Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

Jan / Feb 2013: Z-Ocean Hotel, Miami Beach

Although this hotel was a Crowne Plaza and indeed was booked using my remaining Priority Club points, you would search in vain for any sign of InterContinental Hotels Group ownership or branding. The property was described as "an exclusive, all-suite boutique hotel" and gave every indication of being independently owned and operated. After the doorman helped me unload my luggage and turn my rental car over to the valet parking people, I was welcomed at Reception with a glass of champagne and informed that I had been upgraded to the Penthouse floor. This certainly seemed to be a good start!

My accommodation probably straddled the boundary between junior suite and full suite: although the bedroom area, living area and a small bar / kitchenette all occupied the same physical room, reasonable separation of the sleeping quarters was achieved by the provision of a floor-to-ceiling entertainment unit housing a flat-screen TV on each side as well as a number of other electronic goodies. A microwave oven, Nespresso coffee machine, empty fridge and minibar were all provided, as well as an impressive collection of glassware and crockery. There were effectively two interconnected bathrooms, neither of which contained a bath: one had the toilet and a washbasin, while the other had the shower and a second washbasin.

Perhaps the most notable part of the accommodation was what lay outside - a highly unusual, double-deck balcony. The lower level, accessed from the room, overlooked the pool and contained a table and chairs as well as the lower half of a spiral staircase. Upstairs could be found a pair of sun loungers, another table and chair set and a private jacuzzi! Unfortunately the length of my stay meant that I didn't have sufficient time to enjoy these facilities to the full.

The hotel had entrances on both Collins Avenue and the world-famous Ocean Drive, and the restaurant had an open-air terrace on the latter. Many of the public areas had an indefinably funky feel that seemed to fit well with both the South Beach location and the 'boutique' description.

In: Thu 31 Jan 2013
Out: Fri 01 Feb 2013
Nights: 1
Room: PH-7 (Penthouse Suite)