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“South Beach Chic”

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Hotel Breakwater South Beach
Ranked #113 of 214 Hotels in Miami Beach
Reviewed 10 December 2011

The cab pulled up to the beautiful art deco landmark, German, the door man, opened the door of the cab, welcomed us and we spent 24 hours out of a Conde Nast Travel magazine.

We arrived far too early due to our flight and only expected to be able to check our bags, but the warm and inviting Amanda at the front desk treated us like gold. She found us a room available early, helped us with a facebook upgrade I noticed on the Breakwaters facebook page, and gave us a wonderful room overlooking the beach and all the voyeurism available on South Beach. The room was spotless, very modern, very chic, while warm and inviting.The bed and linens first class as was the spectacular bathroom.

The location, is belong exception, the best spot in South Beach to see it all and be immersed in the carnival like vibe. The hotel has the added benefit of loungers on the beach, live talented artists and restaurants. A small infinity pool and deck are going in within site lines of Ocean Dr and the restaurants, that will be sure to add to the atmosphere of Miami Beach.

It's a great place to feel like one of the beautiful people and be at the epicenter of South Beach, but beyond all of that Amanda and German made it warm, inviting and hospitable, which made it a perfect experience.

Room Tip: Check facebook for upgrades
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank JeffS66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiamiSunManagement, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Breakwater South Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 22 December 2011

Dear JeffS66,

Thank you for such a warm review! We will pass along your comments to our staff who i'm sure are thrilled knowing that their hard work pays off. At Breakwater Hotel, we will always strive to be give you the best service that we can and of course cater to your every need. We sincerely hope to see you again in the near future.

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1,219 - 1,225 of 1,850 reviews

Reviewed 6 December 2011

I was expecting a lot more from this hotel, considering there is a lot of competition on where to stay in Miami. Sadly, I was very disappointed. When we arrived, the patio was full of people and there was music, seemingly making it an inviting atmosphere. But upon checking-in, we realized (comparable to the other reviews on this site) that the staff was completely uninvolved, aloof, inattentive, and unwelcoming. I’m not the type of traveler that requires small talk, in fact I prefer to avoid it, but this staff rarely smiled and acted pretty snobby. After check-in, we were escorted to our room, which happened to be in a completely different building around the corner of the street from the main entrance. I was not aware that the hotel was laid out in this manner – it would have been a big deal, but after a long flight, we then had to walk through a series of loud and crowded patios with all of our luggage. The entrance to the other building was deserted – it looked like a warehouse that housed extra furniture piled up in its corners. Overall, our first impression of this hotel was awkward and unwelcoming. On the other hand, the room was very nice and spacious…but we stayed in this hotel for four nights, and felt very isolated in the adjoining building, since we only had views of alley ways and other buildings, and there was never any staff around to greet us, tell us about their amenities, ask us if everything was ok, etc. etc.

Other points to mention is that the hotel’s pool is not operational, the cabanas on the beach are cheap and are like old lawn furniture (the cabana attendant was also unwelcoming – he seemed annoyed and disgruntled – it was almost comical), and the restaurant below is disgusting. The restaurant’s menu is something you would find in a diner, their dishes were dirty, and asides from the waiters, their staff was rude. I’m almost certain we got a mild dose of food poisoning from this restaurant, as we were both sick for 2 days after eating there. Anyway, I learned my lesson….next time I will book well in advance in order to find a room at a better hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank panda2155004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiamiSunManagement, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Breakwater South Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 22 December 2011

Dear panda2155004,

Thank you for your review on our Hotel. We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences presented during your stay. Our service is of our utmost importance and as such we always strive to be the best at what we do. We have delegated the information provided from you to our Restaurant staff and are dilligently working on the feedback provided.
Our pool is slated to open by the end of the year and our entrance to our adjacent building (Edison) will also be finished by then.

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Reviewed 27 November 2011

We enjoyed one night in this hotel. The room was clean and large. However, we expect more for the value of the money. During the early morning a mobile phone or alarm clock started to ring next to our room, after 30 minutes I called reception for help, but they said that they cannot do anything about it (!!!??!!!). After 1 hour more someone (probably the guest of the room) entered and shut the alarm clock off.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wolkenjaeger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiamiSunManagement, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Breakwater South Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 2 December 2011

Dear Wolkenjaeger,

Thank you for your reply. We had tried various times to contact the guest who had requested privacy in their room adjacent to yours. We respect all of our guest's privacy and as such we were not able to enter the room. We apologize for the inconvinience presented. Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you need any further assistance.

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Reviewed 25 November 2011

I recently traveled to MIA with a group of girlfriends and found the breakwater to be wonderful experience. The check in was speedy along with very helpful concierge/ staff.

