Surfcomber Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
South Beach, Miami, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Direct beach access
  • Large pool with waterfall and cabanas
  • 2 stylish restaurants and a poolside bar
  • Rental chairs, umbrellas, and bar service on the beach
  • Central South Beach location, 2 blocks from the Lincoln Road Mall
  • Rooms have flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, and cool surf-inspired decor
  • Fitness center with modern equipment
  • Freebies galore: morning coffee, evening wine hours, in-room yoga equipment
  • Free Wi-Fi (with online Kimpton loyalty member sign-up)
  • In-room and cabana massages available

Cons

  • Small rooms and bathrooms
  • Valet parking only, though a cheaper public lot is 1 block away

Bottom Line

The 186-room Surfcomber is more affordable and casual than most of its swanky neighbors. It comes with a huge, beautiful pool, direct beach access, and a great address on Collins Avenue. Most rooms are small but trendy, with surf-themed decor, bright pops of color, and modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, and free in-room yoga equipment. Other highlights include great freebies (bicycle tours, hosted wine hours, bartending lessons), two solid restaurants with bars, a well-equipped fitness center, and in-room or poolside spa services.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

This fun-spirited hotel is more casual -- and affordable -- than most of its swanky neighbors, attracting families and clubbers alike.

The 186-room Surfcomber received a much-needed facelift in 2011, when it was rebranded as a Kimpton property. The hotel now features stylish, funky furniture, sculptures of random barnyard animals, two trendy restaurants, and cool, surf-inspired rooms.

The Surfcomber draws a mixed crowd -- from kids splashing at the pool to single fellas plotting their weekend "game plans." For most guests, the main draw is the hotel's location -- a prime piece of beachfront real estate along the most exclusive few blocks of South Beach's Collins Avenue. Its neighbors include some of the neighborhood's swankiest see-and-be-seen hotels such as the Delano and Shore Club. The rooms are significantly less expensive than at the hotel's luxe neighbors, but it's not the only affordable hotel nearby. Those looking for similar amenities and larger rooms might also consider the National or South Seas hotels, though they are decidedly less stylish.

 Location

An ideal location right on the beach and a short walk from South Beach's many bars, restaurants, and clubs

The hotel is located right on the beach, in the center of Miami's Art Deco Historic District. The area is packed in every direction with dozens of bars, restaurants, and attractions, all within easy walking distance. Some of South Beach's best dining, drinking, and shopping can also be found at the Lincoln Road outdoor mall, just two blocks away.

To the north are popular, high-end nightclubs at hotels such as The Perry or Fontainebleau, along with some of Miami's most exclusive clubs, such as Mokai. To the south, things get less exclusive and more populist along the famed Ocean Drive, with its busy boardwalk, outdoor bars and cafes, and more affordable boutique hotels.

  • 4-minute walk to the Jackie Gleason Theatre of The Performing Arts
  • 6-minute walk to the Bass Museum of Art
  • 7-minute walk to Lincoln Road outdoor mall
  • 10-minute walk to the Miami Convention Center
  • 12-minute walk to Miami Beach Botanical Garden
  • 14-minute walk to the Holocaust Memorial
  • 14-minute walk to the World Erotic Art Museum
  • 2-minute drive to the Wolfsonian Library and Museum
  • 3-minute drive to Lummus Park
  • 20-minute drive from Miami International Airport ($32 flat rate, not including tip)
  • 20-minute drive to Bal Harbour Shops

 Beach

Prime beachfront property with access to the boardwalk via two gates.

The Surfcomber sits directly on South Beach: Walk past the pool area and through one of the two gates, and you're on the boardwalk. From there you'll find a narrow but well-trodden path through the seagrass to the beach.

  • Rental chairs, umbrellas, and food and drink service from Lantao are available for Surfcomber guests.
  • Kids toys provided free (buckets, shovels, etc.)
  • Paddleboard rentals available

 Rooms

Rooms are stylish, but most are small.

This Kimpton’s rooms are on the small side -- about 260 square feet for standard Deluxe Rooms -- but the decor is a fresh mix of beach and bohemian. All rooms are equipped with 32-inch flat-screen TVs, well-stocked minibars, iHome docking stations, and bath products from European designer Etro. The bathrooms are sleek, but a bit cramped. In addition to the standard rooms, the hotel has four 400-square-foot suites. Up to four guests are allowed per room, and up to eight can fit in connecting rooms. Impressive 100-square-foot balconies with lounge chairs are included in Oceanview Balcony Luxury Suites and Oceanfront Balcony King Premier Rooms.

