01. Introduction: I guess I’ll go to Miami
02. American Airlines A319 economy class San Diego to Miami
03. Miami International Airport Hotel
04. Driving from Miami to Key West and back in the same day is a stupid idea
05. American Airlines Admirals Club at D30, Miami international Airport
06. American Airlines A319 economy class Miami to San Diego
I’ve been staying at a lot of really good airport hotels over the past several years or so, and unfortunately, some of the better ones (like the Marriott at Calgary international Airport for example) have raised the bar by quite a large margin and I’m disappointed if I stay anywhere else that isn’t as good. On top of that, even my own standards have been rising over the years. Back in my early 20s, a Super 8 located in the cheapest part of town was good enough, but now that I’m becoming older (and softer) I need a bit more luxury in my hotel choices. That’s okay though because airport hotels in general are getting very good so I usually never have to look far.
The Miami international Airport hotel is one that I’ve been wanting to try ever since the first time I flew to MIA back in 1999. I was a hard-core plane spotter and aviation photographer back then, and the thought of staying at a hotel connected to the airport with windows overlooking terminals sounded amazing to me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it at that time in my life so it was all but a dream. I knew that someday I would stay at that hotel and enjoy the views of this amazing airport though. I was determined, and I finally got my chance two months ago.
Unfortunately, I’ll just cut to the chase and say that it did not live up to my expectations. I knew it wasn’t gonna be as good as the Calgary Marriott, but I was sure that it would be decent since it was connected to one of the greatest airports on earth. It had to be, right? Not exactly. The name alone should’ve been enough to tell me that this wasn’t going to be really nice hotel. “The Miami international Airport hotel.” The fact that they couldn’t come up with a name more creative than that speaks volumes and I should’ve realized that before going in.
The entrance to this hotel is located at the check in level at the very center of the airport. And it wasn’t really even an entrance – I was actually looking for a large doorway and a big sign, but the check in desk is literally located in the middle of the terminal with very little to separate it from the throngs of passengers checking in for flights. I actually walked past it three times before I realized it was the hotel.
It was after 11 PM when I checked in, and the desk was staffed by two people. One of them was assisting a customer that needed a lot of help, and the other just stood there working on something without acknowledging me at all. Finally, after five minutes waiting while the other agent was helping the other customer, she finally looked up at me and asked if she could help.
Walking into the room for the first time was highly disappointing, so much so that I actually felt more disappointed that I ever have when checking into a hotel. Seriously – I wasn’t expecting a Grand Hilton or anything, but the quality of this room appeared to be extremely low-budget and not matching of the price I paid ($192.93). Actually stood there for a minute looking around mumbling to myself “seriously?” over and over. This is not what I was expecting, and I would’ve turned around and left if it weren’t for the fact that it was after 11 PM and this hotel was very conveniently attached to the airport. Being attached to the airport seemed to be the only redeeming value of this place, and it’s hard to justify staying here if I didn’t need to be so close to the airport.
As you can see, this is pretty “low end” on the scale of airport hotel quality (at least in my experience). It was dark, stinky, and kind of ugly from some angles. However, let me say this – by the end of my stay here, the place had grown on me quite a bit. For an airport hotel, it was extremely quiet, and the view of the terminal from my window was amazing. Most importantly, being attached to the airport was highly convenient – especially for an airport as busy and large as MIA.
This ended up being a good experience, but it could’ve been great if the rooms were brighter and more modern. I’m actually surprised that they haven’t invested in upgrades like that in order to fend off all the competition from all the other airport hotels in the vicinity. There are a lot of them, the Miami international Airport Hotel is going to have to step up their game in order to keep charging the nightly rates that they do. Simply being attached to the airport isn’t going to be enough to stay on top.