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Hotel Victor - © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE
Hotel Victor - © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location
Evaluation of the hotel based on its size, its decoration, the number of rooms, the attractiveness of its architecture and the quality of any swimming pools, lobbies or sport and leisure facilities it may have
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Hotel Victor, now a Hyatt, is one of the best-known Art Deco hotels on the Ocean Drive strip. A fair-sized hotel, it is located right across the street from Miami Beach. It is one of the most complete hotels on the Drive in terms of facilities, although the interior decor based on an underwater theme complete with jelly fish lighting fixtures in the lobby is particular. The lobby of the hotel is often visited by passing tourists for the original Earl Le Pan mural that you will find above the entrance to the reception area. The hotel shines in all its Art Deco glory at night, when its pink neon lighting is blazing. The hotel is marketed as a boutique hotel, but as it is spread over eight floors, it feels larger than it actually is; the atmsophere is not as intimate as one might expect from a boutique hotel. The hotel is ideal for a wide-ranging clientele, from couples to families, as it has lots of onsite facilities and is in a great location.
The hotel is located right in the middle of Ocean Drive across the street from Miami Beach. Adjacent to the Versace mansion, now The Villa by Barton G. (see our review of this hotel), it is also within walking distance to Collins Avenue, South Beach's main shopping hub. The airport is a 30 minute drive away and Downtown is 20 minutes away.
There is a 24 hour concierge service and wireless internet access throughout the hotel. The outdoor roof terrace is heated in winter.
An original 1930s L. Murray Dixon (the Art Deco master) creation, the hotel is one of the most emblematic structures of the Art Deco movement on Ocean Drive. After opening as a hotel, it became a home for the elderly before being abandoned in 2005. The hotel was then renovated by Parisian designer, Jacques Garcia, after which it opened as a Hyatt hotel in 2008. The hotel restaurant is set out on the front terrace, which is the first thing you see. There are two entrances to the hotel - the first is via the front porch and the second is via a covered passage to the left of the building. The building itself looks fairly uninteresting, but comes alive at nightfall, when its pink lighting puts it under the spotlight.
The lobby is a vibrant mix of Art Deco architecture and contemporary deep purple and lime green furniture. Above the entrance to the main reception area, you will notice an original Earl Le Pan mural; as the hotel was bought by Jewish owners before swapping hands again, the painting remained covered up for some time due to its subject being judged indecent - the mural is of a lake and two swans (discreetly) mating. During the last renovation the painting was found and restored to its former glory. This area of the hotel is mainly a large lobby with lots of seating. The actual reception is located through this corridor of comfortable sofas into the darker depths of a sea-themed room. You will notice the unusual jelly fish lighting fixtures and the jelly fish tank near the hotel restaurant, which adjoins the reception.
There are eight floors in total. On the mezzanine floor you will find the roof terrace with pool deck, which looks out onto Miami Beach and the surrounding Ocean Drive action. On this floor you will also find a bar by Bice (same brand as the hotel restaurant), which is an independent food and beverage outlet chain. The hotel also has a spa with seven treatment rooms, a steam room and a small gym.
Hotel Victor has 88 rooms and suites divided up into five categories: partial ocean view, ocean view, pool room, suite and penthouse. With views of the ocean, the poolside bungalow rooms have private outdoor showers and terraces adjoining the pool area. The 770 square foot ocean suites have panoramic windows providing direct ocean views from the living areas and bedrooms. The highlight of Hotel Victor's accommodation is its 3,000 square foot penthouse, which has a separate elevator and two outdoor terraces - one on the private rooftop and both with outdoor hot tubs and showers. The Hotel Victor's penthouse also has 360-degree views of the ocean, Miami Beach all the way downtown. The rooms look comfortable and cosy due to the warm colours used in the design. Striped brown and red carpets add interest to an otherwise plain décor. Every room has a flat-screen television, safe, DVD player, and mini-bar. All the rooms have king size beds; some of the pool-side rooms have queen size beds. There is also a pull-out couch in every room that sleeps two extra people. All the rooms have a similar décor and well-appointed marble bathrooms with bath tubs and Hyatt branded amenities. Overall, the rooms feel a little dark and dingy due to the use of dark red and brown colour tones.
The advantage at Hotel Victor is that there are a few places to sit and relax with a drink or a bite to eat. You have the choice between the Bice restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating on the ground floor, which also serves food on the front porch as well as around the pool and on the terrace. There is also the terrace bar, which can get a little hot in the summer months, but which is ideal in the evenings, when it comes alive with in-house and exterior guests dropping by for pre-dinner drinks.
The food on offer is all Mediterranean with a strong Italian influence. The restaurant downstairs has two distinctive atmospheres - outside on the patio, the fusion of cream and lime green tones make it a more casual experience, whereas the indoor area is a lot more formal, with heavy dark red carpets and black furniture. The red and black theme is taken upstairs around the pool and to the terrace bar.
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.