Circa39 Hotel Review Overall – 3* Average
I booked this hotel as an alternative to my usual go-to hotel in South Beach, the Mondrian. I booked very last minute and hotels were either sold out or very expensive due to a couple of conferences happening the week before and after. At the normal rates, ~$150/night, this is a good alternative from the pricier South Beach hotels. It is a quick Uber ride from South Beach and offers a friendly boutique experience. It was cute and close to the beach, but the lack of a good night’s sleep negated all the pros for me. After reading reviews on the breakfast not being worth it, we walked down to have breakfast at the Palms Hotel’s located on 31st which offers a pretty good breakfast buffet for $19/person and nice outdoor seating. The following day we grabbed a quick egg sandwich at the deli downstairs.
Location – 4* Good
Away from the bustle of South Beach, located on 39th and Collins, it is a short and cheap $5 Uber ride to restaurants, clubs, etc. There is a deli downstairs that’s good for snacks and any sundries you might have forgotten. The beach is located across the street with easy access to the boardwalk.
Room – 3* Average
The room was small but nicely decorated and conveniently came with a fridge. The ironing board was in bad shape and unfortunately damaged a shirt when ironing, but housekeeping quickly brought another one upon request. The bathroom was also small, but provided good lighting and Aveda toiletries. There were plenty of towels and the water pressure was good. The WiFi was good and free. The TV was very small for the space.
Service – 4* Good
Check in was fast and friendly, but the receptionist neglected to give any information upfront. I had read in reviews that the Palms hotel a few blocks south is the sister hotel and guests of Circa 39 have access to the spa and pool area. We also had to ask about the beach chairs (included in the $14.95/night resort fee). Housekeeping was very late, when we arrived back to our room at 4PM the room still had not been cleaned. Otherwise staff was very friendly and always said hi and smiled when passing through the halls. The pool and bar service was also very friendly and helpful.
Sleep Quality – 2* Poor
This hotel is newly renovated but it seems they did not replace the beds and pillows. This was one of the worst sleep experiences I’ve had since my college spring break. The bed was a king, but sank in the middle badly, I had to sleep on the very edge to not feel like I was going to roll into the middle. The springs could also be felt through the mattress. The pillows were awful, lumpy and old and cheap. The linens were just as bad, poor quality, hard and scratchy.
The windows had no shades or curtains, instead designed with wooden shutters that let the light from outside in. It was so bad we called downstairs and asked if the outside light could be turned off. The only thing they could do was remove one of the light bulbs. We used beach towels and the bathrobes to try to block the light. We could clearly hear our neighbors when they arrived back to their room, otherwise it was not too bad. Our room was on the quieter side of the hotel based on other reviews, facing a parking lot in the 2nd building away from the busy Collins Ave.
Circa39 Hotel Amenities – 4* Good
We didn’t eat at their Jules restaurant but had lunch at their Wunderbar. The fish tacos were very good. The pool area was small but very cute and clean and had two cabanas. It only got sun up until about 2PM though. There is also a nice courtyard situated between the two buildings with picnic tables, and swinging cars and benches. There was a fitness room available that I didn’t have the opportunity to check out. The Aveda spa is located at their sister hotel, The Palms located on 31st street. There is self-parking available (a rarity in Miami) at a reasonable $24/day.
Circa39 Hotel Information
Savvy Rating: Overall 3*, Location 4*, Rooms 3*, Sleep Quality 2*, Service 4*, Hotel Amenities 4*
Date of Stay: Feb 2016 over a non-holiday weekend
Price: Usually ~US$150-200/night. Paid US$307/night inclusive of fees/taxes.