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“Art Deco Masterpiece”
Review of Essex House

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Essex House
Ranked #52 of 208 Hotels in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Coquitlam, Canada
1 review
“Art Deco Masterpiece”
Reviewed 27 December 2013

Wow. From the moment we entered the gorgeous lobby of this the hotel which still contained a few items on loan from the art basel show weeks ago (and was having a happy hour with free beer and wine), to the hip & friendly front desk staff, to our art deco masterpiece room which was worthy of a few photos, to the access to the stunning roof top patios of the neighboring sister hotel, the Clevelander, which must have the best views of the beach & ocean drive in the area - we were impressed. Very impressed. Included a nice continental breakfast in the morning too. The hotel appeared to be enjoyed by all, from families to hipsters to couples of all ages. We had a bit of a hiccup with the valet which was seamlessly and professionally handled by the hotel staff. We could only stay one night, but wished we'd had more time. Would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank magnolia333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2013

Always nice to check into a place that's an Art Deco masterpiece. My wife and I stayed over Art Basel weekend so South Beach with crawling with pretentious trust funders but we never felt rushed or harried by Essex House staff. We met friends from the UK who were staying on the 2nd floor (we were on the 3rd) and the four of us agreed that our rooms were comfortable, breakfast was tasty and served with a smile, and the verandah was a perfect spot to have a cold beer and watch the South Beach parade pass by. Only downside? The Clevelander Hotel next door. We went there for drinks the night we arrived and were victimised by what I can only describe as the Clevelander's criminal enterprise. At some point we were both robbed -- me of a favourite pocket-sized camera stolen and my wife a light sweater -- amongst the outdoor bar's heavy security. When we asked about it the next day we were treated like rubes, despite the heavy presence of security cameras. I take responsibility for my behaviour when drinking and was initially mad at myself for having my camera nicked but then my wife said her sweater had been swiped ... that's a racket if you ask me. We were told during the excellent Art Deco tour that the Clevelander was the most profitable bar in South Beach. Sadly, it's also the sleaziest, and least trustworthy. Knock down the Clevelander and the Essex House gets 5 stars.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Savannah, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

We stayed for 4 nights and chose the hotel after looking over the reviews of others posted and comparing with other properties. So glad to see we made the right choice. We took others' suggestion and booked a Suite and will agree it is definitely worth the price dif. Our suite was overlooking Collins Ave. which isn't anything to write home about except for the fact that it is quiet.
We came in December and they are doing construction on Collins Ave. which leads to some traffic issues. However, once we arrived we parked the car, we walked everywhere we wanted to go. There was no construction near the hotel while we stayed, but they are repaving roads and the shopping district was where most of the noise from construction was occuring.

The hotel staff are friendly and take the time to address you by name as you are coming and going. They were helpful with restaurant recommendations and handled any service requests we had. Beach towels are provided daily and they also gave us bottles of water to take up to our room at check in. Complimentary wine and sushi are offered at happy hour Monday through Friday. The wine selection was a good one (Apothic Red)
The continental breakfast was adequate for me. Yogurt, juice, coffee, muffins, cereal and fresh fruit is all I need in the am and it was nice to bring up to the suite to enjoy with my Keurig coffee that I brewed right in my room (my favorite) They do have a nice restaurant area that you can enjoy breakfast in (and they do provide coffee) but we did not use the area.

The rooms were very clean and the suite was very luxurious in size and decor. Big jacuzzi tub with shower and separate sink vanity area. All very modern for a building built in 1936. We had taken an Art Deco walking tour and the Essex was one of the stops on the tour because it is a great example of that era and has much of the original aspects intact.

We enjoyed the quiet, laid back style of the Essex hotel, but did go over to the neighboring Clevelander for one late night esapade that we very much enjoyed! My husband and I are older than most of the crowd there, but everyone couldn't have been nicer to us and we enjoyed watching everyone dancing and even took a turn onstage dancing ourselves for a couple songs before we left.

