Miami Nice: A Review of The Miami Beach Edition
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To The Point
The Miami Beach Edition is a super-cool beachfront hotel away from the madness of South Beach. Pros: Gorgeous public spaces, great service at the pools and beach and solid on-property food options. Cons: Everything is pricey, minimalist design doesn’t work as well in the guest rooms and limited benefits for elite members.
Marriott’s Edition brand has been expanding rapidly lately, with several properties already open in some of the world’s hottest destinations, and plenty more locations in the pipeline. The Miami Beach location (a reimagining of the old Seville Hotel) was one of the first locations to open, but, for one reason or another, TPG hadn’t been down for a full review yet. So, on a recent trip to South Florida I decided to check out the hotel for myself.
Like several other very desirable Marriott properties in the Miami area, the Edition is currently a Category 7 hotel, meaning a free night costs 60,000 Marriott Rewards points for the time being, but will move to the newly created Category 8 in March. Once the new award chart goes live, a free night will cost anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 points, depending on the time of year.
I made the trip south in early January — high season in Miami — and was shocked to find rooms at the Edition going for less than $500 per night. In high season, it’s not uncommon to see high-end properties going for close to $1,000 per night. I decided to pay cash for my stay so that I could continue building up my stash of Marriott points in order to be able to afford future stays at Category 8 properties once the new award chart is implemented.
I paid $489 per night for my two-night stay, which I put on my Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card (which unfortunately is no longer accepting applications). I earned 9,621 Marriott Rewards points for the transaction itself — which included incidentals — as the card earns 6x points at Marriott properties. In addition to that, I earned 19,600 points for the stay (12,400 base plus 6,200 as an elite bonus plus 1,000 extra). I landed in frigid New York City with a total of just over 29,000 points — a decent haul for a quick weekend in the sun.
The hotel also charged a $46 resort fee, which came in the form of a $40 fee with $5.60 in taxes on top of that. According to Marriott’s site, the resort fee included “fitness-wellness sessions/beach chairs/beach cruisers/internet access and more.” Personally, I think that all of these activities should be included in the price of entry, especially when you’re paying $500 per night for a base room, but I’ll spare you from my full resort-fee rant and save that for another day.
The Miami Beach Edition is lumped in with the South Beach area, but technically it’s in the Mid-Beach area of Miami Beach. The hotel was smack dab on the beach, and I found the immediate area to be much quieter than the middle of South Beach.
Nearby were several famous Miami resorts such as the Faena, Fontainebleau and Eden Roc. When you walk outside the property, I could see that the neighborhood was one in transition, with old, rundown, 1960s-era liquor stores adjacent to sparkling new, luxury high-rises.
More evidence of the area’s gentrification: the Freehand Miami and its famous Broken Shaker restaurant and bar, just a block and a half from the Edition and a great place to grab a drink before (or after) dinner while avoiding the mega nightclubs that have made Miami a destination for those looking to party hearty. Across the street was a Starbucks, located in the also-new and also-Marriott AC Hotel Miami Beach.
I flew to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), as tickets were significantly cheaper than those into Miami (MIA), and took a Lyft directly to the hotel. It’s only 27 miles, but with traffic, the drive can take about an hour. Traffic wasn’t too bad when I arrived, though, and I made it to the hotel 45 minutes and $46 later.
When I arrived at the hotel, it was very busy. It seemed that there were many groups of people both checking in and checking out. Luckily, staff members came around with welcome cocktails for those waiting in line. The wait didn’t even end up being very long, either — I was only a few sips into the cocktail before it was my turn to check in. The friendly front-desk agent informed me that she’d upgraded me to an ocean-view room on the ninth floor, which I was excited about, considering I’d booked a “city-view” room, which is usually code for a parking-lot view. She also told me that the room was an accessible one, so things would be laid out a bit differently, particularly in the bathroom, from a “normal” room. I was getting an ocean view, so it didn’t matter at all to me, and happily accepted.
I was also informed that, thanks to my Platinum status, I was entitled to one complimentary umbrella rental on the beach, a nice gesture for sure, but I think having a complimentary umbrella rental for each day of the stay would go a long way toward showing elites that they’re valued at a property like this one, especially considering that breakfast isn’t included for Platinums.
After just a few minutes at the desk, I was handed the keys to my room and grabbed my carry-on and headed to the ninth floor to check out that ocean view.
