabbed my bags and headed to my room.
My room was on the very end of the hallway and facing south with a view of the Hyatt Regency next door and parts of Brickell. My Suite was very spacious and the living room featured a big screen TV, couch, and a kitchenette. Unfortunately no silverware or any dishes. The little 10 sqft balcony is accessible from the living room. The interior design was a little bit too old-fashioned for me. A hotel like the Courtyard should go with the vibe of Miami.
The suite was cleaned well and also the bathroom showed no signs of dirt. I also liked the floor-to-ceiling windows a lot. It gives you a better view of the city and your surroundings.
Twice during my week long stay, I found a flier from a pizza delivery place in my room, pushed in under the door.
As mentioned next to the lobby and behind the gigantic aquarium is “The Bistro”. It’s special to all Courtyards by Marriott and they have the same menu. Usually, during your order, you will get a number which you have to place on your table and they bring your food right out to you. The service here was always very quick and precise. Never got anything I didn’t order or was not prepared as requested.
In the lobby is a concierge desk to help you with everything you need from tour reservation to another hotel booking. The hotel also has an ATM in the lobby next to the concierge desk and close to the elevators.
The outdoor pool and the fitness center are on the 7th floor and you need your room key to access both facilities. I liked the pool a lot. It’s very spacious and a lot of room to hang out near the pool. The only thing which is annoying are the loud generators at the Miami Tower, directly behind the building, which kick on every now and then. The fitness center has a view of the outdoor pool area.
The hotel is in a great location. Lots of dining choices within walking distance. The Bayside Marketplace, great for shopping and dining, is within walking distance or you can take the Metromover for free there.
To get to the Metromover walk west on SE 2nd St and pass your parking garage and the one of the Miami Tower. Once you see two glass doors on your left, go through them and follow the hallway all the way to the end and up the escalators. That’t it, you just found the Metromover. You can ride it for free every day and every time.