Only 12 of the hotel’s 186 rooms have an ocean view, due to the building’s elongated shape, and a few have courtyard views. Be sure to specifically request one of these when you book, or you may end up looking at the wall of the Marseilles Hotel next door.

  • Complimentary morning coffee, tea, and newspapers are available in the hotel lobby.
  • 32-inch flat-screen TVs
  • Well-stocked minibars
  • iHome docking stations
  • King, queen, and two double beds available
  • Spacious balconies in the Oceanview Balcony Luxury Suites and Oceanfront Balcony King Premier Rooms
  • Rollaways available (in King Premiere and One Bedroom Suites)
  • Pull-out couches included in suites

 Food

Two reasonably priced restaurants and a poolside bar, plus 24-hour room service

Lantao Kitchen + Cocktails opened in 2012 and offers well-priced Southeast Asian cuisine. Most of the menu comes in under $20, which is appropriate for the Miami-chic but street-food-inspired entrees. Lantao’s bar has a daily happy hour and serves up creative drinks, such as “The June Bug,” which blends Thai chili liquor, grapefruit juice, limejuice, and passion fruit puree. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Lantao also provides food service at the beach and pool.

The hotel’s front-of-the-house restaurant and bar, Social Club, serves a mix of Asian- and Latin-influenced cuisine, such as fish tacos, duck crepes, and even duck-fat-infused bourbon. The meals are well priced, and the daily happy hour is a good deal.

The pool bar, Lantao Sand Bar, is an offshoot of Lantao Kitchen and serves food and drinks to those at the pool and beach. In addition, candlelit dinners can be arranged in poolside cabanas.

There are plenty of excellent restaurants within walking distance, many of which are along the Lincoln Road open-air mall, just two blocks away.

24-hour room service from Lantao Kitchen + Cocktails is offered.

 Pool

Great 24-hour pool with a waterfall, cabanas, and bar service

The hotel has one heated pool with cabanas and poolside service. Two elevated decks on either side of the pool have additional chairs and tables under tents -- a quiet escape from the sun, with a nice view of the ocean. The Lantao Sand Bar provides poolside food and drink service, and guests can get poolside massages upon request (for a fee, of course). All in all, this pool beats the comparably priced competition at the National and the South Seas.

An artificial beach area (referred to as “The Pasture” due to sculptures of barnyard animals that decorate the space) provides additional lounge chairs and activities, such as a small volleyball net. Free suntan lotion and fruit-infused water are available poolside.

Since the hotel is only three stories tall, its pool area stays sunny much longer than most of its neighbors. The pool area is also open 24 hours a day and has free Wi-Fi.

 Fitness Center

24-hour fitness center was renovated in 2012 and has all the basics

  • Open 24 hours
  • Renovated flooring and walls in 2012
  • Two treadmills and one stair climber (Precor brand)
  • Free weights and weight bench
  • Balance balls
  • Free water and towels
  • Communal TVs

 Services

Evening wine hour, poolside Wi-Fi, and paddleboard rentals

  • Hosted Evening Wine Hour daily with free drinks
  • Cozy business center with laptop hookups, free Wi-Fi, and bar service
  • In-room spa services and poolside cabana massages
  • Free bicycle tours and rental bikes
  • Free “mixology” (aka bartending) class on Sunday evenings
  • Kimpton loyalty members receive free champagne at check-in
  • Free Wi-Fi at the pool
  • Goldfish bowls can be added to guestrooms upon request
  • Board games available at the front desk
  • Laundry and dry-cleaning services
  • Pets stay free and receive a bed and food bowls

 Bottom Line

The 186-room Surfcomber is more affordable and casual than most of its swanky neighbors. It comes with a huge, beautiful pool, direct beach access, and a great address on Collins Avenue. Most rooms are small but trendy, with surf-themed decor, bright pops of color, and modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, and free in-room yoga equipment. Other highlights include great freebies (bicycle tours, hosted wine hours, bartending lessons), two solid restaurants with bars, a well-equipped fitness center, and in-room or poolside spa services.

Things You Should Know About Surfcomber Hotel

Address

  • 1717 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Room Types

  • Accessible Courtyard Queen Deluxe Room
  • City View Luxury Suite
  • Courtyard Double Double Deluxe Room
  • Courtyard King Deluxe Room
  • Double Double Deluxe Room
  • Double Double Premier Room
  • King Deluxe Room
  • King Premier Room
  • Oceanfront Balcony King Premier Room
  • Oceanfront King Room
  • Ocean View Balcony Luxury Suite
  • Ocean View Luxury Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 186
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: South Beach, Miami
Address: 1717 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
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