My husband and I had never been to South Beach. We legit obsessed over which place would be the best to stay. Deciding on Winter Haven was actually random. We didn't really research the area too much though so we lucked out.
We arrived a bit early, the front desk was very accommodating. They took our bags and gave us towels. We immediately went across the street and were on Miami Beach. IMO this is the best hotel we could have stayed at because we literally woke up and walked across the street. Also, it's towards the end of Ocean Drive, so you are not situated right in the middle of all the South Beach hustle and bustle. We were also a 10 minute walk from the Lincoln Mall area which was super helpful.
* If you are looking to be right in the middle of the party, this is probably not the best location. If you are looking to relax, walk across the street to the beach and be right on Ocean Drive, I would def recommend this spot. Also, if you stay on Collins Ave. or Washington Ave., you will be longer walk to the beach which is not ideal when its 110 degrees outside.
The room itself was on the smaller side. Nothing crazy fancy. We had a nice clean modern King Size bed with an adjoining bathroom that had a stand up shower only and a flat panel TV. Totally suitable for a 4 day or any length stay as we were not in the room that often. The room came with some beach chairs which was totally awesome since we would have had to buy them otherwise.
We had free breakfast every morning. Nothing crazy, but cereal, coffee/tea, milk, oj, yogurt and a waffle maker. That was a nice little extra to have.
Some helpful tid bits about the area in general:
Try to stay away from eating on the main strip of Ocean Drive. We found the restaurants to be pushy, annoying, over priced and not good. There is no such thing as service with a smile on Ocean Drive. Every night we walked the strip we tried to stay away from the side with all the restaurants because you will literally lose your mind and get super annoyed with the pushy hostesses.
We did not rent a car and were in walking distance of everything. We used a cab to and from the airport and once to a restaurant South of Fifth.
By the 3rd night we were very underwhelmed with the food choices...however we strayed from Ocean Drive onto Washington Ave. and tada! We found some great places. One in particular was Cafe Charlotte. It was a little hole in the wall kind of place with great homemade food and service. So venture off Ocean Drive and Collins Ave. for better quality and cheaper food on Washington Ave.
Reasons for not giving a 5:
When we walked into the main lobby it had a funky smell.
The carpet in the room was bit dirtier than I would like.
The walls are paper thin. We overheard some domestic disputes.
No ice machines. The staff totally got us a bag of ice, but no ice machines? Really?
They started construction renovations on the place a day into our trip. It didn't really make a difference but if we had paid for an ocean view it would have been nice to know that in advance.
No Swimming Pool. :(
All the reasons above are minor and did not make or break our stay. When we visit South Beach again, we will definitely be staying here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Winter Haven, Autograph Collection is a truly unique hotel in Miami Beach, Florida - built from a renovated 1939 Art Deco property located in the heart of South Beach on Ocean Drive. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views from it's rooftop terrace offering sun loungers and full food and beverage services. Savor fresh Italian cuisine on-site at Il Bolognese. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Winterhaven South Beach Hotel Miami Beach
- Winterhaven South Beach Miami
- Winter Haven, Autograph Collection Miami Beach, Florida