It was time for another trip to Miami. Unfortunately during the worst time of the year. Hurricane season is in full swing and the temperatures and humidity are skyrocketing. Not the best time of the year to visit the area. However, I had no other choice as I was going there for business and not pleasure. As you may know, I am a fan of the Hyatt brand. They always treated me fair and are flexible enough to go with my crazy work schedules. I searched for hotels in the Miami or Miami Beach area, preferably one in which I haven’t stayed yet. To my advantage, hotel prices are way down that time of the year, as high season is during the “winter” time in southern Florida. The Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami had a decent rate displayed. But best of all was the AAA Hot Deal offer which would include free valet parking at the hotel. The hotel only offers valet parking and would normally charge $40 + tax per night. Another bonus as World of Hyatt Globalist was that the resort fee of $24 + tax per day got waived and free breakfast is included as well.
The resort fee includes:
- Premium internet access
- Two beach chairs and towels
- Two welcome bottles of water
- Use of hotel bikes
- World Cinema in-room Bluetooth
- Access to the fitness center at Exhale South Beach (across the street from the hotel)
- Daily newspaper
Together these are savings of $64 dollars per day (tax not included) I could spend elsewhere, like dinner or shopping.
The hotel has no airport shuttle service of its own. You can arrange something with them but it’s not complimentary. As I was renting a car anyway, it wasn’t an issue for me. The drive to the hotel was not too bad, considered all the construction going on in Miami Beach right around the convention center. Traffic was moderate but once you hit Miami Beach it slowed down significantly because of all the traffic lights, pedestrians crossing the street even tho there is no crosswalk or they have a red light. People don’t really care about this area. My GPS guided me right to the hotel entrance and I pulled up into the driveway to the parking garage to be out of the way of traffic and so I wouldn’t block the sidewalk. One of the valets came to assist me. He got me a claim check for my car, tagged my bags, which would then be delivered to my room once checked in.
I proceeded inside and up to the third floor. That’s where the lobby and front desk is located. I checked in and received my room keys. To get to any floor other than 1st or 3rd you have to use your keycard to activate the elevator. My room was located on the 9th floor.
1 King Bed Ocean View (Room 903)
I just got into my room and set down my backpack with my camera gear as it knocked on the door. My bags got delivered to my room as promised and I even just got here. This is quick and prompt service which got the bellman a nice tip.
The room had a decent size but wouldn’t call it spacious. I had trouble arranging my two pieces of luggage to be out of the way. But I still had plenty of space to walk around and not actually trip over my bags. But you are probably more likely here to go to the beach or explore the city and not to sit in the hotel room all day. The floor to ceiling windows gave the room enough light. Calling it “ocean view” is a bit of an overstatement. You can only see a very small part of the ocean in the far distance. However, you get a pretty good view of Collins Ave, the parking garage next door, and a decent view of the swimming pool of the hotel.
The desk in the room was big enough to set up your laptop and get work done but I needed to fix it first before I could use it. I don’t know if it was the floor or the desk itself but one leg was not touching the floor and so it wobbled which was quite annoying every time you put your hand on the desk or off. But this was fixed quickly. On the desk was a little welcome gift from the hotel for me. A bottle of Coke Zero and White Chocolate Kit Kat Minis. How did they know that I like the White Chocolate Kit Kat so much?
Given the size of the room, there was a refrigerator hidden in a closet adjacent to the bed. Well, it was more of a minibar as it was already filled with soft drinks and beers and not a lot of space was left to put your own stuff. However, you could just pull all the items out and put your own stuff in. Before you leave put the bottles and cans back in. Also, let the hotel know and I am sure they will understand. On top of the fridge-closet was a box of cocktails in bottles that you could purchase as well. Right on top of the closet was another closet that had the ice bucket in it and on top of this closet were some minibar snacks like Pringles and the coffee maker.
