South Beach, Florida
Sleek, modern property with an upbeat pool area
This Miami Beach property offers a luxurious, modern vibe right from the start. However, W South Beach is a starting point for youth fashion that has become a brand’s trademark. While guests can still wait for the signature green apples and colorful pop art prints on the walls, the overall decor has a more sophisticated slant with gray slate, dark wood floors and displays cultural artifacts from around the world. It’s more professional than partying here, with fewer events on-site and more young families with young children. However, the WET pool is the busiest of the areas, with DJs playing loud music throughout the day. Grounds are lovely, with cozy seating areas and daybeds. Built-in 2009, this property lacks the preserved Art-Deco façade of historic hotels to the south,
First seaside setting in the trendy South Beach hotel row
Located at the corner of Collins Avenue, 22nd Street, W South Beach is on the dividing line between South Beach and Mid-Beach. This area is home to several luxury hotels with chef-helmed restaurants and is steps away from Ocean Drive’s famous collection of Art-Deco buildings. Although the hotel is located on the waterfront, guests must cross a paved section of the Miami Beach boardwalk to reach the beach. The Miami Beach Convention Center and the Fillmore Theater are a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute drive, while popular spots in the city, such as downtown Miami and Wynwood, can be reached 20 minutes by car. Miami International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the hotel, depending on traffic.
Larger-than-average rooms with luxurious features and visible wear and tear
The Splendid Studio Suite of the lowest category is spacious, has more than 560 square feet, and has furnished terraces, while the suites of the highest category are located at almost 3,000 square feet. All have luxurious decor in a predominantly black-and-white palette, with elegant furnishings such as patterned carpets, surf-themed artwork, and silver accents. Unfortunately, they are showing a bit of wear and tear. The Spectacular Studio Suites are located from the 9th to the 19th floor and feature sea views, comfortable king-size beds, and microwave bars. Travelers who want a bathtub will need to upgrade to a Studio Fabulous Suite with a sea view and balcony, as other rooms have showers.
Suites add kitchenettes with microwaves, glass-top stoves, and mini-fridges, though not all have a simple suite-style layout. For example, the two-level Mega Suite has a junior suite layout on the first floor, plus a spiral staircase that leads to a private deck with a sofa, plunge pool, and electric grill with a dining table. The luxury suites include:
- Spa discounts.
- Upgraded Aesop bath products.
- VIP concierge privileges.
- Meal discounts.
- Free parking use within an 8 km radius.
Relaxed beach area with water sports, beach chairs, and a food truck
Guests can expect soft white sand and a relaxing atmosphere on the beach behind W South Beach. Since this hotel is located further north, there is a slightly more calm and natural feel on the beach than the atmosphere on the sands to the south of the hotel. Two padded beach chairs are included in the room rate, but umbrellas, huts, beach toys, and water sports outside the paddleboard will cost extra. The beach area is served, and there is a small food truck for quick meals.
Main pool with cabanas for rent and a bar, plus a semi-private pool for adults only
W South Beach has a large pool surrounded by landscaping that promotes the privacy of the boardwalk and blocks the view of the beach. Several black and white striped wooden loungers (some with visible wear on the cushions) dispute on a first-come, first-served basis, although these go quickly in high season. Guests can rent the cabin-style huts with sofas, chairs, minibar, and TV, depending on the type. Guests can pick up apples and towels from a small hut, and pool attendants pass cold towels. There is also a tiny semi-private pool area surrounded by hedges open to guests 21 and above.
Pool service comes from the WET Bar and Grille, a casual place with frozen drinks, a cigar menu, various cocktails, and a decent menu focused on seafood and the expected pool grub. You can also eat on the deck or in the covered bar area. The WET pool usually has loud music during the day, often directed by a DJ, disturbing some visitors in search of peace.
Chef of casual restaurants and cocktail bars, plus a 24-hour gym and small spa
W South Beach has a quality selection of food and drinks options on-site, including an informal American seafood restaurant by Andrew Carmellini that is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a fine Chinese restaurant. In addition to the Lobby Lounge Bar, there is an outdoor hut made from recycled hurricane remnants that serve health-focused cocktails.
The hotel also has a Bliss spa on the fourth floor with a steam room and sauna open for guests with treatments. However, all guests can access the fitness area 24 hours. Renovated in 2017, it has Technogym equipment, plenty of natural light, techno music, and fitness classes. Free Wi-Fi throughout the property is convenient, and luxury sports cars are available for rent.
Other features include a luxury boutique, regulation basketball, and rooftop tennis court, and space for events outside the pools. This hotel has a resort fee, including free pool loungers, two beach chairs (but not an umbrella), a welcome drink, exercise classes, and an art tour around the hotel. Valet parking costs extra and is the only option. Pets are accepted for a fixed fee, and the hotel offers special dog kits.