Shula's Hotel and Golf Club Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Miami Lakes, Miami, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • No beach
  • Far from Miami attractions

Bottom Line

Great golf, business amenities, fitness activities, and family features, but Miami's attractions (and beaches) are a world away. The suburban Miami Lakes lacks the vibrant flair of South Beach, and there are nothing but chain-restaurants nearby. But Shula's steakhouse is good enough to draw locals in from the greens.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Business travelers mix with the locals coming to dine at the restaurant.

I saw a lot of locals coming in to dine at Shula's Steak 2 or work out at the gym. I also saw a lot of businesspeople in town for meetings. In fact, one of my editors remembers accompanying her mom to a meeting at Miami Lakes when she was a kid and spending the night at Shula's.

 Service

Staff members help out when asked for help, otherwise they're hands-off.

On arrival, I heaved my bags through the main entrance and down a long hallway with the front desk at the far end. The staff directed me to my room, but that was about the only interaction I had with them.

The few employees I encountered were very polite, but they weren't exactly eagerly waiting to come to my aid. As the hotel is primarily known by locals for its restaurant, so most folks flowing through the building know where they're going. Still, when approached, the staff was very helpful, giving me directions to the closest pharmacies and stores and sharing their recommendations on places to eat outside the hotel.

 Location

It's easy to get lost in this remote residental area where all the buildings look alike.

At the corner of Bull Run Road and Main Street, the hotel is surrounded by a residential community where all the buildings look alike -- it's easy to get lost.

This part of Miami Lakes really could be Any Town, America, with its Johnny Rockets on the corner, a Victoria's Secret nearby, and various barber shops and kitschy stores on either side.

 Rooms

Large, comfortable and clean rooms with fast Internet for $10.

The room where I stayed is through Shula's Steak 2 and inside a U-shaped building adjacent to the main building.

I swiped my key by the door to enter said building, which reminded me a little of college. Well, OK, the long hallways are much cleaner than any dorm I've ever lived in, but the vending machines and strictly functional stairwell bring back memories.

The deluxe bedroom with two double beds is large and comfortable. The bathroom, with a sink on the outside, separate from the main bathroom, is great for friends traveling together.

Hard-wired Internet is $9.95 a night, but it's fast enough to be well worth it.

There's a view of Shula's gardens from the small terrace. I could watch the news on the room's 32-inch Panasonic TV.

 Features

There's everything but the beach -- a pool, hot tub, beautiful garden, and huge spa and fitness center.

Fitness Center
Fitness Center

Don't expect to see any ocean at the far inland Miami Lakes. To make up for it, Shula's has a bunch of facilities.

First off, there's a beautiful garden right by the main building with lush vegetation and bougainvillea galore. This classic scene is spoilt by Shula's penchant for kitschy cast-iron sculptures, but the grounds are so well-manicured, I was willing to forgive the gaudily painted baseball scene.

A tennis racquet-shaped pool at the other end of the garden has a lot of room on the patio to lounge in the sun. But the pool isn't large enough for swimming. It is better used for cooling-off after a soak in the hot tub at the far end of the courtyard.

Computers are available at the Steak 2 Cyberzone for free, but they're tucked away in the corner of the Shula's Steak 2 restaurant. It's a little weird -- and very distracting -- to be browsing the net right next to the buffet table.

Shula's enormous spa and fitness center is across the street from the main building. The spa is run by Aveda and has its usual range of organic, new-age products and services. Both the spa and fitness center are frequented by more locals than guests. The security guard told me that the neighborhood's housing committees offered a complimentary one-year membership to new residents. So expect to see a gaggle of kids pulled along by their parents to various classes in the huge wooden gymnasium or the eight clay tennis courts. But cardio and weight-training rooms were kid-free.

 Golf

World-class greens are a mile away, but there's a free shuttle.

Golf Course at Shula's
Golf Course at Shula's

Most guests come to Shula's for their top-notch golf courses. They're lush, they're huge, and they're a mile away from the hotel! Fortunately, there's a free shuttle. The smaller, Executive course is free to use. But the Senator course, the prestige course originally conceived by golfing legend Bill Watts and redesigned by Kipp Schulties, can cost as much as $115 for hotel guests (though rates are considerably less expensive after 2 p.m.).

 Cleanliness

No complaints -- the hotel is perfectly clean.

Everything is spick and span as far as our eyes could see!

 Food

The steak restaurant attracts both locals and travelers. There's also a basic breakfast café.

Shula's Steak 2
Shula's Steak 2

Apart from the Vie de France café on the curb, Shula Steak 2 is the only real restaurant at the hotel. It serves a cheaper and more casual fare than the original Shula's Steakhouse that's out by the golf course -- a mile from the main building.

For a quick bite in the morning, pick up a fruit cup, freshly baked pastries, or a Starbucks coffee at Vie de France. But there are no sandwiches or savory food.

The legendary Shula's (the inspiration for a nationwide chain of steakhouses) was completely renovated and re-opened to the public on the day we arrived. It's quite expensive, but the rooms are beautiful and have great vistas of the Senator course. Take the complimentary shuttle over for finer dining than the casual Shula's Steak 2.

 Bottom Line

Great golf, business amenities, fitness activities, and family features, but Miami's attractions (and beaches) are a world away. The suburban Miami Lakes lacks the vibrant flair of South Beach, and there are nothing but chain-restaurants nearby. But Shula's steakhouse is good enough to draw locals in from the greens.

Things You Should Know About Shula's Hotel and Golf Club

Address

  • 6842 Main Street, Miami Lakes, FL 33014

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Don Shula Hotel
  • Don Shulas Hotel Miami Lake
  • Shulas Hotel
  • Shulas Hotel Miami Lakes

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Governors Suite
  • Junior Suite
  • Lanai Suite
  • Patrician Room
  • Pool View Room
  • Signature Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 205
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Miami Lakes, Miami
Address: 6842 Main Street, Miami Lakes, FL 33014
(See Map)
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