South Beach Miami may not be the most kid-friendly destination, but as Miami’s a major cruise port, families will find themselves navigating Miami Beach with kids in tow. When we realized our red-eye flight from San Francisco to Miami would land us in the city at 6 am, a full 10 hours before standard hotel check in, I knew exactly where I wanted to stay: at a Kimpton property. I knew a Kimpton would provide the level of customer service I needed when I arrived at dawn with tired kids: ample on-site relaxation we could take advantage of before check-in, as well as a friendly staff who would do all they could to get us in our room early.
Kimpton Surfcomber was perfect. Located in the heart of South Beach, directly on the sand, Surfcomber has three sections of outdoor entertainment: 1. their pool area, which has a beautiful art deco pool and plenty of lounge chairs, with a dedicated pool staff, 2. their ‘backyard’, which is a palm-tree shaded, grassy and sandy area behind the pool with outdoor sofas, Adirondack chairs, ping-pong, and the High Tide Bar, and 3. the beach, with yet another dedicated staff on premises to set your family up with lounge chairs, towels, sunscreen, shade, and water. In addition to these three main areas, Surfcomber has the following perks:
- evening complimentary wine hour for parents
- morning coffee and tea service in the lobby, and afternoon ‘Arnold Palmer’ service (tea and lemonade mix)
- complimentary cruiser bike use (adult sizes)
- two on-site dining options: High Tide and The Social Club
- exercise room (and beach boardwalk adjacent for running, biking, or walking)
- bell service and easy access to South Beach locations
- on-site spa services and cabanas
- as always, free WiFi and honor bar credit for Kimpton Karma members
We spent our long day pre-check-in at the beach, where we were able to use the beach butler service even though we didn’t have a room number yet, and took the bikes for a spin to check out the local scene (with teens, the adult sized bikes worked well). We ate a late breakfast at The Social Club, and took a swim in the pool, all while desk services held our luggage.
I asked for an early check-in if possible, and was notified around 2 pm that my room was ready. We spent the late afternoon relaxing in the room, then took a second swim at the beach before hitting South Beach for dinner. Note: the only downside to Surfcomber’s location: South Beach is an expensive place to eat…we were hard pressed to find any truly affordable options. Breakfast at the Social Club was absolutely delicious, but well over $50 for three of us, and adult beverages at High Tide were $14 each. We did find a breakfast counter option at the Walgreens one block away (odd, I know!) but expect to pay at least $15-20 per person for dinner and lunch in the South Beach area, at a bare minimum.
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The beach along this section of South Beach is calm and still in the mornings, with more waves and current in the late afternoons, and there’s plenty of sand to play in as well. We tended to roam between the pool and the beach. Our room was tastefully decorated and unique, as Kimptons tend to be, but also small, which Kimptons also tend to be. I loved the generous size of the property, however, and how relaxed, artistic, and spacious everything felt outdoors. The overall vibe is very chill and cool, without being snooty. We didn’t see many young kids here, but the adult party scene was elsewhere too, which I appreciated. It got a little loud at times on a Saturday night, but nothing we couldn’t deal with.
We paid around $250 for our standard room with two queen beds, and with all the on-site amenities, I felt I got a good value. The Loews and Ritz Carlton practically next door ask twice as much or more, and I don’t see much addition to the amenities (I could see their pools and beaches alongside ours). And you can’t beat the style of a Kimpton!
The Surfcomber is located at 1717 Collins Avenue, South Beach. We paid a $35 flat rate for a taxi from MIA. We were in walking distance of restaurants and beaches and 15 minutes from the cruise port.