The Standard Miami Rating: 4.0 Pearls
South Beach, Miami, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Small, poorly cleaned rooms
  • No beach
  • Flaky service
  • $12 cab to the South Beach party scene

Bottom Line

The blissfully remote, adults-only (14+) Standard is about a mile from the beach, but it's still passionately hip. Though it skimps on service and has small, somewhat dingy rooms, it creates a low-key holistic haven by way of vintage furniture, outdoor bathtubs, a 24-hour pool, yoga retreats, and a world-famous (though overhyped) spa.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Service

The staff is generally indifferent, but the atmosphere is so relaxed that guests might be too mellow to care. The concierge has an amazing knowledge of the city.

Lido restaurant
Lido restaurant

Prior to my visit, I went to the Standard's Lido restaurant for dinner and waited more than 40 minutes to be seated, another 30 for food, and so on. So I had a general idea of what to expect.

There was no help getting my bags in the door (though valet attendants looked on as I clunked multiple bags up the front steps).

The front desk gave me an eight-second run-through of the property, scribbling notes on the back of my key card to show where my room was in relation to the pool, the spa, etc. In those eight seconds, I heard the words "pool," "spa," and possibly "dog hammer," but I couldn't be sure.

My room didn't have a room-service menu, so I called downstairs and they said they would send someone right up. After waiting more than 30 minutes, I just walked to the restaurant and placed an order directly with them.

Throughout my stay, I saw folks waiting for the valet, sometimes more than 30 minutes. During dinner, a line of cars juts from the entrance by about 100 feet.

Still, none of these service faux pas really bothered me. The relaxed vibe, no matter how much I tried to look past it, got the better of me. I generally felt like an obnoxious old fart for requesting anything at all.

On a positive note, the concierge is brilliant. When I asked for a restaurant recommendation near 10th and Collins Avenue (a random location more than a mile from the Standard), she was able to name four.

 Location

The Standard is on Belle Island, about a mile from South Beach. Cabs can take guests to the heart of the action for about $12.

Isolated on Belle Island, the Standard is over a bridge and a little more than a mile from South Beach (about $12 by cab). But the hotel offers a free shuttle to its beachside sister, the Raleigh hotel. I felt disconnected from all the doings and happenings throughout the city, but I suppose that was the whole point.

The only hangout within walking distance is the Purdy Lounge, a dark, thrift-store-furnished bar with a relaxed, hip quality better seen on New York's Lower East Side.

 Rooms

Simplicity is key here. There's no unnecessary extravagance, but rooms are sufficient.

The Missionary Room
The Missionary Room

My tiny, motel-style room had enough stains and rust to authenticate the adult summer-camp experience. It's all about simplicity.

The room came with a little picnic basket under the bed, which I used in lieu of an end table to hold the remote control (the bed was immediately flanked by the bathroom and closet).

There's a tiny flat-screen TV with a DVD player attached to the wall. Courtesy of the complimentary DVD library, I borrowed Old School, which I found thematically appropriate -- lots of aging hipsters reliving sexier days all around me.

 Features

The Standard embraces bliss: Guests can lounge in the waterfall hot tub, relax at the famous spa, or gain focus with daily yoga and meditation.

The spa
The spa

Designed as a gratuitously sexy place for peace and serenity, the hotel is all about creating that memorable vacation euphoria.

There's a large infinity pool overlooking the bay that has an underwater sound system and a unique waterfall hot tub with hot water free-falling on guests' shoulders from about 8 feet up. The pool is open 24 hours, and I preferred to use it at night, when I could plunge into the eerie ectoplasm glow beneath the stars.

The famous Lido Spa is the Standard's main draw, with a Turkish hammam and playful treatments like body painting with mud (where they encourage a friend to blast you clean with a hose).

Emphasizing holistic well-being, the hotel offers daily yoga and meditation programs.

The second-floor fitness center has cardio, strength training, free motion equipment, and on-site personal trainers. The Center for Integral Living offers retreats and workshops on various topics, such as business, ecology, and sexuality (but I never witnessed any workshops in action).

 Party Scene

A lounging crowd of 20-somethings sip cocktails and play bingo. There are also weekly party nights and a coed sauna.

Lido Restaurant Bar
Lido Restaurant Bar

I made it for Sunday bingo, which came highly recommended by SoBe locals who would never miss the opportunity to ride out the weekend until the very last minute. (Things really do die down at about 12:01 a.m.)

Sprawling across the denim sofas, bare feet up on the cushions, the dense crowd of 20-somethings have rekindled the cool in Grandma's favorite pastime. A hard-talking master of ceremonies screamed B-32 into the mike and even managed to summon enthusiasm from the crowd for the Standard bingo rally cry, "When I say balls, you say balls!"

Considering the weekly party nights (with promotions like ladies and bottoms drink free), the rather raunchy pool scene (especially once the body paint gets flying), and the coed sauna (no need to explain anything more), it's probably for the best that kids under 14 are not allowed on the property.

 Family

The Standard maintains its hipness by intentionally steering clear of kids (allows ages 14-and-up only).

"This is an adult playground, therefore children under 14 are not allowed anywhere on the property," the hotel proclaims in its "House Rules". Given the combined emphasis on spa treatments and scenester parties, it makes sense that the Standard wouldn't want kids around. Even teenagers might find the vibe a little too mellow or grown-up (though just about anyone will love the gorgeous pool).

For more family-friendly (albeit, expensive) options nearby, check out Loews Miami Beach Hotel or The Ritz-Carlton South Beach.

 Cleanliness

The rooms can be a bit dingy, but they're fashionably dingy.

There were some serious cleanliness issues with the room, namely giant rust stains behind the toilet, and mold, but they all seemed somehow forgivable, like they were part of the eclectic, low-key décor.

 Bottom Line

The blissfully remote, adults-only (14+) Standard is about a mile from the beach, but it's still passionately hip. Though it skimps on service and has small, somewhat dingy rooms, it creates a low-key holistic haven by way of vintage furniture, outdoor bathtubs, a 24-hour pool, yoga retreats, and a world-famous (though overhyped) spa.

Things You Should Know About The Standard Miami

Address

  • 40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Standard Hotel Miami
  • Standard Hotel Miami Beach
  • Standard Miami
  • Standard Miami Beach
  • Standard Miami Hotel Beach

Room Types

  • Dry Large Room
  • Dry Medium Room
  • Full Spread Room
  • Lush Large Room
  • Lush Medium Room
  • Wet Large Room
  • Wet Medium Room
  • Wet X-Large Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 106
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: South Beach, Miami
Address: 40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(See Map)
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