Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Stella Shon
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The author was traveling as an invited guest of the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel. All opinions are the author’s own, and the hotel had no input in any part of this review.
South Beach, which began as a coconut farm in the late 1870s, now has an international reputation as a tropical playground.
The neighborhood is now known worldwide for its beautiful sandy beaches, lively nightlife, extensive shopping options, stunning Art Deco architecture, and vibrant blend of cultures. With its year-round tropical climate, Miami and South Beach are always ready to welcome visitors.
With a childhood spent in South Florida and frequent trips to South Beach, I was excited to return to the family-friendly Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel and see how the beachfront property had changed since my last stay.
If you’re planning a weekend getaway, a fun trip with friends, or a family vacation to South Beach, here’s what you can expect if you stay at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel.
Within walking distance of the hotel are dozens of bars, restaurants, and stores, including the famous 8-block-long pedestrian promenade Lincoln Road, which is packed with shops and eateries.
If you’re planning a trip to South Beach and looking to make the most of the beach and the neighborhood, there’s no need to worry about renting a car. Most places in South Beach are easily accessible by walking or taking an Uber.
For those interested in exploring other vibrant neighborhoods of Miami, like Wynwood, Brickell, and Coconut Grove, renting a car is highly recommended for convenient transportation.
The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is located 12 miles from Miami International Airport (MIA), and depending on traffic, the trip there takes 30 minutes or less. An Uber ride to and from the hotel should ideally be around $30 each way.
The least expensive way to get to the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel from the airport is to take the Miami Beach Airport Express Bus from the Miami International Airport Metrorail station. The bus runs every 30 minutes and operates every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week. This bus fare costs $2.35 one-way and only makes 2 stops before getting to the South Beach hotels on Collins Avenue, where the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is located.Hot Tip:
The hotel was built in 1948 and became part of the Kimpton hotel chain in April 2011 before IHG acquired the brand. As an upscale 4-star property, the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, with its 186 rooms, is a more casual and laidback alternative to the posh hotels in its vicinity.
Although I was there on a media stay, the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel’s paid rates rely much on what’s going on in South Beach and throughout Miami at the time. If rooms are still available for popular event weeks like the South Beach Wine & Food Festival or Art Basel, don’t be surprised if rates soar up to $600 per night.
During slower months, such as the summer or fall, cash rates drop closer to $200 per night. If you’re paying with cash, consider using one of our recommendations for the best credit cards for IHG stays.
Coincidentally, I found out the hotel was hosting a dinner event as part of the South Beach Seafood Festival the night I was staying over. Despite this, I checked cash rates for my overnight stay, 2 weeks in advance, and found that a standard king room was priced at a modest $154 per night, excluding the $41 plus tax resort fee.
While point prices can vary greatly, if you’re considering booking with points rather than cash, you should anticipate redeeming about 40,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.
If you are a cardholder of the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants), the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, or the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, this could be an excellent opportunity to redeem those IHG free night certificates that are worth up to 40,000 points for a free night stay.
Since we value IHG One Rewards points at 0.5 cents each, 40,000 are worth roughly $200. Always check to see if you’re getting a good redemption by comparing the value of the points redeemed to the cash rates.
On a late Friday afternoon, I arrived at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel and pulled into the hotel’s valet.
Due to the dense nature of the hotels on South Beach and their proximity to each other, the valet circle at the Surfcomber is relatively small and narrow.
After handing over my keys to the valet attendant, I entered the lobby and saw the check-in desk, which was surprisingly quiet, directly in front of the entrance.
When I left the check-in counter, a few more guests were waiting to be checked in, and it seemed that I had beaten the queue by a few minutes.
The lobby and check-in areas of the hotel are decorated in the traditional Art Deco style, with muted tropical colors, textured natural fibers in the furniture, and soft cream color palettes like taupe, beige, and pink.
The pink couch to your left when entering the front doors of the property is hard to miss.
Within the lobby area, the hotel offers numerous communal spaces for guests to relax, work on their laptops, or people-watch.
The check-in agent informed me of the complimentary wine hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., a popular Kimpton perk, and provided me with a map of the property, which included daily activities, a schedule for fitness classes, and QR codes for restaurant menus.
