There isn't much to distinguish it from the rest of the hotels on the Ocean Drive strip, unless you know a little history behind this small boutique Art Deco hotel. Owned by singer Gloria Estefan, the Cardozo was one of the first deco hotels to be saved by the South Beach preservation group, the hotel has become somewhat of a star as it has welcomed various film crews for blockbusters like There's Something About Mary - the 'hair gel' scene was actually filmed here! The good quality accommodation makes up for the fact that apart from the restaurant there are no facilities at this hotel, however you must have the budget to stay here as the rooms are not of the best-value. Ideally located, this hotel could suit a wide ranging clientele for whom accommodation and location are priorities.
The Cardozo is located right in the centre of the Art Deco district on Ocean Drive. Miami Beach is just across the road. The airport is a 30 minute drive away and Downtown is about 20 minutes away driving.
Parking can be very expensive in the area, so be prepared to pay from $30 per day. While we visited, in January 2011, renovation work was going on, which was extremely disturbing, so when booking a room here, make sure the works are over. The reception is open 24 hours. Guests have access to complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. The hotel provides guests with beach towels. The room prices are surprisingly high; the hotel has fully-exploited its celeb status. You will indeed find posters for the Cardozo at various gift shops around town. Be careful, this is a strictly non-smoking hotel.
Owned by singer Gloria Estefan, the Cardozo was one of the first deco hotels to be saved by the South Beach preservation group, the hotel has become somewhat of a star as it has welcomed various film crews for blockbusters like There's Something About Mary - the 'hair gel' scene was actually filmed here!
The Cardozo restaurant, now independent from the hotel, is set out front like all the restaurants along Ocean Drive. The hotel is accessed to the back of the restaurant via a side passage. The hotel has three floors. Its facade is an impressive Art Deco gem, complete with 'eyebrows' to keep the hot sun out and a beautiful neon sign that goes on at nightfall. The lobby area is small but cosy, with a lady that gets flustered fairly easily behind the desk, which is fairly unwelcoming. The bellboys, especially the Haitians, are extremely friendly and open to conversation. The rooms are situated on the upper floors, which you can get to via the elevator taken from the lobby.
Apart from the rooms, there isn't much else going on here. The corridors are decorated with cult film posters. The third floor has an ice machine, which is free to use for in-house guests.
The 43 rooms are not identical in their décor, which gives this hotel a little something extra over the newly-renovated deco hotels in the area, where the décor has fallen into the 'sterile' category. Here, the rooms are warm, fairly spacious for a deco hotel, and generally pleasant. Some of the rooms have old generation televisions along with old school hi-fis, which was a bit of a surprise to find! The more spacious Ocean View rooms have large flat-screen televisions. The bathrooms are well-appointed and stocked with Tarocco amenities.
Guests have the choice between warm safari rooms with salmon pink uneven stucco walls and touches of leopard print, varnished wooden floors, or the more classic neutral rooms, with natural colour tones and materials. The wooden panelling and modular bedside lamps dive these rooms more of a contemporary edge. These rooms have larger dark green marble bathrooms with Jacuzzis and his and hers sinks.
The main difference in the rooms is the size and view. The larger the room and the better the view, the more expensive the premium on the room.
Although the Cardozo restaurant is ran independently to the hotel, it is worth mentioning that it is one of the best examples of Art Deco you will find in the area. The huge fireplace resembles that of the Essex House hotel (see our review of this hotel), and you will also notice the original terrazzo flooring. The tiles stairs are also an original feature. Like most restaurants on the Ocean Drive strip, the Cardozo restaurant serves Italian food with an American twist.
Although the hotel is not directly on the beach, it is only across the road. Miami Beach is pretty much the same all the way along: a long and wide stretch of sand with reasonably clear water. You won't see any locals in the sea until at least April though, but the 'snowbirds', as the Miami crowds call the New Yorkers, who come to Miami for a spot of sunshine during their big freeze period are happily splashing around; this does mean that the beach is rarely crowded at the beginning of the year. The hotel doesn't have a designated area on the beach, but it does give its guests beach towels. Anyone can rent sun-loungers for a fee on the beach.
Hotel reviews based on comfort, location and price ratings of its categories
Hotel reviews based on its services and facilities.
flights June : average price