Hotel Review: Conrad Miami

With my last post, I started working my way backwards from the end of my circle trip of Florida starting with a review of the Le Méridien Tampa. However, the night before that I was in Miami for a stay at the Conrad near downtown in Brickell, as I returned from the Florida Keys on the 4th of July. I wasn’t thinking that I would get a great selection of rooms or a decent price for that night, but while almost all of Miami Beach was sold out or ridiculously priced, I found that the Conrad Miami had some pretty decent paid rates for a holiday weekend ($199 or less) and cash an points award available at $85 + 20,000 HHonors Points. That right there was the perfect price point considering my night before (and which will be covered in a subsequent post) at the Casa Marina in Key West ran up the credit card bill. Considering that I also had never tried a Conrad hotel in the US, I figured it would be interesting to see how it would stack up against the Conrad Macao and Conrad Hong Kong, of which the former impressed me and the later not so much, so there was a wide possibilities.

My drive from the keys took a little bit longer than I had anticipated, probably mostly due to leaving later more so than the traffic. Getting to the hotel from the highway though was a little complicated as due to thousands of Brazilian and Colombian soccer fans there were closed streets and cops everywhere. However, once I got on to Brickell Ave, on which the Conrad is located and a little farther down than Google Maps directed me, it was smooth sailing to the hotel valet entrance.

Welcome To The Conrad Miami

Pulling up I was immediately greeted by the valet staff, who whisked away my car as soon as I had collected my belongings from it. Going through the doors, you enter into a very basic lobby that is home to the concierge desk and the elevator banks to take you to the main lobby and reception on the 25th floor.

Upon reaching the 25th floor and the reception desk I was greeted by an agent named Diana. The reason her name sticks out in my mind, is because throughout my stay she wound up being the only staff member I interacted with and every time she was very friendly and professional, and remembered who I was. It’s very rare I’ve found in a hotel that I haven’t spent many nights at to find staff that are like that. On top of that she had informed me that I had been upgraded to an “Executive One Bedroom Bayview Residence” as a Diamond member. Basically at this point I’m just thinking that this hotel is fantastic…and that thought continued through my stay.

The Room
My residence room was located two floors up from the lobby on the 27th floor, room 2712. Walking in I didn’t find it to be super massive like my suite at the Conrad Macao, but it was definitely a good size, probably the same size or slightly larger than my apartment at home. But what I noticed first was the full size kitchen and the small balcony off of the living room. Even when I’ve had upgrades to suites that have included small kitchens, they’ve all paled in comparison to this kitchen. A full size stove and oven, large fridge, all the cooking supplies you could possibly need to cook dinner in and strangely enough a washing machine (not a dishwasher – although there was one of those as well) hidden in one of the cupboards. Never have I had in-room laundry facilities before, but with the absence of a dryer, I’m not sure how useful it would have been.

Full Sized Kitchen

The Not-So-Mini Bar

Anyways, the living it self was spacious enough for myself or a couple of guests, with a TV mounted to the wall. Behind the couch and dining room table, is a large window, that essentially makes this a corner room, if you count looking out to the hotel atrium/lobby as a corner. The desk was in the perfect spot (to me), in that it was located right up against a window looking out to the bay. Had I been here for work, that would have been a nice view to sit there and work my way through countless emails. Luckily, work was nowhere near my thoughts on this trip!

Living Room

Living Room + Kitchen

Living Room (Opposite Corner)

Inside the bedroom was a pretty comfy king bed, another TV, decent sized closet with plenty of storage space and shelves. The windows here also look out to the bay and if it hadn’t been for a building that was being built right next door, I’m sure would have been an even better view.

king Bed

Bedroom Entrance

It’s A Shame The Building Is Being Built

The bathroom was more than spacious and featured entries from both the kitchen and the bedroom. Although one must remember to either draw the curtains in the living room or ensure that the door between the kitchen and bathroom are closed, unless that is you want to give a show to the room on the other side of the atrium and possibly others. That was something that did have to make sure of, as that sliding door, wound up being stuck in the wall when I arrived, and you could tell that someone had definitely tried to free it with a knife or something. Luckily upon mentioning this to Diana at the front desk, she had informed hotel maintenance and they had it freed by the time I got done drinking at the hotel bar. Honorable mention in regards to the shower: it had good water pressure. Something that honestly can make or break a hotel stay for me.

This Is Why You’ll Want To Make Sure That Bathroom Door Closes

The next morning when I woke up, definitely took advantage of the patio off my room. With multiple cups of espresso made from the in-room illy iperEspresso machine I sat out there reading the New York Times enjoying the views of the bay and taking my time to slowly wake up. I don’t care if I’m only in my 20s, that just was a great way to start my day.

