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Gale South Beach 4.0

South Beach, Miami, Florida

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Historic property in upscale section of South Beach
  • Free beach chairs and towels at nearby beach club
  • Contemporary rooms with minibars, iHome docks, and rainfall showers
  • Some rooms have large furnished terraces
  • Rooftop infinity pool with underwater speakers and views
  • Delicious Italian restaurant with free morning coffee 
  • Two bars, including a historic cocktail lounge with live music
  • Small gym with cardio machines and free weights
  • Free golf cart transportation within a five-mile radius
  • Free property-wide Wi-Fi 
  • Discounts and freebies at nearby hotels and businesses

Cons

  • Rooms are on the small side
  • Hallway noise may be a problem for some (earplugs available)
  • No spa services available
  • Valet parking is expensive and there are long wait times for cars
  • Resort fee (common for Miami)

Bottom Line

The 87-room Gale South Beach is a historic, upscale South Beach hotel with affordable rates and access to a beach club one block away. Rooms are contemporary and stylish, with vintage black-and-white photographs, well-stocked minibars, and marble bathrooms, plus some add big, furnished terraces. The hotel has a rooftop infinity pool, live music at the classic cocktail lounge, a small gym, and rooftop bar with popular happy hours. However, expect long wait times at the valet and possible hallway noise, plus rooms that are on the small side. No spa services are offered on-site. Those wanting a beachfront location may want to check out rates at the Delano South Beach Hotel across the street. 

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Scene

Upscale hotel decorated with memorabilia from its storied past

The Gale South Beach was originally built in 1941 and features a Tropical Art Deco design by L Murray Dixon, the architect behind nearly 70 percent of the historic Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach. As luxury hotels began to populate the beachfront, the Gale fell out of vogue and eventually became neglected. Years later, the property found new life as a relaxation hot spot for the armed forces and even as a retirement home. In 2012, it was renovated once more and opened as an upscale hotel, complete with a replica of the original front desk and walls decorated with vintage memorabilia from its former lives. The Regent Cocktail Club gives guests a taste of the past with its oak walls and polished brown leather couches, while the hotel’s restaurant and pool area add a contemporary feel. The hotel's setting one block back from the beach keeps it from being a hotspot, but the rooftop pool, live music at the bar, and happy hour attract young couples and friends wanting an affordable property near the action. Next door is sister property Kaskades Suites, which offers 25 rooms and access to Gale's amenities. For guests that want the amenities of Gale but larger rooms and a quieter home base, the Kaskades Suites is a great pick.

Location

Convenient location in the hip area of South Beach

The Gale South Beach is located on the northern part of South Beach, on the corner of Collins Avenue and 17th Street. This area is home to several upscale hotels featuring chef-helmed restaurants, and it's walking distance to Ocean Drive’s famous collection of Art-Deco buildings. The Miami Beach Convention Center is a seven-minute walk, while guests can reach the Fillmore Theater in only five. Popular city spots like downtown Miami and Wynwood can be reached less than 25 minutes by car. Miami International Airport is a 30-minute drive from the hotel, depending on traffic. 

Rooms

Contemporary, attractive rooms with rainfall showers and terraces in some

Black-and-white photos from the 1940s help create a vintage vibe in the rooms, while the monochrome color scheme and simple, yet contemporary decor complete the upscale look. All 87 rooms have marble bathrooms with GuyandGirl products and rainfall showers, but there are no tubs. Bluetooth charging cubes and well-curated minibars with alcohol, soft drinks, snacks, and various kits are convenient, plus there are large flat-screen TVs, iHome docking stations, and free Wi-Fi. Hallway noise may be a problem for some, and earplugs are available at reception. Past guests have also complained of rooms being on the small side and the lack of desks, though some units have small tables and chairs. 

Rooms start off as Signature Standards with one queen bed, followed by the slightly larger Signature Doubles featuring two queen beds. For those wanting semi-private outdoor space, the Signature Terrazzo adds a 500-square-foot terrace where guests can lounge on either a cushioned daybed or couch. The annexed bed-and-breakfast section called Kaskades is popular with guests for extended stays, and guests in these room can expect a more upscale feel, plus extra space. 

Pool

Rooftop infinity pool with underwater speakers and ocean views

While on-site, guests tend to congregate at the black-marble infinity pool, thanks to its laid-back atmosphere, upbeat music (that also plays through underwater speakers), and rooftop views out to the ocean. Cushioned wicker loungers and cabanas offer places to soak up the sun, and food and drink service is available. At night the pool lights up, giving the pool a chic look. 

Features

Two bars, an Italian restaurant, and an extensive perks program

Located at the front of the hotel off Collins Avenue, Dolce Italian serves up modern Italian cuisine, wood-fired pizzas, room service, and good people watching. Gale guests receive a discount on both food and drink items (except during daily happy hour) and have a choice of two interior dining areas or tables out on the terrace. The Regency Cocktail Club is a historic watering hotel that features nightly live music and famous cocktail hours in a classic cocktail bar setting. Its younger sister, the Regent Rooftop, is more contemporary. This fourth-floor bar sports a popular happy hour, live music, food, games, and fantastic sunsets over the city. Guests can eat barbecue or sip drinks at the long bar or on couches. 

Gale guests have access to a beach club through the hotel’s sister property, the Shelborne South Beach (one block away). Towels and beach chairs are free, but expect to pay extra to use the sunbeds or umbrellas. Conveniently, guests can sign food and drink purchases to their rooms. 

The Gale’s basement-level gym is small, but stocked with just enough cardio machines and free weights for a basic workout. Unfortunately, no spa services are offered. A daily resort fee (common in Miami) covers beach chairs and towels, free Wi-Fi, shuttle transportation within a five-mile radius (subject to availability), and free morning coffee at Dolce Italian. Valet parking is expensive -- and located far off-site -- leaving a longer than average wait to collect your car. 

Other features include a hotel group perks program that gives guests access to free or discounted services, food, and activities at partner businesses and sister hotels. Some examples are free boxing classes and hair service discounts at the Mondrian, a free appetizer at the Shelborne’s Root and Bone restaurant, and free beer at Ricky’s South Beach. 

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Things You Should Know About Gale South Beach

Address

1690 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33139-3137, United States

Phone

(305) 673-0199

Room Types

  • Signature
  • Signature Double
  • Signature Grande
  • Signature Terrazzo
  • Studio

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