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How I Used ResortPass To Cool Off on a Hot Day in Miami

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Brett Holzhauer
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Brett Holzhauer

Content Contributor

52 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 22U.S. States Visited: 29

Brett is a personal finance and travel junkie. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, he's had over 100 credit cards and earned millions of credit card rewards.
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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It can get hot where I live in the Miami area, and while I love escaping during the height of summer, sometimes I hang around to enjoy the city’s fun. Recently, my girlfriend, who lives in Chicago, came down for a visit, allowing me to play tourist in my own city for a few days. I’d heard of ResortPass from another Upgraded Points writer but had never used the service myself. So, with the sun blazing down and a day off of work, we decided to book a ResortPass experience at a nearby Miami hotel. 

What Is ResortPass?

RestortPass is a platform that unlocks exclusive access to the world’s best hotels. It gives you the opportunity to have a vacation, just for a day. With ResortPass access, you can experience resort amenities like pools, spas, and more without having to stay overnight.  

Booking an Experience Using ResortPass 

Booking on ResortPass was extremely simple and easy to navigate. For our experience, we knew we wanted a hotel pool or beach day on a set date, so I went to the website searching for exactly that. We plugged in Miami and our preferred date.

From there, I narrowed in on my search by setting specific filters, including: 

  • Hotels with availability 
  • Star rating (0 to 5 stars)
  • Popular amenities (all-inclusive, beach access, gym, spa, rooftop pool, hot tub, lazy river, waterslide)
  • Vibes (family-friendly, party, serene, luxe, trendy)
  • Guest rating (excellent 9+, very good 8+, good 7+)

For our pool day, we knew we wanted something in North Miami Beach, so we set our criteria and hit search. Once the results populated, we could see all available options in a list view. In the app, we could see our options on a map.

ResortPass Desktop Screen
This is the desktop view when looking for properties on ResortPass. Image Credit: ResortPass

At first glance, we could see the hotel name and location, scores for vibes and guest ratings, the number of reviews, highlighted amenities, a brief description, and costs for the experiences at that hotel. We could click on each hotel for more information.

Hot Tip:

In some cases, it may only cost a bit more than a pass to just book a room at the property you want to visit — especially if you go during the week. Check out the nightly rates at the hotel before you book a ResortPass.

My girlfriend had her eyes peeled for a hotel with trendy vibes, a quiet atmosphere, and a good deal. Our search returned a bunch of options that fit that description. We liked the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort, as it had beautiful photos, good reviews, and available experiences at a great price.

ResortPass Booking Screen
We selected the Newport Beachside Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, as it had fantastic pictures and ratings. Image Credit: ResortPass

Once we found a spot we liked that had availability, we looked at the product options and their costs. There were 5 options available for the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort, 4 of which were available on our selected date. All seemed to be a good value for what was offered. 

  • Day Pass: $50 (this was the base option to get access to the pool, and everything beyond that was an upgrade)
  • Pool Daybed: $100
  • Malibu Tiki Hut on a Private Beach: $230 (unavailable on our booking date)
  • Sunny Luxury Pool Day Bed: $150
  • Elements Ocean Breeze Sectional: $350

We did a quick search for a weekend date and noticed that the prices on weekends (Friday through Sunday) were slightly higher, but that was to be expected.

ResortPass Mobile Booking Screen
These were the options we could choose from at the property we chose. Each hotel has unique offerings. Image Credit: ResortPass

We selected the sunny luxury pool daybed for a base price of $125. That included: 

  • A reclining sofa daybed to use from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Space for up to 4 people 
  • An additional 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella (in addition to the daybed)
  • Pool, beach, and pier access 
  • 20% off at the Sandbar Restaurant (located on the pier outside the hotel)

The booking process was extremely simple. After selecting our product experience and adding it to the cart, the total cost was $145.45, payable with Apple Pay or a credit card.  

ResortPass Booking Screen Mobile
Be aware there are pesky fees, similar to Airbnb. Image Credit: ResortPass

I booked the pass with my American Express® Business Gold Card, which has a ResortPass Amex Offer through September 30, 2024, for $20 off of a $100 purchase. Additionally, this purchase was coded as travel, which earned me 4x Membership Rewards points.

