Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The staff is polite, but they often lose track of confirmed reservations, leaving guests in a pickle.
Like countless reviewers on TripAdvisor, I mistakenly assumed that my confirmed reservation, which I made directly with the hotel, meant that a room would be waiting. Not the case. The President had no record of my reservation and I was forced to stay in the last room available. Their booking system, I assume, involves writing a reservation down on a Post-it note, balling it up, and throwing it directly into a trash can.
Otherwise, the staff is fairly polite. This is likely because they are accustomed to irritable guests. Towels came as soon as I asked, and they offered reasonable recommendations on what to do and where to eat in the area.
The President is one block from the beach and within walking distance to the clubs.
The President is only a block from the beach. But with weather like a Turkish bathhouse during my visit, I was sweating through my socks by the time I saw the sand.
Next to a gas station and a few Art Deco dives, the President is a quick walk to Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, but guests won't hear the club-bumping and car alarms from their rooms.
The rooms appear decent at first glance, but the furniture would be a better fit for a dorm room.
The instant thrill of funky-college-freshman décor wore off quickly. Though the mirrored wall could be great for a romantic tryst, the plastic appliances, flimsy beds, and etched-glass hummingbird doors (which lacked knobs) merely felt cheap.
The garden can be charming
The garden is a nice touch, though the plants look a bit water-starved. The mildly serene atmosphere is a well-appreciated distance from the traffic out front. They closed their tiny pool in the courtyard.
Before entering the room, I was forced to walk through a stairway that smelled like a jockstrap and had paint spills the size of tennis racquets.
The smell subsided once inside the room, which was generally clean.
The recently renovated President Hotel has clean rooms and a central South Beach location -- one block to the beach and an easy walk to shopping, drinking, and dining. But if a confirmed reservation magically appears in their system, expect an uncomfortable bed for the night.