Tag Archive | miami

Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel

On a visit to South Miami Beach, we stayed at Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel.

Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel
1817 James Ave, Miami Beach,FL,33139

I used Hotwire (as usual) and chose a 3.5 star in South Beach. The resulting accommodation was Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel. This is a boutique hotel that is decorated in art deco style. From their website, they have locations globally and their Miami location is the only one in the US. While I like Hilton and Marriott chain hotels, it is nice to stay at an upscale, boutique hotel for something different.

Location: Plus for location! It is walking distance from plenty of stores for shopping, the beautiful Miami beach, and a wide variety of restaurants.

Room décor: The rooms are small. The bathroom did not have a tub, only a shower. There was not much empty floor space with the king sized bed, pullout full size sofa bed, and dresser. There were 3 of us in the room which I think added to the tight space. Despite the size of the room, I did not feel cramped because everything was white. It seemed to create the illusion of open space. As long as we were lounging in our respective beds, we were comfortable.

Parking: In a parking garage with valet. Parking was $25 per night. The only downside is that the parking garage is a block and a half away from the hotel. And I think the garage is shared by many of the local hotels. This means it can be a lenghty wait when you try to retrieve your car.

Amenties: Free wi-fi is always a plus. The connection was good in the room. The speed was fast enough to check email and Facebook. However, there are not a lot of outlets in the room (my one pet peeve). As mentioned in other posts, we need a lot of outlets to charge everything. I probably need to pack a power strip. I thought it was a plus that they had a docking station for iPods. That freed up one outlet.

Pool: The pool was wonderful. It was decorated in blue tile (my favorite color). There were cabanas for people to lounge around the pool. The pictures on their website do not do it any justice. So relaxing!

Overall, I like Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel for their art deco style and comfy beds. It was also in a nice location. The staff was very attentive. The bar foods was yummy and their Happy Hour prices were even better.

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Miami Airport Hilton

I stayed at the Miami Hilton Airport location. As for the room, it met my standards for a Hilton location. Immaculate clean room, comfortable bed, and relaxing good pressure shower head. Internet was $13 a day. Valet parking was $20 a day.

I was in town for business. It was raining and I did not feel like leaving the hotel to eat.
First of all, food at the hotel was very, very expensive. I chose this hotel because the per night rate was lower than the Marriott. But I think I ended up spending more on food here than I would have at another location.

Maybe I am being cheap, but I thought the Room service surcharges were outrageous: $5 delivery fee and 22% service charge.

Dinner
None of the entrees appealed to me so I ordered a few things appetizers. I had wings, yucca fries, and key lime pie. The wings were average. I did not like the buffalo sauce that came with them and I was glad it was on the side. It tasted like half a bottle of Texas Pete mixed with a stick of butter. As a result it left a greasy film in my mouth- not an appetizing feeling. The yucca fries were not good to me. It was mashed yucca in the shape of cheese sticks and fried to a crisp. My problem with this was that the yucca was over fried. The fries were so saturated with grease, that it made my stomach upset.
The bright side to this meal was the key lime pie. It was a 1 part tart, 1 part creamy, and 2 parts sweet. A delectable combination.
As you can see in the picture, I ate all the wings, key lime pie, left the hot sauce, and most of the yucca. I am used to eating fried food, but when there is too much grease, it does not sit well in my stomach.

Breakfast
I had the buffet because I figured that would be the best bargain for the money. The buffet had a lot of tasty choices but no bacon >cue my
sad face and sad music<. What is a breakfast without bacon?!?! I decided on the breakfast potatoes with chorizo, made-on-demand omelet,

some fruit, cheese, and pastries. The fruit was big and pretty, but not very sweet. The omelet was as tasty as I imagined it would be when I
chose the ingredients. The breakfast potatoes with chorizo were okay but needed salt and ketchup.

Everything was okay, not spectacular.The quality of of the customer service was on par with what I would expect from a Hilton. If I had had another option for food, I would have taken it. But since I was at the hotel and it was a distance to downtown, I had to make do with what I had. And although I was disappointed with the food, I did not complain because I ate it (I was too hungry to complain and have to wait for another order).

Jamaica Kitchen

Guy Fieri talked about this Jamaican restaurant in Miami Florida on Diners Drive Ins and Dives (http://www.foodnetwork.com/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/index.html). Of course I knew the next time I was in MIA, I was going to check it out. The food looked so good on TV.

When I got there, I was surprised that it was smaller than I expected. From the outside, it looked like an unassuming little store next to a Winn Dixie. Unless you know ahead of time, you would not think it was a restaurant. They had retail items like a mini Jamaican Wal-mart in addition to serving food. I wondered how did Guy get his camera crew in there to record the episode. Once I got over the size of the location, I was like a kid in a candy store in overload (see picture).

I got a menu but really wanted one of everything. I ordered curried oxtails (comes with rice and beans, plantain), curry chicken patties, rum cake, and ginger beer. Everything was DELICIOUS. It was just like I imagined it would be. The oxtail meat was falling off of the bones. The pastry dough of the patty was light and flakey. The patty filling was finely minced and full of balanced spicy flavor. To top it off, while I was eating, the owners/cooks came out of the kitchen and stood near the entrance. I approached them and said that I found out about the place from Triple D. They were really nice and friendly. I wanted to ask for a picture, but was too shy (that is saying a lot about me). I told them that I wish they had a restaurant that was closer to where I lived.

This is my type of comfort food and the next time I am in Miami, I am definitely going to eat here.
http://www.jamaicakitchen.com/