Review: Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami

There’s been a lot of hype recently about the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami since it’s the first Hyatt hotel situated directly on Miami Beach (South Beach). The only other Hyatt property in the city itself is on the mainland, in the city center, which I’ve received before.

The Hyatt Centric Miami Beach is in a really good location – one block from Lincoln Ave (the main shopping and eating drag) and 2 blocks from Ocean Drive, which has both beach access and a ton of restaurants and bars lining the waterfront and park. As far as location goes, this hotel does have the best of both worlds – right between Lincoln and Ocean, which is prime territory.

As you arrive to the hotel, you may be surprised how small it is – and that’s by design, since Hyatt Centric properties are meant to look more like boutique hotels than larger Hyatt Regencies, for example.

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Here’s how Hyatt describes the hotel:

Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami will be located in the heart of South Beach on Collins Avenue, and is across the street from Miami’s famed beach. The hotel will blend the city’s Art Deco architecture with modern design, featuring a 10-story glass tower that will offer 105 guest rooms, 700 square feet of meeting space, complimentary wireless Internet throughout the hotel, and a Bluetooth-enabled television system in all guest rooms. Upon arrival, guests will immediately feel a sense of place with an ocean-inspired color palette of blue and gray infused with eclectic elements indicative of Miami. The lobby lounge will include a full-service bar offering hand-crafted signature cocktails and The Corner, which will feature the hotel’s curated book and magazine selection.

Pulling up to the property, you won’t notice a grand entrance. Actually, it’s somewhat hard to miss if you’re looking. You’ll see a bell stand out front, and overnight parking is available for $40 a night. My recommendation is taking the under $3 Miami Beach Flyer bus from the airport, since it will get you within walking distance of the hotel for cheap. The signing on the outside of the hotel says Hyatt, but in reality should be Hyatt Centric. Not sure if they plan on changing the verbiage here.

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The lobby of the hotel is actually on the third floor, so once you walk in, you’ll go straight to the elevators and up to the third floor. I noticed there’s no signage on the ground floor indicating where the lobby is, so if there’s no hotel staff to greet you, you may be at a bit of a loss of where to go, to be honest.

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The lobby has an open feel to it, with large sliding glass doors that can be opened when the temperature is comfortable to let the breeze in. There’s a long bar inside, some couches in a central seating area, and the Deck Sixteen restaurant, which flows both into the lobby and outside on an open deck. Check in is done at the far end of the lobby on two raised wooden desks. From here, I was checked into a City View King, which was the best available room as Diamond.

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My room was on the smaller side, to be honest, so if you’re looking for a basic sized room that’s on the larger side, this isn’t it. There was a small refrigerator and coffee station as you walked in, though this area seemed to be without any entry light, or spotlight for some odd reason.

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Walking in further, the bathroom was to your right, with the sink overlooking partially out onto the room and onto the city skyline, which was kind of cool. Since this area wasn’t able to be blocked off, I would not recommend this room for folks who aren’t related or comfortable with each other, since there’s clear exposure into the bathroom from the bedroom that can’t be avoided.

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The shower was very large for the size of the room, which I appreciated. A sitting area inside was a great place to lay toiletries, though I did note that the water from the shower was only ever “warm” and never “hot.” As much as I turned it up, it never seemed to go past a “warm” temperature.

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The hotel had a desk across from the bed, and a set of cushions along the window for sitting. Interestingly, the television appeared to be hooked to bluetooth but I couldn’t find any instructions to connect my phone. When I played around with it, I finally got my phone to connect by the sound was only intermittent at best. Odd.

To be honest, I felt cramped in this room. While I know Miami beach hotels and space are at a premium, I would have hoped for a better layout in the rooms here and something a bit more substantial when it comes to a standard room. I’ve had larger rooms at the Surfcomber down the road.

The pool on the third deck always seemed to have a few guests inside, and off the way was a set of cabanas. Beach access for the hotel is a cooperation with the Loewe’s hotel across the street. Guests can show their Hyatt key card to the attendant there and be let in, with two chairs and an umbrella, included in the $20/night resort fee, which also includes 2 bottles of water for the stay (not night).

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Breakfast is served in Deck Sixteen, and because of my Diamond membership, I received breakfast free. I also dined here once for dinner and lunch, too, and enjoyed both visits and found the service to be decent. The restaurant runs a tapas menu for dinner, which is not only pricey, but small portions. You’ve been warned.

There’s a few bar stools overlooking the pool and Collins Ave., as well as some tables under umbrellas for shade. For breakfast, I was allowed anything off of the menu, in addition to coffee and juice. I billed these to the room and they were taken off at checkout.

The hotel is still under construction, so you won’t find a fitness center, conference room or other amenities…yet. I’ll have more on my findings on the elite benefits and status of the property in a later post.

I found the service at this property to actually be pretty good in most aspects, though I did have an awkward encounter with one of the maintenance staff as he leisurely pushed along a laundry cart into the elevator, without a care in the world as to there being paying guests onboard. In any event, most of the staff seemed great and attentive, which was nice.

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My Take

With this property being in its opening stages, it’s a tough call on whether I’d recommend staying here now. To be honest, my gut instinct is to wait a few weeks and months.

  • They’re still working out kinks in the reservations system.
  • The top two floors are the only ones that are open.
  • There’s no meeting space or fitness room, except across the street at the other hotel.
  • If you’re a Diamond member, upgrades will be limited (more on that later)
  • The hotel is still under construction, and that’s evident with the folks using the elevators for construction purposes.

I think it’s a great property and has great potential, though I don’t think it’s 100% up to being ready yet – and I’ll have more on that later in the week as I share my talks with the General Manager of the property, too. I’d love to visit this property again when it’s truly ready, reporting back on how it looks fully opened.

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Comments

  1. Kate says

    I hope Hyatt makes clear on their website that this room does not have a separate bathroom! I can’t help but wonder how many guests will check in and be appalled. A shame from my perspective, sounds like a nice property otherwise.

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