Don’t judge Continental Bayside Hotel by it’s outer appearance

Port of Miami Hotels | Continental Bayside Hotel | Downtown Miami Hotels.

In any major US city, there is always construction. We reinvent, remodel, and revamp every so often. Miami is no different. With the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group choosing Miami as one of the first US cities to build, the flow of other major hotel groups followed. Ritz Carlton quickly built three hotels in Miami, Key Biscayne, and South Beach, Four Seasons took forever but finally stood tall in the Brickell Financial District, Starwood splashed W Hotel on South Beach, Kimpton reached to the sky with EPIC, Morgan decked out with the Mondrian, and Hilton dropped anchor with The Hilton Grand DoubleTree Downtown. Completion of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and the Miami Design District has seen a resurgence of Downtown Miami. It just goes that in order to stay competitive and relevant that surrounding hotels bring their facilities up to par. Continental Bayside Miami is trying to do just that.

Ideally located in Downtown Miami, along Biscayne Blvd literally a few steps away from American Airlines Arena home of last year’s NBA champions Miami Heat and across from Bayside Market Place, the timing is right for this hotel to upgrade.  It appears that the hotel has remodeled all of their rooms, hallways, and are working on the public spaces. There is no parking garage attached to this hotel. However, there are many garages nearby. The closest is right next door at the New World Tower Office Building. We called prior to arrival and was told by the hotel that it was $15 for overnight valet at this garage. However, upon arrival we were told that it is $25. Being in the parking garage and not wanting to keep driving around looking for parking, we decided to stay. We were told by the valet attendants that the garage was open 24 hrs and we could go in and out. Imagine our surprise when we came back at 10:30 pm after the Heat vs Rockets game and realized that the valet was gone!

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It is very challenging to figure out the main entrance with scaffolding surrounding the property on street level. The valet attendants directed us “around” the building. Well, every door “around” the building led to more construction until we got to the last door. The correct door to enter is closest to Biscayne Blvd on NE 13th St. When we arrived in the lobby, it was hardly a lobby, merely a desk with a single computer and major construction traffic up the elevators. There was a family who clearly did not realize that they did not make a reservation holding up the line for more than 45 minutes. Language barriers and a few continents later we were able to check in.

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The elevators and hallways were still under heavy construction dust, but the room was a pleasant and welcomed surprise. In chic Miami style, the stark white walls, light earth toned head board wall, dark floor carpet, white furnishings, modern fixtures, contemporary Toto toilet, and glass shower completed a modernistic minimal room.  The Blissful BedB Hotels & Resorts® signature bedding package wraps you in heavenly materials. It feels like laying on air and luxurious feathers. Simply put, amazing bed. There is Free WiFi throughout the hotel. We did not find a hair dryer nor luggage rack. Counter space in the bathroom was very minimal. Mind you, this hotel is not completely done. However, I can see upon completion this would rank well up there with the best of the best. We hope….

Upon a little digging it appears that the name of this hotel will change from Continental Bayside Miami to b2 miami downtown as part of B Hotels & Resorts, which has projects in Fort Lauderdale, Lake Buena Vista, and South Beach. Looking at pictures of these hotels on the website it appears as properties revamped with an urban touch. Very chic.

Check out was eventless. We chose this hotel for it’s proximity to the American Airlines Arena and promotional rate of $109. After staying here, I won’t be surprised if the price sky rockets when this facility is complete. It has all the hallmarks of a chic urban retreat. Hope I can afford it next time.

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