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“Nice pool - average hotel”

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Congress Hotel South Beach
Ranked #129 of 207 Hotels in Miami Beach
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Nice pool - average hotel”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

Hotel rooms very pleasant and quite well appointed – the only exception is the ‘bed settee’ – it was absolutely shockingly uncomfortable – there is a big ridge in the middle of it so you end up precariously sleeping on one side or another.

Staff & service positively awful – can only think the staff are paid 3 cents an hour – didn’t see one of them smile or even remotely look happy or interested.

The only exception was ‘Brian’ – he was great. Helpful, friendly and all round great guy – he was a rose amongst the thorns!

Beware if booking an ‘ocean view’ room – the website pictures of these rooms gives the impression that you get a balcony (as the picture in the one bedroom suite clearly shows a balcony). You don’t. Yes, some of the rooms do (if you’re in the new building) but the hotel is spread out over four buildings and the others don’t have balconies (though you can look at the ocean from the window!) I specifically booked the ocean suite because of the balcony. I didn’t realise that I wouldn’t have a balcony (why would I? the website clearly shows them in the ocean view suites booking screen). I didn’t get one and as the hotel was fully booked we couldn’t move rooms either. Very disappointed. The duty manager quite frankly couldn’t care less.

The roof top pool was fabulous.

Noise! – If you don’t like the sound of music banging out 18-21 hours a day don’t stay here. The music didn’t bother us but may be bothersome to some people. That said, if you want peace and quiet, South Beach probably isn’t the place for you.

I would definitely go back to South Beach, though I won’t be staying at The Congress Hotel – the staff and service is just too bad.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank BigOwl2820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (183)
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Washington DC
Level Contributor
247 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2014

Stayed here for 5 nights and it was fine. We had a room on the 4th floor facing Ocean Drive- it had a nice view of Ocean Drive and somewhat obstructed (by trees) views of the ocean. We definitely felt the energy of South Beach from our room- the music from the restaurants and clubs/bars downstairs and from watching the people as they walk about on Ocean Drive. The noise and music end earlier during weekdays and much later (2-3AM) on the weekends, can still faintly hear and feel the music even with the doors closed. We expected this and were fine with it, but can imagine others being bothered by the music/noise.

The room was fine. It's starting to show its age from scratches on walls and furniture. We had a mini kitchen but no table and chairs to eat whatever we cooked from it. There was a desk, but once again, no chair to sit on to use the desk. There were no drawers to put folded clothes on, there were two closets. No beach chairs in the unit neither. We did enjoy the balcony in the unit.

Service and friendliness from the front desk was minimal. The best people we encountered from the hotel were the porters. The bartender (Sindy?) from the rooftop pool was nice and friendly as well. The rooftop pool had an awesome view btw. The maids, even though nice, did not care if you have a "do not disturb" sign on your door, they will knock on your door anyway, they did this everyday.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WashingtonJonDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014

The hotel is small, dirty, and noisy. They consider themselves to be a "resort" but they offer nothing a "resort" would. There are bugs in the room, and they will try to charge you for items in the mini bar that were not touched or did not exist. They also charge a "resort fee" of $20.00 a night, for what?! I booked this trip through a travel agent, all fees should have been paid upfront.

After disputing the insane mini-bar bill we left, even knowing that our flight was cancelled. We decided to stay at another hotel. And just as recent as today, they manually charged my credit card for the same fees I paid when I left (resort & mini bar). Now I have to waste time disputing the charges. Very dirty, very shady.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Del_Sol_1118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Miami Beach hotels

Saint Augustine, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

The room is nicely decorated, and has what you need. The only thing is you hear everything in the room next door, in the hallway, at night it was really bad. I called the front desk, but little changed.

Room Tip: Very noisy hall ways, and no sound barriers to other rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Roger S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danville, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

My husband and me stayed here for a few nights in January. I paid over $300/ night for an "ocean front" room. You can't tell by the description, but this hotel is spread over 3 buildings. We arrived early and were taken to the oldest of the 3 buildings to a room that was facing the ocean, but with small high windows- so you could only see the ocean if you stood up! I went back to the front desk and told them that the photo that represents this room that I booked, had a balcony, big doors that opened out, and lovely large windows looking at the ocean and no where did it state that this is not the room you get! She started to give me the "this is first come first serve, you are getting ocean front, and other guests have booked similar rooms, etc" . I stopped her right there and told her that she needs to give me the room I paid for, since I have arrived before the other guests that have this similar room reserved, and that makes me "first served"....she fumbled around her keyboard and finally said that she found us a room that we would love and she really had to move stuff around! Went off to another building, better room, door opened, balcony, big windows. This was definitely not what they represented in their site- the room I paid for and saw on the site was in the main building, the one with the roof top pool- I didn't want to mess with it anymore so we took the room. I paid extra to get a balcony and sit and enjoy my ocean view- this room had a very narrow balcony with a high wall that was solid. In other words, you can sit in one of the plastic chairs on the balcony, no extra leg room in front of you and would then stare at a wall- since you could only see the ocean, or anything else for that matter, if you stood on the balcony - No sitting and relaxing!!! In addition, the room was not very clean- see pics. I never felt comfortable in the room, as I felt that they do a little "touch up" after every guest and thus there is an accumulation of many peoples gross debris......Last time, we stayed at the Cardozo- awesome...should not have felt a need to try something new!!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nooshilicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2014

Stayed at congress hotel for 7 nights in Feb 14. Overall, we had an enjoyable and comfortable stay and I would recommend this place to anyone that wants to be at the heart of the action in Ocean Drive and doesn't mind all the noise.

Good points
- Great location opposite the beach (including kitchen appliances)
- Spacious and clean rooms with good facilities
- Roof-top pool with an amazing view
- Free happy hour drinks between 5-6
- Great DJ on the roof-top (DJ Skillz)
- Some staff were friendly and would go out of their way to help (mainly Henry). The reception was responsive to most requests during our stay

Bad Points
- Room facing Ocean Drive was very noisy (although we were prepared for this)
- Some staff were not particularly friendly or welcoming
- I contacted the hotel twice in the months leading to my stay to get their help in arranging a small surprise for my wife's birthday. On the second occasion they responded and said they would send me some information but I got nothing
- Resort fee of $12 per person per night (excluding tax)

One last point, as soon as you step out of the hotel you will be bombarded by waiters from La Baguette and Papayago restaurant trying to entice you in with their 'Happy Hour' deals. Do not go in these places. They will rip you off. I read the reviews on tripadvisor and stayed well away.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Min3010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Congress Hotel South Beach

Property: Congress Hotel South Beach
Address: 1052 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Formerly The Strand)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#88 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Congress Hotel South Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live the South Beach lifestyle at our hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Located in the heart of Miami's Art Deco Historic District on Ocean Drive, we offer spacious, stylish suites with all the amenities of home. With stellar views of the ocean and the bustling action of Ocean Drive, our beachfront hotel is exactly what you need for your stay in Miami. Because we are located right on the beach, fun in the sun is literally at your doorstep. Stake out your spot in the sand and enjoy the signature Florida sunshine. With the average temperatures in the 70s and 80s, you can enjoy the beach and the sun almost all year-round. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Strand Ocean Drive Hotel
Strand Ocean Drive Miami Beach
Congress Hotel South Beach Miami Beach, Florida

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