Warm, attentive service, especially at the restaurants
Four elite golf courses, including the famed Blue Monster
Excellent spa with more than 100 treatments
Four on-site restaurants means plenty of options
Impressive fitness center with group classes
Two pools and kids' pool with waterslide
Kids' club and other family-friendly features
Rooms have generic design and limited natural light
On-site restaurants are overpriced
30- to 45-minute drive ($40 to $50 cab ride) from South Beach
No shuttle to/from airports
Something for everyone: a world-class golf; a full-service spa; a pool with a waterslide. And it's all graced with warm, friendly service in a scenic resort setting. Just know that you're isolated on-site, you're nowhere near the beach, and everything costs extra -- often quite a bit extra.
Everything -- and everyone -- under the sun (both literally and figuratively). Families with young children, buddies on golf trips, girlfriends on spa retreats, and businesspeople at week-long conferences all come together at the Doral.
With 643 rooms, several restaurants, multiple shops, an enormous staff, and dozens of amenities -- all spread out across 800 acres -- the Doral is a veritable city-within-a-city. And they do everything they can to keep you and your money within those city limits, an effort made easier by the resort's location 30 minutes from the ocean in a town, Doral, that offers nothing in the way of sites or cuisine. (See location section, below.)
It says a lot about the Doral's versatility, not to mention its quality, that it garners accolades every year not just for its golf courses and spa, but also as a top family destination and meetings and conventions site. The resort is quite active, playing host to a number of conferences. A sampling: a Bank of America retreat, the Eighth Annual Stars & Stripes Summit, and the Royal Bank of Scotland International Series Luncheon. (Presumably there weren't any good golf locales in Scotland to convene at -- or maybe the execs just needed to get out of town.)
In 2012, celeb hotelier Donald Trump added the Doral to his expansive portfolio. Along with the acquisition was a $250 million renovation of nearly every corner of the resort, including all rooms, restaurants, meeting spaces, spa facilities, and golf courses.
The Doral is pretty, but it's neither gorgeous nor particularly romantic. (It loses a lot of points on those fronts for being in Florida but not on the beach.) Cheesy soft rock plays on the radio at Champions restaurant ("If You Don't Know Me by Now", anyone?). Little kids chase each other through the lobby as middle-aged suits discuss cutbacks over coffee. And the airplanes roaring into Miami International every 10 or 15 minutes don't help the ambience.
Isolated from the action, the hotel is in Doral, a suburb of Miami 25 to 30 minutes inland. It's only 15 minutes to the airport (yay), but it's a half-hour to South Beach (boo).
It's a 15-minute, $25 to $30 cab ride from Miami International to the Doral (the resort does not offer a shuttle). But since it's west of the airport, that means it's about 30 minutes (and $40 to $50 by taxi) to the coast. Some guests do take day trips to the beach or head to South Beach for the nightlife, but most, understandably, just stay on campus and take advantage of everything the Doral has to offer.
As for what to see, do, or eat in the immediate vicinity ... not much. Restaurants in the immediate area include Chili's Grill & Bar, La Esquina Del Lechon Pork & Steakhouse, and Umami Asian Cuisine, as well as fast-food joints like Wendy's, Chick-fil-A, and Subway.
Guest rooms and suites are spacious and comfortable, with elegant furnishings after a 2014 renovation.
Accommodations range from Deluxe Guest Rooms to Premier Suites and one opulent Presidential Suite. After an extensive 2014 renovation, all the guest rooms have the same elegant furnishings. Designed by Ivanka Trump, rooms have a neutral palette of ivory and light browns, with mahogany and gold accents. Framed portraits of golf legends decorate the walls. Italian marble bathrooms have walk-in glass showers with rainfall showerheads, some with separate tubs.
Trump Hotel Collection Bed by Serta and aromatic pillow menus
Large 55-inch flat-screen TVs with premium cable
Some rooms have balconies
Sony alarm clock with Bluetooth and
Four championship courses, including the famed Blue Monster, which is used in the PGA Tour's WGC-CA Championship.
The links here are are exceptional. Winner of numerous honors, including being named one of the 75 Best Golf Resorts in North America by Golf Digest, the Doral features four world-class courses, including the Blue Monster (named for the oversize lake in the middle of it), Red Tiger, Golden Palm and Silver Fox.
Two main pools and a 24-hour gym, plus dozens of huge meeting rooms and access to the spa's numerous amenities.
Even if you're not at the Doral to take advantage of the golf or spa, you'll still have plenty to do.
There are two main pools and a smaller pool with a waterslide for kiddos
Camp Doral kids' club
Wi-Fi, for a fee
Note: The gym listed in this section is different from the gym mentioned in the Luxury Spa section. Ditto for the pools. If you're staying at the "regular" resort (as opposed to a villa at the spa), you need to purchase a day pass to access the spa and its gym; treatments and classes are extra.
Also Note: The website mentions that tennis is available, but the courts are located 10 to 15 minutes away by car, and it costs an additional per person fee to use them.
It's far from a beach and the food can be costly, but the grounds are beautiful and the bar is reasonably priced. Plus, this is one of the few hotels with a kosher kitchen.
Wedding Size: Up to 1,000 guests
Extra Fees: While the hotel does staff certified wedding planners, their help can cost extra. Also, note that the service fee is a bit steeper here than at most other resorts.
Wedding Packages: The standard dinner package includes passed hors d'oeuvres, a salad, an entree, a wedding cake, and five hours of an open bar (add a bit per person for better-brand liquor). On top of this, for the site fee, you get a dance floor, a stage, a bridal suite, and various discounts for the guest rooms, at the spa, and on the golf course.
Ceremony Locations: The hotel has numerous indoor spaces, such as the Windows on the Green restaurant or the massive Legends Ballroom, as well as outdoor spaces, such as the beautiful spa gardens.
Reception Locations: Numerous venues to choose from, both indoors and outside; note, however, that any outdoor receptions must end by 10:30 p.m.
Photographers and Videographers: There is no in-house photographer or videographer, but you can hire your own and the hotel does not impose an extra fee.
Music: Outside musicians are welcome at no extra fee
Food: Options include a general buffet as well as a more eclectic "tastes of the world" buffet for a higher price that includes cuisine from Asia, Spain, Italy, India, and Austria (for dessert); plated dinners are at a higher cost and have kids' menus options. All special diets can be accommodated, and it's worth noting that the Doral is one of the few Miami resorts with a kosher kitchen.
Drinks: An open bar starts at a base fee for the first hour and costs less for each additional hour. Also, note that there's an additional fee for each bartender, which covers three hours (it costs another fee for each additional hour). Hosted drinks range in price for wine and cocktails and run a bit less for beer.
Cakes: Cake is included in the standard wedding packages, though there are various upgrades available.
Spa Treatments: Full menu of services, including hair and makeup
Honeymoon Suite: The Master Suite is a popular choice among newlyweds.
Airport Transportation: The hotel does not provide airport shuttle service, but Miami International is only seven miles away.
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