It’s not often I recommend a hotel without ever staying there, but I just had a unique experience. As someone who travels a lot and writes about it, I’m quick to notice flaws and problems. But I’m also someone who notices (and deeply appreciates) good service.
After a wonderful cruise in mid-May, I had a day to kill in Miami before my return flight to Los Angeles. As a frequent cruiser, I have a routine now. I take the 150 bus directly from the airport to South Beach, which costs me $2.25. I usually store my bags at the airport, as MIA has a paid baggage storage area that is conveniently steps from that South Beach bus.
This time, we went directly from the cruise port via taxi to South Beach and then needed somewhere to store our luggage and get changed into our beach gear. After walking down Ocean Drive along the beach in the hot sun with our luggage, we were disappointed to find none of the hotels would store our bags, as we were not guests of the hotel.
After trying at least five of the beachfront hotels, it was then that we ran into Julio, who worked for the Beacon Hotel. He saw us with our luggage and asked if he could help us. We told him we wanted to store our stuff before our flight, but had no luck finding a place. He took our bags and asked us to follow him. He took us into the stylish lobby of the Beacon Hotel and told us they would happily store our stuff in their locked luggage room for free.
He gave us a ticket for the bags and directed us to the lobby restroom, where he said we could change. He then returned with two beach towels for us to use on the beach. All for free. Of course, we did give him a generous tip, but I got the idea he really enjoyed assisting us, regardless of the tip.
Service is about the details, and I find if a hotel can get those small details on point, the overall operation is usually just as good. With the service and treatment we got from this one bell staff employee, I would stay here and recommend it to my friends.
I did tour the Beacon’s rooms — they’re very cool and contemporary, typical for the upscale area and filled with amenities. The location is perfect, right in the center of South Beach facing the ocean. Rates range from $150 to $300 per night, depending on the type of room and whether it’s for the weekend or mid-week. Rooms range from suites to non-ocean view rooms.
720 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Freddy Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog travel4people.com. You can follow him on Twitter @thefredsherman.
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