We’ve started a new tradition. For the past four years in a row we’ve gone on a family vacation in Florida to visit my parents. This year, we decided to spread our wings and make it more than just a family visit but explore some areas too.
First place on our list – Miami Beach! With that comes a serious task of where to stay. With over 200 hotels (large and small) to choose from, not including hundreds of vacation rentals and other choices, I was, to say the least, OVERWHELMED!
Confession – I absolutely love love travel planning and searching for cheap airline tickets and hotels, so as overwhelmed as I felt, it was still a super fun thing to do!
I started searching, I mean, where do you even begin? I knew I was looking for beach front properties. If you’re coming to Miami and not staying on the water, why bother. At least that’s my opinion.
I might be a bit out of the loop, but what I found super interesting about Miami’s options is that there were tons offered in the resorts, which included all the resort amenities like pools, beach benches, umbrellas, towels. However, you are not technically staying with the hotel, but a privately owned room that is part of the hotel.
The major benefit to this was that there were NO RESORT FEES. Every single hotel that we looked at had you pay a resort fee to use all of the above amenities, which really added up because it was anywhere between $25 – $50 extra per day. This didn’t include the parking fee, which you have to pay no matter where you stay in Miami.
Tips for Booking With Wimdu
1. Contacting owners – One thing I understood after doing searches is that it’s best to contact the owners first to see what’s available. Owners don’t always update their availability lists so you can put in a reservation only to find out that they are booked.
2. Booking Hot Spots – Popular destinations, like Miami, a lot of owners have minimum stays. Some don’t list them on their page. So once again, it’s important to contact them first.
3. Customer service – I found the customer service department to be really helpful and expedite the reservations and contact with owners a lot faster. I’m super impatient so this little benefit eased my nerves.
Here’s What We Finally Got
I got my family a gorgeous beach front room with a balcony over looking Miami Beach on the eleventh Floor of the Shelbourne Resort.
Frank was the owner and my main contact for the room. He was really easy to work with and helped out with any questions I threw at him.
Why We Loved Our Stay in Miami:
The View – Staying here you need to be up high. With all the high rises, you want to get a birds eye view of the entire area.
Beach Access – we were literally on the beach.
Beach Fun – we got free benches and umbrellas. This is pretty big considering it’s more money out of your pocket and it’s a total necesity when hanging out on the beach – especially with kids.
Pool time – We actually spent more time at the pool than on the beach. For some reason it’s simply more fun for the kids. And I loved the lounge chairs!
The room – Our accommodations in Miami were cozy. An incredible shower and RIGHT there. We didn’t have to trudge a few blocks to pee.
The beds – We stay in MANY MANY hotels. Finding comfortable beds has been a huge challenge for me. I will HONESTLY say, the beds in this room were the most comfortable I have ever slept on. I sooo wish my kids would have let me sleep in, even until 8!
Frank also supplies the room with sand toys and a little carriage for kids. The stroller we brought, but totally spaced on bringing sand toys for my baby, which saved us many times from temper tantrums!
Miami Beach – You did good for my family!