Arrival/Check-in: Located in an office tower in the heart of the downtown district, the Conrad Miami is perfectly situated for business and for touring. I easily found my way to the hotel and made use of the quick and convenient drive-though valet parking. I took the elevator to the 25th floor for a smooth check-in. The clerk showed me around Level 25, the hotel’s 25th-floor lobby, restaurant and bar, then directed me to the elevators to descend to my 17th-floor room. (29/30)
Guest Quarters: My spacious suite opened into a large hallway leading to the bathroom and the living room/ work area, which was equipped with a desk, a large plasma TV, a sofa and stylish stuffed chair. Electronic curtains opened to a western exposure and the sunset over the city. The separate bedroom had a comfy king-sized bed with a multitude of pillows, another (smaller) TV, Bose audio system, a chaise and two closets. A corner bedroom had a magnificent view west and south through windows that filled the upper half of the wall. A second hallway led to the large bathroom, boasting both a big shower stall and a soaking tub. I liked the in-room coffeemaker and the tea selection, the high-speed wireless (which could be a little faster) and the bathroom amenities (Molton Brown). Missing was a daily newspaper at my door. (27/30)
Services/Amenities: The staff was warmly hospitable and I enjoyed the international flavor they added. The bartender Mikie (from Jamaica) introduced me to the Conradtini, a mix-and-match way to make your own signature drink. The concierge made sure that a package I had been expecting was promptly delivered. A regular guest of the Conrad, from Jersey in the U.K., told me that he returned to the Conrad for the location and the friendly staff. I dined the first night at “The Bar,” enjoying the phenomenal raw bar and shellfish collection, including stone crabs, prawns (this is EuroMiami, and they are not shrimp), oysters and the daily sushi. I also had dinner in Atrio, the Conrad Miami’s signature restaurant hosted by Chef Michael Gilligan. The service was tops. I treated myself to a couple of hours in the Spa Chakra for a series of treatments. (38/40)
The Experience: I included a little business with a little fun time, took a drive down to Key West for a lunch, watched a master cigar-maker hand roll a cigar at Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co., had lunch in South Beach at Rendezvous on the Beach and stumbled upon the Coral Gables Art Festival, an unexpected treat. Art vendors, live performers and a sophisticated crowd enjoyed the pedestrian- only streets. The hotel’s location made all this possible in just a couple days.
Total Score: (94/100)
Espiroto Santo Plaza
1395 Brickell Ave.
Miami, FL 33131
tel 305 503 6500
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I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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