In early October, we decided to spend a weekend in Miami at the Hilton Bentley in South Beach. We loved everything about the hotel: our suite, the location, the beach, the breakfast and the overall ambiance. Even though it’s a very short 2 hour flight from New York, I had never been to Miami and have to say the beach exceeded my expectations.
Although I don’t rate it as highly as Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman or Palm Beach in Aruba, I would say it does hold its own against several Caribbean islands. I would rate it higher than the beaches in St. Lucia (though the appeal of that island is more nature and vegetation than beaches) or the ones in Puerto Rico by San Juan and probably about equal to Barbados.
To cover the nights, I had two weekend night certificates from the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card expiring at the end of the year. The two certificates come as a sign-up bonus with the card after spending $2,500 and each is valid for any Category 1-10 Hilton HHonors property for a weekend night (Friday – Sunday check-in). Because of my Hilton HHonors Gold status which also comes free with the card, we enjoyed some perks that made the stay quite a bit more pleasant. This included a major upgrade at check-in and an included breakfast buffet as well as complimentary internet.
Location in South Beach
The Hilton Bentley is truly in the heart of South Beach on Ocean Drive and it’s apparently also the setting of ‘Khourtney and Khloe Take Miami’. Not that I expect anyone watched that show, but I want to use it an example to communicate how ‘hip’ the hotel is. The Hilton Bentley has a loungy, relaxed yet upscale and hip ambiance with music to match. Exactly what you’d expect when you think about South Beach. We did have a car with us, but that was definitely a mistake. There is no reason you need a car in South Beach. Everything – the beach, the restaurants, the clubs are all right there within walking distance. I would recommend just taking a taxi from the airport and having a car-free vacation.
Our One-Bedroom Suite
We checked in a few hours early and a room was not ready yet. No problem, we would love to just enjoy the beach. I didn’t ask for any upgrades or mention my status, I was just charming and cordial when checking in. As we went over to leave our bags with the bags storage, the check-in agent called us back and said she has a one-bedroom ocean front suite for me. I am sure the Gold status helped with that, but it also was at her discretion. This was exciting!
Our room was great. It had a large bedroom with king bed and completely separate living room with a couch, a dining table and a full kitchen. Everything faced the ocean and there was a balcony with two lounge chairs looking out to the beach with an excellent view. The bathroom was covered in marble with a shower, a bath tub and two bath robes. We were very impressed with our room and I later checked what the retail cost of the room would be. It was $650 a night plus taxes. And that’s before paying for breakfast!
As it was getting late in the afternoon, we immediately headed down to the beach. Each hotel room receives two chairs and an umbrella and we simply had to sign in with the beach chair stand and they set up the chairs for us. The sand was white and the water was clear and, since it was already getting chilly in New York, the warm weather was welcome. As the sun set, we took a long walk around the tip of South Beach and did some people watching. That evening, we decided we didn’t want to go out and ordered room service and enjoyed the view from our balcony instead.
The next day, we got up for breakfast. As I mentioned, the breakfast buffet was included with my Hilton Honors Gold membership I had with the credit card. As I never saw a bill, I have no idea how much it would cost, but it was certainly a well-rounded breakfast. There was fresh fruit, a hot food table with pancakes and French toast, an omelette stand with a chef and the usual cereal, bagels and yoghurt with muesli area.
After breakfast, we went to the beach. What else? We spent the rest of the day on the beach, riding bikes along the coast, taking more walks, sitting by the pool and went out to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Overall, an excellent two nights at the Hilton Bentley in South Beach.
- We had a great two night stay in a $700 a night room at the Hilton Bentley with Hilton HHonors Gold status upgrade and breakfast courtesy of the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card.
- Our one-bedroom suite upgrade gave us plenty of space and our favorite part was being able to sit on the balcony with our ocean-front views.
- With Miami being such a short flight from New York, I definitely plan to return to Miami for future weekends and really hope to enjoy another stay at the Hilton Bentley.
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