With my previous stays at Kimpton properties in the U.S. I really started enjoying this brand. I never really paid attention to Kimpton as I was focused on the other main brands. For years I am a continuous top-tier with IHG. It wasn’t until the Snowpocalypse in Seattle earlier this year when my flight got canceled and I got stranded in Seattle. Kimpton Hotel Vintage was one of the last hotels which had rooms available for this night, as it was already past midnight. That’s where my love for the brand started. Read more about it in my review of the Hotel Vintage Seattle.
Kimpton used to be an independent chain but got bought by IHG, which was announced way back in 2014. Both brands stayed separate for a long time but IHG integrated Kimpton into their network last year. Because of my great experiences with Kimpton, I started following them on social media, that’s also when I found out about their “Secret Social Password“.
Read more: Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle
Choosing the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel was just a coincidence. I didn’t actually have had any real plans to stay in Miami Beach during my visit to Miami. But as this was the last night before the annual free night of my IHG credit card would expire, I really wanted to use it and not let it go to waste. I checked available hotels and as it would be only a 1-night stay, I wanted to try something new. I have been already to the InterContinental in Miami, so this one was off the list. I was curious about the Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Downtown Miami but it was sold out for the weekend. So I had a few choices in Miami Beach and decided to try the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel.
I would have a late check-in as my flight from LAX wasn’t scheduled to touch down before 9:30 p.m. and giving the long waiting times for luggage at the American Airlines baggage carousel, I wasn’t expecting to be at the hotel before 11 p.m. All that changed, when my flight pushed back and then made its way back to the gate to have maintenance check as they had issues with one of the cabin doors aboard the Boeing 777. Seems cabin doors are a big issue lately with American. At least two of my recent flights got delayed because of door issues. I get it, I really don’t want them to take off with a broken door, especially if it leaks and we would lose cabin pressure at 38,000 feet. That’s for sure nothing convenient, but being grounded for the same issue isn’t either.
Because of my delayed departure in LAX, I arrived at the hotel just a few minutes after midnight. At least the drive was as easy as it could get, as there was no traffic. In Miami Beach, just before reaching the hotel, it got a bit worse, as there were a few, probably impaired, drivers on the street. I followed the navigation instructions of my GPS and pulled into the spot which was set up for valet parking in front of the hotel. The hotel is located on Washington Ave, two blocks from the beach and oceanfront park. When I pulled into the little curb-side area for valet parking, no valet was around. I locked the car and walked inside. The front desk agent was on the phone, assisting two guests already waiting in the lobby. He was assuming I just wanted to drop my keys but told him that I am actually here for check-in.
He had to leave with the two guests already waiting in the lobby, as there was some issue with the room. I got it and waited in the lobby. In the meantime, the valet showed up and he was asking if it’s my car parked out front. We had a quick chat and I told him that I just want to check-in and after that grab my stuff out of the car so he can park it.
After a few more minutes waiting, the front desk agent came back and was able to check me in. I asked him how it works with the secret password, as this is the first time I knew about that. As I never used the secret password, I wasn’t sure if you have to announce it or just say the words. But either way, he didn’t know what I was talking about and was confused. He got my room keys setup and he gave me a quick rundown of the amenities and hotel layout. Before leaving the desk, I asked if I could have a late checkout and he was checking and told me that he put me down for a 2 p.m. checkout. I was hoping for something later, but it was fine with me. He told me, I could double-check the next morning if there was a possibility to extend it any further. I was ok with that and headed back out to the valet. He helped me with my bags to get them into the lobby as the hotel has no automatic doors. This was super nice and courteous of him. As it was a short stay and I had more bags with me than I actually needed, I asked the valet if it’s a secure area where the car is parked and if I can leave stuff inside. He told me, I don’t have to worry about it, as the car will be parked in the underground parking garage, which is locked and nobody can get in and out. He was right, I found the entrance the next morning during a stroll around the hotel. It looked very secure and I had no issues while leaving stuff in my car.
