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“Good but Be Careful With Your Credit Card!”

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Suites at Congress Ocean Drive
Ranked #154 of 212 Hotels in Miami Beach
Reviewed 5 August 2008

The hotel is ok. Staff is nice and the room was cool. The sofa was a bit dirty but the bed was comfy, the bath clean... Depending on your room number it could be so noisy! be careful with that if you are not into party party party!!!

BUT...
when we arrive we were asked for a credit card and they made a photocopy. I know it's normal and they have to do it just in case I broke sth, etc. But the problem was that 20 days after i had left the hotel THAT credit card (i only used it to pay the bill there) was charged with different charges from several USA shops: walmart, wallgreens, shell... SOMEONE took my credit card number and started to shop! This fact has been reported to the Police and Visa so I can get my money back. I've called and written to the hotel's director with no answer from him. Just that, be careful.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank elbalsamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,020 - 1,024 of 1,383 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2008

The hotel and stay itself were great, but ... be very careful with your financial information with this hotel. My wife and I stayed nearly a week here on our honeymoon. Prior to our arrival, my best man (who lives in California, called to have a "romantic package" left for us when we got there. The hotel had him fax over a copy of his credit card, etc., and only three hours later there were flights out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, being charged to his credit card. So, he canceled his card when he learned of this (the weekend before our arrival). This meant that the rose petals, etc., were not in our room when we arrived, but did show up a day later when he called about it. That would be fine except, because his credit card was no longer active, the hotel billed me without proper authorization. While not a cool move at all on their part, I would have been happy had they resolved this in a swift manner. Instead it took nearly a week after learning of the billing -- not to mention a nasty email threating to involve my bank to dispute the charge -- to get the money credited back to me. So, stating the obvious, don't fax financial information and watch any charges to your account.

The only other issue we had dealt with receiving a package. A friend sent by FedEx a gift card to a local restaurant. It arrived express overnight on Tuesday, but the hotel didn't alert us until Wednesday -- not until the purchaser called to confirm its arrival.

Otherwise, we had a lovely stay. The location is wonderful. The front desk staff was helpful and friendly. Sure, there's some noise ... but you're on Ocean Drive in South Beach. And the noise ends relatively early (by party standards, at least). And the cleaning job wasn't the best, sure, however, they did do more than just pull the covers up on the bed. While the place was clean, smelled just fine, it wasn't super spotless or anything -- it's been lived in, after all. It is weird how they do take the hand towels and wash cloths without replacing them one-for-one. That, I'll admit, was strange, though I'm sure you could call the front desk and ask for more if you really needed. The best part though for us was the view. We had an amazing place right over the cuban shirt shop, overlooking the ocean and Ocean Drive. An amazing one-bedroom suite that you should shoot for when staying in South Beach.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jdrun1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2008

