W Miami, 2020 - Another Covid Special

It was July, and I had some money value vouchers and other things for flights and hotels left over from before the epidemic hit. Miami had started opening up again, and there are some properties there I REALLY want to stay at and review (Like both JWs; I have stayed at the JW Miami a few times but didn't document it. Hindsight...). The JWs were originally open and I had the JW Miami Marquis booked, but being the kind of obsessive person I am, I'm always check for price changes and that hotel stopped showing up on the list, a sure sign it was not open yet.

So I called and found out it was indeed going to be closed, yet my reservation stayed alive until the day I flew out (I cancelled it myself). Seems a failure on Marriott's systems to detect these things, and it would have been very unusual to show up to a closed hotel. Anyway, I looked around the area, and saw W Miami was open for the same price. I knew the property when it was the Icon hotel, and it's a great spot plus Marriott had gifted me a ton of stay nights which put me to 83 for the year, giving me access to select suite night awards. These are like money, because when they hit, they guarantee the room, not a lottery at check-in for an upgrade like you normally are subject to.



Arrival

Flying in Friday to Miami International, I landed at 9:30am, and figured I had time to maneuver the public transport to downtown with my estimated time of 11 to get to the hotel.

I went to baggage claim, bag was first one off the plane, a point for American Airlines on that! Then off to the shuttle to the train station, found the trains were free, another bonus that day. As I approached the train, it was just about to leave for the intermediate station of Earlington Heights where I had to transfer to a downtown train (this train was only servicing the airport). I took it to the Government Center where I could transfer to the people mover, a little always-free above-ground small-car mover system. I got on the Brickell Line which goes south into the Financial District (the best place to stay on weekends for prices) and to the Fifth Street Station. Arrived a block and a half from the hotel, easy! Well, kinda. The elevator at the station was out of service, but the guy who takes care of the station said "well, it's been broken a couple days, just go down one flight and over to the northbound elevator and take it to the street." Nice guy, and it was great advice, but carrying my bags down the first flight was a doozie of a trip.

Down the road, across Brickell, and I had arrived at the complex. A mix of condos and the W hotel, quite large, quite foo-foo and pricey.
Entrance by the street
Tight lobby, not much on the first floor besides the coffee shop
I checked in at 11:05 (pretty good time estimate!) and my room was ready. I was notified that there was breakfast available as a welcome gift, which originally was not an option when I booked, and free food is free food! Oh and that my suite was completely ready.

The Room

I went to the very end of a meandering hall, and the last room was the entrance to the corner Marvelous suite. It was quite a large room with the best view available at that property, overlooking the bay.

In the elevator lobby, awesome Miami style neonI guess I forgot where I wasAll the way at the end, just like I prefer it.
Long entrance to the suite proper
It's a 700+ square foot Marvelous Suite, only the Wow is larger, but those are not on the upgrade schedule. You gotta shell out the $1200 a night for that one.
bathroom for the guests you probably wont have during the pandemic anywaysNicely appointed anyways
Nicely appointed kitchenette.  Actual hotplates.  The minibar was emptied due to Covid, so I could use it to store stuff.  A lot of the things in the room like shoe horns, bath robes, and niceties were also removed I assume for easy room turnover cleaning.
Comfortable public area. I used it for meals a couple times. Food delivery is king during these times.
Couch is also a bedGood view while eating
The bedroom and master bath are pretty awesome here, truly the focus of the room.
Huge bed, little soft for my tastes, I am much more to the firm sideJust used to throw clothes honestly
Couple of these aroundJust used to throw clothes honestly
Huge bed, little soft for my tastes, I am much more to the firm sideJust used to throw clothes honestly
A mix of St. Regis and W hotel products.  Not sure whyDidn/
A great full-length balcony with a view of the Miami River, the Bay and downtown. I used it after making a drink and to sit for a bit. Humidity was extreme.

The Pool

I actually remembered my swim trunks on this trip, which I am notorious about forgetting all the time. The pool was open with specific times, seating distancing was enforced but swimming distancing was not. The views were really nice and it was tropical. There was service for drinks and small food items available.
Glorious pool, little concerning swimming still, at least to me it was

Facilities

Most things were closed but they did the best they could.
Some tasty items plus the ubiquitous W drink with St. Germain

Summary

A hip 4-star party spot during normal times, now a place to hide out and relax in luxury. Coffee shop has fantastic coffee, great bakery items. They really did as much as they could during the pandemic to make it a good experience.

Restaurant on the pool level had some decent takeout, but there is no room service. The pool being open was great and nerve-wracking at the same time. I sat upwind from everything, as the stronger breeze would carry away any wayward germs.

Masks must be worn while outside your room at all times, and it was light on normal amenities, but for the price and level of service I got? I believe it was worth the price.

Tips: Leave an extra sanitizer right inside your room door to remind you. Call down for linen and bath amenities replenishment. Be kind! This is hard for the staff too. Collect all garbage in one spot and bags it for them if you can, also centralize your pile of used linens for them when you checkout.



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