I am originally from Miami, my goal was to stay in a AFFORTABLE DECENT hotel off the beach and the penguin hotel was just that! Before we checked into our room we were able to relax on the beach and enjoy the lovely weather. The hotel is located
directly off the beach put away from all the crazy tourist. Yes you have to pay for parking but it only cost $5! Over all i had a great time!
ALL I WANTED WAS TO STAY AT A HOTEL ACROSS FROM THE BEACH. WHEN I GOT TO THE HOTEL THAT I BOOKED THEY DID NOT HAVE MY BOOKING ON FILE. THE CLERK WAS NOT INTELLIANT ENOUGH TO HELP,[...]. ALL HE COULD SAY IS THAT THEY WERE ALL BOOKED UP AND HAD NO
ROOMS. SO FINALY THEY GAVE ME A ROOM. ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM THE BEACH, NOT WHAT I WANTED OR PAID FOR. BUT THEY KNEW I HAD NO OTHER PLACE TO STAY FOR MY VACTION AND WOULD TAKE IT. IF YOU EVER USE THIS HOTEL PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CALL THEM AND VERIFY YOUR ROOM. I AM NOT HAPPY. IF YOU PAY FOR SOMETHING I THINK THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD RECIEVE. NOT WHAT THEY THINK YOU SHOULD GET OR LEAVE IT, AFTER YOU PAID YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY, AND ONLY HAVE A SHORT VACATION TO ENJOY.
We were moved to another hotel because the Penquin had no air-conditioning and had to deposit $200.00 at the President Hotel for some reason. This was one of the worst visit we had to Maimi and feel I should be returned my charges for the one night.
It is located on Ocean Drive, which in itself is great! However, the rooms are a bit pricy for what you get, and the walls must be really thin, because you can hear almost everything going on in the other rooms around you.. The restaurant was
absolutely worth checking out, and the prices there were really good for what you got. The hotel is 30 seconds away from the beach, so if you're looking to get a tan, being close to the beach, this is highly recommendable.
we got moved from the penguin to its sister hotel on the next street, collins, namedthe president because they said they were having room problems... aka overbookng. but the hotel was in a good spring break location, not for families and elders.
the location is right in south beach with the beach on one side and the clubs on the other. they give you beach towels that you have to check out so you dont have to pack your own. and they give you fresh towels everyday and make your bed. it would have been better if therre were a pool but all we did there was sleep and shower. the bed wasn't that comfortable but it was a decent size.
We used South Beach as a base for photographic day trips into the everglades, and as place to regroup and eat well in the evenings. The hotel seems to have hired a very weird designer and a very cheap contractor to do an internal retrofit of the
rooms to "modernize" them; but the results are somehow strange, tacky and shoddy all at once. For example, despite an abundance of mirrors and high tech appearing lighting in the tiny rooms, the electrical outlets were not properly anchored in the new wall surfaces, so they sank in when you tried to plug something in. In terms of fire safety, that's alarming. Also, more soundproofing between floors would have been a big help. The level of maintenance was also pretty abysmal; the shower had a euro-style flex-hose handle/head, but the clip to hold it was broken, and the AC compressor, unless set just right (which took three days to figure out) made astonishing wake-you-out-of-a-dead-sleep noises. The maid service, however, was truly excellent -- they paid real attention to the doorknob tag, and they did an really nice job cleaning the room. I have been to South Beach before, but it was many years ago and I could not remember where I stayed; I found this place on the web, which is always a dicey proposition. But considered as just a box to sleep in, the price was right and it was survivable.
Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Short walk from hotel
Visit the Wolfsonian Museum -- unusually intelligent curatorial viewpoint, including the inclusion of political art and use of ephemera (everyday artifacts) to provide context. A gem of a small museum...