Mandarin Oriental, Miami
What We Love
- Uninterrupted city and Biscayne Bay views
- Beach cabanas have flat-screen TVs, butler service and a spot for outdoor massages
- Privacy abounds: This is the only hotel on Brickell Key
What To Know
- Not a ton of kid-friendly activities
- There’s a charge to rent a beach cabana
- Rooms were recently renovated
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Miami vacation?
- Parking On Site
Mandarin Oriental, which has a quiet location on set-away Brickell Key, has all the city’s swanky style, without the attitude. Expect such brand attributes as embroidered silk textiles, splashes of red and saffron, Chinese-style vases and modern tea sets. Double-height glass walls wash sweeping views of Biscayne Bay into the sand-and-sunset-inspired color scheme in the lobby.
Bed and Bath
Rooms feel more modern, with a low-slung burl console lining one wall and swirling abstract paintings the other. Thanks to the Mandarin Oriental’s waterside location, all 326 of the guestrooms and suites have panoramas of the city and Biscayne Bay — and balconies on which to enjoy a sunset drink. Marble bathrooms have deep soaking tubs and walk-in showers with fragrant Shanghai Tang toiletries.
Though it’s off the regular tourist strip, the hotel doesn’t feel isolated, thanks to the popularity of its facilities among locals as well as visitors. Foodies both local and visiting flock to Azul for creative French-based cuisine with Asian influences. The new La Mar by Gaston Acurio restaurant, opening in February 2014, will offer the acclaimed cuisine of celebrity chef Gaston Acurio, while MO Bar + Lounge is the new destination for modern mixology in a swanky waterfront setting. Another big draw is the 15,000-square-foot spa, and so is the Oasis Beach Club, set on a private strip of white sand with daybeds, an infinity pool and an open-air café that serves sushi and light fare.
How to Get There
Stayed here for a cruise line event - noticed passengers from Oceania checking in here. Fabulous views from the rooms. Bathroom is huge, with both a tub and shower. Brickell Key has a walking path around it that’s nice in the morning. Hotel also has excellent pool and private beach. Prices in the restaurants are what you’d expect - high.
Some years ago, I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and I thought it was nice although a bit stilted and conservative. But I was very disappointed with this Mandarin Oriental Hotel. They have obviously redecorated the rooms recently; and there are so many things not to like about the rooms.
1. The bathroom has an 8 foot by 6 foot opening into the bedroom that you can close with with a venetian blind.
2. The furniture is boxy modern wood that looks OK but is totally impractical. (For example, the bed sits on top of a wooden box that I stub my toe on multiple times in the night.)
3. There is one desk chair and an uncomfortable chaise lounge. (Not adequate seating for two people to eat room service breakfast.)
4. The water pressure at the sink is too high and blasts water out into the room.
5. The shower door doesn’t seal properly so the bathroom floor gets wet. Because the bathroom floor is marble it is extremely slippery when wet, another safety hazard.
6. The TV service is intermittent at best.
7. The charging station has inadequate power and does not provide an effective or complete charge.
8. There is no coffee maker in the room.
9. We paid extra for a “bay view”room on a high floor. We got a city view on the third floor. (although our room number was 715, there is no second, third, or fourth floor.)
Now as to the restaurant, we had dinner in the only restaurant in the hotel, La Mar. it was described as an upscale Peruvian restaurant and the reviews on yelp were glowing. We arrived at 6:15 PM and were seated on the terrace. The restaurant and the tables on the terrace were mostly empty at that time. We ordered an appetizer and entrées. The appetizers arrived at 7:30 PM. What we had was mediocre. My appetizer came from the grill and it was burnt so that the overwhelming flavor was that of char. My wife had the stir fried tenderloin entre, which she liked but was probably about equivalent to a stirfry you get a PF Chang but here it cost $50. The dish I had was basically pork fried rice with an omelette slapped on top for $35. Overall, I describe the restaurant as a PF Chang merged with a Denny’s with prices quadrupled. And the service is probably better at either PF chain or Denny’s.
We also had sushi in the bar earlier in the day. The sushi was excellent but at seven dollars for a single nigiri, way over priced.
The room was $524 for one night, sooo not worth it.
P.S. They even charge extra for WiFi usage.
Amex Travel booking. Great upgrade to a suite with city view and large balcony. Service, especially the concierge was excellent. Brickell location, while not too convenient to South Beach during rush hour, it was nice to be away from the craziness. Will absolutely return.
With a great brand like the Mandarin Oriental, one really expects all the details to be near-perfect. Unfortunately, while the Miami M.O. is a lovely hotel, it's not quite up to par. Our first clue was when our room wasn't ready and reception told us they'd call as soon as it was. They never called, so we waited a lot of extra time. We tried having lunch at the poolside bar -- it took us almost an hour to be served. The baggage never arrived in the room -- I had to call down and ask what had happened to it, and then they found it. The art in the room was hilarious: 2 versions of the same abstract painting, but with one turned upside down to look different! And our first afternoon/night in the room, there was a lot of banging and drilling nearby.
But none of this was as great a blow as finding out that the "private beach" they advertised was actually a lot of "private SAND." We didn't know a lot about Miami and thought we were getting a private beach, ie, sand by the ocean, with waves and stuff. We didn't realize it was sand with a wall around it and over the wall, the bay. To me this isn't a beach. Maybe the Floridians use the word differently.
The hotel is on its own little island. We crossed the bridge to the mainland but didn't find much except a lot of other hotels and a mall.
Otherwise, it was perfectly fine. The bar service was good, and housekeeping was very pleasant. Our double room had a nice balcony overlooking the bay, though some of the furniture was a little bashed up. The spa services were also very good and I'd recommend them highly. But don't come here if you're looking for a beach vacation!
Incredible hotel. The right Location. Wonderful open views to the Bay. Located in the calm island called Brikell Key where you can exercise and walk looking at the sea side without noise and traffic at any time of the day, weather permitting. Feel in the center of Miami Downtown, just cross the bridge, 5 min walking to Brickell Center for shopping, cool restaurants and business. Atmosphere? What to say! It is a Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I will repeat