Tuesday 22nd May, 2018

Holiday Inn South Beach, Miami Beach

Located on the beach and equipped with a number of resort facilities this good standard 3 star Holiday Inn is popular with families, particularly from areas of Florida. The hotel is located midway between Miami Beach and South Beach, and has a large swimming pool and sun-deck, newly remodelled on the beachfront. To top it off the area has its own poolside bar which is popular amongst guests. We checked in just after midday and received a particularly warm and caring welcome. On the reception desk was a stand-alone sign indicating that local calls were free, so were movies from Showtime, and a number of other features. Parking was also complimentary, which is a bonus on the busy Miami beach strip.

We checked in and were provided with keys to Room 409 on the fourth floor. We waited for some time for a lift. There are only two serving what appears to be a 300 plus room hotel. Later we were to find there is another lift at the other end of the building, mainly for guests using the pool and beach. There was no signage to indicate the lift was there, nor any at the exterior end of the building where the lift is accessed. The room was fine opening on to views of the hotel ground level roof, the buildings opposite, including a Days Inn and some views (at an angle) of the ocean and the beach. The room was spacious and comprised two open wardrobes, one at the entrance and one in a sub-hallway which leads to the bathroom. There are two telephones in this room, one at the bedside and one on a work desk/dresser just past the hallway entrance. There are a number of lamps throughout the room and lighting generally was good, although the lamp on the work desk was inoperative. There is also an occasional table in 409 and a sofa which converts to a bed. The room has two chairs, no armchairs. The air-conditoning unit is wall mounted and was a touch noisy, however it was not overly hot and was not required beyond the middle of the day. A coffee maker and associated amenities were on hand on the work desk, and the bedding was a king size bed. The furniture and decor was fine, 1930s art deco which is pretty much the theme up and down the Miami coast. There is a safe in the room, and iron and ironing board and plenty of information about the hotel. The bathroom suited just fine with ample space, particularly as the room we had comprised a walk-in dressing area leading on to the bathroom. There was a plentiful supply of towels, bath mats, flannels and guest amentities. One word of caution when using the bathroom, the tiled floor can be very slippery if walking on it with wet feet. Be sure to use a bath towel when bathing or showering, or better still lay a towel out on the floor. The hotel boasts ocean views from all rooms which is technically correct but we wouldn't suggest you will be overwhelmed with the views. The hotel in fact is set back from the beach although it is on beachfront land, and as indicated previously, the front section houses the pool and associated facilities. There is a tropical garden separating the two buildings that make up the Holiday Inn and there are two tennis courts adjacent to them. The pool is quite large and is surrounded by newly furnished outdoor lounges and chairs and a jacuzzi installed in the early 2000s.

The hotel is popular with locals, mainly because of the location but also because of the manner in which it is promoted. The staff have a very good customer care ethic and from the reception staff to the parking attendants and the housemaids there is continual inter-action and interest in the activities of guests. There is a barber shop, a cocktail lounge (Fellini Piano Bar), a gift shop, guest laundry and La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant which opens for breakfast (7am to 11am) and dinner (6pm to 11pm) daily.

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