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Flamingo condo rentals

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New York
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Flamingo condo rentals

I will be in South Beach with my 26yo son and 21yo daughter at the end of the month. I am currently booked at the Park Central (entry level - 2 double beds without a view). But I have been seriously considering renting a condo instead. The small rooms at the Shelbourne that we have seen listed generally don't fit our needs. The 1 bedrooms at the Flamingo are very appealing, both for interior size and for the complex amenities. I know it is on the bay, and of course that is also a consideration. But I am extremely hesitant about doing a condo rental, something I have never tried before. I have read about SoBeRentals and know to avoid them. But how do you know that a private owner or a small management person is on the up and up. I've read positive things about Eva, who has offered 2 different apts. - but then again there are positive things mentioned about Antoinette at SoBeRentals too. Now I have an offer from Juan. His place is much more appealingly decorated, but I know nothing about him. My other concern is cost. I expected to find condo rentals coming in at less than the cost of a hotel - and I guess that is true if you compare it to the Loew's. But the prices quoted to me are the same as staying at the Park Central (which has modest sized rooms but has twice daily housekeeping and continental breakfast).

I'd love to hear the thoughts of the people on this forum.

Miami Beach, Florida
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for Shanghai Region
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1. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

Hi butnotrmpt,

To discuss this from your vantage point, it would be helpful to know your objectives in visiting South Beach with your children. I would not agonize over your choices until you look at your total cost. Did you add in the taxi fares to and from the Flamingo, from $5 to $10 for most destinations in South Beach? Figure a taxi for shopping, a taxi for the beach and a taxi for dinner. Round trip, each excursion is at least $10 or more.

I live near the Flamingo, and I am rarely rushed for time, so I walk everywhere on South Beach. However, most tourists would like to get to dinner in a few minutes, step right into shops, etc. Even I dread a 20-30 minute walk home from the beach what with sand and salt water.

In this economy, prices and room occupancy change rapidly. I would call the hotels directly and ask about any specials. You might be surprised and be quoted a rate not found on line. A recent article in The Miami Herald interviewed several SoBe hotels and they said they are offering rates as low as 50% of last year's. Shop around and call them and ask.

My simple rule of thumb is to pay a condo owner no more than 50-60%% of a room rate. I figure, the conveniece of a hotel with concierge, housekeeping, room service and internal security is worth a premium, in addition to a much better location. In a hotel I can always call for extra pillow or a light bulb or whatever.

Let's face it, the Park Central's location is just great for the beach, nightlife and reasonably priced restaurants. So how much time are you going to be spending in your room looking out the "no-view" window?

New York
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2. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

thank you for your insight SoBeSparky. This vacation is a 5 night respite from the cold for my daughter, who is a college student in Montreal. And a break from the NY winter for me (and my son, who is joining us for 3 of the nights). Our choice of the Miami area is based on the availability of flights non stop from Montreal, and my desire to avoid the all day travel that a trip further south would entail. Our goal is primarily relaxation - lying or walking on the beach, lying by or swimming in the pool, lying on a chaise on the rooftop terrace, strolling on the avenues, sitting at many outdoor cafes (preferably ones where the drinks are not $20). And hopefully some high quality bonding with my children, who are no longer children. :-) I hope the weather cooperates. We are not going to be doing any high end shopping or eating. The only 'sightseeing' I have in mind is the art deco tour. I'd like to try some Cuban food. I know my son would like to take his newly legal sister to a club or two. That is pretty much it.

I hear you as far as the convenience of the hotel vs. the condo, and as far as their locations. And I like your rule of thumb about the cost of a condo vs. hotel.

I hope some others will offer opinions too. Especially those who can provide insight into the condo rental experience.

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3. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

There are several very nice suite hotels with the

Sagamore being top of the line(sometimes there are

promotions and deals). Less expensive and very nice is the Strand with a beautiful rooftop pool or the

Savoy which has a beautiful pool with direct access

to the beach with loungers and umbrella included

in the resort fee. Staying at these hotels provide

an excellent location to shops and restaurants as

well as a more interesting location for the twenty year olds.

miami
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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4. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

butnot>

I think you got a lot of positive advice to ponder so I will add a little practical info to the "Things to Do" portion of your request...

If you decide to stay at the Flamingo, the lolling by the pool part is great - the beach is indeed on the other side of town and can be accessed by the 25 cent South Beach local shuttle or taxi service. The kitchen facilities make it possible to prepare a casual and cost-effective breakfast or poolside snack or sunset cocktail which I always prefer to hotel-priced food and beverages.