Once I received my room keys, I took the elevator next to the check-in desk up to my second-floor room.
Aside from having one of the most famous beaches in the world in its backyard, the hotel offers a range of other impressive amenities.
Obviously, if you choose to stay here, you’ll definitely be enjoying some quality beach time.
Guests can enjoy direct access to the beautiful white sand and crystal-clear waters of Miami Beach, just a few steps away from the hotel’s pool area and backyard.
The hotel provides a dedicated beach service area, where guests receive 2 beach lounge chairs with beach towels.
This service is included in the resort fee. However, an umbrella to go along with the beach loungers incurs an additional charge of $25 per day.
Or you can reserve a daybed for $100 for the day.
If you’d rather spend the whole day lying on your beach lounger, a hotel beach server can take your food and drink orders directly from your seat.
This is the only Kimpton property with beachfront access to Miami Beach. The other 2 Kimpton properties in Miami Beach (Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach and Kimpton Angler’s Hotel) are located just a few blocks away from the sand, but they don’t provide the same level of convenient access as the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel.
As you make your way past the lobby and step outside, you’ll pass a lush courtyard with yellow rocking chairs before arriving at the pool.
Once you reach the pool area adorned with palm trees and the rhythmic beats of house music, you’ll notice a stand with Sun Bum sunscreen, ice water infused with oranges, and towel service.
The hotel offers a heated pool that is available around the clock.
The pool deck offered a generous selection of chairs arranged on both sides of the length of the pool.
Guests are also drawn to the pool for its cabanas and poolside service, which are highly sought after. Since I was traveling alone, I didn’t see the need to rent a cabana for the day. However, during a previous stay with my wife, we rented one and enjoyed the privacy (and shade!) it provided.
If complete shade is what you’re after on a scorching Miami day, but you still want to remain on the pool grounds, an elevated deck space above the pool offers an array of seating options.
The backyard oasis behind the pool provided a variety of lawn games for both kids and adults to enjoy, including table tennis, cornhole, and a giant Connect 4.
There was also a lawn area with sand feet away that included additional seating for guests to relax and let loose.
If you are seeking privacy or a dedicated space for your group, renting a cabana can enhance your poolside experience during your stay in South Beach.
The cabanas offered comfortable sofa seating and 2 lounge chairs, complete with a television and a complimentary bottle of Gerard Bertrand sparkling wine.
These cabanas are a hit among groups looking to celebrate special occasions like bachelorette parties, birthdays, and corporate events. In addition, Miami residents looking for a perfect beach day have the option to rent a cabana through ResortPass, which is something I’ve personally done and enjoyed.
The hotel’s fitness center was conveniently located by the pool and beside the pool cabanas.
The gym had ample equipment for guests to enjoy a quick workout at any time of the day. The space could comfortably accommodate a few individuals working out simultaneously, but it may begin to feel a bit crowded with more than a handful of guests. Fortunately, when I arrived at the gym the next day at 8 a.m., it was completely empty.
I was pleased to see that the gym had 2 Peloton cycles available in addition to 2 treadmill machines. This is an excellent addition for guests who want to break a sweat before heading to the beach or pool.
Lastly, there were various free weights available for those looking to strengthen and sculpt their muscles while on vacation.
Guests had the opportunity to enjoy complimentary bicycles. These were ideal for a leisurely ride to Lincoln Road or to get some exercise on the 9-mile oceanfront pedestrian promenade.
Guests could enjoy a tranquil experience at the hotel’s spa, complete with outdoor cabanas for relaxation by the pool and beach.
The spa menu offered a wide range of traditional massage options, including body treatments, facials, manicures, and pedicures for guests. To add a special touch of Miami flavor, it also offered the option to incorporate coffee infusions and organic ingredients from its in-house blends into any spa treatment.
At all Kimpton Hotel locations, pets are more than welcome. The standard pet policy allowed for 2 pets of any size, weight, or breed with no additional charge. During my stay, I noticed some adorable 4-legged companions roaming around. It’s worth mentioning that the hotel provided a convenient “Pet Stop” station near the front desk.
This thoughtful amenity includes a cozy dog bed, water bowls, and even treats for your beloved furry friend.
