Make The InterContinental Miami Your Pre-Cruise Hotel
Hotels abound in Miami, and we recently had a very pleasant stay at the InterContinental Miami, before we boarded a cruise to the Caribbean. We can certainly recommend it to our readers, especially those who are going to embark on a “Bon Voyage” out of the port, which is just five minutes away. This AAA Four-Diamond property is ideally situated between the Brickell Financial District and the Port of Miami, and steps away from the bustling Bayside Marketplace, and American Airlines Arena. The 34-story hotel features 653 luxury guest rooms including 72 Club rooms, and two Presidential suites designed by Venus Williams’ interior-design company.
Here is what we experienced. We stayed in Suite 3101, a large area with a Living/Dining Room, two marble bathrooms, and one bedroom featuring a desk and office area. The Living Room included a huge 65-inch TV screen, couch, and minibar area featuring candy and electrical adapters for your computer. Amenities are from Elemis, which is actually one of the major brands to have a presence in spas on cruise ships. There are also fluffy robes for two, to complement the plush bedding. We were quite comfortable.
We are IHG members, and so, we were given admission to the Club Floor. The Club Floor, up on the 29th, features an Executive Lounge where food presentations occur all day long. Breakfast is served from 7-11AM, and this obviates your going to the restaurant or ordering room service in the AM. It comes in really handy. Here you will find a Lavazza coffee machine, fresh oatmeal, scrambled eggs and bacon, a wide assortment of pastries and breads, and a refrigerator filled with yogurt, for all of your morning meal needs. It is very convenient, and is basically a “home” within a hotel. A Club Floor such as this costs about $30 more than the price of the average hotel room, and for a lot of people, it is really worth it. The average room costs $239 per night, while the Club suite is priced at $269, of course, depending on the season.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about Club Floors, in general – nothing specific to this one at the InterContinental, which, for the most part, was excellent. But I’m a fussy eater, and when we went upstairs for the 5-7PM dinner hors d’oeuvres, all three entrees were fried foods, and it was nothing I would have ever eaten. What would I have given for a kale-and-quinoa salad! The buffet cuisine that was not fried included cheese and fruit. The lounge itself is a beautiful area with wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay, and the port of Miami.
At lunchtime, the Club Floor also features simple snacks, cookies, and nuts. And you will always find a wide selection of alcoholic beverages and top-shelf premium brands, which are great for people who prefer cocktails. Drinks include wine, beer and spirits.
The only other glitch that occurred for us during our stay was that management had told us the Club Floor closes at 8PM. On the day of our arrival, at about five minutes to eight, right when we checked in, we had Reception call the Executive Lounge to apprise them that we would be there in about five minutes. Alas, signals got crossed and when we arrived at the Club Floor, it was closed. We were disappointed and starving.
I will say, however, that we instead had a very nice meal in Toro Toro, the Latin-inspired bar/bistro downstairs adjacent to the lobby that is run by acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval. Here you will find all kinds of cocktails, and a wide assortment of appetizers. We were very impressed with the tuna ceviche, the truffle fries, the excellent wild-mushroom flatbread, and the avocado salad. I could eat there any day of the week and feel very satisfied.
The hotel also has a very nice spa. The MySpa, as it’s called, lets you rejuvenate in one of 10 treatment rooms including couples suites and hydrotherapy suites. Several posh pamperings here include the $260, 80-minute Champagne Mud Wrap, a $300 Elemis 80-minute Hydrafacial, and the signature “Raindrop” massage, 80 minutes for $260. We were unable to partake of any of the spa services, and so will have to do so next time. Especially the 80-minute in-room massage, $225! Couples massages are $150-$225 per-person. One of the lovely discoveries I made in the MySpa was the selection of gorgeous Finchberry soaps. All of the delightful, whimsical soaps are handcrafted locally in its Northern Florida studio, which is filled with piping bags, baking racks, ovens and dough mixers, and which looks as much like a bakery as the soaps resemble baked goods. Each individual bar contains natural, food-grade ingredients, a decadent appearance, and a lush, gentle lather. In addition, the soaps are gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and made without any harsh chemical preservatives. The bestseller Sampler Tin, $40, is quite adorable.
Fitness, anyone? The InterContinental has a huge indoor pool, and a large fitness center. Here you will find a wealth of treadmills and stair steppers, free weights, Nautilus equipment, and more, to help you get the job done.
The on-site concierge can assist with all kinds of requests. To note, there’s a daily luxury megayacht experience right there in Chopin Plaza, aboard the SeaFair Miami, one of the 10 largest privately owned yachts in the United States. The $40 Million vessel features 20 shops, a coffee bar, an open-air champagne bar, several restaurants, pus a sky deck cocktail area. You can take a specialty cruise during the day, at sunset, or just enjoy the space dockside. Daily excursions are available Tuesdays through Sundays.
No matter how you set sail, at the InterContinental, you’ll do it in style.
For more about my Wanderlust travels, please Follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham.