As of 1 MAY 2021, my wife and I were both fully vaccinated and ready for a trip anywhere. We were ready to get back on a Delta jet for the first time in over a year and a half — and ready to see the ocean. Due to zero travel, we had piled up a number of IHG free night certs from our Chase IHG cards and started to look where we could string a number of nights together to use them all up at once.
We chose Miami and South Beach.
A few days in tropical sun and toes in the sand sounded simply glorious. And this hotel seemed to check all the boxes we were after.
Did it, though? And did we get real value from our certs? Let’s dive in and start with the important parts, that is, the pool and beach.
Kimptons are a neat concept and I have to say I have never had a “bad” stay ever at one. The staff in South Beach were great. I can’t say enough about them. Helpful, accommodating, and welcoming. Tops!
The pool area is a decent size. While some have complained about how packed chairs are during the pandemic, I had no issue being fully vaccinated and outside. That said, there were disappointments.
The larger chairs i.e. two-person padded ones were a $150 upcharge per day (you get $150 bar credit but that does not last long as prices are just wow). Upstairs space or private cabanas? Pay up for the privilege. Bottom line is you get a chair free – that is it!
Do keep in mind the hotel charges a hefty resort fee that I did not try to opt-out of of the resort fee because it included one feature I was looking forward to! What was that you say?
Beach time! You get a reserved chair and towel service at the beach! Yes please. But, not so fast. Want an umbrella to not cook in the summer sun? You guessed it – upcharge. Sigh. I hate this “show me the money” everywhere you turn. On to our room.
As IHG Platinums, we were not extended any kind of an upgrade and given the room we booked. It was fine, clean and the bed was comfortable. The AC worked well (a must-have in Florida, clearly).
The closet was tiny but had a safe that worked. The bathroom was also clean and everything worked as expected. Even the wifi speed was decent. Simply no complaints here.
Overall, it was a pleasant stay and a welcome one as our first “real” trip away in well over a year. Wine hour is a nice perk before going out to some fantastic dinners within walking distance of the hotel.
So would I go back for an extended stay again?
The resort fee, for what you get, is simply ridiculous. The unwelcome feeling that you can not enjoy most of the hotel without paying up — BIG TIME, at that — is just nasty. Not providing an umbrella at the beach was the deal breaker for me and will keep me from returning again.
Would I stay one night before a cruise from Miami? Only if my Chase free night cert covered the hotel cost but with the new revenue-based fee charts the chance for that is slim. – René
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