Cardozo Hotel Rating: 2.5 Pearls
South Beach, Miami, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Clean rooms
  • Across the street from the beach
  • Central South Beach location
  • On-site Starbucks

Cons

  • No pool
  • No gym
  • Bad restaurant
  • Old rooms
  • Gloria Estefan's obnoxious self-promotion

Bottom Line

Owned by Gloria "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" Estefan, the outdated (but clean) Cardozo is across from the beach on vivacious (and noisy) Ocean Drive. Lacking a pool or gym, the Cardozo tries to compensate with a Cuba-meets-Serengeti-meets-Bhutan décor and a restaurant that makes equally little sense.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Service

The staff is polite, but guests shouldn't expect above-and-beyond service.

Front desk staff
Front desk staff

Every staff member I encountered was polite, but with just one employee at the desk (either singing to the constantly looping Gloria Estefan music videos or trying her best to ignore the muted screen), there's no one to pamper guests.

I did encounter an all-around runner -- someone who would sporadically carry bags and open doors, plus he showed me a few different rooms -- but I never relied on him being there. Most often, I was left to fend for myself.

 Location

The Cardozo is in the center of South Beach, the perfect spot to people-watch. Guests in rooms that face the street might be annoyed by all the noise.

On Ocean Drive, across the street from Lummus Park and the beach, Cardozo is beside some of the more sedate Ocean Drive properties. However, the scene nearby is of the novelty thong and eight-ounce shot glass variety, not the posh, couture-seeking set (which is about six blocks away in either direction).

As 1930s architecture failed to account for the Bikini-tini, the rooms don't block the noise. Guests in rooms facing the street can expect to hear traffic and cell-phone screaming at night. Still, the Cardozo is certainly at the South Beach epicenter. To say the least, it is in a premier, people-watching position.

 Rooms

Rooms have a unique style, but the Gloria Estefan CDs in every suite are an odd touch. The boom box and TV are outdated.

Gloria Estefan CDs in the Standard Room
Gloria Estefan CDs in the Standard Room

Minimal light, earthy accents, dark-wood furnishings, leopard-print headboards, and terra-cotta stucco walls create some ideal mood-lighting inside the room. But they also made getting any of my work done in the dark a little tricky.

Though clean, the rooms were clearly from another era -- when Gloria Estefan was topping the charts. In a shameless attempt at self-promotion (or perhaps this was the brainchild of her co-owner, husband, and producer, Emilio Estefan Jr.), Gloria stacks her CDs for sale (and only her CDs) in every room, just beside an outdated boom box, and beneath an archaic, standard-screen TV.

In keeping with the original Art Deco architecture, the bathrooms are extremely cramped.

 Features

There's no pool and no gym, and the on-site restaurant needs to rethink its dinner menu.

Oriente restaurant
Oriente restaurant

Lacking a pool or gym, the Cardozo's only draw is its location on Ocean Drive (although, this ignores its since-hip celebrity owners' kitsch appeal, worthy of a VH1 reality series).

Throughout my trip, the restaurant remained empty. Against the advice of all my Miami friends, I resolved to eat there and find out what was so horrible about the Oriente restaurant's "Cuba meets Far East" entrées. Gratuitously overpriced and poorly prepared, everything I sampled was, in the words of a photographer who accompanied me, "Bad, it was all just really, really bad." (Clearly, she wasn't hired for her poetics.) I did, however, enjoy the Oriente's breakfast.

 Cleanliness

It can be difficult to keep outdated Art Deco looking clean, but housekeeping is on the ball.

The Cardozo housekeeping runs a tight ship. Anyone who can keep outdated Deco looking like new (or at least not that old) deserves a medal. So many other hotels tend to appear somewhat decrepit one year after their renovations, but the Cardozo manages to keep the rooms, and even the bathrooms, looking clean.

 Bottom Line

Owned by Gloria "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" Estefan, the outdated (but clean) Cardozo is across from the beach on vivacious (and noisy) Ocean Drive. Lacking a pool or gym, the Cardozo tries to compensate with a Cuba-meets-Serengeti-meets-Bhutan décor and a restaurant that makes equally little sense.

Things You Should Know About Cardozo Hotel

Address

  • 1300 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Cardozo Hotel Miami Beach
  • Cardozo Miami Beach

Room Types

  • Deluxe King Suite
  • Deluxe Ocean View King Room
  • Double Double Suite
  • King Suite
  • Ocean View Queen Suite
  • Standard Double Double Room
  • Standard Single
  • Superior King Room
  • Superior Ocean Double Double Room
  • Superior Ocean View King Room
  • Superior Ocean View Queen Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 43
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: South Beach, Miami
Address: 1300 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(See Map)
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