Studio Terrace King (Room 338)
After getting off the elevator on the third floor, it was easy to find my room by following the markings on the walls. The room itself is actually very spacious and I have been at other hotels in South Beach, where rooms are noticeably smaller.
There was plenty of space on either side of the bed. Also, each side of the bed has a nightstand, lights, and a reading lamp. On the left side is an alarm clock, which showed the completely wrong time. No big deal in the smartphone age. But it took me a second to locate the power outlets and USB ports. They are mounted on the side of the nightstands, facing the bed. In the drawer of the right nightstand is a flashlight in case of power outages.
Opposite the bed was a wall-mounted and decent-sized TV screen with the remote sitting on the right nightstand. Below it was a work desk which was not very deep in size but wide enough to set up a laptop and get some work done.
On the right side of the desk and in the corner was a comfortable chair with pillows while on the left side was a closet with the minibar and snacks, including the price list.
There is another and bigger closet right to the left when you get into the room. It has the usual stuff you expect like iron, ironing board, laundry bags and slips, hangers, and in-room safe. Some more unique items inside the big closet were the dressing mirror, which is usually located outside, an umbrella, sunscreen, yoga mat, and a cute beach bag that was filled with two towels for the beach. Beach umbrellas are complimentary as well and can be picked up at the front desk, at least that’s what I got told, but I never made it to the beach.
On the opposite side of the closet is the big bathroom. This one is very spacious and has a big walk-in shower with beautiful small tiles all the way around and a glass front. The vanity was in the middle of the big bathroom and the toilet to the right of it.
Last but not least, the room came with a balcony you can actually make use of. On the balcony were two additional chairs. Unfortunately, the view is not the greatest. You can see Washington Ave and the little side street. Not really a few at all.
Public Areas of the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel
In the beginning, I didn’t know but the hotel consists actually of two buildings. One is the old and historic part and there was a new one built which connects to the original historic building. The lobby is now located inside the new building and has a beautiful design. I really like the front desk, which looks like it’s made out of one gigantic marble block. Right in front of it, is a roundish seating area. Great while you wait to get checked in. The corridor leads you along and around the corner to the elevators and an open area with a meeting room on one side and a future restaurant on the other. It’s dark in this area, as there are no windows but it has its own personal style.
Unbelievable, but the hotel has actually two pools. The best one is located on the rooftop of the new building. Just take the elevator all the way up. It’s a beautiful pool with glass railing around the rooftop deck for a better view of the surrounding area. Pool loungers are located on three sides of the pool. A restroom is also available right next to the pool. If you are here to soak up some sun, there are more loungers located on the lower deck of the rooftop. There is plenty of space on the lower rooftop deck to bring your yoga mat from the room or join one of the fitness classes offered by the hotel for free (included in the resort fee). Classes are every day from 9:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. on the rooftop and are held by local athlete Karlee Whipple or her team. Unfortunately, these are the only workout options as the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel doesn’t have a fitness center or offers access to one.
Another “workout option” is by taking one of their complimentary bikes out for a spin and explore the South Beach neighborhood. Just ask the front desk to have them unlocked for you.
Now you wonder where the second pool is? I did too! I had to ask a staff member to find out and she went beyond and above and even guided me to the pool. The pool is located in the courtyard of the old historic building. It’s a small maze to get there. The easiest way is exiting out of the lobby in the new building and just before you hit the sidewalk, take the small pathway down to your left. While you walk down the path, you will pass the old main entrance of the hotel. The main entrance is clearly noticeable with the canopy going from the building out to the street. Once you see another path to your left after passing the old lobby, follow it and you will get to the “secret” pool. It’s a small pool but also more tranquil and it is an adult-only pool. There are only a handful of pool loungers around this pool.
Another little tranquil area is located on the second floor. It’s located on the backside of the new building and you can take the elevator up there or the beautiful stairs on the outside. Just to the right before entering the main entrance. There are some hanging-chairs and a bunch of seats.
