Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The bare minimum, although some folks were awfully nice -- if you could find them.
The cleaning lady scowled at me as I struggled to pull our bags up the stairs. The check-in staff members weren't rude, but it was clear that they were just doing a job.
Still, when I called the front desk to get a Band-Aid, I got it in just a couple of minutes. The waitress in the restaurant was helpful and chatty -- she even ran after me to give me the bag I'd forgotten there. Then again, the restaurant was completely abandoned the next day when I tried to get a coffee.
Nothing too luxe or "out there" -- just a solid, no-frills room, with a premium put on cleanliness and comfort.
An overpowering scent of floral and citrus fresheners continued from the hallways and into my room.
The beach scene mural in the hallway would have been strikingly cheesy anywhere else in Miami, but it was a relief to see something so whimsical in such a stark-white hotel.
The sun was shining right through the window as I walked into my 250-square-foot room. It was as bright and clean as a surgical ward, and I couldn't find one spot of dirt.
None of the light wood furniture was high-end, but there was a comfort to being surrounded by easily recognizable, functional cabinets and cupboards.
Although I had never been to a Best Western before, I immediately felt like I knew what to expect from the room. The only thing that threw me off was finding the mini-fridge in the closet. What was that about?
The bathroom was clean and functional. Again, it wasn't luxurious, but when it comes to hotels, the presence of basic, standard amenities that work is often more than enough.
A pool with a view, a (frequently empty) restaurant and vending machines.
A whole wall by the front desk is lined with vending machines. Others are snuck into corners throughout the hotel. I never went without a snack.
I found the vending machines a more reliable food source than the restaurant on the first floor, which often had neither guests nor waiters.
A small on-site fitness center has a couple of cardio and weight-training machines. It's clean and well maintained, but it was nerve-racking to see it filled with a gaggle of toddlers playing hide-and-seek.
Just condos and hotels
A long, 30-block stroll down the picturesque boardwalk brings you to the more happening South Beach. The boardwalk is filled with joggers and vacationing families by day. By night, it's a refuge for many of Miami's homeless. There are frequent security patrols up and down the boardwalk, but it's probably best to take a cab after the sun sets.
This clean, moderately priced beachfront hotel might look like a bargain, but the in-house facilities are meager -- just a small pool, a cramped fitness center and a deserted bar and restaurant. To find anything to do or eat, it's a 15-minute drive to South Beach ($10-15 each way by taxi).