This is an original but modern art deco property in South Beach. It's not on Ocean Drive (the beach front street) it's on Collins, so one street back. This makes it a bit quieter but if you want a quiet room, ask for one overlooking Collins, not the service alley.
The room was modern, spacious and clean. It had a large new fit bathroom with shower but no tub. No problem tho.
There is a/c which was fine for March but the windows don't open so can't say whether would be comfortable in summer. Hotel has nice cool, elegant public spaces inside and out, furnished with stylish modern art deco inspired pieces. There's a cocktail bar and a swimming pool. There's no restaurant (sister hotel next door on Ocean provides meals in their restaurant and bars).
The hotel provides complimentary coffee in the lobby in the mornings. Note that there's no coffee in the bedrooms. Note that there's no safe in the rooms either.
Staff were friendly and helpful. This felt like a safe and comfortable place to stay, just yards from Ocean Drive but out of the constant madness that you see on that street. We really enjoyed a dip in the hotel pool which is hidden from the street. It's like an oasis.
We would choose to come back here.
A word of warning about parking. There's a garage next to the hotel. It has recently been updated so it has automatic barriers and pay stations, rather than the pay attendant on exit style.
When we arrived at the hotel we asked where to park. We were told by front desk to use the garage as they were a hotel partner and there is a special discounted 24 hour rate for guests. The receptionist in the hotel also explained that this is where their valet service is based. We asked how the discount works and were told to speak to the garage manager when leaving to get the discount.
Long and short - discount didn't happen and we were charged regular price at the garage. Since they installed the automatic ticket and payment system in the garage these discounts are no longer available. The garage staff said that their people had explained the situation to the staff at the Essex House several times and they just don't get it. Their words to me and my wife were, "we have lots of problems with the Essex".
So here it is guys - as of now, no discount for Essex House guests self parking, but valet seems to be about the same price so maybe a better deal for you?
I spoke to the front desk staff at the Essex House about this when I collected my luggage. They kinda played dumb and said that the manager would call me when he got on duty. I'm still waiting.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
23 March 2012
Thank you for your review of Essex House! We’re happy to hear that you enjoyed our oasis of a pool and art deco charm. We apologize for the confusion with the parking garage and that you were not called back. If you could please send us a message with your name and phone number, our front-desk manager would like to speak with you as originally promised. We’ve met with the parking garage company and want to follow up with specifics to fix these misunderstandings before they can happen again.
Report response as inappropriate
On another note, we will be opening a new restaurant shortly in the heart of our history lobby and bar area. We are very excited for this opening and hope you will enjoy it during your next trip to South Beach!
Clevelander & Essex House Management
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC