Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Not much of a spa or resort, as the name falsely implies. More like a standard-issue beachside high-rise hotel -- midrange, suburban, and aimed primarily at families.
With some cheap, uncomfortable furniture in the rooms, large spaces now out of use (like this strange perhaps-formerly-a-bar), and more than a few stray , this Doubletree isn't the upscale place its corporate website claims it is.
The name, Ocean Point Resort & Spa, is also a bit misleading. Without organized activities, nighttime entertainment, or multiple restaurants, it's hardly a resort; meanwhile, the spa, a small room near the gym, hardly seemed like a selling feature, as it's open only on a by-appointment basis.
All that said, the Doubletree still has a lot going for it: a location right on the beach, of all ages, and a large, modern fitness center. In fact, everyone I met was having a fine time. One young woman, there for her sister's bachelorette party, said the place ended up being the perfect choice. They just wanted to relax on the beach in a pleasant setting, she said, and the Doubletree provided that.
Efficient but nothing spectacular. The staff delivers on basic requests.
As a brand, the Doubletree has high aspirations when it comes to service. I arrived in my room to find a letter in a personally addressed envelope on the table. It began: "From beginning to end our goal is a ten." Flawless service is a repeated theme at the Doubletree. Employees wear "Perfect 10" stickers above their nametags; the aforementioned letter encouraged me to call the "CAREline" If I had any questions. (CARE is a chainwide acronym -- Caring, Attentive, Responsive, Empowered.)
As it turns out, I only had one question during my stay: How to turn on the jets in the Jacuzzi in my bathroom? When I called the CAREline, though, the guy who answered said he had "no idea."
Overall, I wouldn't give the service a perfect 10, but it was solid. Although my room wasn't available for early check-in, the woman at the front desk bothered to hunt me down in the lobby when it was ready. My room service sandwich arrived in 30 minutes (they said it would take 20), and the "welcome cookie" was a nice touch. Let's call it a hard-earned 7.5.
Down the street, though, it's mostly fast food and franchises like Walgreen's, CVS, Denny's, McDonald's, and GNC.
Outside of fast food, the dining options aren't plentiful. The strip mall across the street, on the other side of Collins Avenue, does offer some possibilities. The Porterhouse Bar and Grill on 170th Street and Collins Avenue, three blocks north, has been featured in the Miami Sun-Post's 2008 "Best of Food" feature for its three-for-one happy hour. The portions were large, but dinner for two, including a few beers and a $38 12-ounce steak, can cost about $90.
Broad and clean, with plenty going on: sunbathing, shade bathing, sandcastle building, and more.,
On the beach, the kids seemed to be having fun, while the adults took advantage of the nice padded beach chairs available for $10 a day.
The pier just off 167th Street, about five blocks south, is also worth a look. You can't go all the way out there, but the part above the beach plays host to the, a fun place to grab a beer or a plate of seafood.
For some solitude, just walk north a bit, away from the pier (though that will eliminate most opportunities for shade).
The Doubletree is unusual in that most of its rooms -- 118 out of 158 -- are suites, which are ideal for families and small groups on long stays. If you take advantage of the pullout sofa bed, you can comfortably fit a family of four in a one-bedroom (with the parents -- presumably -- in the bedroom). If you get a suite with two double beds in the master bedroom, you can even fit a party of five or six. With a full-size fridge/freezer, oven and stove, microwave, , and even a toaster, you have most everything you need to cook your own meals. (You'll probably need to buy some plastic cutlery, though -- the kitchen is light on silverware.) Add tasteful, conservative décor and the in-room washer/dryer, and the place quickly feels like home.
Only the two-bedroom suites have balconies facing the ocean, but the view from my north-facing balcony in the one-bedroom included a large swath of the beach and sea as well. So as long as you don't mind also having to glimpse strip malls, Walgreen's, and the rest of out of the corner of your eye, the splurge for an oceanfront view probably isn't worth it. During the day, I kept my balcony door closed in order to keep out the noise from the traffic on Collins Avenue. At night, though, I cracked it open and fell asleep to the sounds of the surf.