I am currently 2 nights into my 4 night stay at the Strand on Ocean Drive and this was definitely not what I expected. After reading various great, stellar reviews of this hotel, I was very excited about staying here. I brought my girlfriend here for her birthday and I just knew I'd be in the lap of luxury...NOT! Well let me first say, I am used to staying in 4-5 star hotels. Hotel stays are usually the core of my vacation stays, so I I have no problem paying for a wonderful environment. When you first pull up the the strand, you will pass it. The Hotel Lobby is found between 2 major restaurants, so you have to walk through an "alley-like" walkway to get to the door. This hotel does not have a store front or traditional lobby. It is a small room with 2 front desks and an elevator. So I get to my room. I almost walk out. I was expecting luxury. NOPE. I booked the Jr. Ocean front suite through Expedia.com. I expected to look out of my window and see the ocean. When I look out the window, I see the side of another hotel. The Bell hop tells me to go out on the balcony and look to my right. OK if I look out in the distance, maybe I can see the ocean, FAR IN THE DISTANCE. Don't get me wrong, the location on Ocean Drive is great...but don't be fooled by the Hotel pics for the Ocean view rooms. So onto the cleanliness. A previous review spoke about the cleanliness of the rooms. If you are a ultra clean person or are afraid of germs, DO NOT STAY HERE. The maids do not clean. There were major stains in our carpet. The sofa in the room had major dirt stains (and it was broken). There was dust everywhere. The first day the maid came, all she did was pull up the sheets on the bed and bring 2 towels...no new hand towels or wash cloths (and yes she took our old ones). No vacuum...no windex...no cleaning. So beware of that. I called the front desk to complain that my room was filthy and that I wanted to switch rooms. They said that they were fully booked and that they had already given me a free upgrade to the jr. ocean view...HELLO THAT IS WHAT I SPECIFICALLY PAID FOR UPFRONT THROUGH EXPEDIA. There were no apologies or an offer for my problems. No nothing. I have been here for 3 days and I have had to call the front desk 5 times. You would think that there would be a red flag somewhere on my account and a manager would come talk to me and apologize at least. There is no such thing as great customer service here. The valet parking is $35 a day (just a warning). I could go on forever but I will cut this short. The only thing I love is the tub and shower in the bathroom. That is the one thing that has me sold. Besides that, i can't over look the SMELLS, THE LOW IKEA STYLE BED ON THE FLOOR (which by the way is horrible if you have a bad back- there is no box spring and the mattress is very soft. I felt like i was at a slumber party), THE DIRTY CARPET, SOFA, AND PLASTIC DECK CHAIRS...All in all, if you are a PERSON WHO LOVES hotels like me, don't stay here. I will definitely pick another hotel on my next visit to Miami.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mzdeluxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2008

First. Let me address the Noise Issue you've been hearing so much about:

There was noise. there are clubs all around...
But it was never too noisy to sleep or watch TV or read. It's not like you're 30 stories up in the air in the middle of nowhere... YOU'RE SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE of South Beach! It's a non-stop party.

I slept a LOT and I read an entire book in my room
(in between my 30 second walk down to the beach...or eating at one of the surrounding FANTASTIC cafes)

My wife and I agree that the bed was one of the most comfortable we've ever slept in... there could have been a club dance party in our room and we still would have slept like babies on that bed!!!!

The staff was fantastic... they were immediately available to help if we needed anything. and they always helped with a smile and a ton of patience.

Also, they supply Beach Chairs, Beach Umbrellas and Beach Towels for when you want to lay at the beach or go swimming.

When we go back to Miami Beach, we're going to stay there again... i couldn't imagine staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SamForsyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2008

This hotel is lovely. We stayed in an Ocean View Suite in the Tropical building. We did not hear any of the construction work that has been mentioned on here but you should be aware that this is an Ocean Drive property in South Beach party town and the property isn't sound proofed - you will hear music, and partying and shouting until about 4am in the morning. If this bothers you, you prob should book somewhere further north up Miami Beach where it is a little quieter.

The only problem I have with the hotel is I think there needs to be a bit more cleaning in the room. I did agree with some of the other reviews on here that it felt as though the bins were emptied and the bed sheets pulled up and that was about it!

The rooms themselves are lovely though, the location is excellent and the staff are very helpful. Just be prepared to get in the party spirit of Miami!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Loola30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Suites at Congress Ocean Drive

Address: 1052 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139-5014 (Formerly Congress Hotel South Beach/The Strand)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#71 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
#103 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range: RM648 - RM1,790 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Suites at Congress Ocean Drive 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live the South Beach lifestyle at our hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Located in the heart of Miami's Art Deco Historic District on Ocean Drive, we offer spacious, stylish suites with all the amenities of home. With stellar views of the ocean and the bustling action of Ocean Drive, our beachfront hotel is exactly what you need for your stay in Miami. Because we are located right on the beach, fun in the sun is literally at your doorstep. Stake out your spot in the sand and enjoy the signature Florida sunshine. With the average temperatures in the 70s and 80s, you can enjoy the beach and the sun almost all year-round. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Strand Ocean Drive Hotel
Strand Ocean Drive Miami Beach

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