Z Ocean Hotel South Beach Review

For our 5-year wedding anniversary we decided to take the quick hop from Tampa to Miami for a quick weekend getaway and stay at the Z Ocean Hotel in South Beach. The hotel is an all-suites IHG property (it’s technically a Crowne Plaza) and regularly goes for upwards of $400 per night, including the night of our trip, so it was the perfect time and place to use my IHG credit card annual free night certificate, which comes along with the $49 annual fee.

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We flew into Fort Lauderdale using our Southwest companion pass, so getting to the hotel it’s quite a hike. Since we had to visit friends and family while in town, we rented a car. Parking in South Beach is ridiculously expensive, but there is a public parking garage a couple of blocks away that is much cheaper than the hotel, so we left the car there until the following morning. The rate was around $18-$20 per day if I recall correctly.

Check in was relatively painless, although my only complaint was requesting late checkout on arrival, only to be told to request it the morning of departure, and then being told the following morning I could only get 2:00 pm check out, even having their top tier status, Spire Elite.

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Our suite faced the pool, which was perfectly ok with me since a room facing the inside of the hotel tends to be more quiet than one facing South Beach’s night life. According to the hotel’s website all the rooms are soundproof, and ours seemed pretty quiet, so it’s something to consider if you like a room facing Collins Avenue.

The suite was pretty nice, although it was more like a Junior suite with an entertainment unit acting as divider between the bed and the sitting area.

Main entrance hallway

Main entrance hallway

IMG_5753Z-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachThe bathroom had 3 main sections divided by two frosted glass doors, with the shower and one sink on one side, the toilet in the middle accessible through both sides and a second sink and mirror on the far side.

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The balcony didn’t have much of a view other than the pool, but the area was relatively quiet to sit outside and relax.

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There was also a nespresso machine with pods, fridge, microwave and dishes and utensils.

Z-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachThere was also a pretty hilarious “Lover’s Kit”:

Z-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachZ-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachAs a welcome present the hotel gave us a couple of drink vouchers, which we saved for the evening. During the afternoon we paid for the drinks and food we consumed since happy hour had appetizers and drinks at half price and we wanted to maximize the value of the drink vouchers. I ordered mahi-mahi tacos which were pretty good, and the bartender made pretty good mojitos. Being in Miami and what not, you really can’t go wrong with this Cuban classic.

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We also went to the beach for a bit. The hotel is about 2 blocks away from the water, and guests have complimentary access to beach towels and umbrellas, although the hotel umbrellas section is shared with another property, it is not directly lined up with the hotel, and the umbrellas don’t have the hotel name on them, so it took a bit of trial and error and asking around to find them.

At night we had some friends meet us over for drinks at the hotel, which is when we used our free drink vouchers. Being located in South Beach there are tons of excellent places to have dinner at, and one of our favorites which we visit as often as we can is Ceviche 105, a short Uber ride away. This trip was no exception, and the food was as excellent as always. Joe’s Stonecrab is also a relatively short drive away, but could take a couple of hours to get in on any given Saturday night.

Overall the hotel staff was very friendly and helpful, especially at the bar and restaurant.

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The next morning we had some family over, so the balcony and overall suite space came very handy. We also had breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, which had about a 20-minute wait and was packed, but the food was very good.

Z-Ocean-Hotel-South-BeachAt 2:00 pm and not a minute earlier we checked out, picked up our car, and went to visit some more friends and family before heading back to the airport.

Overall impression:

Living in Miami for 18years I never went to South Beach. I guess that’s mostly the case for locals and any major tourist spots. Visiting for a weekend was a different experience, and being able to stay at this hotel for a $49 credit card annual fee is about as good of a deal as it gets, so this hotel is a solid choice and I would not hesitate to visit again.

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