IHG’s Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel South Beach, Miami. Bottom Line Review.

10

I just completed a three night stay at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel South Beach Miami.  Even though I was there for a meeting/event, I had plenty of opportunity to experience the hotel, breakfast, and beach.

Disclosure: Nick and I were invited to Miami as part of a Bilt advisory group we participate in. We each paid our own way for flights, but Bilt paid for our stay at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel.  I had Diamond status during the stay because it was offered to me by IHG when they were rolling out the new program so that I could try out the new benefits.  Even though some employees at the hotel knew that there were a bunch of “influencers” in the Bilt group, nothing about my stay suggested that they treated me better than regular IHG elite members, so I feel reasonably confident that the experience described in this post was typical.

Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel South Beach Bottom Line

My feelings about this hotel are mixed.  My room was attractively designed, but without a balcony, no view of the beach or pool, and a tiny bathroom.  Staff I interacted with were great.  The pool was nice but they often played loud music, so it was far from relaxing.  The beach setup was great.  There was a beach attendant who would bring over chairs and set up umbrellas as needed.  Breakfast was pricey, but it is free for Diamond elites who choose it as a welcome amenity, and it was very good.  Overall I enjoyed my stay.  I’d be happy to stay again if invited to another event there, but if I was on my own I’d prefer to try another hotel next time.

  • Cost varies (see details below)
  • Resort fee: $39 per day
  • Kimpton stuff: The resort offers complementary wine each afternoon, coffee and tea each morning, bikes, and a gift if you tell the Kimpton secret password at check-in (currently: pick-a-stick).  I got a hotel branded baseball cap.
  • Elite benefits: Diamond elite members can choose a welcome amenity: 1) daily breakfast for two; 2) $30 minibar credit; or 3) 600 points.  Daily breakfast is, by far, the most valuable option.  Breakfast includes most things on the breakfast menu except specialty drinks.  Theoretically Platinum and Diamond members have the chance to be upgraded to a nicer room, but that didn’t happen in my case.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Beach setup: I loved the easy beach access and the attentiveness of the beach attendant.
  • Good breakfast
  • Excellent attentive staff
  • Attractive common areas and room

Cons:

  • Loud music at the pool
  • My room had a very small bathroom with almost no shower water pressure at all (some others I spoke with had good water pressure so this seems to be a problem only in certain rooms)
  • No ocean view.  I didn’t have anything close to an ocean view, and from the way the building is set up, it seems unlikely to me that any rooms have good ocean views.

Hotel Cost

Prices vary tremendously, as you can see in the two calendars below.  In November, cash rates range from $227 to $930 per night.  Point prices in November range from 34,000 to 120,000 points per night.

Resort Fee

The Surfcomber charges a resort fee of $39 per night ($44.46 after taxes).  This is charged regardless of whether you pay the cash rate or with points or a free night certificate.

The website says that the resort fee covers the following:

  • Daily activities
  • 2 Beach lounge chairs
  • 2 pool towels
  • Kids beach area with toys
  • Backyard games for all ages
  • Weekend yoga classes
  • Bikes (first come, first serve)
  • 10% off Museum of Illusions
  • Business services like printing, faxing, and local & long distance calls

The only services listed above that I used were the pool towels and beach chairs.

Room

The bathroom was tiny, but what really bothered me was the lack of water pressure in the shower.
My view

Pool & Beach

This is the path from the lobby to the pool. My room looked down onto this path.

When you exit the back of the property you find yourself on this public walkway. The beach entrance is a very short walk away.
Beach entrance
Beach entrance
Beach chairs. An attendant brought us towels and set up umbrellas.

Breakfast

Diamond elite breakfast vouchers covered everything except cocktails and specialty drinks.
Yogurt parfait
Acai bowl
Fancy French Toast
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10 Comments
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Grant

Really wish IHG would waive resort / destination fees for award stays or for all stays with IHG Diamond status.

Tony G

Do you know until when it’s the secret password to? I couldn’t find anything about it. I have an upcoming stay at the end of this month at a Kimpton.

FNT Delta Diamond

All of the big chain hotels in Miami Beach are disappointing, based on what you pay in points or cash. For that kind of money, you can get a much better (and newer) hotel in a destination with better service. Miami Beach and Miami are fun on other people’s money but not my own.

FNT Delta Diamond

And the weather in other places is more reliable. For example, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao almost never get hurricanes as they’re outside the hurricane area. If I’m looking at the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, or Florida, the ABC islands seem like a no-brainer since you can go there year-round and not worry about hurricanes or a week of rain ruining your vacation.

Cavedweller

I agree stayed 2x for points and went down in Dec for 6 nites and I paid for a hotel FINE. But after 10pm the whole area changed and like 1pm I saw 2 people talking to police they were robbed.. All changed in 5 years talked to locals so stay in ur hotel and u will be 100% safe after 10pm any-nite…
Again for points but not cash..

FNT Delta Diamond

Yeah. At night, the main touristy area in Miami Beach, where the old art deco buildings are located, has the same demographics as Jersey Shore or Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach during the spring break mayhem days of the early 1990s. February and March are the worst. In other words, you’re best staying at your hotel or frequenting only high-end restaurants.

Dan

We bounce between the surfcomber and the confidante for Miami Beach stays (depending on points prices, free night certificates, etc.; and should say used to given the Confidante’s increased points category and current renovation).

Everything about this surfcomber review rings true (especially the smaller rooms!), I would just say the loud music is symptomatic of the hotel the surfcomber is trying to be; in-season, it’s very much a party spot in a way the confidante isn’t. If that’s what you want, the loud music is probably a plus.

The other watch out is that in-season, you really have to get to the pool early if you want pool-side seats (we prefer the beach, as it’s quieter).

Cavedweller

My hotel one block off this trip had all of that too free. That stuff down there is OLD I built hotels for a living.U need more then just a Perfect Beach u Safe Nite life and something to See while there. I took the Tour to Key West which should be called Condo West today that’s what’s there now..
Free I’ll be Back..