Claridge Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Miami Beach, Miami, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Across the street from the beach
  • Clean rooms have nice beds, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks
  • Quiet location
  • Renovated Mediterranean-style building constructed in 1928
  • Quaint, charming atmosphere
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • 20 blocks from lively South Beach
  • Limited dining and nightlife within walking distance
  • Old, smallish rooms (some might find them "charming")
  • No pool (spa pool only)
  • Fee for covered parking

Bottom Line

Across the street from a quiet stretch of beach and 20 blocks from South Beach partying, the 50-room, Mediterranean-style Claridge stands out amidst Miami Beach's sea of condos. But the indoor wading pool just makes the lobby smell like chlorine.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Simple, "cute" rooms in a clean 1928 hacienda attract a varied, mellow crowd.

The lobby
The lobby

The Claridge does a commendable job at echoing its Mediterranean architecture -- a large archway at the entrance, terra-cotta tiles, intricate wrought-iron and wood-work -- with beachy items like rattan furniture and bright accent colors and textiles. But obviously fake imitations of over-the-top antiques can make the hotel feel dated and a little tacky.

The hotel attracts a wide variety of guests, many of whom are international and therefore have slightly lower expectations for amenities than many Americans. There's very little going on in the neighborhood, and even the on-site restaurant is depressingly empty. For the price (as low as $89/night in summer), you could do MUCH worse. The Claridge is comfortable, clean, and a block away from the beach, but the money guests save by staying north of all the action ends up going toward transportation to find restaurants, bars, or any type of lively scene.

 Location

Nothing much is up here in Miami Beach (save the glitzy Fontainebleau mega-resort a 10-minute walk away). It's a $7-$10 cab ride to the South Beach action.

The hotel is along busy Collins Avenue, and the area is known to attract a transient population (translation: there can be bums around, but that's pretty common anywhere in Miami).

On the downside, the Claridge is across the street from the beach, and in fact faces a parking lot. On the plus side, this means most of the hotel's rooms have great ocean views since there's no building in the way to block the water.

There isn't much around in the way of amenities. Creature comforts like a 24-hour Walgreen's and Starbucks are each about a mile south, and there are few restaurants within walking distance. Things may be changing, though, as the ultra chichi Cipriani Ocean Resort and Club Residences is just two blocks away. The rest of the action is a 15-minute, $7-$10 cab ride south in SoBe.

 Beach

The Claridge is across the street from the shared public beach. The hotel provides beach towels, as well as chairs and umbrellas.

Generally, the shorefront in Miami Beach is less densely populated than the coastline farther south. It also lacks the flat hard-ground component that more than doubles the width of the beach down there. But Miami Beach is not crowded. There's room to stretch out and relax, but far fewer bikini babes and macho bodybuilders.

 Rooms

Clean, airy rooms have what the hotel calls an "eclectic" sensibility, with nice beds, iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, 75 TV channels, and basic bathrooms. All rooms were renovated in 2011.

The Designer Standard One Bed Room
The Designer Standard One Bed Room

Rooms were refreshed in 2011, sticking with the earth-tone, Mediterranean decor and rich wooden furniture.

  • Standard guest-rooms, at about 290 square feet, have one or two queen beds and a view of either a nearby canal or other buildings in the area.
  • Terra-cotta tile floors help create a feeling of airiness.
  • Mini-fridges are standard in all rooms
  • 310-count Egyptian cotton sheets
  • iHome iPod docks
  • Free Wi-Fi and free local calls
  • Flat-panel TVs with premium channels and HBO
  • Terrycloth robes
  • Desks in all rooms
  • Sinks are separate from the bathroom, in a corner across from the bed.
  • Free newspaper delivered every morning
  • Tarocco toiletries, which include shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and soap.
  • Some Deluxe-View rooms offer balconies (for the same price), all of which have beautiful views of the ocean across the street. These rooms have the same square footage as standard rooms (and also offer the choice of one or two queen beds), so guests are definitely paying for the view.
  • In addition to the 42 guest rooms, there are six junior suites that, at 350 square feet, include a separate queen bedroom and a pullout couch. There are also two penthouse suites.

 Features

The hotel features a small, Jacuzzi-like pool right off the lobby, and the gym is just one small room.

Tiny pool right off the lobby
Tiny pool right off the lobby
  • "Spa pool" at the far end of the lobby
  • Fitness room in the basement for those who need more cardio than the one-block walk to the beach. The room consists of nothing more than a stationary bike and one treadmill, but at least it's free.
  • Business center with a PC, printer, and fax machine.
  • In-room spa services are available
  • 24-hour concierge and reception desk
  • Free beach towels, umbrellas, and chairs available
  • Covered parking for a fee

 Family

With no real pool, a lack of eating options, and no attractions except for the beach nearby, this is not a great family pick.

For those who don't mind doing a lot of driving, the Claridge does offer a number of rooms with two queen beds (as well as six suites more suited to sleeping a family of four). Forget about walking to any family-friendly attractions, though. Yes, the Mediterranean restaurant has a kids' menu, but the hotel has very little to offer kids (no swimming pool, just a Jacuzzi). The beach is right across the street. However, there are plenty of other family-friendly places that also have a beach.

 Food

Amalfi on the Beach offers Italian-infused Mediterranean.

  • Amalfi on the Beach has Mediterranean fare with Italian accents, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant hosts live music on weekends.
  • The Terrace Lounge is an outdoor restaurant that serves cocktails and full meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Room service is available from Amalfi on the Beach

 Bottom Line

Across the street from a quiet stretch of beach and 20 blocks from South Beach partying, the 50-room, Mediterranean-style Claridge stands out amidst Miami Beach's sea of condos. But the indoor wading pool just makes the lobby smell like chlorine.

Things You Should Know About Claridge

Address

  • 3500 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140 United States of America

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Claridge Hotel Miami Beach
  • Claridge Miami Beach
  • Clarion Miami Beach
  • Miami Beach Clarion

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Penthouse Level Room
  • Standard Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 52
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Miami Beach, Miami
Address: 3500 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140 United States of America
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