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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Hotel Insider: COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, Florida, USA

A restored art deco landmark overlooking the ocean is quiet and feels private

The main swimming pool at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
The main swimming pool at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach

The welcome

I arrive by taxi from Fort Lauderdale, and the hotel entrance is difficult to spot. The hotel was previously known as the Traymore and because of its status as an art deco landmark dating from 1939, its 2014 revamp by COMO feels like more of a restoration. Uniformed staff are on hand on the driveway to help.

The neighbourhood

The hotel sits unassumingly between the Intracoastal Waterway and Miami Beach, with road access from Collins Ave and pedestrian access at the other side onto the pleasant boardwalk and beach areas. It’s known locally as Collins Waterfront, and is between the two much busier areas of South Beach and a cluster of mega-hotels to the north.

The room

The hotel has 74 rooms; mine is a lake view suite on the 6th floor. It’s tidy and a compact 54sqm, with a small living room and separate bedroom (the ocean view suites are bigger). Like most of the rest of the hotel, there is a black and white flecked terrazzo floor throughout. There are green walls, grey furnishings and neat blinds. The bed is comfortable but there is only a choice between one type of feather and one type of foam pillow, neither of which is quite right.

A lake view suite at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
A lake view suite at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach

The scene

Most of the other guests are from elsewhere in the United States, with the rest coming from Europe, including the UK, France, Germany and Italy. The hotel feels quite empty when I visit, as most of the other guests seem to go out for the day and eat elsewhere. Perhaps the hotel’s best asset is its rooftop hydrotherapy pool, and terrace, which offers a great view of the sea and sky. There is also a very attractive ground floor pool area, but this is accessed via a gate from the walkway outside the hotel. Surprisingly, the refurb has left an old elevator and rather cramped, dark hallways between the rooms.

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The food

Food is available at Traymore Restaurant and the pool bar, and there’s room service. While these are very attractive spaces, the food was slightly disappointing for the prices charged. A pad thai costs $21 (Dh77) before taxes and service charges, and given that this is an Asian-owned brand is nothing special; the same went for the chopped kale salad ($16; Dh58). The breakfast buffet is quite limited. Fans of other COMO hotels will welcome the fact that the brand’s healthy Shambhala menu is available here as it is at all its properties.

The service

Characterful and helpful, though the cleaning staff let the side down by not cleaning my room until the afternoon and loudly vacuuming the lobby during breakfast. The pair of switched-on valets make the place feel secure.

Loved

The Traymore restaurant, with its high ceilings and art deco features, and the rooftop pool area.

The Traymore restaurant at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
The Traymore restaurant at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach

Hated

The less than inspiring food and slow housekeeping service. When I returned from half a day of sightseeing, cleaners disturbed me by knocking at the door to clean.

The verdict

A quiet and elegant base from which to explore classic Miami Beach.

The bottom line

Double rooms at the COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach cost from $240 (Dh880) per night including taxes.

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