Daily wine and cheese reception for Diamond members
20,000 square feet of meeting and event space
Fee for Wi-Fi
Minor wear and tear in guest rooms
Expensive valet and self-parking options
Separate elevator required to get from lobby to rooms
Rooftop pool and tennis courts in separate building
South Beach is a 15-minute, $20 to $25 taxi ride away
Taking up 17 floors of a 36-story skyscraper downtown, this Hilton luxury offshoot has some swanky touches -- a rooftop pool, a top-notch spa and gym, 500-thread-count linens, and spacious standard rooms. The Conrad also has a great restaurant and The Bar at LvL 25 has sweeping views of Biscayne Bay and is a popular spot for happy hour. It should be noted that the hotel is geared toward business travelers so families wanting to spend time on the beach should look elsewhere. For a similar stay, compare rates with the neighboring JW Marriott.
A luxury offshoot from the Hilton brand in a spiffy 36-story tower in Downtown Miami
The hotel's 203 guest rooms and 103 residences take up 17 floors of a 36-story Downtown Miami skyscraper, Espirito Santa Plaza. The rest of the floors are occupied by condos and offices. It's a peculiar setup; guests enter through the ground floor to find the concierge desk and a sitting area and then must take an elevator up to the lobby on the 25th floor. A separate elevator on the 25th floor takes guests either up or down to their room.
Decor in the lobby is contemporary and elegant; there are various art pieces, including a Marilyn Monroe print, Minnie Mouse sculpture, and several steel designs by an Italian artist hanging on the walls. This, along with the lime green couches, add personality to an otherwise dull environment.
For a business hotel, the fee for Wi-Fi is a particular annoyance, but there are a business center, multiple meeting rooms, and ballroom available. There are trendier business hotels in the area, such as the Viceroy, but they're more expensive.
On Brickell Avenue, Miami's business thoroughfare, the hotel is perfect for business travelers who need to get to work. Those who want to hit the beach -- 15 minutes away by car -- should probably stay elsewhere.
Located in Espirito Santo Plaza, a 36-story mirror of the Biscayne Bay in Miami's Downtown financial district, the hotel shares its building with office space and perminent residences. It's surrounded by banks, office buildings, and high-rise condo towers. By both day and night, four-lane Brickell Avenue has plenty of car traffic but very few pedestrians. Most other business hotels, including the Four Seasons and J.W. Marriott, are just a block or two away. But this part of Downtown shuts down after happy hour, and it can feel like a ghost town on the weekends.
For the beach, South Beach is a 15-minute taxi ride away that will cost you $20 to $25.
Rooms are comfortable but ordinary, save for small touches like bamboo plants, illy espresso machines, nightly turndown service, and a pillow menu.
Rooms at the Conrad, like the more expensive Four Seasons next door, are quite comfortable and are either city or bay view. The size of the standard Deluxe room varies quite a bit, ranging from 382 to 586 square feet. In addition to regular guest rooms, the hotel also has studio, one-, and two-bedroom residences available for both long and short stays. All residences feature a full kitchen but not all have washer/dryers.
Furnishings include 500-thread-count sheets on comfortable beds, with faux ostrich leather headboards, built-in spot lamps, and a floral throw pillow; custom pillows options from a "pillow menu" include half a dozen different options, from Posturepedic to water pillows. There is some minor wear and tear on furnishings, however. The bathrooms are a good size and have both deep tubs and separate walk-in glass showers. Bathrobes, slippers, and Aromatherapy Associates toiletries are luxe amenities. All guest rooms have stocked minibars; flat-screen TVs with cable, HBO, and DVD players; illy espresso machines; and iPod docking stations. Daily newspaper delivery and dry cleaning/laundry service can also be requested.
With an upscale spa, rooftop pool, tennis courts, and a fitness center, the hotel has plenty of amenities to help guests relax. Reaching them is the hard part.
Getting from a guest room to the pool or tennis courts, located on the roof of the hotel's parking structure, requires taking three elevators and crossing a street. While the pool and adjacent whirlpool are relaxing, the metal loungers aren't quite up to the hotel's luxury status. Also on the roof are two tennis courts and a foosball table by the elevators, as well as multiple dining tables and a ping-pong table. Electric bikes are available for rental from the concierge.
The 24-hour fitness center has various cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as free weights and exercise balls. It's housed next to the upscale spa and salon, where guests can book a variety of treatments. Guests can also download the free Concierge App to book services before or during their stay, including spa treatments, airport transportation, and even bath amenities.
As this is a business-oriented hotel, there are several amenities for the business traveler: a business center; variety of meeting rooms; and large ballroom are all available. But unless you're an elite guest, you'll have to pay for Wi-Fi.
A full-service restaurant, a bar with small plates, and 24-hour room service
The Conrad's fine-dining restaurant Atrio is located on the 25th floor and serves global fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's a breakfast buffet available and dinner entrees are typically in the $25 to $40 range. The restaurant's Wine Room has an excellent selection of vintage wine and can be rented for private events, though the space is small. Adjacent to the dining room is The Bar at Lvl 25, housed in an atrium setting with indoor palm trees; its balcony has tables set up overlooking gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay. A daily wine and cheese reception with varied appetizers for Hilton's Diamond members is a nice perk. In-room dining is available 24 hours a day.
With a pool and reasonably priced one- and two-bedroom residences, the Conrad is a solid choice for business travelers bringing their families along.
The hotel has a limited supply of adjoining rooms, but they can't be guaranteed until check-in. But the Conrad has one- and two-bedroom residences that, unlike the standard rooms, come with full kitchens (but no guaranteed washer/dryers). There are studio, one-, and two-bedroom options, and these rooms often cost about the same as the regular suites. No rooms have sleeper sofas, but a rollaway can be brought to any room at no additional cost. Cribs are also available, also at no charge.
Rooms have the Disney Channel OnDemand and DVD players. Kids will also undoubtedly enjoy the rooftop pool with basketball hoop and adjacent whirlpool and sports/games facilities. Additionally, the in-room dining menu has options for kids.