Otherwise, we greatly enjoyed the Mandarin, our new favorite business district hotel in Miami .

Overall Impression : We cherished our stay at the Mandarin Oriental Miami. It featured a winning combination of customer oriented, friendly and efficient staff in a beautifully designed, and luxurious waterfront property, just steps from downtown Miami . Sail shaped, the Mandarin was reminiscent of the orient though inside there was a definite Latin flavor. Almost every staff person we encountered was of Hispanic heritage. This made it easy for staff members to interact with the many guests we heard speaking Spanish in the common areas. More than once we saw staff members switch smoothly from English to Spanish and vice versa.

Attentive service, warm wood accents, soothing scents, relaxing live music in the lobby, the spa and Azul, a wonderful gourmet restaurant all beckoned us to return. We were disappointed there were limited areas for quiet relaxation outside our room and the beach we had heard so much about was closed. Otherwise, we greatly enjoyed the Mandarin, our new favorite business district hotel in Miami .

Class Of Accommodation Five stars

Concierge Giovanni Attardi

Connectivity High speed Internet was available for $15 per 24-hour period.

General Manager : Jorge Gonzalez

Handicapped Access Yes, including select rooms for physically challenged guests

Length Of Stay Three nights

Location Waterfront on Brickell Key, a 44-acre island just a short bridge away from Miami’s banking district and some of its most posh residential towers.

Managed Mandarin Oriental

Owned Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Size 327 rooms, including 31 suites all with water view

Year Opened-Renovated 2000

Lobby And Common Areas There was a 30-foot Tropical Black Bamboo surrounded by Mexican river stones in the hotel lobby. The furniture was a mix of modern and Art Deco styles, always with an oriental feel and comfortable looking. Decorative components included various rich woods, marble and glass with water features. Everything seemed new, clean and well taken care of. The Interior design was by Hirsch Bedner & Associates.

Bathroom We especially liked the bathroom design, which emphasized openness and light. The best part of the marble tiled bathroom was the opening that led to the bedroom, almost the full length of the wall. There was a pull down shade if we wanted privacy. A separate shower, adjacent to the bathtub, had an inward opening glass door, a design feature which kept the floor from getting wet. There was a water closet across the bathtub.

Room Our 450 square foot Deluxe Bayview Verandah room faced the water and Brickell Avenue buildings. The 10-foot ceiling and light, warm colors made it feel spacious and soothing. Our new looking sixth floor room included: A desk, chair and Bose radio; a comfortable white-cushioned settee sofa long enough for a tall person to lie on, an adjacent table and lamp.

Food And Restaurants We visited Café Sambal for breakfast. Herbert, our server, was attentive and accommodating. He found a way to make us happy even when one of us requested a sandwich and chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. Guests could dine indoors or outdoors by the water on a lovely shaded terrace. Because it was August, we chose to have breakfast indoors.

Later, we enjoyed a gourmet dinner at Azul, the hotel’s famous gourmet restaurant, a 2004 AAA Five Diamond Award recipient

Amenities Molton Brown toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion. Forest scent bath salts were available from housekeeping upon request. Housekeeping delivered two bottles of Norwegian Voss water with the evening turn down service and a handful of Joy of Life Swiss chocolates in a paper bag greeted us when we arrived.

Facilities Two restaurants – Azul and Café Sambal , tri-level spa and fitness center, pool and 20,000-square-foot beach club, bar and lobby lounge. The beach area was under construction and closed during our visit. There was a business center and a small gift shop filled with high-end products. There was a 1.3-mile jogging trail around the island of Brickell Key .

Pool Surrounded by lounge chairs on one side and tables and chairs, it was fenced in to separate it from the public jogging path that circled the island. Most of the crowd we saw the times we walked by consisted of families with small children. There was a small bar in one corner and several attendants who brought refreshments to the poolside guests. Lounge chair choices were in complete sunlight or complete shade. We would have liked cabanas or umbrellas.

Fitness Center And Spa The 15-000 square foot scented spa, included 17 private treatment rooms. We visited the spa on a Saturday, their busiest day of the week. Though it was clearly full, it did not feel crowded or overly rushed. An attendant was constantly picking up dirty linen and water glasses. Everything looked tidy, organized and clean.

When we arrived, early at their request, we traded in our shoes for a pair of good quality rubber sandals. From there, we were escorted on a short guided visit of the spa area including the lockers, waiting area, sauna, showers, steam room and a small refreshment corner. At our appointed time, a masseuse collected us from the waiting area. We crossed the spa lobby and made our way to the key activated elevator and the spa suites floor.

For the duration of the treatment (a deep tissue massage), the beautiful Mandarin Suite, almost as big as our hotel room, belonged to us. As we entered, we could see the green bay and the Brickell Avenue buildings in the background. Inside the suite, the fabulous tall ceilings and muted colors enhanced its spaciousness and the large windows welcomed the sunlight. We looked longingly at the Jacuzzi bathtub next to the window. There was also a seat for what we imagined must have been reflexology or pedicure treatments. Unlit candles and flowers gave the room a romantic and welcoming look, even in the middle of a summer day. For privacy and convenience, there was a shower inside the Suite.

We enjoyed our massage on the heated adjustable treatment table near the entrance; it moved, at the touch of a button, to accommodate to the guest and therapist’s needs. We selected one of two massage oil scents and the masseuse began kneading and prodding aches and pains away.

There was a 24-hour advance 100 percent cancellation policy at the spa. We fount out about it the night before our appointment (less than 24-hours before our appointment); when we received a reminder note from the spa. Luckily, we had no intention of canceling.

Conference Facilities There were 15-000 square feet of meeting space, including 15 function rooms, a business center and a terrace. Features included silk wall coverings, 22-foot ceilings, rice paper chandeliers and audiovisual equipment. Business facilities offered: B&W and color photocopies, A/V capabilities, business equipment rental, express mail services, computers, and Internet services.

Other Restaurant and spa charges automatically included an 18 percent service fees. For those with cars, the only parking option was valet service (about $30 per day).

We found an Exclusive Gift Catalog in our room. It offered guests Mandarin merchandise including a mattress and box spring, pillows, duvets, bathrobes, bath and body products, kitchen and bar products, chocolates, lamps, a pet bed, and mink accessories ranging from $6 for a pillowcase to $13,000 for the custom designed luxury pet bed. Dogs up to 30 lbs. were welcomed in guestrooms and lobby area. Dog beds and amenities were provided.

The Mandarin Oriental Miami received AAA’s five diamond 2004 award. It was the second year in a row the hotel received the distinction.

Check-In-Check-Out Process Ease Excellent

Cleanliness Excellent

Date Of Review August 2004

Would You Stay There Again? Yes

Contact Information

  • Address:
    • 500 Brickell Key Drive
    • Miami, FL 33131
  • Phone:
    • (305) 913-8288 or
    • 1-866-888-6780
  • Fax:
    • (305) 913-8300
  • Website: