Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
The Four Seasons' 221 guest rooms occupy Floors 20 to 29 in a 70-story Downtown Miami high-rise. The glass and granite building also houses a law firm and the posh gym Sports Club/LA (where guests have free access) as well as a number of Four Seasons residences.
The hotel feels like equal parts upscale office building, art museum, and hotel. Guests enter on the ground floor, greeted by bulbous Fernando Botero sculptures, and have to take an elevator to the actual lobby on the seventh floor.
The pools themselves -- two for guests, plus a third for residents only -- are a lovely urban oasis. Located on a two-acre outdoor terrace off the seventh floor with dozens of palm trees, they're just as relaxing as anything by the beach. For something more lively, the hotel has a special nightlife concierge that can arrange "pretty much anything legal" to entertain guests.
Delivering its famous brand of personal yet discreet service, it's Miami's top choice for visiting politicians and dignitaries, even the occasional celebrity. It tops the Intercontinental on the cool and modern scale, but unlike some of South Beach's trendier luxury hotels, the Four Seasons doesn't try to be hip. It strives to be understated and elegant, and it succeeds.
On Brickell Avenue, Miami's business thoroughfare. But the beach is 15 minutes away by car, and nearby nightlife is scarce.
Surrounded by banks, office buildings, and high-rise condo towers, the hotel is at the center of Miami's business district. Both day and night, four-lane Brickell Avenue (outside the hotel) has plenty of car traffic but few pedestrians. Vehicles enter the hotel by turning off Brickwell Avenue onto a lane and then into a loading/ unloading area behind the hotel -- there's no grand hotel entrance right on Brickell. Other business hotels, like the Conrad and J.W. Marriott, are just a block or two away, and the Mandarin Oriental is on a small island, about a two-minute drive from the Four Seasons.
For the most part, guests looking for any action at night need to get in a car or taxi and drive, baby, drive. South Beach is 15 minutes and a $20-$25 cab ride away, as are Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. The Design District, an up-and-coming dining destination with notable restaurants like Pacific Time and Michael's Genuine Food and Drink (hailed by the New York Times in 2008 as one of the top new restaurants in the country) is a 20-minute, $20 cab ride away.
The closest beach is in South Beach, a 15-minute, $20-$25 cab ride away. For a slightly more low-key venutre, grab a cab and head to Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne. Ranked one of the country's top beaches, it's just a 20-minute, $25-$30 cab ride away.
With the hotel's signature "untucked beds," pillow-top mattresses, and super-soft sheets, you'll slumber in luxury.
Starting at 500 square feet, the standard rooms are pretty spacious, more than 100 square feet bigger than standard rooms at the Mandarin Oriental and slightly bigger than those at the Epic. There are three views available: city view, deluxe city view, and bay view. City view rooms feature vistas of the financial district's streets -- not too scenic. Deluxe city view rooms have views of Downtown skyscrapers -- fairly stunning. Views of the bay are quite stunning. Upgrades are common.
Rooms have a fresh look, with stylish furnishings and splashes of reds, dark grays and green. Like the Ritz-Carlton, the Four Seasons designs its rooms to stand the test of time, and they don't skimp on the luxury basics.
With welcome amenities and even miniature bathrobes, the Four Seasons makes sure its youngest guests are just as well taken care of as their adult counterparts.
Though it's located Downtown and has a heavy business clientele, the hotel is also quite family friendly. Children get toys and edible welcome amenities tailored to their ages at check-in. Parents should let a reservationist know children's ages to ensure that the welcome amenities are age-appropriate. The hotel also has kid-size bathrobes. Cute. The concierge can also arrange baby-sitting services.
Rooms feature Disney OnDemand, and the hotel also has a DVD lending library of mostly animated films. Adjoining rooms are available between premier bay view rooms, and their availability can be guaranteed when reserving. Two-bedroom suites are also available. At 2,190 square feet, they're quite sizable -- and priced for those with sizable bank accounts.
Bahia and room service both have a children's menu.
Bahia serves food and drinks around the pool from afternoon until evening hours. There's a lovely dining area next to a waterfall, or guests can order food from their chaise longues.
Edge Steak & Bar is a contemporary steakhouse feraturing a main dining area and two private events rooms. It's located off the main lobby on the 7th floor, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The outdoor terrace boasts great views of the Biscayne Bay.
Bar 14-Thirty-Five serves drinks and small bites daily, and can be ordered through in-room dining.
24-hour room service is available.
Free access to one of the best gyms in the city, Sports Club/LA.
One of the hotel's best features is free access to the Sports Club/LA. The ritzy, 50,000-square-foot gym is one of the city's best, with more than 80 fitness classes each week, stunning views of the city from the treadmills, and its own spa and salon. The space bustles with the city's buff and beautiful and the personal trainers who get them that way, not just hotel guests. Located in the same building as the hotel, it's easily accessed via the same elevator guests use to go from the ground level to the seventh-floor lobby.
With its top-notch service and tight security, the hotel is popular with celebs and politicos who don't want to be seen.
While Tom Cruise and Britney Spears have reportedly been guests of the hotel, don't expect a celebrity-watching scene. High-profile guests choose the Four Seasons when they want to fly under the radar, not when they want to be gawked at by fans around the pool like at other nearby luxury stays.
With stylish, spacious rooms renovated in 2012, two acres of rooftop pools (Downtown's best), the city's top gym -- Sports Club/LA -- in the building, and the above-and-beyond service that the Four Seasons is known for, this is a premier choice for Miami's boring business district.