The hallways are a little musty and decaying but it's expected for an older property right in the heart of South Beach without paying $400+ prices per night. When I went into the room, I couldn't believe the quality of the bathroom tiles, the linens, and the view (facing Ocean Drive)

I had a wonderful time with my group because of location, amenities etc. If you are looking for a romantic getaway it might not be for you because there are a lot of bars/ clubs located in this vicinity but then again... you don't go to South Beach to have peace and quiet do you ?!?! :)

Loved the Breakwater would definitely come again.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank hobbiezm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiamiSunManagement, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Breakwater South Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2011

Dear Hobbiezm,

Thank you for such an encouraging review about our Hotel. We are in the midst of Ocean Drive and all the action. Our locale is perfect should you be needing to go shopping or nearby restaurants. Our rooms which have been newly decorated, offer all amenities required.
Our Lifestyle team as always ready to eagerly anticipate your needs should you require immediate service.

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Reviewed 23 November 2011

What can I say one of the better stays in a hotel if had in a long time. From the accomodations, to the extremly nice service staff thru out the hotel. Great location and a great new restaurant Nine. Will be back very soon.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank patricio s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiamiSunManagement, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Breakwater South Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 24 November 2011

Dear Patricio S,

Thank you for the comment! Our restaurant indeed is fully operational and has become a sensation on Ocean Drive. We sincerely hope that you can return soon to experience our surroundings once more and give you the service you have come to expect.

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Reviewed 22 November 2011

This hotel is so cool! They have great service. I only stayed here one day with my husband as we came back from our cruise. We walked in off the street before we left and booked our room and they were very happy to assist us. When we arrived for our stay, we were lucky enough to be checked in early (which is very nice when coming back with luggage). The staff was very helpful and nice. Our hotel room was very spacious and modern (we loved the rain shower), but most importantly clean and well kept. The location is perfect right in the middle of South Beach and with all of the action. Although the pool was not ready yet, we did not care because the beach was across the street, and the hotel gives you free chairs and towels.

We will be coming back to South Beach and staying again! Keep up the good work at this hotel!

Room Tip: If you want a more quiet room, ask for a room in the back. Otherwise, you will hear all the party m...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank standards21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiamiSunManagement, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Breakwater South Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 24 November 2011

Dear Standards21,

Thank you for the great comments! We are ecstatic knowing that you have enjoyed your stay with us. Our pool will be completed by the end of this month and can not wait to have you back so that you can enjoy all of the amenities that the Hotel has to offer.

