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Hotel Sofitel Miami Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
5800 Blue Lagoon Dr Miami, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Sofitel is located on Blue Lagoon Drive close to the airport. However, despite its isolated location, it is worth mentioning that the hotel has some very good advantages from its reasonable room rates, excellent French food on the menu for lunch and dinner, a very pleasant outdoor pool area looking out onto the 'Blue Lagoon', and spacious rooms. A little far from what one might come to Miami for, such as Miami Beach, the playful Art-Deco on Ocean Drive, or shopping on Collins Avenue, the Sofitel remains a little out of reach for the average traveller, but is a good option if on a cruise itinerary.

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    • Hotel Sofitel Miami

      Sofitel Miami   -   © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Sofitel Miami

      Sofitel Miami   -   © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 5.0 /10

    The hotel is located 10 minutes driving from Miami International Airport and 30 minutes from South Beach. Many hotels in Miami have a free shuttle service to and from the airport - the Sofitel does not. A taxi from the airport will cost you $14 (£10) and from the hotel to South Beach: $40-50 (£32-42). The Sofitel is situated on Blue Lagoon Drive, on the banks of a pleasant manmade lake.

    Accommodation 7.20 /10

    The hotel has 15 floors of 221 rooms. All are spacious and decorated in the same neutral colours: beiges, browns, crisp white sheets topped off by a brown zebra stripe. Black and white prints of emblematic Art Deco buildings in South Beach hang on the walls, bringing a little Miami into a space that could otherwise be anywhere in the world. All rooms have large flat-screen televisions. There is no mini bar or tea and coffee making facilities. The standard rooms have a desk, a very comfortable chaise longue and a king size bed. A note on the bed: like at all Sofitels, the rooms here are equipped with 'My Beds', the extra comfortable beds the brand is renowned for. Extremely comfortable, with a mattress top, perfectly plump goose-down pillows and duvet, you will not have a better sleep anywhere else! And what's even better, is that the whole shebang is for sale online!

    Otherwise, back to the room details, something else that has been very well thought through, is the well-placed sockets, which surprisingly enough, is very rare in hotels these days, even business hotels! Under the bed you will notice a socket for guests wishing to charge their laptops whilst sitting up in bed, and another at the desk. It is these kinds of subtle details that render the room comfortable, despite its seemingly ordinary appearance.

    The beautiful views over the Blue Lagoon are also very soothing. Our room recommendation is room 1526 on the 15th floor. It faces the lagoon and not the airport. Also, noise from the pool or bar cannot be heard from here and the views are great. The rooms set on the corners of the buildings have double windows letting in plenty of light and blue sky.

    The bathrooms are as well appointed as the rooms - all with small bathtubs and rain shower heads. The bath fills quickly, which is great when you don't want to be kept waiting for a relaxing soak! There is a single sink, sunk into a grey-green marble surface. The gold painted wooden carved mirror gives the bathroom a pleasant French touch, as do the L'Occitane amenities. Here you will also find a mirror, a box containing an array of cotton buds and nail files and an ice bucket (each floor has an ice machine for those ice-mad Americans). The lights in the bathrooms are however a little bright and do not have different settings, so be prepared for a harsh wake up on those groggy mornings.

    Overview 7.20 /10

    I am tempted to say only good things about the Sofitel as during our stay the welcome was warm, the food very good, the rooms comfortable and the outdoor areas very pleasant, however, the location of the hotel cannot be ignored as a major disadvantage for a leisure clientele. The hotel doesn't claim to be a rival to the hotels closer to the beach, and it has made the best of its existing structure by rendering the experience here extremely pleasant all round. The hotel is heavily marked by the French origin of the brand (owned by Accor), which gives the hotel a dimension that works in its favor to distinguish it from commonly banal airport hotels. The staff for example, welcomes you by saying 'bonjour' (hello in French) or 'bonsoir' (good evening), there is a wire sculpture of the Eiffel Tower in the bar area, the restaurant menu offers an array of typically French dishes, and a lot of the staff is French.

    From the outset, the garish dated blue and red exterior of the hotel denotes a somewhat frightful taste in architecture, however, once inside, and in spite of its dated heavy dark green floral carpets, there is a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere that makes guests feel at home. The staff isn't as stuffy or rigid as usually found in a business hotel, not as placid as in your standard airport hotel, but is a little more casual, and most important of all, the staff seems content with working here.

    The lobby is fairly small, dark and dingy. The main staircase straight ahead leads to the bar area, where more heavy floral green carpet follows. To the right is the hotel restaurant, to the left is a space used for functions. There is also a small area with four computer terminals where guests can use the internet for free. Straight ahead, on the other side of the tinted bay window, is the pleasant outdoor pool situated right on the Blue Lagoon, which is a pleasant looking reservoir. The airport is nowhere in sight from here - the passing planes remind the guests of the hotel's location. Lush with vegetation, the area is otherwise absolutely lovely. The lobby has been given an Art Deco feel to try and match that of the rest of the city. In the lobby you will also find a small coffee shop selling Starbucks drinks and pastries.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    The hotel has one restaurant, La Riviera, on the ground floor down the stairs from the reception lobby and to the right. The area is pleasant in the daytime, with large patio doors running off to the left hand side, letting in plenty of light. It looks onto the hotel garden and the lagoon, making the area even more pleasant. Unlike the rest of the hotel, the restaurant is fairly contemporary, dressed in white, with red details adding a little colour. A corridor runs through the middle, splitting the seating area into two. The staff here is very friendly, although the service can leave to be desired on busy nights. The menu comprises French dishes such as onion soup and crème brûlée, with some Mediterranean dishes and a couple of American specialities thrown into the mix. The food is extremely good. We recommend the Swordfish and the Surf'n turf 4oz fillet that cuts just like butter. The desserts here are especially good too. Per head, expect to pay $80 (£70). The only thing that lets the restaurant down however is the tables that are a little close together, giving the area a slight canteen feel. The red water glasses that you will find on the tables also look more like vases than glasses. Otherwise, the food is delicious and the staff friendly. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here. The bar also serves snacks and at selected times there is a poolside barbecue, which looks very tasty. At the entrance of the hotel, there is also a Starbucks coffee shop also selling cakes, for guests with a sweet tooth - if you like strong coffee for breakfast, best to stop by here rather than at the hotel restaurant unfortunately.

    To know

    There isn't much in the surroundings. It is very quiet; apart from the planes passing over, there is no audible traffic. To save money, there is the 11 bus that goes from 57th street (turn right on Blue Lagoon Drive) to Little Havana and all the way Downtown. This costs $2 (not even £1) - however, make sure you have the exact fare as buses don't give change in Miami. Otherwise you can find several fast-food outlets nearby, like Wendy's and Burger King.

    Equipment

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

      keep fit, spa

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, fitness, sports

    • Animals allowed
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The lush and well-kept gardens around the hotel and the exterior restaurant seating.
    • The warm and friendly staff, especially at the restaurant.
    • Puts its French personality across well (see more detail in Overview).
    • The spacious and comfortable rooms.
    • Well appointed bathrooms.
    • Pleasant views over the 'Blue Lagoon'.

    disadvantages

    • Isolated location.
    • Dated décor throughout the hotel.
    • As the hotel is on various flight paths, noise of passing planes is frequently audible.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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