I’m not sure if things have changed, but… I planned a trip with friends (working mothers) to celebrate my birthday in South Beach. We were all very excited and looking forward to a break from our typical responsibilities. We had two rooms reserved for the four days we were in town. We had one in The Clevelander hotel (10th and Ocean), and I reserved the room at The Tides via Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" bidding feature.
I sorely regret not selecting a hotel on my own. I would have preferred any of the many hotels where I have stayed during previous SoBe visits. Two of my friends flew in from Chicago, and four of us flew in from Indianapolis. Upon our SoBe arrival in front of The Tides by taxi, we were frantically greeted and practically shoved up to the front desk to check in. Because we hadn't met with our friends who flew in from Chicago a few hours before us, hotel room assignments (who was sleeping in which of the purchased rooms) hadn't been made between the 6 of us.
I signed the agreement at the front desk, and retained the room key. They asked me to check, and be sure that the room met my expectations. A few months prior to my trip, I requested (if possible) a room with double beds. I received a reply that said:
"Dear [Name Redacted],
I have made a change to your reservation to a room with 2 Queen Beds. All other details remain the same.
Senior Reservations Coordinator
The Tides South Beach"
When I arrived, there was one bed in the room. It was not a huge deal, but I did mention it to the front desk representative (Chris, I believe). He gave me a very blank and demeaning look, pretended to check for my e-mail, and kept mentioning that I had purchased my room on Priceline. I instantly got the feeling that, because my room was purchased via Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" service, I could not expect to receive the same treatment had I purchased the room outright. The second bed wasn’t a necessity, but he failed to acknowledge that it was ever offered.
The man, went on to inform me that I could not have more than 2 guests in my room. He assumed that my other friends were staying in The Tides as well, and I informed him that we had two rooms on SoBe for our vacation. The two of us who were celebrating our birthdays would be staying at The Tides, and the others were technically staying at The Clevelander.
That statement to him, however, was not enough. Throughout our entire stay, my best girlfriend and I (who were both celebrating our birthdays) were nervous to have any visitors (the other four friends in town) because we were informed that we would be charged $100/day per unlisted person in our room.
To be safe and avoid any misunderstandings, we spent most of our time at the Clevelander with our other friends as we felt more welcomed and comfortable there. Had I known The Tides would be snobby towards Priceline users, I would have booked my room at The Clevelander or The Park Central.
One night, while sitting by the pool, we noticed our room door opening and saw an employee enter. I took the elevator upstairs, and asked what was going on. The woman said they do a "shut down" check at night (which confused me).
Upon check out, I was notified that I had $225 worth or addt'l charges to pay. There was a $5 Fiji water charge that was false, and was removed. There was a $20 restaurant charge which was accurate, and then $200 worth of “Miscellaneous person” charges. The front desk clerk said he had been watching us on surveillance cameras during our stay, and said there were times when more than two people were in the room. I paid it to be done with the hotel and the experience in its entirety.
When I returned home from my trip, I checked my bank statement; the hotel had $820 on hold in my account. I was never told that $820 would be held for a deposit, and I wonder if they hold the same amount for all visitors (or is this deposit amount exclusively for Priceline bidders)? I returned to Indianapolis 11/10, yet the money wasn't released until 11/13.
All in all, I thank Priceline for your efforts to be on the side of the customer, and to serve as an agent for those who admire quality, yet can appreciate a discount. It would benefit future customers to know the possibly steep price (monetary and enjoyment-wise) of staying at the Tides at a discounted price. I have stayed at other SoBe hotels, and enjoyed my stay far more, and have been inconvenienced far less.
Hotel was attractive, and we LOVED La Marea... Everytime I go to Miami, I visit the restaurant, but I stay at EPIC downtown ( Love Kimpton hotels <3 ) and rent a car. If you want a party on SoBe, The Clevelander works!
The hotel staff was snobby without just cause, therefore customer service was poor.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thank you for your authentic feedback.
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I am extremely concerned with the comments regarding lack of graciousness, attentiveness and friendliness, and being 'snobby' towards you.
I noticed your stay occurred back in July 2011 and we just received this review in June 2012. Please note the hotel has undergown some changes, most importantly, we have changed several members of the front of house staff, and consequently, screen/ hire / train all the staff to be gracious, attentive, fun, friendly and accountable, as several of our reviews over the past few months have expressed. I have been aboard here since Decemeber 2011 as the new GM and these values are our foundation for great guest service.
I do not discount your experience and we are terribly sorry for your past experience.
I do hope in your travels back to South Beach you do give us another chance to redeem ourselves and show you the service you deserve and expect.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC