Fontainebleau Miami Beach
What We Love
- Faithful nods to the hotel’s history despite a $1 billion overhaul in 2008
- On-property outposts of famed New York and Las Vegas restaurants like Scarpetta and StripSteak
- Celebrity sightings from Bieber to the Kardashians at LIV nightclub
- Treatments at the 40,000-square-foot Lapis spa include access to mineral-infused water therapies like a 35-foot rain tunnel
What To Know
- Located about 1.5 miles from the Lincoln Road Mall and South Beach Art Deco district
- Only two of the hotel’s four lodging towers, Chateau and Versailles, are original to the property
- Basic rooms have views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami; ocean views for an upcharge
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
A fixture on oceanfront Collins Avenue for more than six decades, this South Florida landmark oozes over-the-top glamour reminiscent of the area’s Rat Pack heyday. When it opened in 1954, the hotel’s curving, avant-garde design drew plenty of detractors, but, over time, architect Morris Lapidus’s ultramodern masterpiece became emblematic of Miami Beach itself—a destination for Hollywood A-listers from Elvis Presley to Lucille Ball. A two-and-a-half-year, $1 billion renovation and expansion completed in 2008 restored the historic hotel to its original opulence, The 1,504 rooms—ranging from the standard 300-square-foot bayside king to a lavish five-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot Atlantic-view penthouse—now feature sleek decor in soothing neutrals and ocean tones, while on-property attractions include the sprawling Lapis spa, twelve restaurants and lounges including chef-driven hotspots like Scott Conant’s seasonal Italian Scarpetta and StripSteak by Michael Mina, and LIV nightclub, where a new generation of young celebs mingle with the city’s social elite.
In the Area
Situated at mid-beach, you’re just over a mile north of the pedestrian-only Lincoln Road Mall, a palm-shaded hub of shops and outdoor eateries that buzzes with locals and tourists alike. A few blocks further south is the famed Ocean Drive, the epicenter of Miami’s renowned Art Deco District. The Miami Design Preservation League, which was instrumental in the district’s historic preservation in the late 1970s, hosts daily 90-minute walking tours of the area’s restored hotels, restaurants, and other pastel-hued structures. You won’t lack for dining options in South Beach, be it farm-to-table fare at the James Beard-recognized Yardbird Southern Table & Bar or refined tapas at the Philippe Starck-designed Bazaar by José Andrés in the SLS Hotel.
How to Get There
This has got to be one of the best hotels in Miami period. I stayed here a few years back and loved every second of it. This time I went just to hang out at the bar lobby, and still loved it. This is a must see in Miami!
We stayed near the top of the Sorrento tower which had a small balcony overlooking the property and the ocean. The room was spacious with a king bed, a wet bar (complete with ice maker) and a large bathroom with a shower and soaking tub. The bathroom had sliding doors in front of the tub that opened to the room. The bed was very comfortable and had small closets on either side of it.
The property is very large and has a number of shops and restaurants in it. Reminds me of some of the Las Vegas Hotels on the strip but without the casinos.
There were several pools, cabanas, and plenty of beach chairs and lounge areas near the ocean.
The staff were very helpful, especially the valets and concierge staff. Checkin was a bit lengthy, but we arrived at prime time in the evening and there were several conferences starting the next day.
Overall, would highly recommend this hotel if you can afford to stay there. We had a great time.
The very first encounter we had at check in set the tone for custom service during our entire stay. She was incredibly rude and condescending, WHILE she had someone shadowing her to be trained! So inappropriate. She shooed us off the concierge, who was about as helpful as Google without a WiFi connection. She literally told us, “Sorry. I don’t have any tickets or any special offers for you.”
Although LIV is a part of the hotel, they have no special offers for hotel guests other than a short walk downstairs. The staff at Cote? Awfullllllll... which is a shame, because the food is actually pretty good. Just be ready to be glared at by the hostesses and wait an HOUR and a HALF for a dang hamburger! What especially sucks is anything service related charges you gratuity automatically. If they’re doing this because people weren’t tipping, I KNOW WHY. Your service is terrible. TERRRRRRRIBLE. And the solution was handing them a “gimme” tip? HA. Oh and once you leave, be prepared to fight “additional hotel fees” for weeks with the hotel. Scam.
We spent close to 1200 at the spa and the check in girls had their noses in the air. I came back to ask for a hair tie & one literally rolled her eyes and me, then proceed to help the girls behind me instead. HOWEVER, once we got to the back with the women who actually gave us a tour, they were FABULOUS! Super awesome set of staff back there. Totally redeemed the jerks in the front.
Best thing about our resort? Yanik, our housekeeper. She was the only one who made us feel like our THOUSANDS of dollars spent were appreciated. She should be training your entire hotel on hospitality... might start by explaining to them that that’s the industry they’re in and give them the definition of the word. They don’t know it.
The resort needs a thorough training program and/or gutting of staff. When this happens, it’ll be a fabulous experience. The pools were incredibly fun. The beach was a blast. Food was delicious. Shops were adorable. It’s a shame that the customer service was that bad.
The worst $700 I have ever spent was taking my husband and son here with the expectation that we would receive an out of this world experience, right? wrong. Family oriented? I don't even see how this property can morally accept children.
We originally intended on staying here for five days and four nights. It was our first time in Miami and we wanted it to special. We booked one night with the intention of continuing our stay if our young son could enjoy himself inside of this property that purports itself to be family oriented. Our special trip began with our room not being ready at the designated time. Could we have been offered a discount for the inconvenience? no. how about a glass of house wine? no. a juice box for my son? no. But we did receive a barebones apology both before and after.
Lo and behold we finally get to our room after an hour ordeal just to walk right into the stench of pot that enveloped us as if we were inside of a coffee shop in Amsterdam. The real fun started when we didn't have anywhere to put my son's juices since the fridge was stocked with drinks provided by the hotel. The prices for the items inside were so over the top expensive that I had to do a double and triple take just see if I were reading them right. My husband called downstairs to complain about the hideous pot smell in the room and we were told that someone would be right up. We waited almost 40 minutes before my husband started spraying his cologne all over the place to attempt to rid the room of the smell.
We went off to the pool to only be halted by some man yelling a "hey you" at us so he could confirm that we were staying in the hotel. Very Classy. Once inside we were attended almost immediately, however, that was the first and last time we seen anybody approach us for any type of accommodation. Fast forward 2 hours into it and some extremely rude woman approaches and reprimands us for having brought potato chips and a Snapple lemonade down to the pool for our son. She was so rude that I had to restrain myself from the words I wanted to use toward her while my husband just placated her demands. She told us that we have to "take your son over to the patio for that", and that we had to purchase anything and everything directly from them. My husband relented and eventually purchased two drinks from the bar and was absolutely livid that he was charged over $50 for two of the crappiest drinks we have ever ordered from anyplace we have ever been. The people working here should be wearing ski-masks, and that was strike two.
The final blow comes with more pot smoke wafting around the pool area. Fed up and frustrated, we decided to go back to our room and depart the property for an early dinner. Upon our return, I took my son back up to the room to get changed while my husband stayed in the main lobby. I returned 20 minutes later to discover my husband attempting to discard of two working girls, who despite him having told them that he was married with his family, went on to persist in selling their illegal services. I went up to the front desk and was ready to scream while the man standing there was trying to tell me I had to wait my turn while the hooker-filled lobby was trying to pick up any man with a wallet and a pulse. I received yet another crappy apology and was sent on my way.
Thank GOD that we didn't pay for the following nights ahead of time. This hotel is pure debauchery without a shred of decency or respect for those who have children with them. We have received better accommodations and experiences from 3 star airport hotels than we did from this hotel that purports itself to be one of the finer hotels in Miami beach.
We moved immediately over to the 1 hotel the following day and were literally sighing with relief when we got there. I couldn't help but describe my experience with Fountainbleau with the agent who took care of us upon check-in. Even she couldn't believe that a hotel would demand that a little boy remove himself from the pool for drinking an innocent lemonade just to force his parents into spending some ridiculous amount of money at the bar. 20 minutes after we got into our new room someone from the hotel brought our son complimentary juices and some other miscellaneous items with a handwritten message that we enjoy our family vacation.
We had a wonderful rest of the trip in Miami and met some really great families that we hope to stay in touch with. I would never return to his hotel and have decided to share my experience with other parents so they can avoid the nightmare that our family experienced on our recent vacation.
Had a great time sitting pool side at the fontainebleau. Excellent customer service by all the employees, especially Bryant Escobedo, made sure we had great seats and service! Definitely a place I recommend to all.