Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
An intimate, laid-back hotel with big suites, a prime location, and reasonable rates
Renamed the Z Ocean Hotel in spring 2009 (after stints as the Regent, the Vincii, and De Soleil) this property offers relatively affordable rates on high-quality rooms located in a prime spot on South Beach's.
The dark granite and moody lighting in the lobby help create a quiet, low-key atmosphere, making the hotel feel like a separate world from the bright, bustling Sagamore and Delano hotels up the street and the white-sand beaches a block away.
The hotel has a modern, romantic vibe; it's clearly geared toward vacationing couples who want a low-key but central base from which to soak up Miami Beach. And if the assortment of couples lounging around the pool is any indication, it's successfully drawing its target crowd. Guests here are more understated than their flashy neighbors down the street -- they're here to enjoy themselves, not show off or party in a busy lobby.
When I arrived at the front desk, a magic thing happened: The sweaty hustle of Collins Avenue outside all but disappeared from my consciousness, and I found myself lulled into relaxation by the receptionist's singsongy welcome script. Minutes later I had keys in hand. Porters made my luggage move. And I was settled in my room. What a warm welcome.
Unfortunately, the staff was inconsistent after that. The manager at the front desk, which doubles as the concierge station, gave the wrong answer when I asked if there was a jogging path along the beach. (Yes, in fact there is one.)
Z Ocean's entrance is on Collins Avenue and 14th Street (though guests can also come and go from the other side of the hotel, which faces Ocean Drive).
This is the only part of(north of Fifth Street, at least) that can be considered tranquil. Fifteenth Street forms the northern boundary of Ocean Drive, and Z Ocean sits just between 14th and 15th streets. It's ideal for those who are overwhelmed by the tourist hordes and thumping beats a few blocks to the south, yet still want easy access to it.
A few restaurants, including its own Table 8 and the nearby and , offer excellent dining choices, but many of Ocean Drive's cafes are overpriced tourist traps. You're better off walking a few blocks north to the , an outdoor pedestrian promenade with everything from pharmacies and to designer clothing shops and premier cuisine. Even closer is Lincoln Road's little sister, . It's smaller and less popular than Lincoln, and there aren't many stores, but the restaurants are more reliable.
Nightlife abounds in just about any direction along Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive. The Clevelander and Delano both offer classic Miami hotel lobby party scenes, and giant blended mojitos line Ocean Drive most nights.
With direct access to Ocean Avenue, it's easy to walk to Lummus Park's beach just a block away from the hotel. The front desk supplies beach towels, and guests can claim two beach chairs and an umbrella at on the beach. They're not specially marked with the hotel's logo, but they do the job and would otherwise cost at least $10 for each chair and more for an umbrella.
As for the beach itself, a jumbled horde of bikini babes, jacked dudes, couples on vacation, and families with kids plays on a stretch of sand 100 yards wide.
Z Ocean Hotel's 79 suites are remarkably spacious, with separate living room and bedroom areas. Decor is mostly neutral beiges, accented with pumpkin-colored pillows and walls and dark wooden countertops. Rooms all have soundproof, hurricane-proof windows, and if your room looks out over party-heavy , you'll be glad for it.
Though rooms are spacious and quiet, and cribs are available, the hotel is pushing the adult, romantic angle.
Z Ocean Hotel's shiny brochures features a grainy, monochrome photo of a sexy couple embracing, nightlife in the background, and the words "An Intimate Affair." In other words, this hotel is marketing itself to adult couples looking for romantic ambience. On the other hand, rooms are spacious and quiet, and the low-key vibe keeps SoBe's raging party scene at bay. Rollaways aren't available, but cribs are provided free of charge and all the rooms have sofa beds.
The hotel was deep-cleaned in 2009 -- and it feels it.
The property seems to have been deep-cleaned before being renamed the Z Ocean Hotel in the spring of 2009. Not a full renovation, to be sure, but a fresh coat of paint and new linens (and) have certainly freshened things up.
The not-yet-named restaurant looks out on the quiet, northern tip of Ocean Drive.
The hotel restaurant, simply named The Z Ocean Restaurant, was only partially open during my stay, as it was in the process of replacing the trendy Table 8, which closed its doors in the summer of 2009. In April 2010, however, the dining room opened as well and now The Restaurant runs as a complete, fully-functional restaurant and lounge, boasting of a "see-and-be-seen" atmosphere. To accomdate sports fans, the lounge is equipped with plasa TVS mounted throughout the breezeway lounge.
Z Ocean Hotel balances modest amenities and service with big, comfortable suites, a prime location, and reasonable rates. Marketing itself to adult couples, it successfully achieves an intimate, laid-back vibe.