Posted by Ric Garrido

Conrad Miami was where I stayed Christmas night 2012. This is one of only four of the Hilton brand Conrad luxury hotels in the USA. The other three hotel locations are Chicago, Indianapolis and the New York Conrad opened in early 2012.

I booked the Conrad Miami stay during the Hilton 50% Thank You sale last month offered for stays in December and landed an incredibly low rate of $109 per night.

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Conrad Miami is in the Espirito Santo Building, a mixed development building with retail office, hotel and residential space. The hotel elevators whisk guests up to the 25th floor lobby where there is the Atrio Restaurant and The Bar at Level 25. Guest floors are located on Floors 16-23 and the Spa is on Floor 24.

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Brickell Avenue Entrance to Conrad Miami.

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The hotel is located across the street from the southern terminus Financial District station of Miami’s free MetroMover. The Metromover has 20 stations (map) to get you in proximity of all major downtown Miami locations.

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Miami Metromover passing unobstructed through a residential downtown Miami building.

The 25th floor of the Conrad Miami outdoor balcony provides a panoramic view of the Miami Harbor and Cruise Port and southern Biscayne Bay.

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Biscayne National Park is 95% covered by water and located south of the keys seen from Conrad Miami. The natural environment protected by the park is primarily the underwater coral reefs in a 50 mile stretch between Key Biscayne seen in the distance here and Key Largo to the south.

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Miami Beach is across Biscayne Bay from Downtown Miami.

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The small balcony off the lobby offers outdoor seating for drinks and bar food.

The guest room elevators from the 25th Floor lobby go down to Floors 16 to 24. At check in I was a little disappointed to get a room on the 16th floor, the bottom floor of the hotel.

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And even more disappointed to find my room faced west with views of residential skyscrapers and freeway.

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The room itself felt good with nice design and most of the amenities I desired, except no ice machine on the hotel floors.

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Natural light of winter’s sunset.

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Desk area with TV and minibar and DVD player.

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Safe and minibar. The minibar was not electronic and there was space to place my items.

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Illy espresso maker. I drank my way through the capsules of coffee pretty quickly. And I found that only one cup of coffee can be made with each capsule. I liked the taste, but it seemed kind of wasteful to have a throwaway plastic capsule for each cup of coffee I drank.

The bathroom had a separate tub and shower stall.

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Marble tiled bathtub at Conrad Miami.

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Shower stall Miami Conrad.

I had a few hours of daylight and walked around to check out the neighborhood on Christmas Day. But first I wanted to see the hotel pool area.

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Pool and tennis courts of Conrad Miami seen from 25th floor lobby balcony.

The Pool Trek at Conrad Miami

My biggest complaint about the hotel is the pool access. I typically find it annoying when guests must walk through the lobby to reach the hotel pool. It is far more annoying than that for pool access at the Conrad Miami.

I took the guest room elevator from my 16th floor room up to the 25th floor lobby. Walk past the bar and around the corner to the lobby elevators.

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Guest Floor elevators hallway decor.

Down to the first floor and walk past the Concierge desk and the bell staff and valet parking attendants in the hotel car port, cross the carport street past the taxi cabs and motorists loading and unloading luggage and guests, enter the adjacent building and take another elevator up to the 8th floor roof top pool. That is three elevator rides and crossing a carport of vehicles to go from my room to the pool.

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Conrad Miami seen from pool elevator deck.

The hotel public spaces were crowded with plenty of kids blocking my ability to get child-free hotel lobby photos. I have no photos of the bar, restaurant and lobby seating. There were two computers in the lobby for internet access with a printer. The lobby was elegantly furnished.

The Conrad Miami website offers a video 360 degree tour of the public spaces.

Public restrooms have Gilchrist & Soames soaps.

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Gilchrist & Soames in Conrad Miami bathrooms.

I have visited far more luxury hotel bathrooms than guest rooms. There is usually a distinctly luxurious feel to the bathrooms. Most have actual cloth hand towels. Conrad Miami had ornamental tree print, thick paper towels.

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Conrad Miami holiday hand towels in lobby restrooms.

May I Please Change Rooms?

The odor of smoke hit me immediately when I walked into the 16th floor guestroom. I snapped some photos and immediately headed out to check out the neighborhood. A few hours later I returned and decided the smoke smell was too strong to sleep in that room for the night.

Back up to the 25th floor and the receptionist informed me that my Hilton HHonors profile listed smoking room. She informed me that the lower floors of the hotel are smoking rooms. She rebooked me in a 20th floor nonsmoking room.

While switching rooms I recalled that I use to switch my room preference to smoking rooms for international travel. I earned and burned over 2 million HHonors points between 1999 and 2005. When I stayed at Hilton brands in Europe and Asia as an HHonors Diamond member I soon learned I was not upgraded to suites at some international hotels when I had nonsmoking room in my profile. For years I switched my profile from nonsmoking room for US travel to smoking rooms for international travel and my suite upgrade percentage increased noticeably. And usually there was little smoke odor associated with rooms at these international hotels.

The Conrad Miami receptionist switched my HHonors profile back to nonsmoking.

The best part is my 20th floor nonsmoking room offered an ocean view.

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View south from Room 2014 Conrad Miami. Skyscraper on right is Four Seasons Miami.

The smoking room had two chairs. In the room space of 2014 there was only one chair and a live plant occupied the space next to the desk.

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One of the best features of the Conrad Miami location is proximity to Mary Brickell Village with restaurants, bars and shops. Even on Christmas Day this location within ten minutes walk of the Conrad was active with locals and tourists. The MetroMover across the street from Conrad Miami also stops across the street from Mary Brickell Village.

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Mary Brickell Village. Here you will find over a dozen restaurants, Fado Irish Pub, PF Chang’s and a Publix Supermarket. There was a supersized sports bar Burger & Beer Joint offering great happy hour specials.

Conrad Miami is a upper-upscale to luxury hotel market segment in Miami’s Financial District located between the JW Marriott and Four Seasons hotels on Brickell Avenue.

The room rate of $109 for December 25 was unbeatable. This was a great location to stay on a major holiday in Miami when so many businesses were closed.

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Conrad Miami Hotel and Residences

 

Related Post:

Hilton Miami Downtown(Dec 26, 2012)

Miami Light, Camera, Refraction(Dec 26, 2012)

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

8 Responses

  1. ” I liked the taste, but it seemed kind of wasteful to have a throwaway plastic capsule for each cup of coffee I drank.”

    Environmental-friendliness aside, that capsule is a billion dollar product marketed by Illy, Starbucks, Keuring, Dunkin Donuts, et al.

    Comment by Truthiness on January 26th, 2013 at 12:04 pm
  2. Conrad in San Juan?

  3. i live cross the street

  4. So no Conrad Rubber ducky’s in the tub at this location? How about any other stuffed toys like the ones found in Conrad Hotels in Asia?

  5. Don’t they give out a toy Manatee?

  6. San Juan should probably be considered the US. The hotel is listed separately from US locations on the Conrad website and I overlooked it.

  7. No toys in the two Conrad Miami rooms I visited. A toy manatee would have been a nice gift to bring home to my wife.

  8. […] is my hotel review of the Conrad Miami (Jan 26, […]

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