Coconut Grove is a vibrant neighbourhood with plenty of walking, shopping and eating and drinking opportunities. The hotel is close to the action yet within touching distance of a main highway that gets you over to Miami Beach or central Miami within minutes. There’s more surrounding concrete than the beach hotels but the gardeners have made a good job of masking it by filling the grounds with foliage.
You might need sunglasses in any of the 115 rooms because floor-to-ceiling windows let in so much light and afford fabulous views of the Miami skyline, Biscayne Bay or neighbouring Coral Gables. They’re roomy, too, averaging more than 500 sq feet, and the blues, reds and golds of the wall art and linens reflect the old world theming of the lobby and corridors. And I love that every room has a balcony.
Borrowing heavily from the look of the nearby Vizcaya historic Italian villa, the lobby and lounge areas are grandly decorated and furnished, mostly with dark mahogany seating, richly patterned carpets and giant Venetian columns. The pool deck has everything you need for a day’s relaxation but remains largely shaded until mid-morning when the sun rises above the surrounding buildings.
Eating and drinking
Staff are rightly proud of Bizcaya, the hotel’s hugely popular Italian restaurant that is loved as much for its “power lunches” for business types and locals as it is for its dynamic evening menu. For me, the best deal is Sunday brunch – a champagne or mimosa-fuelled journey through numerous specialities from around the world. The Bistro Lounge in the lobby is more budget friendly and less formal.
Given its limited space, I thought the hotel’s facilities were impressive, particularly the spa, with private lounges, and the fitness room, which, though by no means large, is one of the most modern I’ve seen. It’s worth bringing your golf clubs because one of the area’s best course, at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, is only minutes away.
Attentive and personal, as you’d expect it to be at a five-star hotel.
Who stays there
Business professionals, culture seekers touring Miami’s older areas, shoppers, honeymooners, and mature travellers.
Summer rates are significantly lower. Valet parking and breakfast costs mount quickly so it’s best to buy a package with inclusive rates.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Great views / scenery
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Vibrant neighbourhood
- Award-winning restaurant
- Fabulous views
- Five-star service and facilities
- Feels hemmed in
- Shares building with residences