I’m Actually Thinking Of Buying This For At Home…

Yep. This Is Nice.

Bar and Restaurant
With it being the 4th of July the night of my stay, I needed to celebrate the birth of our country. One of the reasons I had picked the Conrad Miami is that I figured from their lobby bar (again on the 25th floor), I would get a pretty good view of at least one firework show. After enquiring one time the fireworks would be and after I had grabbed dinner from a place nearby, I found myself at the aptly named Bar at Level 25. My plan had been to grab a table on the small outside terrace, but unfortunately too many other people, who were all in groups, had that same idea and beat me to it. I instead grabbed a vodka tonic from the main bar and proceeded to head outside to at least stand and watch the fireworks. Not surprisingly, my drink was on the pricey side, but on the plus side it was made a bit more on the strong side. It at least helped me rationalize the cost in my head…ha!

Unfortunately, the view of the fireworks was less than idea. A new construction building directly between the hotel and the bay pretty much blocked out Miami’s fireworks. Off in the distance though you could see fireworks in Miami Beach and one of the other beach towns. You could also see Miami’s, but that required looking into a reflection on an adjacent building, so that wasn’t exactly ideal.

I visited the restaurant, Atrio, the next morning for breakfast, as it was complementary for Diamond members. I’m not sure if Diamonds have free range of the menu or not, but I opted for the breakfast buffet. It wasn’t a ride ranging spread, but it had all the standard American basics, European continental options (meats and cheeses), and a good selection of breads. The only negative mark here, was that I got the impression that my server was annoyed by me. Not sure how, but when I disappeared for 3 minutes to get a second plate of fruit, when I came back to my table it had been cleared completely. Considering he didn’t even stop by my table after seeing me sitting back down and I had to flag him down, that was a bit of “what?” kind of moment. That being said, the hostess who seated me was pretty friendly.

As for the view from Atrio, it looks out the opposite direction of the bar towards the city and Everglades. Which probably otherwise would have been relatively boring, but that morning there was plenty of lightning strikes off in the distance from a brewing storm.

View From Atrio

Check Out
When it was time for me to finally leave and make my way through the Everglades and up the coast to Tampa, it was time to leave this great hotel. When I migrated back down to the lobby, I was a bit surprised to see the same agent, Diana, that I had interacted with on the previous day. She got me all checked out and followed up about the door issue I had reported to her the previous night to make sure everything was done to my satisfaction, while still presenting a very friendly attitude. I don’t know if she had the unfortunate task of working a night/evening shift followed by a day shift the next day, but I’ve found it pretty rare to have had the same agent who checked me in later in the day, who winds up being the one who checks me out the next morning.

Once the bill was settled and everything looked good, I asked her about one additional favor: I wanted to see if they had any Conrad Miami stuffed bears. Ok, anyone who is reading this is probably thinking “why in the world would you want a stuffed bear?” That is a pretty good question; as a male in my 20s, stuffed bears aren’t exactly my thing. But after my stays at the Conrad Macao and Conrad Hong Kong, I’ve started a collection of Conrad stuffed bears that have been left in my room during the turndown service. Since the Conrad Miami didn’t put one on my bed during turndown, I figured I should at least ask and see if I can go 3-for-3, and so I asked her if they had any (and why I wanted one). She disappeared into the back office for a bit, but luckily she came back with one in hand. Huzzah! The three of them look pretty good on my bookshelf along with my KLM Delft Houses from flying World Business Class…so thanks Conrad Miami!

My BMW 3 Series Coupe Was The Least Expensive Car At The Valet Pickup

This hotel definitely lived up to expectations as a luxury hotel, counting out the experience at the restaurant. They executed fantastic HHonors Diamond treatment at the front desk, including upgrading me to a very nice room, of which I am extremely grateful especially given that I was on a cash and points award stay. Diana at the front desk was a wonderful agent, and if I had an email address for the general manager, I would have definitely written in a note regarding her excellent customer service. Overall customer service and experience wise, it was better than the Conrad Hong Kong, which did not wow me one bit, and probably was similar in experience to my stay at the Conrad Macao. Location wise, it may not be South Beach, but nearby there are plenty of bars and restaurants that are within a very short walking distance. Would I stay here in the future on a trip to Miami? Definitely! Even if I am not a HHonors Diamond member anymore, I’m sure I would have still had a great stay just based on the observations I made while at the front desk.

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