Limited dining or shopping within walking distance
Secluded on an island overlooking Brickell Bay, the 326-room Mandarin Oriental offers a private retreat for couples, business travelers, and anyone else seeking an escape from the crowd. Chic, Asian-inspired decor, a three-level spa, and modern fitness center help soothe jangled nerves, while oversized rooms with water views offer ample opportunity to decompress. Unfortunately, all is not bliss here: Occasional reports of rude, untrained staff members and spotty housekeeping have disrupted the inner peace of some guests and South Beach is a cab ride away.
The hotel's tastefully minimal decor is designed to let the water views from wraparound windows take center stage. Lobby accents of golden bamboo, sand streaked marble, and polished onyx river rocks complement brick velvet sofas. Views from the clubby lobby bar overlook the glittering nighttime cityscape across the bay. Outdoors, a circular pool and a small, manmade beach are serene and uncrowded. Runners will appreciate the waterfront jogging path that encircles the island.
The Mandarin Oriental is on Brickell Key, a tiny island separated from downtown Miami by a short walking bridge. On the mainland side are Calle 8 (SW 8th Street/Tamiami Trail), a lively thoroughfare of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the city's Little Havana neighborhood. Also nearby is Brickell, the city's financial district, which also features lots of restaurants and bars.
Rooms are spacious and sumptuous, with a neutral color palette and pops of color in art and accessories. Upscale amenities include Shanghai Tang toiletries, Illy coffeemakers, and goose down bedding. While all rooms have great views either of the skyline or the island, most balconies are too narrow to squeeze in a chair. The adjoining bathrooms are luxurious, with marble fittings, separate soaking tub, and a spacious walk-in glass shower. However, trendy open walls offering full views from the bedroom may not appeal to everyone.
Well-reviewed restaurant and bar serving Peruvian cuisine
The restaurant offering includes the well-reviewed La Mar, featuring upscale Peruvian cuisine, and the MO Bar + Lounge in the lobby, serving cocktails and a menu of small plates along with nightly live jazz and Latin music. Free Wi-Fi is available to guests who enroll in the hotel's frequent traveler program. Pets are allowed and there are limited activities for children. The outdoor infinity edge pool is a bit on the small side, but has lovely views of Biscayne Bay and is surrounded by chic cushioned lounge chairs; a whirlpool is also offered. More loungers can be found on the private man-made beach.
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