You are headed to South Beach. You want to be beachfront. You want to be in the heart of the action. You are looking for something moderately priced but not run down. The DoubleTree Surfcomber may be for you.
The DoubleTree Surfcomber is beachfront, located on Collins Avenue just north of 17th St. It’s also just a 5 minute walk from Lincoln Road – the main pedestrian (and admittedly tourist-centric) street lined with shopping and restaurants like SushiSamba, countless Italian restaurants and at least three Starbucks locations.
It’s a short walk to nearby hotels like the W South Beach (profiled here in 2010), the Delano, Shore Club, and the Setai (for restaurants and nightlife). Or, you can take a leisurely 20 minute walk down Ocean Drive or the beach to the upscale SoFi (South of Fifth) area. The location is a winner.
The staff, uniformly, was excellent – a term I don’t easily or often use to describe service! Everyone I encountered here was friendly, attentive, and helpful. Special requests were no problem. And I’m talking about everyone from the front desk to the guy handing out towels… friendly and helpful.
So we like the location and we love the staff. But what about the rooms? The amenities? This is where the proverbial one star gets knocked off. In exchange for everything mentioned – the location, service, and price – you will likely be in a very “normal” room. This is not a modern boutique hotel… The bed is very comfortable and it appears the beds and TVs are pretty new. But they are small, many with no view at all and almost none with a beach view. The bathrooms are easily the biggest shortcoming as they are small, dated, and lacking in upscale amenities (providing just standard soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion). The building is Art Deco in style and only 4 floors – in two nearly side by side buildings.
Outside the room, and past the nicely done lobby, we find the breakfast area serving up the almost ubiquitous hotel breakfast – scrambled eggs, bacon, french toast, waffles, cereal, fruits, bagels and toast. We did like the al fresco dining there each morning. It’s right next to the pool which shows its age. Just one row of fairly flimsy chairs on each side of a fairly small pool. Luckily you can just head straight to the beach where you can rent lounge chairs for $10 (as of this writing) and order food and drinks.
OK, so I wasn’t blown away by the room or the pool or the breakfast. But none of that really matters much when you are in the heart of SoBe – steps from the ocean and restaurants galore.
But given the price differential between it and, for example the W South Beach, along with the wonderful staff and the location, I’d happily return.
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