The Surfcomber Hotel, Review #4 of 7 Hotels in 7 Days: Miami, South Beach
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Fontainebleau Resort & Spa, Review #5 of 7 Hotels In 7 Days, Miami, South Beach

The signature exterior view of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The Fontainebleau Resort Hotel & Spa has been on my "must stay" list for years.  I knew if I ever did 7 Hotels In 7 Days: Miami Beach, this place would be one of my seven.  Normally wouldn't visit such a big mega resort, but I wanted to do the Fontainebleau anyway.  And with its recent renovation and improvements, I had very high expectations.  

Reception desk at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The hotel reception desk is far from the beautiful main lobby area.  This is a huge hotel property with 1504 guestrooms, and the front desk was understaffed when I arrived.  There was a long line; while waiting I noticed large numbers of guests wearing expo/meeting badges around their necks.  This indicated that the Fontainebleau is more than just a popular vacation spot.

Guestroom #832, an Ocean View King, at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

Room #832 is in the original curved Chateau Tower.  An Ocean View King.  Cool colors with light fabrics and blond colored furniture.   A very comfortable pillow top style mattress.   Nice soft and smooth sheets.  Heavy weight comforter.  Plenty of pillows.  Room had plenty of lighting.  Simple but nice artwork on the walls. 

Comfortable desk with an Apple Mac in the rooms at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The nice desk with a Apple iMac computer was the final confirmation that this is definitely more of a business meeting/convention hotel than it is a resort hotel.  The desk was comfortable.  Power and hardwired internet plugs were on the desktop.  WiFi was very slow at 1.7Mbps Down & 4.3 Up.

Beside the desk was a dresser with a safe and plenty of drawer space.  The bedside tables also have additional drawers.  I found personal lubricant from the previous guests in a bed side drawer.  I didn't need to be reminded of the prior night's activities in the bed  I would soon be sleeping in.  Above the drawer unit was a nice HDTV with an HD cable feed.  

Comfortable chair beside the guestroom window at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

Closet provided plenty of full length hanging space.  Two very nice bathrobes.  Extra pillow and blanket.  Iron & ironing board.  The room's air conditioner was a bit noisy -- not what I expected in such a nice room.  A well stocked mini-bar refrigerator & snack tray are located in a bar area just inside the entrance door.  No coffee maker. 

Lovely bathroom at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The marble bathroom was lovely and functional.  Excellent lighting and large shower, no tub. Plenty of high quality towels.  Magnified, illuminated makeup mirror.  The non-HD tv was a little out of place in such a modern bathroom.  Plenty of toiletries from Molton Brown. 

View of the main bowtie pool from my guestroom at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The view from my room was excellent, meeting all expectations for the Fontainebleau Hotel and Miami Beach.  The large knee to ceiling window was great, after cleaning off the oily hand and face prints!  These were so obvious that I knew no one had even looked at the window during the last room cleaning.  Curtains were a heavy blackout and a thin sheer.

One of the many pools at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The property has six pools.  The central bow tie shaped pool is the main one, with the nearby kids pool and water slide a popular spot for the kids.  Personal daybeds ($150-300),  and cabanas ($250-1500) are available.

Entrance to the impressive spa facility of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The spa is a very large operation with a wide variety of treatments.   Lapissage is their signature treatment.  Indoor pool, relaxation space shared between men and women.  A basic spa facilities day use pass is available for $35, a great deal.   The gym/fitness facility is also impressive with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

One of several restaurants in the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

A wide variety of dining options are available during the day; in the evening, add three major fine dining restaurants:  Italian, Chinese, and a steakhouse.  These are expensive, but menus look excellent.  Visit the hotel website for details.  My Chinese meal was delicious, but service was only average.   Not many eating options are located nearby.

Plenty of yummy items here in the coffee shop. Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

This little coffee/bakery/gelato shop was beautiful.  A casual cafe is located on the pool level. 

One of several bars.  This one in the Chinese restaurant of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

Several bars are located around the resort.  This one in the Chinese restaurant was especially beautiful.  Note:  My stay at this property was thanks to my sponsors/supporters.  I received no free services from this property.

The "LIV" dance club / lounge just off the lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

Off the main lobby is a major Miami Beach night club, LIV.  Locals told me that it wasn't the hippest place in town at that time.  Popularity of dance venues change over time based on DJ's and promoters. 

Impressive main lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The focus of the spacious lobby of the Fontainebleau are the three massive crystal chandeliers that dominate the space.  Several comfortable seating areas are provided, but it is the central path for what is now a massive resort.  It should be noted that for some guests, the only way to access the pool area is via the main lobby.  A swimwear cover-up is advised. 

Historic Bleau Bar just off the lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The lobby opens up into the Bleau Bar with it's colorful lighting.  Action here picks up after 10 pm with a DJ and high cost bottle service. 

Exterior front view after dark of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

The Fontainebleau is more of a convention hotel than a resort hotel.  Yes it has beautiful pools and a nice beach.  But at every turn I was reminded of the attached convention center facilities.  I don't want to feel like I'm at a convention when I'm on vacation.  You could use this hotel for the main Miami Convention Center but it would be about a 10 minute drive.  It also takes the edge off the romance.

Easy beach access from the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

It is a short walk on an elevated wooden boardwalk to the beach access.  Hotel provides beach attendants and chair rentals.  Beach area is fairly narrow with gentle surf. 

Main building exterior view of the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida

Checkout is 11 am.  The Fontainebleau was the only hotel of the seven that I reviewed during my 7 Hotels In 7 Days: Miami Beach that was unable to give me a late checkout.  Had to wait in a line for checkout.   This was the one property I was really looking forward to the most, but it ended up being the biggest and only disappointment.  It was dramatically over-priced, and as a guest I didn't feel like I was on vacation.  Check out my other Miami Beach reviews for better alternatives.