25 cent Shuttle map:

southbeach-usa.com/maps/south-beach-local-ma…

Because this has been (until recently) mostly the residential enclave of the city, the choices are less expensive - and WAY less touristy - for you to explore. There are dozens of places to eat and drink nearby and new ones opening every day. The west side of town is HAPPENING as the Mondrian Hotel opened it's goofy Alice in Wonderland doors (right next to the Flamingo) and the Sunset Lounge became our newest hot spot. You & your kids will be dazzled...

We went to a brand new restaurant near the Flamingo this weekend (Sparky! Check this out) called "8ounce" which is a gourmet organic hamburger bar and grill with reasonable prices and a great looking crowd. They cover the spectrum with beef, pork, lamb, turkey AND veggie burgers and the SIDES were awesome. I like a bar near by called Abbey, and Quarterdeck, and a sidewalk cafe called Olivers and Go GO and Taste Cafe and Lime Mexican Grill and Gourmet Carrot too. All are a quick walk from the Flamingo.

Here is my personal map and guide to all the fun and inexpensive places in South Beach

SoBe Area> http://tinyurl.com/2vojh6

NOW - I love the Park Central and the destinations SobeAddict suggested too. At the Park Central, ask that your entry level room be on a high floor to avoid any ground level noise.

The guide I posted gives you some great options near the hotel for reasonable priced food in various ethnicities including Cuban (I like Bella Cuba) and Indian and Greek and Venezuelan, and also some basic sandwich spots for beach picnics. Do breakfast at Big Pink diner and Front Porch Cafe. Take the kids to dinner at TapTap for an only in Miami experience and Opa for a fun night of Greek food, music and dancing.

Art Deco tours start out at the 10th Street visitor center on Ocean Drive. Sightseeing is as easy as a quiet walk around the city, renting a bike at the MB Bicycle Center on 5th and Washington, a Kayak on Purdy Avenue or RollerBlades on Lincoln Mall.

No matter where you stay, getting around and enjoying the city is easy and fun...

AG

New York
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5. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

SoBeAddict - thanks for your recommendations. Unfortunately, the prices were too high - plus one had no availability, and one does not get good reviews here. I am trying to stick to a budget, and I do not yet see the discounts that people are talking about. I'm going to search out that newspaper article that SoBeSparky mentioned.

AdvisorGirl - I have printed out one of your guides already. I loved your description of 8ounce - can you tell me where it is exactly? I cannot find it online.

Thanks to all for their advice and suggestions. As of now I am sticking with the Park Central, since a hotel is more within my comfort zone. If I can get any of the owners to accept a lower offer on their apartment, I could be convinced to change my mind. But of course my original question remains. How do you know who to trust when renting from an owner or small management person?

I'm interested if anyone has more to add on my topics.

miami
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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6. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

butnot>

8 ounce is on that map linked above at 1080 Alton Road.

AG

Miami Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Shanghai Region
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7. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

Here's another idea, standard operating procedure in China, but now with the competitive hotel market, worth trying here.

First, make a no-deposit reservation for a Plan B hotel. If you must, make it a totally refundable (cancel 7 days or more in advance) reservation. Then wait until two weeks before the check-in date and start shopping. As hotels start staring at a room chart of empty white space, they become motivated to cut rates.

With this system you give up some of your choices in favor of rates. That is, the Park Central might not cut its rate, but a decent hotel up Ocean Drive might. You have to keep track of several hotels.

The Park Central and Sagamore are two of the more popular hotels, but you might see something from a hotel ranked 20-40 in the TripAdvisor ratings.

BTW, I just checked, and a week at $185/night at the Park Central in peak late February is a good rate with free beach chairs (value $10 each/day). Join their Gold Card club too, you never know if you get an upgrade.

Houston, TX
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8. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

butnotrmpt - If you still are interested in the Flamingo, I stayed there over the holidays and it was amazing. The condo was clean and very modern looking. They also had some great pools. It's not on South Beach, but it's not that far from all the action. Gene's the owner and he and his wife are the sweetest. Here's their listing if you're interested.

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p203693

New York
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9. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

lilagie02 - thanks for the recommendation. Unfortunately the place is not available for 2 of the days of my stay. (Also is probably above my budget - but it is also much larger than the other places I have seen listed). Did you just find this on the vacation home website and book it, or did you have personal recommendations? If someone I knew told me about a condo they had a good personal experience with, I would probably book it and skip the hotel.

SoBeSparky - Your idea about contacting more places to look for discounts is good, and I'm doing it a little, but truthfully my planning energy is just about gone. I have joined the Gold card, and it got me a small discount per night, plus continental breakfast. It would be wonderful if in the end it also got me an upgrade, but I'm not holding my breath.

Houston, TX
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10. Re: Flamingo condo rentals

I'm sorry the dates doesn't work out for you. Maybe there's another condo owner in the Flamingo that has open dates too? I can't vouch for them, but the place that I stayed in was for every penny. Good luck! =)