The Essex is only a block away from the beach and since we drove, we brought our beach chairs which saved us the $15 per chair fee for a rental.

We will certainly stay at the Essex if we get the chance to return to Miami!

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking Collins Ave.are quieter! Spend the extra for a suite if you can.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AnneBonney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2013

This place was a mixed bunch. We arrived early & asked if we could check in early, we were told the place was booked out & the neighbouring Clevelander had an Oceanfront room available so were take across to see if we wanted to stay there instead. That room was no comparison & faced the noisy bar/pool deck so we turned them down after which point our room was magically available - talk about almost getting palmed off! After that unusual start, the rest of our stay was solid in the well fitted rooms, though my wife had some challenges ordering coffees from room service each time. Breakfast was OK, nothing to write home about but solid enough. Location & building is fabulous, just a shame about the mixed bag of service

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the Collins Avenue side of the hotel, otherwise you'll be up all night thanks...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Musoph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 16 December 2013

You can't beat the location and overall value of this hotel. You can enjoy the beach, nightlife, great food, and excellent shopping all within walking distance of this hotel. Like many of the other neighboring hotels, it's located in a historically preserved area but the Essex has done a great job of mixing the old with the new. We stayed in a king suite which gave us a lot of room and made for a very comfortable stay. The room was clean with nice linen, spacious bathroom, and the decor went well with the older features of the room. The bed was comfortable and the room overall felt welcoming and a great place to relax and hang out. The hotel staff was extremely nice and accommodating, and they pride themselves in making sure that their guests have a nice experience. In some of the other reviews, they complained about the noise but I guess we were in a room where we didn't have this problem. I'm a big fan of the 4 and 5 star hotel chains so I wasn't sure if this hotel would meet my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by what this hotel had to offer. The concierge took care of our last minute spa arrangements and the staff was knowledgeable about surrounding venues. As for the continental breakfast, it's a continental breakfast. If you are looking for great food, then check out their Zen Sai restaurant dinner menu. The food was fresh, hot, and perfectly prepared. Absolutely delicious!

Room Tip: Pay the little extra for the suite. If you aren't happy with any part of your stay, let the sta...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kmellis06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2013

We stayed at the Essex for 3 nights and 4 days at the start of Miami Art Basel week. The staff were excellent and very helpful when it came to finding the right restaurant. They even changed rooms for us when my friend could hear the music from the neighboring hotel (which we were already made aware of when booking). The breakfast was included in the price and again was substantial and a good choice of things to eat. The beach is just across the road, Art Deco centre just over yhe road. Easy walking distace to everywhere and bus trips around Miami are reasonably priced.
The rooms were slightly smaller than they looked on the website but very clean and everything you need is provided. As we were checking out we began talking to the manager who is very hands on in the hotel, he actally insisted on carrying our bags to the car himself!
The only downside I can think of is having to pay for parking but this is not unusual in South Beach. Most of the hotels are the same. Ps: When you stay at the Essex you can use all the facilities at the Clevelander next door. Great trip with great memories. I will be back next time I visit South Beach.

Room Tip: Make staff aware that if you are a very light sleeper to ask for a room facing the quieter side of t...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Christine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Very disappointed. That’s the one word that sums up my experience at the Essex House in Miami Beach. While I had hopes of a fun experience in an Art Deco hotel in the middle of south beach with good rooms, my visit could not have been further from those expectations. The hotel is conveniently located a block from the beach, though one must first wander past the madhouse that is the Clevelander and it’s all night weekend parties (which is to say, blaringly loud). Candidly, I ‘d just say cheesy. If that’s your intention then these hotels might be for you. But for vacationers looking for a charming and comfortable experience, one can do much better. And for the price, one can do MUCH better. Indeed, I daresay that the price for a standard queen room was virtual gouging.

