Huge, fully furnished condo suites with fully equipped kitchens
Kitchens include full-size fridges, dishwashers, ovens, and dishware
Free cookies, coffee, and fruit in mornings
Laundry facilities on-site
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Pet friendly with dog toy and treat (extra fee)
Almost no amenities (no restaurant, bar, or wellness facilities)
Daily resort fee and housekeeping costs extra
Valet parking is pricey
The Casa Grande Suite Hotel is a mid-range property with 35 privately owned condo suites. While the Casa Grande feels more like a temporary-stay apartment building than a hotel, it's ideal for big groups and families seeking a home base in the middle of SoBe. It's tucked behind the shops and restaurants on bustling Ocean Drive, right across from Lummus Park and the beach, so there's plenty to do nearby. But the building itself doesn't offer much in the way of amenities -- no pool, gym, restaurant, or bar. Suites, which range from studios to three-bedrooms, are simple but contemporary and spacious with fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms, sitting areas, plasma TVs, and free Wi-Fi. By comparison, Princess Ann Hotel offers more standard hotel digs for a similar price, but rooms there aren't nearly as big.
More like a temporary-stay apartment building than a hotel
The Casa Grande Suite Hotel entryway sits squeezed between a bustling cafe and a beachy clothing store. More a temporary-stay apartment building than a hotel, Casa Grande is in a prime location but lacks the amenities, atmosphere, and public spaces of a traditional destination property. The lobby is stylish enough with beige tiled floors, a wood accent wall with an embedded aquarium, microsuede bench seating, and a rich wood reception desk, but without any other real common areas, the building is largely devoid of atmosphere. Except for the occasional run-in with other guests in an elevator, it's easy to spend time here without seeing another soul. Large, multi-room suites and a low price tag make this ideal for big groups and families seeking a home base in the middle of SoBe.
Centrally located on South Beach's Ocean Drive, near bars, restaurants, and the beach
Casa Grande is located in the middle of the madness on Ocean Drive, right across the street from Lummus Park and the beach. The street is lined with tourist-ready restaurants and bars, with hosts and hostesses luring guests in for giant mojitos, all to the soundtrack of motorcycle engines revving and subwoofers slowly rolling by in the thick of South Beach traffic. It's the perfect spot for people who want to experience Miami Beach’s bar scene and be close to the shore.
The hotel is also a block away from Collins Avenue, which, a few blocks to the north, is a drag of high-rise, swanky party hotels, and remodeled Art Deco heritage buildings. Collins also has a smattering of convenience shops and liquor stores, plus a 24-hour Walgreens a few blocks north of 8th Street (a 10-minute walk). Versace Mansion (The Villa, Casa Casuarina) is a four-minute walk, and within about a five to 10 minutes' drive are Lincoln Road Mall and Miami Beach Marina. A 10 to 15 minutes' drive will take guests to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach Golf Club, and Jungle Island. Miami International Airport is 20 minutes by car, and Fort Lauderdale -- Hollywood International Airport is about a 40-minute drive.
Huge fully furnished condo suites with well-equipped kitchens
Casa Grande's 35 suites, all privately owned condos, come in several sizes: junior suites (studios), with two queen beds or one King bed and an open living space; one-bedroom suites, with separate sleeping and living rooms; two-bedroom suites; and three-bedroom suites. They are all roomy, measuring between about 650 and 1,000 square feet. Decor varies, but on the whole it's simple, modern, and comfortable (many of the rooms were updated in 2015). White walls, wood or tiled floors, wood furniture, and faux leather couches are common. Some rooms even have private balconies with ocean views.
All suites have a furnished kitchen, including a full-size fridge, a dishwasher, a microwave, an oven and stove top, a juice squeezer, silverware, dishware, basic cooking tools, and plenty of cupboard space. Pass-through windows from the kitchen to the lounge area are common.
Bathrooms tend to be roomy and clean, if a bit dated, with sea green tiling and white fixtures, which may include a vanity, toilet, bidet, and standing shower. Some suites have more than one bathroom. Towels are provided, as are hairdryers and individual toiletries.
Rooms are air-conditioned and have flat-screen plasma TVs, iPod docks, electronic safes, and free Wi-Fi. Nightclub noise can be a bit of an issue, but most guests find rooms fairly well insulated against exterior noise considering how loud the area can be. Daily housekeeping isn't included. For guest who want it, it costs an extra fee.
Limited amenities -- no restaurant, bar, pool, or gym
Casa Grande's condo suites are tucked behind the shops and restaurants on Ocean Drive, but the building itself doesn't offer much in the way of amenities -- there's no pool, gym, restaurant, or bar. The lobby is pretty and has a small seating area, but there's really no reason to hang out here.
Family-friendly amenities include laundry facilities and loaner cribs, and the property is also pet friendly. A nightly fee includes a pet toy and treat, plus directions to local dog parks. There's no private beach, but the hotel is located on Ocean Drive, across the street from Lummus Park and its long stretch of public beach.
The front-desk staff double as concierges and can offer recommendations, arrange for personal training sessions at the beach, or provide passes to a nearby fitness center (there are no wellness facilities on-site). But, after check-in, many guests will go the rest of their visit without staff interactions.
Extra fees can be a nuisance. Guests are charged a nightly resort fee, which includes the very basic "breakfast" (cookies, fruit, and coffee in the lobby), beach towel use, and Wi-Fi. Valet parking is available, but guests find it slow and pricey, and rollaway beds and daily housekeeping cost extra fees.
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