The room safe was located to the right in the little area between the bedroom and the bathroom. There was also a place to put down a small bag and hang your clothes. Just to the right as you enter the room was the bathroom with a nice big bathroom washbasin, toilet, and an oversized rain-shower. For the guest convenience, the bathroom featured two PJs.
Let’s start with the lobby on the 3rd floor. Just gorgeous and nicely decorated in the art deco style. The front desk is on the far end of the lobby with two counters to assist guests. Right before that is a small but comfy seating area to relax and hang out.
The rest of the area is used for the bar and the restaurant seating area. From the lobby, you can step outside with more seating places to either dine or just hang out and relax. From here you have access to the rooftop pool located on the 3rd floor.
The pool features plenty of loungers and a few cabanas. Some of the loungers are a bit further away to give you some more tranquility if you are just out to soak up the sun. Don’t forget that with the resort fee you get also two free beach chairs and towels and can enjoy the ocean on the sandy beach. It’s up to you. The ocean is just a one block walk away.
To stay fit you can use the fitness center at Exhale South Beach which is located across the street in the building which has “St. Moritz” written on it at the top. With your resort fee, you can also use one of the hotel bikes to explore Miami Beach. I don’t recommend driving anywhere in Miami Beach. You can use the Miami Beach Trolley, walk or use the hotel bikes. Driving just takes too long with all the traffic and parking is expensive everywhere too.
There are plenty of shops and restaurants around the hotel. Everything from budge like a 7eleven to high end. You don’t have to go far. The famous Lincoln Road Mall, an outdoor mall with shops located along Lincoln Rd is a block to the NW away from the hotel.
The hotel’s main dining spot is DECK Sixteen. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a bar area as well. You can sit inside or outside on the patio or even at the pool to enjoy Spanish and Mediterranean influenced food. Enjoy a drink at the small pool-overlooking bar counter. Don’t worry if you plan to be at the beach all day. The restaurant has you covered as well. Make sure you order within their operating hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. And of course, there is room service available as well.
The service at the restaurant could be a little bit better. I was sitting outside trying to enjoy the Southbeach flair, but it was hard to get the waiter’s attention first to get an order placed and then to check-out. Service between that was great and I got checked on multiple times if I needed anything else.
I decided to try the Deck 16 Burger which was pretty good but nothing extraordinary. I would have expected a little bit more for the price of $15, but hey you are in Southbeach – the price comes with the location so I can’t really complain.
On the first floor, you can find Joe & The Juice. This is kinda like a Starbucks where you can get freshly brewed organic coffee from Honduras, freshly prepared veggie & fruit drinks as well as healthy sandwiches.
If this is still not enough for you, check out one of the many restaurants in South Beach. Ask the concierge at the hotel or Google to find your favorite spot or a new hidden gem you want to try.
Overall this is a very nice and unique hotel. Great and friendly staff all the way through with one problem. Their valet parking. Once you check your car you get a small stub with two QR codes on them to make it easier to get your car. One will send a text message to the valet to have your car ready when you go downstairs and the other one is opening a website on your phone’s browser also letting the valet know you want to get your car. At least this is the theory. It never worked for me. I tried both ways multiple times and when I headed downstairs and talked to the valet he told me that he didn’t receive any notification on his system. My tip, call ahead and let them know that you will pick your car up. As I was always leaving at the same time in the morning, they had my car ready automatically after that. Which was great and that’s what I call taking care of your guests. Get to know their habits and react based on that. Valet parking can be a mess between noon (when everyone checks out) and 4 p.m. (when most people will check-in). One time it took me almost 40 minutes to get my car during that time frame. But it’s better to come without a car anyway but I needed it for work.
This was the only small issue I encountered during the stay and other than that it was a really great time there. Just wish I had more time to enjoy it. I will try to come back here as soon as I can.
If you have any questions, just drop me a comment.
Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami
- Close to the Beach
- Great and friendly Staff
- Nicely Decorated and Clean Rooms
- Many shops and restaurants nearby
- Rooftop Pool
- Only Valet Parking
- Resort Fee
- mostly small rooms
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.