ResortPass Amex Offer
This was an easy way to save $20 on our fun afternoon. Image Credit: American Express

The charge was posted on my card the same day of booking, and 2 days later, the $20 credit had been applied.

ResortPass Amex Offer
I didn’t have to wait long to see the credit applied to my card statement.

My First ResortPass Experience Was Everything We Wanted and More  

While our experience was available starting at 9 a.m., we arrived closer to 11:30 a.m. Reviews on the ResortPass app indicated that although the listing advertised valet parking for $20, the hotel had previously turned other ResortPass users away, directing them to the parking lot across the street. We saved ourselves the trouble and parked across the street from the start. The lot was open with no gate or attendant and indicated it was for the Newport Beachside hotel, so we felt good about our decision. We still had to pay $20 + tax for parking for the day.

We made the quick 2-minute walk across the street and walked into the hotel to the front desk for check-in. ResortPass said to bring a photo ID and your booking ID number to receive your wristbands. It also indicated that we’d need to leave a credit card on file for any incidentals. 

Upon reaching the desk, we shared that we were there for a ResortPass booking. The receptionist asked for our booking ID, which I provided with a screenshot on my phone. She had us sign our names and signatures on a guest log. From there, she handed us our wristbands in a standard hotel envelope, along with 2 hotel key cards. We didn’t need to show our IDs or give a credit card. 

ResortPass Wristbands and Room Key
This is what was given to us for pool and amenity access for the day.

We grabbed a quick coffee at the hotel shop (about $9 for 2 iced coffees) and made our way out to the towel stand by the pool. There, we were greeted with ice-cold fruit-infused water and friendly towel attendants

Watermelon water by the pool at the Newport Beachside hotel in Miami
The watermelon water was a perfect drink as it was plenty hot by the pool.

We shared that we had booked a sunny luxury pool daybed and were quickly escorted over to the roped-off VIP area. 

Umbrellas and loungers at the Newport Beachside hotel in Miami
The pool area was clean and had a great atmosphere.

Given it was a Monday morning, the entire VIP section was empty and remained that way throughout our visit. We got the best seat in the house — a prime view of the beach and the ocean right at our feet. Our attendant wasted no time getting us set up and quickly placed towels and chair covers on both lounge chairs and the daybed. 

Daybeds and chairs at the ocean at Newport Beachside hotel in Miami
Our daybed, chairs, and view for the afternoon.

Within 5 minutes, he returned with 4 bottled waters and 2 plates of freshly cut fruit.

Water and fruit by the pool at the Newport Beachside hotel in Miami
A surprise for us right as we sat down to get comfortable.

These refreshers were a surprise to us, as the booking hadn’t mentioned anything about this sweet perk.

Water and fruit by the pool at the Newport Beachside hotel in Miami
The fruit was fantastic.

We spent the next 3 hours alternating between our lounge chairs, daybed, and refreshing dips in the pool (which were needed, as Miami temperatures were in the 90s). The pool was relatively quiet, with comfortable water temperatures and a nice sun shelf to lay on. 

The music was at a good level the entire time, but it must have been an 80s-themed day, as there was a steady stream of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna on the speakers. 

The attendants were helpful when needed but not overbearing or distracting. We were able to relax, read our books, and enjoy the pool amenities just as if we were regular hotel patrons. 

At one point, we decided to order some food and drink from the pool menu and easily flagged down an attendant to do so. We ordered a Miami Vice frozen drink, a chicken quesadilla with a side of guacamole, and mini beef empanadas. Everything arrived quickly and was delicious. With a preset 22% gratuity and 9% tax, our total was just over $59. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, this experience through ResortPass was the perfect way to spend a Monday in Miami. The booking process was extremely simple both on the website and app and provided a variety of options to choose from, ranging from amenities and prices to vibes and location. 

Using ResortPass gave us access to a staycation-like experience without the unnecessary hotel stay (being local). I plan to use ResortPass again in the future.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.

Brett Holzhauer's image

About Brett Holzhauer

Brett is a personal finance and travel junkie. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, he’s had over 100 credit cards and earned millions of credit card rewards. He learned the tricks of the trade from his mom, and has taken many steps forward. He wasn’t exposed to much travel as a kid, but now has a goal of reaching 100 countries in his life. In 2019, he sold all of his possessions to become a digital nomad, and he says it was one of the best decisions he ever made. He plans to do it again at some point in his life.

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