I’m just winding down from a great trip to South Beach with my mom and both kids (traveling with the two of them was so easy a few weeks ago, that I wasted no time in deciding to do it again). Miami has always been my “sweet-spot” getaway of choice thanks to Avios, and I love that it’s a destination thats not too far away for trips on a whim.
I’ve been eying the construction site which now is home to the new Hyatt Centric South Beach (the first property of the new brand) for quite some time now, and as soon as the opening date of June 1, 2015 was announced, I quickly and ecstatically booked a room. Any excuse to come back to South Beach is good in my book!
I booked my stay on opening night using Hyatt GoldPassport points. My points redemption conveniently fell into a great Hyatt promo – the 20% rebate on points redemptions through July 31, 2015 for holders of their co-branded credit card.
From a points perspective, The Hyatt Centric South Beach prices out at a steep 25,000 points per night (which might not be *so* bad considering that rooms in South Beach can be pricey during busy times). Still, it feels refreshing knowing that I will get 5,000 of my points back after all is said and done.
Prior to my arrival, I reached out to the property to ensure the hotel planned on opening on time. I was told yes, that they would open as scheduled, but that it would be a “soft opening” with only a limited inventory available. I was concerned that the resort amenities wouldn’t entirely be available (the pool, restaurant, etc.), but I was assured that everything would be up and running (and it was!)
The day before check-in, I received a personalized phone call from a manager to confirm my reservation and to ask if I had any requests for my stay. I thought that was a nice touch, and it was a great way to make me feel welcomed.
The hotel is located in the heart of South Beach, right the intersection of 16th street and Collins Ave. There is a MIA Airport Flyer bus stop near by (bus #150), which is my preferred transportation method between MIA and South Beach. For $2.35 each way, you can’t go wrong.
The entrance to the hotel is on 16th street, and the lobby, bar, and pool area are all located on the 3rd floor. At time of check in, I was told that a $20 resort fee applies, but it is waived for award bookings. You already know my feelings about resort fees in general, so I am glad I was not hit with a surprise.
The only resort amenity that was not available at the time of my stay was the fitness center, and it was quite ok because they made up for it in the best way possible. I was given a day pass to the exhale day spa, which is located directly across the street at the Loews hotel.
My time at exhale was FABULOUS. Not only do they have a fantastic fitness center, you can also take a variety of yoga and barre fitness classes, access the steam rooms, jacuzzis, and spa area, etc. I took a power yoga class and it was absolutely fantastic.
At the time of my visit, only 2 floors were available for guests. I was given room 1007, on the top floor, with an ocean view. Though small, the room was very modern in design. I could see elements from several of the Hyatt brands within the decor, which was a nice way to preserve the iconic nature of the Hyatt brand. Specifically, if Andaz, Park Hyatt, and Hyatt Place had a baby, it would be called Hyatt Centric.
My room was a bit on the smaller size, but it served its purpose well. I liked the idea of being the first person to ever sleep in that bed, and the floor-to-ceiling windows gave nice natural light and a great view.
A memorable touch from the hotel was seeing that they provided us with some travel-sized baby products in the crib.
From a family travel perspective, I hated the bathroom, only because there is no privacy. As you can see from the picture below, the bathroom overlooks the entire room without a barrier. This design might work well for a romantic couple or solo traveler, but when you’re traveling with your mother and children, this just makes things complicated and uncomfortable. In the past, I’ve written about these “exposed” bathroom designs, and how I’m not a fan. I ended up taking my shower at the spa across the street, and my mom waited until I was out with the kids for her shower.Other than that, the bathroom really is sexy. The shower is pretty large and features a rain shower as well as detachable shower head. The amenities are from Jonathan Adler. Speaking of amenities, I appreciated that the room was also stocked with a makeup-remover facial wipe and nail-polish remover wipe. Those always come in handy for the female traveler.While at the hotel, we had lunch twice at the on-site restaurant. The prices were what I’d expect for a South Beach resort, and the food was good. The restaurant prides itself for using organic, local ingredients. I also had a chance to try two of the cocktails – the cococabana cobbler and the real dill. Both were excellent (and that’s coming from a drink snob).
With the Hyatt Centric South Beach being a brand new property, I naturally prepared myself to forgivingly experience at least some kinks during my stay, but I honestly cannot say I have! I felt that everyone was extremely professional and well-prepared.
When I come to South Beach, my usual “home away from home” has always been the Surfcomber (Kimpton), and sometimes the Z Ocean (IHG), but I am glad I found a gem nested between both of them. It’s always good to diversify, and I look forward to returning soon!