The room felt immediately familiar to me, as I’d recently stayed at the new Shanghai Edition and have stayed at the New York property in the past. White was the predominant color, with light, wooden accents used on the walls and the furniture pieces.
All white definitely works in Miami, and generally I’ve been a fan of the Edition’s in-room design, but I felt like this property in particular may have taken the minimalist approach a little too far — especially in the bathroom. It was large, but there wasn’t much going on in there that screamed “luxe” to me.
The vanity only had one sink, and it was almost unbelievably shallow, which made it difficult to even wash my hands.
The shower had great pressure, but was decidedly less high-end than the rainfall shower I’d had at the Shanghai Edition.
Toiletries were supplied by Le Labo, a signature Edition feature, and they were excellent as I’ve come to expect. Housekeeping generously replaced the shampoo and conditioner, which allowed me to bring even more bottles home with me. I’ve actually built up quite a nice collection of these Le Labo amenities in my apartment (you’re welcome, visitors!) between this visit and the trip to Shanghai.
I got two nights of fantastic sleep on the king bed, and was a fan of the light, wood-accent wall behind it.
The view, while not oceanfront, was still exceptional. I would have loved a balcony, but considering I was supposed to have no view, the ocean view that I had was greatly appreciated.
The closet featured one of the room’s few pops of color, in the form of a palm-leaf background wall.
Also in the closet was a safe, as well as a selection of snacks for purchase, none of which I touched. The minibar was on top of the small cabinet just inside the room.
On balance, I liked my room. I slept great and do enjoy the modern vibe of Edition hotels, but I noticed that in more recent openings like the Shanghai property, Edition seems to have brought the room design to the next level. The room in Miami sort of felt like version 1.0, and Shanghai could have been version 2.0.
Food and Beverage
Edition hotels have positioned themselves as destinations for eating and drinking, and the Miami Beach location certainly delivered on that front. The highlight on the roster of places to eat and drink was the hotel’s signature restaurant, Matador Room, helmed by world-famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose other restaurants include the ABC restaurants in New York City, Jean-Georges Steakhouse in Las Vegas and Jean-Georges Beverly Hills.
There were several other outposts at which you could grab food and drink. Matador Bar served cocktails — the most Instagrammable of which were served in (very heavy and very cold) pineapple vessels — and other drinks on a walnut bar in a dark space adorned with photographs elegantly arranged on the walls.
Several other TPGers were in Miami the same weekend, so we decided to get together one evening to give Matador Room a try, and we weren’t disappointed. The restaurant offered contemporary Latin American cuisine in a gorgeous, circular dining room with a chandelier that was original to the former Seville Hotel, which was built in 1955.
Our group sampled many dishes, which were meant to share, and some of the highlights include the “crunch potato nuggets” (think patatas bravas), spicy tuna tartare, arroz con pollo, a truffle-and-cheese pizza, and, the pièce de résistance, the roasted dry aged Cargill Ranch ribeye steak, which was truly to die for. (Apologies for the dirty table in these photos — the food was served as it was ready, so as each dish came out, we’d already dug into previous ones). I think this goes without saying, but we were too full for dessert.
Matador Room definitely lived up to its expectations, and I highly recommend dining there — though it’s not cheap, especially with wine or cocktails. It is Miami, after all, so if you want to eat and drink all of this outside, head to Matador Terrace, right outside the restaurant and bar.
Like I mentioned earlier, Platinum elites didn’t receive free breakfast at Edition properties, which was disappointing, for sure. However, I tried the breakfast buffet at Market, the hotel’s all-day restaurant.
Breakfast was served between 7am and 12pm and offered both a buffet and a la carte options.
The space itself was large, bright and open. It featured several distinct counters serving different items such as freshly baked breads and freshly squeezed juices.
There was also a small outside dining terrace, which is where I sat.
I tried the breakfast buffet one morning and found it to be well worth the $35 price tag. It included a fruit juice, which usually adds another $6 to $8 at similar hotels. I sampled plenty of items from the buffet and found them to be delicious. Not everything was heavy, either, like the kale salad. It was nice to have healthy greens after a late night in South Beach, that’s for sure. I also loved that they had labneh — a creamy Middle Eastern cheese — on offer, which tasted great with my quiche.
Edition’s pool bar/restaurant was called Tropicale, which had a relatively small al fresco dining area by the bar and also served food and drinks to those at the pool and on the beach.
