by Terry Ward
Pre and post cruise
The first thing to know about this Miami luxury hotel is that the Four Seasons is located in downtown Miami, about a 15-minute drive (six to seven miles) from beautiful beaches in South Beach and Key Biscayne, but a drive nonetheless (with no hotel shuttles to bring you there). For many families, however, it is precisely this removed-from-the-raucous-action of South Beach setting that makes a Four Seasons stay so appealing — that, and the obvious luxury that comes with the prestigious hotel brand.
Rooms and suites occupy floors 20 through 29 of a glitzy, glassy skyscraper that looms 70 floors above busy Brickell Avenue in Miami’s downtown financial district. Dazzling views of either the skyline or Biscayne Bay are guaranteed wherever you find yourself here. There are a few restaurants and shops within walking distance of the hotel, and you can always take a taxi farther afield for dining options that go beyond the hotel’s two onsite restaurants, which are expectedly pricy. The Four Seasons is popular with business travelers with families in tow, as well as families making pre- and post-cruise stops in the city (the Port of Miami is a short drive away).
The faraway finest feature of the hotel for families is its enormous seventh floor pool deck with two sprawling heated pools that include a scenic wading pool just for kids, staggered with little palm tree islands that makes for a modernist Robinson Crusoe aesthetic. Rooms are spacious and luxurious, with fine linens and marble bathrooms throughout, and the Four Seasons offers rollaways at no extra charge for children under 18.
As long as you don’t mind the fact that you have to get into the car to get to the ocean, there’s a lot to like about staying here. The bend-over-backwards Four Seasons staff really know their stuff when it comes to recommending the best family activities in the area, from the best air boat experiences in the Everglades to lighthouse excursions and where to find the family-friendliest local beaches.
For more information about the Four Seasons hotel chains, visit Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Our Editor Loves
- Short drive to Port of Miami
- Huge seventh floor pool terrace overlooking the city
- Spectacular views of the city and Biscayne Bay
- Horse Back Riding
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The hotel has 221 guestrooms and suites spread between floors 20 and 29 in a glassy downtown Miami skyrise that looms 70 floors high. You have your choice of rooms with views of Biscayne Bay or the city, and many people actually find the city view rooms the most spectacular (but both are seriously wow-worthy).
Standard Bay View rooms have a single king bed, are 500 square feet and can accommodate three people with the addition of a rollaway or crib for no additional charge. Standard City View rooms are the same size, but with your choice of a king bed or two double beds (only the king room can accommodate a rollaway or crib) with room for up to four people (two adults and two children). Premiere Bay View rooms are available with a king bed or two doubles beds (to sleep four), as are Deluxe City View rooms, and again, here rollaway beds can only be put in the rooms with king beds for a total of three guests. Moving up in space in luxury are the Executive Bay View or City View suites, which are 750 square feet and can sleep a family of four with a bedroom with a king bed separated from a living room outfitted with a sofa bed and with room for a rollaway or crib, too.
Next up in size are the City View or Bay View One-Bedroom Suites, spacious corner suites (more than 1,000 square feet) that have a king bed in a separate bedroom and a sofa bed located in the living room area, which also has room for a rollaway or crib to accommodate a total of two adults and up to three children. These suites have a full bathroom, as well as an additional powder room with a toilet and sink. Premiere One-Bedroom Suites have even more room (2,190 square feet), but a similar layout with a separate king bedroom and living room with a sleeper sofa and space for a rollaway. And finally, the 2,830-square-foot Presidential Suite is a top floor hideaway on the 29th floor with a kind bed, living space with a large dining room table and sofa, and room for a rollaway or crib, sleeping a total of three people.
All of the rooms and suites have lavish all-marble bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate glassed in showers, making it easy to bathe the kids. And other luxury amenities that are standard throughout include down pillows and duvets, luxurious bath robes (with slippers on request), HD LCD TV's and DVD players on request (as well as complimentary access to the hotel's DVD library, with kids' flicks), iHome docking stations for your electronics and mini-fridges, microwaves and in-room coffee- and tea-making facilities available on request (the hotel mini-bar is standard in all rooms, but is tiny and not cold enough to properly refrigerate food). Children 18 years old and under are never charged an additional fee to sleep in their parents' room. And suites can be connected via a private-entry outside door to accommodate groups of families or a larger entourage in an isolated area.
In addition to the hotel's rooms and suites, the Four Seasons also has condo suites and one- and two-bedroom apartments that it rents out (this is not made clear on the hotel's website, so call and ask to learn more). The condo suites have kitchenettes and the one- and two-bedroom condos have full kitchens, making them very appealing for an extended stay. Full laundry facilities are also available in the two-bedroom condos, otherwise people staying in the other rooms and suites can make use of the hotel's same-day (but very pricy) laundry service.
by Bob C
We end a cruise in Miami in the morning and weren’t flying home until late afternoon and having visited Miami a number of times decided to book a day at the Four Seasons.
We had the usual issue with a Miami taco driver who, despite having lived in Miami for 15 years, didn’t know where the Four Seasons was located.
On arrival we presented our day pass voucher to the desk at reception (which we subsequently discovered) is not the reception and was directed to the pool. On reaching the pool we were directed to the toilets to change, really at the Four Seasons and having to change at the pool, which had no facilities to keep our clothes we were forced to hang them on a wall adjacent to our sun beds!
After settling down and being somewhat disappointed in the facilities offered I went in search of alternative arrangements. On speaking to reception (located on the 7th floor) I discovered the hotel has a spa and gym and which includes changing facilities with lockers and would allow us access via our day pass.
We then placed our clothes in lockers in the spa changing facilities and everything became more relaxed.
The pool are attentive and regularly provide iced water as well as fetching drinks from the bar, just a pity they were not aware of the changing facilities in the spa.