One other area to hang out, is to the right, outside the main entrance of the main building. This area is located just outside of the hotel’s restaurant – Minnow Bar.
Dining at the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel
Minnow Bar serves breakfast during the morning hours and offers indoor and outdoor seating. The seating inside is limited and overall it’s more set up to be a bar than a restaurant. Dining tables are very limited, especially inside. Most of the seats just have a cocktail table or just a small place to put your drinks and not the best place to have breakfast. The Kimpton Angler’s Hotel calls the breakfast a European Continental Breakfast Buffet. Hot food is not part of the breakfast buffet, which costs $16, and an 18% service charge/gratuity is automatically added. It would be great, but the service wasn’t that great. Breakfast opens at 7:00 a.m. and I got there at around 7:45 a.m. However, the waiter was the whole time playing with the phone. She greeted me when I walked in and offered me orange juice, which was not available for self-service. Surprisingly coffee and tea are for free for everyone in the morning. No matter if you have breakfast at the hotel or just want to swing by to get your morning caffeine shot. There is even iced coffee.
I was the only guest in the beginning and a family joined the breakfast later and sat outside.
The buffet offered at the hotel seems to be more just to have something so they can say they have breakfast. If you want extras, Angler’s Hotel calls it “a la carte enhancements” you have to pay extra. This includes waffles, pancakes, and others. You might be better off getting breakfast somewhere else. Las Olas Café is just around the corner from the hotel and opens at 6 a.m. daily.
An American Seafood restaurant Sewell Fish N’ Oyster will open sometime in summer 2019, which adds a real restaurant to the hotel. Right now it’s only Minnow Bar, which is more a bar than a restaurant.
Kimpton Angler’s Hotel is located in South Beach at the beginning of the world-famous Art Deco District. This chic boutique-style hotel fits perfectly in this area. Their rooms are great and the hotel even has a poolside Bungalow at the historic part of the hotel. It’s just a short walk to the beach from the hotel. To explore the Miami Beach area even further, a Miami Beach Trolley stop is just a few steps away from the main entrance of the hotel. Right nearby is also a Citi Bike Rental, but don’t forget you can borrow one of the bikes from the hotel for free. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and other things to do, just within walking distance from the hotel. It’s better to not have a car anyway, as valet parking is expensive for $39 a night.
Remember when I asked, during check-in, to get a late checkout? I called the front desk to ask if I could extend my checkout time even further. They told me, that they can’t offer any more late checkouts today, as housekeeping is understaffed and they already have a lot of late checkouts for today. It shouldn’t be surprising for a Sunday, especially on a holiday weekend. Anyway, I told them that I was already put down for a late checkout when I checked in and that I just tried to extend that if possible. After that, the lady on the phone told me that it’s no problem to keep my 1 p.m. checkout. I told her that I was told I can have 2 p.m. and she saw that only 1 p.m. was noted on the paper and transferred me to another person, probably the manager. After a short talk, the second person told me that I am good to go and can stay until 2 p.m. I also asked her about the excursions to Angler’s Reef.
Kimpton Angler’s Hotel has partnered with the University of Miami’s (UM) Benthic Ecology and Coral Restoration Lab to restore local coral reefs. Their adopted side is aptly named “Angler’s Reef”. According to their website, the front desk can help to arrange these half-day curated Rescue-a-Reef experience tours. Departure is from the nearby marina.
While talking to the front desk agent, she told me she will have some information for me available to pick up when I check out. Well, you can imagine what happened next. A different person was working at the front desk and she didn’t even know what Angler’s Reef is and that the hotel offers an excursion to this place. She just knew about different sightseeing tickets.
I also asked her to send me a copy of my receipt via email, but the email never arrived. Somehow, I knew that this is going to happen when I asked for it.
Overall I liked my stay there, but all the small issues just added up, which gave me a rather disappointing feeling. Hopefully, during another stay, the experience will be even better. By the way, don’t forget the $30 resort fee you have to pay daily. The fee is not clearly shown when you book online and this is in addition to the $39 valet parking fee.
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.