Where to begin? The lobby of the hotel is worn and dated. A pleasant soundtrack of jazzy tunes and standards plays in the background, but it’s not enough to distract from the fact that the hotel needs a makeover. The standard queen room was preposterous. It may as well have been a closet, taken up completely by the bed. Additionally, the window appears on their ‘courtyard’, or what anyone else might refer to as an alley. The bathroom was similarly diminutive and reeked of the industrial look from 1950s office buildings. Wifi internet was free but the signal in our room was weak. Last, the ‘free’ breakfast was positively ridiculous…and bad. Set up like a lazy buffet, it consisted of lukewarm coffee, breakfast cereals, an stale pastries. Plan on eating out.

I will allow that the front desk staff were all very pleasant and hardworking. It’s simply unfortunate that they are working for a hotel that is so far behind the times. In particular, the manager was very accommodating and tried endlessly to get us a better room at the Clevelander, but it was ultimately not what we were looking for. I simply will chalk down my experience to misplaced expectations. Suffice it to say, my expectations were met when I checked out the next morning and booked a room at the Ritz Carlton…for the SAME price. By comparison, the Ritz is to the Essex as a Mercedes Benz is to crossing a desert with a pack mule. To all future vacationers seeking a little glamor in South Beach at the Essex, consider yourselves forewarned.

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for a high floor. The 'ground' and '1st' floors were horrible.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nycebo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EssexHouseTeam, Manager at Essex House, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Dear NYCEBO,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. It’s only through feedback from guests like yourself that we can understand your expectations and work to improve.

We really appreciated your positive comments on our convenient location and helpful staff. The happiness of our guests is our highest priority. We were glad to hear our front desk staff and managers did everything in their power to meet your expectations.

Unfortunately, you were disappointed with your stay and for that we truly apologize. We are sorry that our décor and the size of our accommodations did not meet your expectations. We never aim to mislead our guests, and proudly post that we are a historic property built in 1938. As a historic property, our restorations and renovations cannot change certain factors like the size of our rooms and bathrooms.

While we cannot change the size of our rooms, we do aim to deliver on the experience we promise our guests. Based on your comments, we will be reviewing the information posted on travel sites about our hotel to make sure our guests know that they are booking a historic Art Deco property and that there are plenty of photos to paint the picture accurately.

Based on your comments regarding our breakfast, we will also be reviewing our information to make sure it is clear to our guests what a continental breakfast includes. Our complimentary breakfast is a traditional continental breakfast consisting of coffee, tea, juices and various pastries, yogurts, cereals, and fruits. Our coffees are brewed fresh and our pastries are fresh each morning, we apologize breakfast was not a highlight for you. We will be working with our staff to ensure every guest enjoys a piping hot coffee each morning.

While our wifi is offered at no additional charge, you are correct that it could use some strengthening up in some areas. We are working on improving our wifi signal property-wide.

The majority of our guests enjoy our historic property, original Art Deco architecture, and excellent customer service. Again, we apologize that the accommodations in our hotel were not what you expected. We appreciate that you took to the time to let us know your concerns as well as the positive aspects of your stay. We will continue to work hard to improve our communication with our guests, and hope you feel our response shows you that we are listening and that we care.

Thank you,

Ian Abdon

Director of Hotel Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Essex House

Property: Essex House
Address: 1001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139-5011
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#40 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#42 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
#47 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Essex House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Essex House is an award-winning South Beach hotel in the Miami Beach Art Deco District. Surrounded by nightclubs, cafes and designer boutiques, Essex House is an Art Deco landmark property in the heart of South Beach. The hotel features 70 rooms including 14 luxurious suites to help you leave all of your stress behind. Your stay includes complimentary continental breakfast, a daily happy hour at Zen Sai Restaurant, and access to the nightlife at our sister property, Clevelander South Beach, located just steps away on Ocean Drive. Essex House Hotel is the perfect choice when you want the best of all worlds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Essex House Hotel Miami Beach
Essex Hotel Miami Beach
Essex House Hotel South Beach
Essex Miami Beach
Essex House Miami Beach, Florida

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