Review: Hyatt Centric (South Beach Miami)

After a disappointing stay at The Betsy, the Hyatt Centric was a welcomed surprise. In fact, this hotel stay may rank as one of the best hotel stays I’ve ever experienced!

Let’s start from the beginning…

First, the aspect that impressed me the most about this hotel was that I received personal attention. It began with a personal email from the ‘Front Office Supervisor’ two days before my stay.

At first glance, the email appeared generic, but it had personal requests that I had stated in my conversation when I booked the hotel by phone which made me, think/feel that it was a more personal email. Unsure if it was generic, I did not put much stock into the email.

On the morning that we were to check-out of The Betsy (and check-in to Hyatt Centric), I called the front desk at the Hyatt Centric to inquire if we could check-in early. I told Hyatt Centric that we would be arriving around 11am and they replied that it was “no problem” and they would have a room available.

Note: Hyatt Centric is two blocks from The Betsy. I made the choice to walk to the Hyatt Centric and drop off our bags at 11:30 am so when we transitioned to the hotel (with an infant), it would be a smoother process.

When I arrived at the Centric that morning around 11:30am, I was immediately greeted by the energetic, front door / valet attendant and was directed to the hotel reception area located on the third floor.

When the elevator door opened on the third floor, again, I was immediately greeted by a group of smiling staff.

The lobby area was bright, spacious, and had various options of comfortable seating. They also had a table near the check-in desk that included complimentary croissants and fruit juices. Although, it was not of much interest to me personally, the front desk and lobby bar boasted signs of “fun happy hours.”

I approached the check-in desk and provided my last name. The representative, immediately, recognized my last name, reached into a file cabinet and removed my “my file.” The paper included my assigned room number and associated keys.

Recognizing that I had spoken to someone different on the phone, I thought to myself “the communication throughout the staff is clearly strong because she went directly to my file without typing my name in the computer.”

The representative asked if anyone else would be joining me. I assume she asked because I was carrying my luggage, my wife’s luggage and had baby bags. 🤣

For simplicity and because I was in a rush to return to my family, I replied “my wife will be joining me later.”

I did not disclose the hotel name but shared that we had stayed at a local hotel the night before and it was a disappointing stay.

“Well, I can assure you that we’ll take good care of you.” she responded.

After a few clicks on the computer, I was walking to my room. The process was seamless and fast.

I delivered all of our bags to the room and immediately departed from the hotel to join my wife and daughter back at The Betsy for brunch.

After brunch, we walked to the Hyatt Centric. As we approached the entrance, the front door / valet attendants greeted us again saying “Welcome back. We are happy to see you again with your family. If you need anything, let us know.”

Again, although this greeting was not over-the-top, this interaction made me feel welcomed and let me know that they recognized my face.

Once we arrived on our quiet floor, I took a few pictures….

Although the room was located on the south side of the building, you can tell by the pictures that the room was exceptionally bright. The light-colored, faux hardwood floors added to the tropical vibe of the hotel.

The bathroom had wood accents, matching the floor, and displayed BeeKind products which was a nice added touch.

I understand that MANY people have utilized this room prior to me. One aspect that I do not enjoy is seeing remnants of MANY people having utilized the room prior to me. However, this bedroom was spotless. Again, the room was extremely bright, despite not having direct sunlight. I feel more productive when I have sunlight / bright rooms so this was appealing to me.

While looking at the photos above, you may have noticed a “gift” on the office table…

…that’s right! In between my departure from dropping off my bags and returning to the hotel, the front desk staff had delivered two slices of cheesecake, a bottle of water, and a note that read “We hope you enjoy your stay.”

Note: Before anyone jumps into the comment section…yes, there was a cover on the cheesecake. I removed it for the picture.

