Rooms are dated and worn, with musty smells in some
A bit removed from the action (a pro for some)
Pool is tiny and there's limited seating around it
Parking is limited and pricey
Fee for beach chairs and umbrellas
Fees to use safes
The 186-room Best Western Atlantic Beach Resort is a two-pearl property right on the beach, a 10-minute drive north of South Beach. It's an older hotel that's a mixed bag when it comes to style and substance, though upgrades were in progress during our 2016 visit. At the moment, though, it has major flaws. Rooms are basic and worn, and include flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers, and some have balconies and some have beach views. There's a mediocre restaurant and a bar, as well as another bar by the tiny pool. The hotel's best feature is its beachfront setting, though it's a 30-minute walk along the boardwalk to South Beach. As an alternative, the nearby Holiday Inn Miami Beach has a bigger pool and is more attractive.
Older hotel that needs an overhaul, though still draws low-maintenance budget travelers
This Best Western is situated in an older eight-story building that was undergoing a needed renovation during our 2016 visit. As such, the hotel is a mixed bag when it comes to style and substance, and most areas still need a lot of TLC. Its best feature is its proximity to the beautiful beach and the boardwalk that skirts the Atlantic Ocean. Guests drive up to the covered entrance and enter through sliding glass doors. Inside, the lobby is open and brightly colored with white walls and floors, a jazzy patterned rug, and gold, teal, olive green, and rust-colored sofas and chairs. It all looks fresh, and a little retro, which makes sense in this vintage-savvy part of South Florida. From there, though, things go downhill. Hallways to guest rooms are plain, with just patterned carpeting and no decoration, and some have a musty smell. Other common areas are equally bland and dated, including the restaurant and bar, and the spartan pool terrace. Overall, the property is in need of an update, but for now, it attracts budget-conscious travelers looking for an affordable option right on the beach.
Beachfront location a 10-minute drive north of South Beach's famous Lincoln Road
This Best Western is situated just off the expressway at 41st Street between South Beach and Miami Beach. The immediate area is OK for those who don't mind being outside Miami's party scene, with many decent hotels and high-rise condos nearby. On the plus side, the beach itself is less busy, and there are restaurants within walking distance. A long stroll down the picturesque boardwalk leads to more happening South Beach -- keep in mind that this walk will take about 30 minutes. The boardwalk is filled with joggers and vacationing families by day, though those wanting to make the trip more frequently will want to drive or take a cab. The ride takes about 10 minutes. The hotel is also somewhat convenient for business travelers, especially if they have events to attend at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is a five-minute drive from the hotel. Miami International Airport is 20 to 30 minutes away by car, depending on traffic, and the Port of Miami is about a 20-minute drive.
Basic, dated, worn rooms with flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and mini-fridges, some with beach-view balconies
Rooms are basic Best Western with no frills, though they are in fairly bad shape, even by this chain's budget standards. Color schemes are unappealing, with gold accent walls, drapes, and carpet alongside aqua doors and molding, and burgundy bed toppers and skirts. Furniture is white-washed wood that is past its prime -- we spotted some pieces that were cracked, scraped, and worn -- and artwork depicting beach scenes looks washed out. There was also a musty smell in our room. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, coffeemakers, and mini-fridges stored on the floor in the closet. Safes are available, but come with a fee. Tiled bathrooms feature shower/tub combos, hairdryers, pedestal sinks, and shampoo and shower gel in a large wall-mounted dispenser in the shower. Suites add a separate living area and a microwave and refrigerator. Some rooms have balconies, and some have nice views of the beach and surrounding buildings.
Tiny outdoor pool and beach access, restaurant and bar, compact fitness center, plus business facilities
Features here are in line with the overall budget vibe at this hotel. The outdoor pool is small but heated, and it provides just a couple lounge chairs on the worn pool deck. Cafe tables and chairs are topped by umbrellas, and a giant chess set helps entertain the active. Even so, the pool is too small for a hotel of this size. The wide, sandy beach is just beyond the pool, and guests can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas for a fee, or bring their own.
The on-site restaurant, Aqua, serves American cuisine for all meals, and it provides room service. Food gets only mediocre reviews. Two wall-mounted flat-screen TVs keep guests up-to-date on the latest news, sports, and weather. A bar by the pool serves drinks and snacks, and another bar inside has a pool table and cushy sofas and chairs.
A business center in the lobby has two computers with printers set up for guests to use, and faxing and printing services also are available. Wi-Fi is free. Events spaces can accommodate gatherings of various sizes and the hotel has limited on-site parking, though it's not included in room rates and can be pricey.
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