Review: Conrad Miami
1 night, points & money rate of $137 + 46,000 Honors points. Peak season pricing.
The Conrad Miami was an unusual choice for a 1 night stop on a road trip. Typically, I eschew hotels in the urban core in favor of peripheral properties for a variety of reasons, like extortionate downtown parking. That said, I wanted to compare a Conrad property with the Casa Marina Waldorf Astoria in Key West. This seemed like agreat way to compare Hilton’s luxury brands head-to-head.
The process of navigating from I-95 to the Conrad was…surprisingly painless for what I expected for Miami. Perhaps going into downtown at 5 P.M. helped. Eager to get out of my car, I left it with a valet, gave him a couple of bucks (the guys on the check-in shifts can get a bit short-changed).
The street level houses the concierge and valet desk. You go up the elevators to the check-in desk on the 25th floor (also where you’ll find the bar and restaurant). I was given an upgraded Bay (of Biscayne) view room on the 18th floor. Down I go in a separate bank of elevators.
My room was quite small for a US hotel room. Size-wise, it’s what you’d find at a 4.5 or 5 star (business) property in Hong Kong. That said, the room’s appointments were of high quality. I loved the espresso machine, Shanghai Tang amenities, and the deep bath tub separate from the rainfall shower.
The view can speak for itself.
Next errand: go to the pool. This is something of an adventure at the Conrad. From my room on the 18th floor, I took an elevator to the lobby on the 25th floor, crossed the check-in lobby, went down on a separate elevator to the ground floor, crossed the driveway where cars arrive, and took a third elevator to the top (8th or 9th) floor of an annex building. After a walk outside and up to the pool deck, my odyssey came to an end.
After lap swimming in the invigoratingly cold pool, I decided to take a stroll around Brickell. The neighborhood is very pleasant, and in an alternate life, I would not object to living there. After a little repast of sushi at Doraku in the nearby and bustling The Shops at Mary Brickell Village, it was time to unwind and sleep.
The bed was excellent, as I seemed to fall asleep immediately and woke up in good form.
The next morning, I decided to see how the breakfast spread was. It pleases me to report that it is quite a cut above the usual Hilton-family fare. The fruit spread included dragon fruit (OH HELL YES) and kiwi fruit in addition to melon, pinapple, berries, et al. We’re off the a roaring good start, as you might have intuited. Japanese-style gyoza dumplings (steamed) and American breakfast proteins rounded out my plate. I might have tried a croissant, which may have been superb. For as often as I eat calorie dense carbs (rarely), I want them to be of the best quality. Finally, the wait staff deserve praise. I enjoyed their efficient, friendly service that didn’t fall into the trap of obsequiousness (I find that dynamic of esteemed patron/obsequious server cringeworthy when I encounter it).
Check-out that morning was effortless. I texted the valet to have my car readied, took care of the formalities at the front desk, and arrived downstairs to find my car waiting for me.
- Walking distance to most everything in Brickell downtown including restaurants, banks, and a CVS pharmacy.
- Short drive/taxi/uber to South Beach, if you don’t want to stay in South Beach proper.
- Easy freeway access for road trippers; straight shot for those flying into/out of MIA
- Highest quality, albeit not most expansive, hotel spread I have seen in the USA.
- The morgue-cold pool incentivizes you to swim laps intensively to fight off hypothermia – yay exercise!
- Unimpeachable service.
- Great standard room reward availability for Honors members.
- Without a B&B rate or Honors status, breakfast will be $40 per person including tip
- Weird layout would get tiresome for going to the gym/pool.
- That pool is *very* cold.
- Many will find the room to be small.
All in all, this was an excellent stay. If this is a middling Conrad per what I parse on Flyertalk, I can’t wait to try the outstanding ones (helloooooo Asia…).
– James out