I assume ‘complimentary cheesecake’ is not customary for all guests but let’s recap…

  • email from front office supervisor two days before check-in with details from my phone call
  • no hassle, early check-in
  • energetic front door / valet greeting
  • front desk greeting = fast and efficient checkin-in
  • complimentary breakfast croissants / fruit juice in lobby
  • front door / valet recognition upon my return
  • clean room (this should be a given but if you’ve ever stayed in a room that wasn’t clean, you appreciate the clean rooms thereafter)
  • CHEESECAKE and a real bottle of water (not those complimentary bottles of aquafina that they give everyone)

Are we seeing a trend here?

IT GETS BETTER…

I’ve been to South Beach many times before and knew how outrageous hotel prices could be, particularly, if any social events were taking place during my stay.

I, often, research a hotel before my stay to determine the best route….should I pay the cash price or redeem points? For a stay at the Hyatt Centric, Monday through Thursday, typically, you can find a price tag in the early to mid $200’s. For weekend stays, the price doubles (if not more)…guaranteed! For the two nights that we would be staying at the Hyatt Centric, this was the price…

hyatt.com

For most people (myself included), $400 per night is bit outside the budget. This is why I love points. For 15,000 points, you can stay in the same room.

hyatt.com

Given that most credits card sign-up bonuses are, roughly, 50,000 points, you could redeem 45,000 points for 3 nights at the Hyatt Centric, saving you (at least) $1200 for a stay in the heart of South Beach.

If you are addicted to posting the biggest and best instagram photos an instagram enthusiast, the Hyatt Centric provides a ton of great backgrounds. You may have seen a few of them on my IG feed….

Two days after checkout, I received another email from the ‘Guest Service Manager’ that thanked us for staying at the Hyatt Centric but also included details about our stay including “I sincerely hope that your family enjoyed the cheesecake and had a much better experience than you had earlier this week.”

That is not a generic email! That is an email from a staff member that cares about your experience.

Generic emails flood my email box before (and after) a stay but these emails included more personal interaction and made my stay feel like I was at a boutique hotel.

FINAL STAMP

On a scale of 1-10…

  • Location Score – 9.5 – The Centric is located on Collins Ave / A1A (literally a block from the ocean). No, it is not located ON the beach but 1 block away from the beach is difficult to beat.
  • Check-In Score – 10 – As I mentioned before, “check-in” started days before I arrived at the hotel and the personal attention spoke volumes. If I could give a score of 11, I would.
  • Service Score – 10 – The attendants at the valet stand / front door said “Hi,” “Bye,” “Have fun at the beach!” and acknowledged me EVERY SINGLE TIME I entered or exited the building. I also overheard them speaking telling a joke in spanish to a guest that had just arrived. Additionally, I requested room service twice and they delivered items to my room in less than 5 minutes.
  • Vibe Score – 9 – This hotel was fun, comfortable, and had a laid-back vibe.
  • Restaurant / Food Score – n/a – It’s difficult to provide a score because, admittedly, we ventured to neighboring areas (e.g. Lincoln Road Mall – this is not a mall but an outdoor pedestrian walkway that has restaurants and stores) for the two days we stayed at the HC.
  • Amenities Score – 9 – An outdoor pool, complimentary wifi, beach chair rentals…everything I really needed for a family stay.
  • Check-Out Score – 10 – Checkout was fast and efficient. It was unfortunate because I enjoyed my stay.

Overall, I would give the Hyatt Centric a 9.5!

Annually, I stay in a lot of hotels. Some hotels are good, others need a bit of work. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Hyatt Centric as a great place to stay.

This was the experience that I thought I was “buying” at The Betsy. Interestingly, The Betsy was on the beach. Hyatt Centric was one block from the beach. Comparing the “costs”….
– The Betsy: $1389/nt or 25,000 Hyatt Points/nt
– Hyatt Centric: $400/nt or 15,000 Hyatt Points/nt

I will give the The Betsy the benefit of the doubt and say they were having a bad day but even with the benefit, I would still pick this Collins Avenue gem everyday over The Betsy!

Note: There is a Daily Resort Fee of $28, plus tax (14%), will be added to your rate but is not added if you are redeeming points.

I try to avoid hotels that have “resort fees” so I think this is worth noting.

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