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Hotel Lord Balfour Hotel 3 star
Easyexperts
350 Ocean Dr Miami, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Wave is a small Art Deco boutique hotel situated south of South Beach in an area technically known as 'SoFi', meaning south of Fifth Street in South Beach. Still on Ocean Drive, but far from the action, Wave is in a quiet area away from the bustle of restaurants and bars. The beach down at this end of South beach is one of the best in the city as it is a lot quieter and more relaxed. The hotel itself is undergoing a complete renovation, which will include a small pool in the backyard. As it is, the hotel is ideal for anyone on a budget looking for a quiet beach side base to explore the rest of the city from for a few days.

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    • Hotel Lord Balfour

      Lord Balfour Hotel   -   © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Lord Balfour

      Lord Balfour Hotel   -   © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.11 /10

    Wave is located in the south of South Beach in an area technically known as 'SoFi', meaning south of Fifth Street. The hotel sits on Ocean Drive but closer to South Point than the Art Deco district. The main Ocean Drive action is a 10 minute walk away. The hotel sits just across the road from Miami Beach and is a short walk from South Point, a green area in the south of South Beach, where you will find a couple of upmarket restaurants.

    Accommodation 5.70 /10

    There are 66 rooms, 41 of which are king size rooms and 25 of which have twin queen size beds. The rooms are nothing to write home about, but they are functional and clean. Most rooms have a view of the interior courtyard or of the street, neither of which are unpleasant. All rooms have a flat-screen television, mini-bar, safe, and a small seating area (either a high table and stools or a small sofa). The rooms all have the same decor consisting in navy carpets and fresh white and pastel bed linen. There isn't much else to the rooms, which is why Wave is a great base for guests wishing to spend most of their time outdoors at the beach or visiting the city.

    The recently renovated bathrooms are well-appointed. Some have bath tubs, others just a free-standing shower and are stocked with Tarocco amenities. There are also bathrobes and a hairdryer.

    Overview 6.70 /10

    The hotel is an original 1940s Art Deco build that used to be called The Lord Balfour. The signs of its past remain; you will notice the original neon sign hanging above the main doors for example.

    There is a porch lining the front of the hotel, where guests can relax with a drink and snack. There is a fresh breeze here, which is not to be taken for granted at the height of summer! Inside, the lobby is a prime example of the wackier side to Art Deco interiors. A more subdued version of Austin Powers' living room, the lobby has a strong retro edge. The original terrazzo floors and murals give the area its charm, giving it more of a living room atmosphere than of a hotel lobby. In addition to the free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, there are also two computers in the lobby. Behind the lobby you will find a small but pleasant courtyard furnished with a few wooden tables and chairs. This area is particularly charming at night by candlelight.

    To the right of the main entrance is the hotel restaurant and bar. Illuminated with fluorescent lighting, it has quite a different atmosphere to the rest of the hotel, but it works well under the Art Deco bracket. The restaurant has neat outdoor seating on the front porch with tables dressed in crisp white table cloths, giving the restaurant an upper-end atmosphere.

    Back in the lobby, there are a few Art Deco gems like the original switchboard (no longer in use) behind the reception desk; the elevator that takes guests up to the rooms is also an original piece of Art Deco vintage not to miss out on!

    Food and drink 6.70 /10

    The hotel has an Italian-inspired restaurant, Da Vittorio, which you will find to the right of the entrance. The Da Vittorio restaurant at the Wave is the restaurant's smaller branch. The original establishment is located in Coral Gables (south Miami), which opened in 2008. The advantage of eating here at The Wave over Ocean Drive, is the outdoor seating on the peaceful porch. The Ocean Drive strip is lined by myriad restaurants with every one of their staff member doubling up as a hawker, which gets very titing very quickly. The tables at The Wave, dressed in crisp white table cloths, give the restaurant an upper-end atmosphere. Guests can also just drop into the bar and sit at the counter or at the other end of the porch for a drink and a light snack. There is no room service for the moment, but this was under review during our visit in January 2011.

    Beach 7.70 /10

    Miami Beach is just across the road and despite being far from the Miami beach action, this end of the beach wins hands down for peace and tranquillity. The water and sand quality are the same if not slightly better. This end of the beach is a lot cheaper than staying at the heart of Ocean Drive or the Art Deco district as it is a lot calmer and more residential. The atmosphere here is perfect for those of you needing to get away from it all whilst still being close to the South Beach frenzy. The hotel doesn't have a dedicated area on the beach but anyone can rent beach chairs and towels.

    To know

    The hotel in currently undergoing a renovation, which should be completed by the end of 2011. The renovation should include a small pool in the backyard. Today in the way of facilities, the hotel has a small gym and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      keep fit, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      fitness, gym, sports

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Across the road from the beach.
    • Original Art Deco architecture.
    • Very friendly service.
    • In a very peaceful area of South Beach.

    disadvantages

    • Lack of facilities.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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