If you’re traveling with a furry friend, it’s worth inquiring about pet-friendly amenities available in the room. These may include dog beds, blankets, bowls, treats, and waste bags.
At the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, IHG One Rewards members can enjoy the added benefit of complimentary Wi-Fi. For non-members, it’s essential to sign up for the program to receive free Wi-Fi during your stay.
Although I didn’t personally verify the speed, I found it noteworthy that the internet at the hotel was impressively fast. I was able to work from my room for a few hours without any issues. The service was excellent, even when I was at the pool or a few hundred yards away on the beach.
While parking at a neighboring garage on South Beach may save you a few dollars, it’s definitely not worth the inconvenience. The hotel charged $48 plus tax for valet parking if you’re staying overnight, while visitor parking was $35 plus tax Monday through Thursday and $40 plus tax Friday through Sunday.
I was disappointed to hear that if you visit the hotel to dine or enjoy a drink at the bar, you are still required to pay the standard visitor parking fees, and no validation for a discounted rate is supplied. The good news is that unless you plan on leaving South Beach and seeing the rest of Miami, you won’t need a car if you stay at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel because you can get around using the hotel’s complimentary bikes, by walking, or by hailing an Uber.
The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel offers a variety of room options across 3 floors, from 2 Double or 1 King Bed rooms starting at 250 square feet to 750-square-foot oceanfront suites.
These rooms are located in 2 buildings that open up to a central courtyard that leads to the pool and beach.
I was assigned a King Premium Garden View room on the second floor. It was large enough to accommodate 2 people comfortably, measuring 300 square feet.
The room overlooked the courtyard corridor that led to the pool and beach, providing a constant view and soundtrack of hotel guests coming and going throughout the day.
Upon entering the room, I found a spacious closet with a curtain for privacy to my immediate left. Inside was a robe, an umbrella, and a lock box to securely store valuable items.
Additionally, the closet was equipped with a yoga mat for guests to use in their rooms, a common amenity found at Kimpton properties, and an ironing board and iron.
The addition of a long midcentury modern wardrobe brought a touch of vintage charm to the room.
Hidden away in one of the cabinets within the wardrobe, you’d find a mini fridge stocked with a selection of beverages available for purchase. You could take your pick from beer, Champagne, sodas, and water.
On top of it, an array of snacks and drinks was available for purchase, reflecting Kimpton’s unique take on a minibar.
Next to the goodies available for purchase were 2 wine glasses and 2 glass cups.
A wall showcasing a wine rack had bottles elegantly suspended with a pricing list below the rack.
Filling the wall above the wardrobe was a sleek 40-inch smart TV, offering an impressive selection of over 40 local channels and easy access to streaming content from popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and more from your personal device.
The hotel provides a complimentary morning coffee and tea service in the lobby every morning. However, the room was equipped with a Keurig coffee machine, a selection of pods, cream, and sugar.
Adorning the wall beside the wardrobe was a heavy-duty mirror, ideal for getting ready for a night out on the town.
The bed was a true king-sized bed with pristine linens and a wide selection of pillow options, which I always appreciate at hotels. It’s refreshing to find a thin but firm pillow (my preference) instead of the usual bulky ones in many hotels.
On top of each nightstand was 1 mid-century modern lamp, providing ample bedside lighting.
The 2 nightstands next to the bed were also fitted with power outlets on both sides.
Water bottles were available for $10 each, but housekeeping will kindly provide 2 complimentary water bottles to ensure you stay hydrated without any additional cost.
There was a convenient glass desk, ideal for getting a few hours of work done, and that’s exactly what I did.
The room was generously sized and had a warm and inviting atmosphere. Although there was quite a bit of noise during the day due to the room’s location above the busy courtyard corridor, I was pleased to find that the room was quiet at night, which was a relief for someone who is a notoriously light sleeper.
The recently refurbished bathroom was adjacent to the entrance and opposite the closet, boasting a pristine shower adorned with white mosaic marble tile. The walk-in tiled shower had a contemporary design, featuring a partition instead of a conventional glass door.
The bathroom was designed for 1 person and would almost certainly feel tight if 2 people needed to use it simultaneously. As part of the renovation process, the bathroom was not enlarged. Nevertheless, the hotel successfully preserved the Art Deco aesthetic while adding a contemporary twist.