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Reviewed 21 November 2011

The hotel patio is enviting, the food and drinks were good, the check-in/check-out process was quick and easy, luggage storage and retrieval was efficient, the lobby and other public spaces are chic, and the rooms are stylish with a couple of luxurious elements. We just returned from a 3-day stay at the Breakwater and unfortunaetly, I have already mentioned all the positives.
We read several reviews prior to our arrival and in spite of some issues it seemed that most reviewers were positive about the staff. My mindset is that positive, attentive, staff determined to please their guests can make up for a world of problems. In this case, however, they didn't. The staff were friendly enough, I suppose, but I never got the impression they were there to ensure anyone's satisfaction. With the exception of one very nice gentleman who helped with our luggage, I would characterize them as "uninvolved" and my own feeling in relation to them as "invisible." For example, there was almost always a gentleman opening the door for patrons, but it was a mechanical operation. There was never an inquiry as to our plans or whether or not we were enjoying our stay, how our day was, etc. Likewise with the concierge, always a smile, but never engaging with us at all. The staff that DID engage with us, over, and over, and over was the outside dining staff. In spite of the fact that we went in and out of the hotel many times during the 4 days we were there they never seemed to recognize us as hotel guests. The very un-sophisticated practice of soliciting people to the point of utter annoyance is common practice along Ocean Drive. It isn't enough for the establishements to conspicuously post a large menu and model-beautiful servers to attract potential patrons, they also turn them into aggressive hawks. One of the hawkers handed us a coupon for half-price drinks as we exited the hotel on the day after our arrival. Wwe know South Beach is expensive, so half-price is fantastic. We decided to have lunch and a couple of drinks. We orderd a single topping pizza, a caesar salad, a Mojito and a virgin daquari. Our bill came to $64.79. That is ridiculous in ANY locale. When my drink came it was a very large, "specialty-type" plastic glass. I felt like someone should have asked me, "did you want to supersize it?" and "would you like fries with that?" "Half-price" drink with tax and mandatory gratuity: $20.49. "Half-price" virgin daquari: $12.67. Total: $33.16. Bamboozling your valued guest: Priceless. And I think "bamboozled" is a nice word -- certainly there are stronger word choices to identify this type deceptive marketing. Even the most unsophisticated consumer knows that the normal price for a cocktail and and some strawberry flavored sugar-water --even in South Beach -- is not in excess of $66.00. Posh, chic, sophisticated hotels don't have to swindle their guests into paying exorbatant prices for their products.
Upon check-in Nov. 17th we weren't told anything about a private event being held at the hotel the following evening. On the morning of the 18th we saw Albie Manzo promoting BLK water and hyping the party at Breakwater that night. On our way out for a day of shopping, we stopped in the lobby and asked to be put on the guest list. It rained all day and we returned to the hotel, tired, drenched and over-loaded with packages. We were not greeted as warmly as one would expect guests of such a "posh" hotel to treat its discriminating guests. Rather, our entrance was blocked and we were informed that "the party" was for invited guests only. After explaining that we were hotel guests, we were asked to prove our claim by producing our hotel key. We were soaked, admittedly disheveled, and fumbling with packages in an attempt to find our key while the black tie crowd looked down their noses at us from behind the velvet ropes that blocked access to the elevator and our room. After finally convincing the bouncers that we were hotel guests, we were allowed to go to our room where we promptly called the front desk to see if our names had been added to the list for the party. We were told that they couldn't accommodate us. In other words, we weren't welcome to attend a party held in our hotel for which a televised public "come on out" message was issued that morning; use of the rooftop terrace and lobby were not allowed. This event had been booked and advertised for weeks. At a minimum we should have been informed in advance that the hotel amenities would be unavailable. This was not a "private" event per se -- Ocean Drive magazine and the BLK brand advertised the event to the public with an RSVP to an e-mail address. The hotel should have ensured that its guests would be accomodated at an event to which the public was invited. The hotels web site says the following about its concierge service: "We can turn dreams into reality at the touch of a button. Really! The sky isn't even the limit. Just tell us what you want and we will deliver it. Our service culture is unique and our creativity is endless. Whether you're craving French crepes at 3:00am or need a private floatplane to tour the Everglades. Your wish is our command…we will make it happen!" Considering the fact that they can't even get their own hotel guests into a public party on their own property, I would say this is a bit of an oversell. When we checked out, I told the clerk that I was disappointed in the whole party situation. He offered no apology, just an explanation that it was a party. Of course, we knew that already. Another person said it was already overbooked, but accomodations for hotel guests should have been made in advance of the general public.
The hotel web site says the rooms are posh and luxurious. They are chic and stylish, but not really lusurious. I suppose the bathroom shower fixture and even the roman shades could be considered luxurious, but that would be about it. The bed, while comfortable, was not appointed with linens that I would consider luxurious or even with run-of-the-mill fabrics of such abundance that would be deserving of such a designation. The ottoman and headboard are vinyl. Again, chic but not posh or luxurious.
Noise was a considerable issue. It was bad on Thursday and absolutely relentless on Friday and Saturday. By 3:00 AM, when trying to sleep, the repetitive, high decible house music moves beyond nuisance to something akin to ancient water torture. Saturday night was the worst. The music relented about 3:30 AM, but the street-cleaners and landscape workers fired up their machines and enjoyed lively conversations loud enough that every word could be heard in our 3rd story, oceanfront room at 7:00 AM. On average, I would say we were able to sleep about 3 1/2 hours per night. Our room was straight across the hall from the ice machine. I could literally step out the door and take two steps and be in the ice closet. On Friday night at midnight there was a knock on our door -- it was a member of the hotel staff with an ice bucket. He said, " I have the ice you ordered." Obviously, we didn't order any ice and we weren't sleeping anyway due to the overbearing noise, BUT when you accidentally knock on someone's door at midnight, you should offer an apology.
I love South Beach and this was a long-awaited and much- anticipated stay in a luxurious ocean-front room. We looked forward to a long week-end of relaxed pampering in a chic, sophisticated hotel. Clearly, we were disappointed and left feeling dissatisfied, invisible, unimportant and even exploited.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank rkimberly618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiamiSunManagement, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Breakwater South Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2011

Dear rkimberly618,

Thank you for the feedback provided about our Hotel. We sincerely apologize for the opportunities presented. At Hotel Breakwater we pride ourselves on the service culture we exemplify and that is presented with every guest interaction our Lifestyle team comes across. The party that you mentioned on your review, was a private event to which the host and its organizers were in control of. We have relayed your concerns to all of our team ranging from the Restaurant to our Front Office and they will in turn revise where they can improve based on your review. We would love nothing more to show once again what our Hotel service culture is about and as such we would love for you to return. Please contact our Hotel should you need assistance and we will do everything to make your stay memorable this time around.

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Additional Information about Hotel Breakwater South Beach

Address: 940 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139-5013
Region: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#80 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range: £121 - £412 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Breakwater South Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Breakwater, is a fun, bustling and entertaining historic Art Deco hotel located in the heart of South Beach's famous Ocean Drive. The hotel is a non-stop, active delight right in the center of everything that is South Beach. You'll find yourself within walking distance of a wide variety of outdoor cafes serving every style of cuisine imaginable, art galleries, night clubs, the famous Beach, the Versace Mansion, beach front walking, biking and jogging paths, world class events like the Wine and Food Festival, as well as the fabulous shops of Lincoln Road Mall. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Breakwater South Beach Miami Beach, Florida

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