I spent the first day at the pool, where I ordered a couple of mojitos (when in Rome, am I right?). They were delivered very promptly and with a smile. I found the pool staff to be very attentive and quick in taking orders and delivering drinks — not something that can be said for every beach resort. Another thing that I really liked about the pool service was that the servers brought full pitchers of waters with cups to each person. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the sun, and often a pain to track down water if you don’t bring your own bottle with you, so I thought this was a nice touch that more resorts should imitate.
I ventured over to Tropicale for lunch that same day and chose to sit by the bar at a table. I ordered an organic jerk chicken sandwich that came with tomatoes and coleslaw. The insides of the sandwich were excellent, but the bread was a little soggy. The french fries, however, got an A++ — 10/10 would recommend.
The next day, I chose to hang out on the beach instead. Anyone on the beach could order from the full Tropicale menu, and guests were given two complimentary bottles (err, cartons) of water upon arrival.
I placed an order for chips and guacamole and a mojito, which were delivered with the same promptness I’d noticed at the pool the day before.
As this was a beachfront property in Miami Beach, the pools and beach were arguably the most important amenities. By now, I’d stayed at many a beach resort and knew what I liked in terms of the pool situation. The Edition got a high grade in my book — there’s something I love about a simple rectangular pool.
The white cushion-topped loungers were comfortable — once you got in them. They were so low to the ground that it was … awkward … getting down there, and then up again. Also, some of the cushions could definitely have used a thorough washing (or replacing), though towels were placed on top of them when in use so it wasn’t too much of an eyesore. There was no denying that the chairs were high on style, and reminded you that you were in Miami, in case you had forgotten.
Also around the rectangular pool were several luxury cabanas equipped with mini-fridges and TVs that could be rented for daily use. These were especially cool, as they were situated away from the pool and among the greenery of the resort.
On each of the days I was at the resort, staff set up an ice cream cart offering free scoops to all guests — it was the perfect treat after an afternoon on the beach.
The second pool was original to the Seville Hotel and, according to the Edition’s website, was once known as the Sundial. It featured a two-tiered diving platform (no longer in use) and was right in front of the curved building that contained the hotels “cabana” rooms.
Behind Tropicale’s bar was the Sandbox, which was exactly what you’d imagine — a plot of sand that was turned into a posh hangout spot. It was used sometimes for movie screenings and other things, so I imagine it can fill up, though I never saw more than a couple of people hanging out there each of the times I walked by.
In the basement of the hotel was, well, Basement — the Edition’s scene-y bar/nightclub that featured a neon-lit bowling alley as well as an ice-skating rink. Yes, you heard that right, an ice-skating rink. In Miami Beach! Basement has quickly become of of the city’s hot nightlife spots and enforces a dress code, so make sure you’re prepared before you show up.
As with other Edition properties, the lobby turned out to be an amenity in itself — it served as a kind of living room for the hotel guests.
At this property, the lobby featured a white marble pool table at one end, as well as the lobby bar at the other, which was surrounded by elegant all-white seating, even more potted plants and a very cool gold bar that looked like an oversized liquor cabinet.
The lobby looked especially cool at night, with images of the plants projected onto the darkened ceiling.
The resort has a full spa, which I did not visit, as well as a 24-hour fitness center that featured both weightlifting and cardio machines. It also offered classes like beach yoga and beach boot camp.
Near the entrance of the fitness center was the signature Edition spiral staircase, though this iteration was much more subdued than the one at the Shanghai property.
The Edition offered full service on the beach, and guests could get two chairs complimentary, and then each additional chair was $25 after that. If you wanted an umbrella, that was another $25, though I had my free-umbrella coupon, which I redeemed on my day at the beach.
Wi-Fi at the hotel was complimentary, fast and worked well by the pool, though it didn’t reach the beach (I didn’t expect it to).
I had a great stay at the Miami Beach Edition. It’s a cool and trendy spot to spend a weekend, and has a great selection of food and beverage to keep anyone happy. While the minimalist design is perhaps taken a little too far in the guest rooms, it works beautifully on the rest of the property, and service was better than what I’ve had in Miami in the past — at both the pool and the beach. It’s a great use of Marriott points, as prices can reach dizzying heights. Just make sure you book your stay before the Marriott award-chart changes go into effect in March.
All photos by the author for The Points Guy.
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