Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A fairly low-key family scene with distinctive architecture
A classic example of 1930's Miami "ocean liner" architecture, the Albion still retains the porthole windows and curved shape of a ship's prow. Inside, sunlight pours from striking two-story windows into the terrazzo-tiled lobby, where couples and families with teens sprawl on starkly minimalist gray and white furniture. More of this angular seating fills the shady tropical courtyard area adjacent to the raised pool deck. The art collection here is notable, as the hotel belongs to the Rubell family -- owners of one of the most prestigious art collections in Miami.
Right next to Lincoln Road Mall and within easy walking distance of the beach
The Albion is located on the corner of Lincoln Road and James Avenue, a residential street that, although somewhat deserted at night, offers a welcome respite from the chaos of Ocean Drive. The beach is minutes away by foot and guests can immediately access Lincoln Road Mall, one of the premier SoBe spots for dining, shopping, and drinking. The hotel's section of Lincoln Road isn't chichi, but it's only one block from the beachside Ritz Carlton with the posh Delano nearby. It's also less than five minutes by car to the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Ample-sized rooms but showing some wear
Rooms come in a range of size categories and are relatively spacious for South Beach, but the simple gray and white decor could use refreshment along with the carpeting. Blue and green curtains add a punch of color. There are no balconies, and views consist of the pool, courtyard, or street. Bathrooms are also very small, with little storage space and shower/tub combinations. Considering the traffic noise coming from Lincoln Road at times, rooms facing the back tend to be the quietest.
Poolside cafe and a hip cocktail lounge; space for business travelers as well
The Albion has a poolside cafe open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with in-room delivery available. Free coffee is offered every morning. There's also a retro-style cocktail lounge with a bright mash-up of velvet upholstered furniture. The fitness center is rather small, while those wishing to relax outdoors at the venue itself can enjoy its 60-foot swimming pool (it's looking a bit old, but cool underwater windows make it possible to see inside the pool from the garden). For business travelers, meeting facilities are on hand as well.
This 1930s' Art Deco hotel gained new life after a 2005 renovation by the Rubell family, best known for its Studio 54 connection. For a while, the venue's mod design and surprisingly low rates made the Albion one of the best-kept secrets in South Beach. But a decade later, the hotel needs a bit of TLC and rates are not always such a bargain. The 100-room boutique property still retains some advantages over the local competition, though, including a sunny courtyard pool, a hipster cocktail lounge, and relatively spacious rooms. Be prepared to pay stiff tariffs for breakfast, valet parking, and beach chairs.