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