The 40 standard rooms are also large, with kitchenettes, washer/dryers, and wet bars. Most also have balconies.
All rooms boast amenities aplenty. Some are fun and/or useful: Wolfgang Puck coffee and , Neutrogena facial cleanser and sunscreen, an alarm clock with an MP3 player hookup, and a Jacuzzi (though I couldn't figure out how to turn the jets on). Other features -- the (no thanks) and the tape deck (really?) -- are not as useful.
There were a few flaws, most minor. The sofa in the living room and stuffed chair in the bedroom were distinctly uncomfortable -- a general cheap feel. The glass at the bottom of the bedroom closet door had a foot-long crack in it, and the kitchen lacked silverware and sufficient amounts of plates, bowls, and glasses.
For a place that labels itself a resort and spa, the spa element is conspicuously lacking. The locker rooms have saunas and treatment rooms, but I couldn't find an actual building or area that is supposed to be the Aquagene Spa. By-appointment treatments are available, however, and they run the gamut from standard massages (50 minutes, $110) and facials (50 minutes, $130) to more specialized treatments like the "Prenatal Bliss" maternity massage (50 minutes, $175).
As pools go, the Doubletree's main one is nothing special, though it was plenty busy during the day. It's a "zero-entry" pool, which means that the pool slopes like a ramp into the shallow end, making it easy for kids to get in. There is also a sad-looking splash pool off to the side, under an awning, but I never saw anyone use it.
The gym is impressive -- large and bright, with plenty of cardio and strength-training machines and a nice new set of free weights. There are plenty of TVs as well, but no remote to control them individually.
Valet parking is mandatory if you come with a car (and there's nowhere else nearby to park); it costs $22 per day, which is less than down in South Beach but comparable with other hotels in the northern beaches area.
There's no Wi-Fi, but the in-room wired Internet is fast, reliable, and free.
Cribs and rollaways are also available ($20 per night), but if you do take the kids, you'll need to splurge on a suite -- they're not allowed in the standard rooms.
It's also important to note that if you're looking for a ton of activities and organized fun, the Doubletree isn't what you want. Try the Newport instead. It's right down the street, so the beach is similar, and it's also cheaper.
A few too many stray cigarette butts and for the price, but pretty clean overall.
The Doubletree does win the award, however, for what was surely the strangest piece of litter I saw on the trip (and that includes streets and beaches). On the eerily abandoned veranda above the pool, I found a pink button-down shirt lying, crumpled, on the ground. Very weird, especially considering it looked like that veranda hadn't hosted a party in years.
The Doubletree's restaurant, the View, is far from a "world class" restaurant, as the website boasts, but my swordfish was decent and reasonable -- $30, with beer, tax, and tip included.
The northern-beaches area hotel.is tasty but pricey ($24 total) for a
I used room service for lunch -- a turkey BLT cooked up by the View. It was delicious and surprisingly cheap, at least before all the room-service fees were tacked on.
Guests can also visit The Market for Starbuck's coffee, prepared pastries and ice cream.
Outside the resort, Denny's, McDonald's, Subway, and other franchise restaurants are all within blocks on Collins Avenue. Aside from fast food, the dining options aren't plentiful, but the strip mall three blocks away does offer some possibilities, such as the Porterhouse Bar and Grill on 170th Street and Collins Avenue. The portions are large, but dinner for two, including a few beers and a $38 12-ounce steak, can cost about $90.
A mid-tier, family-friendly place right on the beach, with an excellent gym and large, kitchen-equipped suites with scenic balcony views. But the 158-room Doubletree is slightly worn and not exactly stunning. It's worth it to compare its rates to those at the Trump and the Newport Beachside Resort, both nearby.