I frequent Miami and South Beach, at least 3, if not 4 times a year, always trying different locations for a change of taste/pace. The last time I visited The Delano was probably 2009/2010 and I recall having a good experience, good enough to return again. It was a very hip boutique hotel at the time and I figured I had nothing to lose. While the building looked the same from the outside, there was much less to be desired after that. I was in complete disbelief from the moment I arrived.
As I waited in the lobby for reception, I could not help but notice the water damage in the ceiling accompanied by the mediocre attempt of covering it up with a Band-Aid consisting of white paint. The ocean front room assigned to me, too, was mediocre at best and riddled with evidence of poor upkeep. I could not help but notice the gobs of silicone over caulk on the windows that opened with difficulty. The in-room refrigerator was inferior to my dorm room refrigerator circa 1990. I am willing to bet it is ready to be thrown away. It cannot possibly be cooling at less than 50 degrees. The air conditioning in the room is also flawed as it will not drop below 72. The mirror on the wall, cracked.
It is always pragmatic to confirm nothing out of the norm is going on during the weekend you plan on visiting as this can adversely impact your experience. While The Delano was rather quiet this particular weekend, The new SLS (1 hotel North) and The National (1 hotel South), were having what appeared to be functions. The National’s DJ was over the top to say the least. The Delano refused to even bring in their DJ to compete Friday. While he came Saturday, he left early. There was no sense in him staying, particularly with his sub-par sound system. We could clearly hear the National’s music over his. If by chance you were there to relax, you certainly were not going to be doing any of that. A couple dozen folks at the pool expressed their desire to go next door as there was clearly more “energy” over there. A new DJ came Sunday. She too, was clearly frustrated as she was not playing with a full deck of cards. Frankly, the sound system was better and louder in the hotel lobby??
When you’re spending an average rate of about $600 / night, there are some expectations that come with that. I myself did what most people do. I booked on the name and reputation the Delano has been “free riding” (I am being kind) for 5 years. If you are an unaware or misinformed traveler, then no harm no foul. However, a quick online search will shock you to discover The National Hotel (1 hotel South) and the new SLS Hotel (1 hotel North), are comparable in location, size, amenities, yet a better value, for what clearly appeared to be a better travel experience. While I cannot confirm how current the interior pictures are of those hotels (as the Delano’s photographer had a fantastic portrayal), they both looked to be the same boutique style hotel, yet clean and newly renovated. While The Fontainebleau is in a class of its own and 25 blocks north, it too, is a newly renovated compound that cannot be compared and for a better value as well. I attempted to cancel the remainder of my stay later that afternoon. I knew I could do better for less in any of the 3 aforementioned options. Sadly, they would not refund me.
The common theme is management, because it cannot be a lack of money with the rates being charged. I do not feel it is too much to ask for a classy hotel like The Delano to have ample towels. There were frequent shortages. I discovered there had been great turn over in linens and part of the reason for the struggling service was due to the fact that towel service folks must run back and forth to do the laundry, taking away from the existing job description. This should not be a guest’s problem. Unfortunately it was this weekend. Once again, these employees simply did the best with what they were given, which was simply not much of anything. While I am certain it was a fluke, I witnessed not 1, but 2 folks who were turning over on their old rotted wood frame lounge chairs only to have one of the legs snap out from underneath them. These incidents occurred not 30 minutes apart from one another. Beet red faces from sun burn or sheer embarrassment? Fluke or par for the course? All I know is that capital reinvestment is not defined as a fresh coat of white paint.
At the end of the day, it is downright shameful to have your guests desiring to check out on day 1, bad mouthing your establishment in the pool, commenting on your inferiority to your competition, much less a guest who had a deplorable enough experience that he/she will not risk ever returning. The aforementioned simply fuels negative and irrefutable press that you must know has already been shared with countless people. I assure you these feelings did not lie solely with me. In my heart, I know The Delano did not set out to harm, but they certainly did not help their cause. Alas it is all too true. A good name is a result of many actions and lost by one…or sadly in this case, a half dozen or so.
Shame on you Delano.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of South Beach and directly on the ocean, Delano is the ultimate world-class urban resort and self-contained destination. Boasting America's first Indoor/Outdoor Lobby, the hotel's public spaces create the feeling of an interwoven "village" with almost no separation between indoors and out. With its soaring and unforgettably beautiful Lobby, legendary white Guestrooms, lushly landscaped Orchard, breathtaking Pool, the renowned Club Essentia wellness center and spa and stunning private beach, Delano epitomizes Simple Chic for a modern world. Delano offers seasonal packages and special offers including spa, breakfast and parking packages. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Delano Hotel Miami Beach
- Delano Resort Miami Beach
- Delano Miami
- Delano South Beach Hotel Miami Beach, Florida