- Leftover food and trash in the hallways
- No sauna or steam room
Owned by Morgans Hotel Group, the Shore Club is the middle sister to the iconic Delano and the off-the-beach newcomer, the Mondrian. It isn't a Philippe Starck-designed A-list hub like the Delano, but it isn't a quirky but reserved retreat like the Mondrian, either. Instead, its landmarked Art Deco lobby, boisterous pool scene, Nobu and Terrazza restaurants (two of Miami's most expensive eateries), and resident boutiques like Me&Ro make this a favored hangout for party-ready college kids, seen-to-be-seen celebrities, and couples in their 30s looking for a lively Miami weekend -- not exactly the place for families.
The Shore Club hosts the occassional celebrity, but A-listers are few and far between.
Celebrities like Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Eve, and Christina Milian have all made appearances at the Shore Club, and Nobu is known to attract the occasional celeb -- although it's not as star-studded as its outposts in cities like New York and Los Angeles.
24-hour room service, poolside attendants, and even food service at the beach -- a relatively rare treat in South Beach. A concierge in the lobby can handle all of your club, bar, and restaurant reservations.
But there's a downside. I found an empty box of Pampers in my room, and the sealed packets of bikinis and underwear for purchase by the mini-fridge seem to have been previously opened. In the meantime, a plate of food left out in the hallway by a fellow guest stayed there from my arrival all the way through my departure the next day. By the time I left, the hallway reeked from the rotting food.
Right where the party starts on Collin's Avenue, and around the corner from stores and restaurants galore.
Just south of the Setai, the Shore Club marks the spot where Collins Avenue goes from chic and reserved to glitzy clubland. If they're not headed to the hotel's Skybar or partying pool, those cheetah-print clubbers are headed to the Delano and beyond.
In the daytime, the Shore Club is notable for being within three blocks of Lincoln Road Mall, a huge outdoors shopping pavillion with stores ranging from practical pharmacies to upscale designer boutiques -- basically everything from CVS to Armani. With the mall's several restaurants in the mix, you'll find pretty much everything you could possibly need.
Food and drinks service out on the sand, plus a play pit for the kids.
The hotel has a private entrance to the beach's paved boardwalk. It even provides lounge chairs, but umbrellas come at a price.
As at the Delano and the Loews, both food and drinks service are available beachside -- a less common perk in South Beach, where the law typically forbids hotel food on the beach. So, shhh ... don't tell anybody!
A Jet-Ski rental company has a booth stationed right off the beach by the Shore Club. And even though the hotel is more adult- than kid-oriented, a sand pit has plenty of toys and plastic shovels for sand-castle building.
A citrus scent wafted by the moment I entered my "superior room" -- the cheapest and most basic room type. Starting at 300 square feet, the rooms are considerably larger than at the nearby Delano or most other South Beach hotels. The all-white color scheme, recessed closets, carpet-less concrete floors (which aren't as cold as you might expect), and huge windows looking out onto the Setai hotel, helped the room feel much bigger than it actually was.
Although the hotel is making attempts to make the guest rooms seem "warmer," thus far the hotel hasn't been spruced up since 2001. So it's no surprise that some of the furniture (like this white leather chair) is begining to show its age. Likewise, the hot water tap at the sink came right off in my hand -- it screwed back down, though, so a crisis was averted. Management says the bathrooms are currently being updated.
The king-size bed was supremely comfortable, though the mattress was a bit firm. The snow-white linens were so finely pressed and neatly folded under the bed that I felt bad disturbing their origami. On the other hand, the paper-thin comforter doesn't protect against the air conditioning. Ask for extra blankets -- they don't come with the room.
All the upscale features are there: the stocked mini-fridge, the electronic safe (which routinely flashed a low battery warning), the wall-mounted flat-screen TV (with movies on demand). Wi-Fi is available, but at $4.99 per hour (or $14.95 per day).
My small balcony only had a partial ocean view (by way of the pool). But even with the glass door closed, I could hear music from the pool well into the night. Unfortunately, guests demanding quiet will be faced with this trade-off -- all rooms facing the ocean also overlook the bar by the pool, which means that they end up receiving the most noise. Rooms overlooking the hotel's courtyard, on the other hand, are quieter but lack the ocean view.
Pricey boutiques, a clean, modern gym, and a rooftop spa.
The 24-hour fitness center in the basement has a decent array of cardio and weight-training equipment. For those who prefer to work out outdoors, the hotel offers free bike rentals.
The rooftop spa offers a full range of services, and in-room private sessions are also available. Unlike the Ritz-Carlton South Beach or the Victor, though, the Shore Club has no sauna or steam room, let alone any complimentary services.
Designer trinkets are available at the on-site Me and Ro boutique, a store that charges the earth for Buddhist intransience. Scoop, an equally overpriced purveyor of bedazzled T-shirts, and others of its ilk are also on-site.
Just like at the pool, guests need to carry the keys to their room at all times. The hotel issues an ID to all guests (or their friends) to access any of the Shore Club's facilities.
A young crowd flaunts their goods to dance-club beats by the party pool.
There are two pools at the back of the hotel, a large infinity pool and a smaller pool with a hot tub right by the exit to the beach. Separated by Rumbar, both pools can get packed with college-age partiers while the DJ spins progressive tunes from the likes of French MC Yelle and Robyn, Sweden's Gwen Stefani.
The Shore Club is far more oriented toward adults than children, and there are no kids' club or kids' pool, but rooms have space for the family.
This is a party hotel at heart, but there are a few features for families, like a sand pit with shovels and toys out on the beach for castle building. Though no official kids' menus are available at its upscale Nobu and Ago restaurants, the concierge claims that the chefs are willing to take special requests for mac and cheese, and high chairs are available at both restaurants.
That said, rooms are much larger than at the neighboring Delano and most other Miami boutique hotels -- almost on par with the massive suites at the Mondrian. (All three hotels are owned by Morgans Hotel Group). Cribs are free, and rollaway beds are $25 per day; both can easily fit into any room. But while there's a maximum occupancy of four people to a room, only one rollaway bed is allowed per room -- barring suites with multiple bedrooms, of course.
Rooms are generally clean, but I found some glaring housekeeping slipups.
The hotel is generally clean. My stark white room didn't show any signs of dirt -- a fairly remarkable feat considering that even the tiniest smudge would have shown on its plain decor. The white leather chair by my desk was slightly frayed along the seams, but otherwise clean.
Housekeeping, though they did a fine job making the bed, forgot to pick up a pack of Pampers in the closet. Also, several of the goodies in the treat basket for purchase seemed to have already been opened.
In addition, a plate of food had been left to rot in the hallway outside my room for more than a day. By the time I left, it reeked.
The swanky Terrazza and Nobu restaurants -- both on-site -- are celebrity magnets.
The rooftop Nobu is part of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's celebrated line of "Peru-inspired" Japanese restaurants, with outposts everywhere from New York to Dubai to Cape Town. Most guests love the food, but it doesn't come cheap -- dishes range from about $36 for king crab leg with uni and wasabi glaze to about $40 for bigeye and bluefin toro with caviar.
Terrazza, the ground-floor Italian restaurant, is a slightly less formal enterprise. Just like Nobu, Terrazza has a prime position overlooking the pool. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as for a "ladies brunch" -- with unlimited mimosas and bellinis -- on Sundays.
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