The upgraded rainfall shower, modernized shower floors, and overall polished design significantly improved the bathroom’s appearance from my previous stay at the hotel.
The polished stainless steel bowl sink enhanced the overall aesthetic of the modern bathroom.
My favorite IHG brand is Kimpton, and staying with Kimpton means I’ve used many of their bathroom products over time. I adore the shower and bathroom products from Atelier Bloem, which are exclusively produced for Kimpton by Malin+Goetz.
The products were offered in large, reusable bottles and could be purchased at the front desk for $36 each.
The Social Club provided everything necessary to start the day with brunch, wind down with a handmade cocktail, or start a night out in style. It featured a lively bar and outdoor seating on the renowned Collins Avenue.
The Social Club was the hotel’s front-of-the-house restaurant and bar and was easy to find because it was next to the lobby and visible from the hotel’s exterior.
This served as the hotel guests’ breakfast restaurant and was open to the public day and night for light bites, meals, and drinks.
After a lengthy morning stroll on the beach, I had a light breakfast at The Social Club. I got an avocado toast for $19 and wolfed it down as I was ravenous. It was just what I needed to start my day off in a healthy fashion.
A wide range of options were available for customers on the breakfast menu, from decadent dishes like eggs Benedict, omelets, and pancakes to healthy options like an açaí bowl or fit bowl made with egg whites, leafy greens, black beans, and multigrain bread.
The Social Club was open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for breakfast and brunch, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner, and for happy hour Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
High Tide Beach Bar and Grill offered a fun-filled experience with refreshing umbrella drinks, exciting lawn games, and delicious seafood and snacks. It’s like a grown-up pool party that goes on all day.
This restaurant and bar was conveniently situated just a few steps from the South Beach boardwalk. It provided a wide range of food and beverages for hotel guests enjoying their time on the beach or lounging by the pool.
You could enjoy a variety of delicious beach fare, including guacamole with chips, fresh mahi tacos, and South American-inspired items like spicy chorizo empanadas. While the little ones could enjoy a snack from the kids’ menu, adults could order a handmade cocktail such as The Treasure of Jasmine, which contained vodka, Aperol, Cointreau, passion fruit puree, and lime simple syrup.
The bar was located near the lawn games and sandy seating area. Besides cocktails, you could also choose from an assortment of craft beers and fresh pressed juices.
High Tide Beach Bar and Grill was open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but the bar stayed open an extra hour until 6 p.m. each day.
Unlike other expensive hotels on Miami Beach, the Surfcomber’s staff treats guests with a relaxed yet attentive attitude. It’s a welcome contrast from the 2 South Florida service standard extremes: either overly sophisticated and forced or excessively lax and careless. Throughout my 1-night stay, I engaged with hotel staff quite a bit, and everyone I encountered — from the front desk to the wait staff at The Social Club — was kind and accommodating.
The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel stands out among hotels in Miami Beach for its ideal location on South Beach and its unique blend of relaxed yet sophisticated ambiance. The hotel distinguishes itself from other Kimpton hotels in the area by being the sole beachfront property, making it the perfect choice for those seeking direct access to the beach. Hotel guests relaxing by the pool will enjoy a classy atmosphere reminiscent of a stylish South Beach pool party rather than a rowdy crowd of spring breakers or revelers.
Additionally, guests can take advantage of the numerous complimentary amenities offered by Kimpton. These include bicycles for leisurely rides around South Beach, a refreshing wine hour, and enjoyable lawn games that the whole family can enjoy.
If you’re interested in getting the most out of your Miami Beach vacation without breaking the bank, the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is a fantastic choice. It provides a high-quality experience at a reasonable price, making it a great value in the upscale Miami Beach hotel market.
The information regarding the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The hotel was constructed in 1948, and the Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC acquired it in April 2011.
There are 2 buildings in the hotel, with a total of 186 rooms and suites spread across 3 floors.
Pets are welcome in all Kimpton hotels, with no weight limitations or pet fees. However, while pets are welcome at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, the pool deck and restaurant areas are off-limits unless they are service animals.
The distance between Miami International Airport (MIA) and the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is approximately 12 miles. The travel time to the hotel can vary between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the traffic conditions.
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