The husband and I just spent a week in Miami Beach!!! He went for work training and I tagged along. The training didn't get approved until 1 week before, so we booked everything in a rush and, I have to say, I kind of loved it. I didn't have time to over-analyze everything, over-plan, or over-book. I just did a quick check on what seemed like the best restaurants, booked those, and that was it! No time to stress about anything. It also worked out that it was just after all the Spring Break madness, so it wasn't too crowded and reservations were easy to get.
We stayed at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach (which is also where Jasper's training was). It is huge, and gorgeous, and reminded us of Las Vegas (which is apparently what they are going for, so good job). On one side of the hotel is the pool complex and the beach.
The other side of the hotel is the, also beautiful, marina. There are four towers of rooms, and we stayed in the tallest one - the Tresor. This was actually a complementary upgrade given to us at check-in, because it was our first time in Miami. Check-in was super fast and easy and the employee who we dealt with was incredibly friendly and helpful. Major points to service, there.
Here's a map of the property. Yeah, it's ginormous. The Tresor tower comes with it's own isolated pool and hot tub, which was pretty nice.
This was the view from our room at night.
We could see both the beach side...
...and the marina side.
This is what our junior suite looked like - king bed; kitchenette with mini-fridge/freezer, stovetop, and microwave; mac desktop; sitting area; balcony; bathroom with separate shower and Jacuzzi tub. Spacious, cute, great view. I liked having the desktop and the kitchenette.
Here's what I didn't like: as soon as we walked in it felt muggy and humid in the room. I set the A/C as low as it would go, and it still struggled to keep cool the whole week. This was particularly annoying as the check-in employee had told us while upgrading our room that this tower had better A/C than the one we were originally booked in. The overhead light was also burnt out, and though I called down to request a new bulb (and the maids must have noticed it, as well), it was never fixed in the week that we were there. I also thought that while parts of the room looked great, others were outdated and rundown - the bathroom, in particular. The shower was tiny (which was strange because they had the space to make it much bigger), and the Jacuzzi looked old and outdated. The bed was uncomfortable and the pillows flattened instantly; also the ice maker in the freezer was insanely loud. Lastly, our room was set up with an outer door that led to a small space with the doors to 2 rooms, ours and one other. All of these doors slammed super loudly, and there was no way to close them quietly. Employees and guests were constantly coming and going, and the slamming doors drove me nuts.
Sadly, our room was our least favorite part of the resort.
The rest of the property was gorgeous, though, and well maintained. I was not aware how pretty the water is in Miami - sparkling blue and green. Lounge chairs and umbrellas at the pool are included in the resort fee, but only chairs at the beach. You have to pay extra for a beach umbrella. I thought that was a little annoying. They also had daybeds with big shade covers at the beach, which I ended up using on a couple days because they were offering them for 1/2 off. These were on cloudy weekdays when it was a bit slower at the beach. So definitely ask for special pricing if it looks slow. There is food and drink service on the beach and at the pool, as well. It could take a while for the server to get to you, and for you to get your order, but the quality was good and the servers were friendly.
The Lapis Spa is also gorgeous (and huge). The ladies' locker room had lockers, bathrooms, showers, private changing areas, hair stations, a waiting room, and a quiet room for sleeping. It also had a huge water treatment area with a whirlpool, sauna, eucalyptus steam room, rain showers, and (my favorite part) a huge rain tunnel that had different temperatures and pressures of showers that you walked through slowly. There is also a co-ed area (pictured) with a heated mineral pool and a rain room (similar to the rain tunnel, but with benches so you can lie down and let the water massage you). There is citrus water, iced towels, and cucumber slices throughout; as well as pretzels, oranges, and tea in the waiting rooms. All-day access is complementary with spa treatments, or you can pay for a day-pass.
The treatments were excellent. Jasper had a massage, I had a scrub (with vichy shower - my favorite!) and a facial. I got a slight sunburn on my face the day before (literally the only burn I got the whole time, dangit!) and the facialist did a great job with a cooling and hydrating treatment. My face felt much better afterwards and the burn healed faster than normal! I also got a pedicure on a separate occasion and it was lovely.
There were a ton of restaurants at the resort, but those will be the subject of the next post. Until then, my iguana friend here wants you to relax and enjoy the sun!