Food is a little expensive but enjoyable and avoids the American habit of super sizzing everything. In all a relaxing day and enjoyable although somewhat expensive at 160 for 2 and just covers access.
We stayed this past weekend while attending our friend's wedding. It was just such a wonderful experience! The entire staff was so friendly and helpful. I can not say enough good things about Joseph, Evry, Arian, Bailey and Damon. The hotel is absolutely beautiful, clean and comfortable all around. Amazing shower. We were very lucky to be able to stay at this Four Seasons. Breakfast at Edge was amazing. I wish I had one more day to stay and just hang out at the pool. I want to be back in a hammock right now. Nick out at the pool was wonderful as well.
The hotel's gem is its seventh floor pool terrace, a two-acre expanse with spectacular views of Miami's glitzy skyline that's lined with trees, hammocks, plush lounge chairs and complimentary cabanas. The Main Pool is 110 feet long, heated to the perfect swimming temperature during the winter months with a maximum depth of five feet. Children are welcome to play here, but you'll want to keep an eye on the young ones since there's no lifeguard supervision.
An enormous separate wading pool area just adjacent called the Pam Grove Pool is only about 1-foot deep and scattered with circular islands with palm trees sprouting from them, lending a real tropical oasis effect. There are pool toys, such as noodles and buckets, available on request. Attendants pass by regularly offering all kinds of complimentary refreshers that might include Evian spritzers, chilled towels or frozen fruit skewered on sticks. The pools are open every day from dawn until dusk.
Other than the hotel's pool, your best bet for family fun will mean a journey offsite to one of Miami's excellent white sand beaches, most of which have lifeguards on duty year-round and water activities, such as jet ski rentals and banana boating fun on offer. The hotel's concierge can give you the scoop on other family-friendly activities in Miami that include visits to local children's museums, the Key Biscayne lighthouse, nature walks and airboat tours in the Everglades.
Your dining options on site at the Four Seasons Miami are limited to two restaurants.
The upscale Edge Steak & Bar is a swanky restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating on the hotel's seventh floor. Despite the stylish and see-and-be-seen scene, children are made welcome with high chairs or booster seats and menus for coloring. If the weather is cooperating, the outside terrace is a more casual option than inside and has pretty trellised lounge areas with firepits and couches for hanging out. The concept at Edge is farm-to-table, and much of the fruit, vegetables and seafood are locally sourced. Breakfast is served here from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekends, with a large spread of a la carte items that include bagels, eggs benedicts, pastry baskets, buttermilk pancakes and more. The kids breakfast menu, priced between $4 and $6, has things like cereals, oatmeal, eggs and banana pancakes. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily (with a brunch offering on Sundays), and has tasty dishes, such as grilled snapper, lobster rolls and BLT's for adults and a kids menu of the usual grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, chicken fingers, beef hot dogs and chicken fried rice for between $5 and $11. Dinner at Edge, between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. nightly, is a swanky affair with the same menu as lunch for kids and delicious steaks, seafood platters (order the stone crab claws if they're in season!) and ribs for adults.
A casual option for lunch or an early bird dinner for the kids -- open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- is the poolside restaurant, Bahia, a Latin-inspired outdoor restaurant, which has the same kids menu as Edge and light entrees, such as Cuban wraps, veggie paninis, fish tacos and burgers. Desserts are particularly delightful here and the kids go wild for frozen hot chocolates and Dippin' Donuts -- cinnamon-sugared beignets with raspberry and chocolate dipping sauces.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wireless Internet costs $13 per day for up to two devices and $19 per day for up to four devices.
You pay a premium for parking everywhere in Miami, including the Four Seasons. Self-parking in the hotel's covered garage is $38 per day with no in-and-out privileges (you'll pay every time you return and leave again), so you're better off just paying the $39 per day rate for valet so you can come and go as often as you please for a flat rate.
The hotel offers same-day laundry service for a charge and there are coin laundry facilities within a short drive of the hotel, if you're looking to save money.
Unless you plan to spend your time in and around downtown Miami, you'll want to rent a car to reach South Beach and the beaches in Key Biscayne (or be prepared for hefty taxi fares), both of which are between 10 and 15 minutes away and cost about $25 one-way by taxi.
You'll want to bring your stroller along if you have small children and plan to do a lot of walking around downtown Miami's busy streets.
Thick with tropical foliage (but with no playground), Simpson Park is located a short walk from the hotel and is a nice place to stroll or enjoy a picnic lunch.
Provide you kids' names and ages when booking or on check-in at the hotel and they'll be given an age-appropriate welcome gift, such as juice or cookies.
Hotel guests have free access to a world-class 50,000-square-foot gym, The Sports Club LA, on the ground floor of the building. You can pay per class to take part in the more than 100 exercise classes offered each week, with everything from spinning and Zumba to yoga.
The hotel's seventh floor business center is open 24 hours a day with four work stations with computers, printers, fax machines and a copier.
The hotel offers complimentary overnight shoeshine service.
Enjoy all manner of facial, massage and body treatments at The SportsClub LA's Spa or opt for treatments in poolside cabanas or in your room or suite.
The Art of Smart Timing
The Four Seasons' popularity as a business hotel means it stays busy year-round, with the exception of the December holiday season (although picking back up for New Year's Eve). Conferences are often hosted here. Prices are higher during the spring break months of February and March, when occupancy stays high. Miami is warm year-round, with often unbearably hot summers, but you can get the off-frigid day in winter, believe it or not. Hurricane season in Florida runs from the start of June until November, and this time of year often sees heavy afternoon downpours that quickly dissipate into sunshine. The most pleasant temperatures in Miami, when the weather is nearly postcard perfect, are from January through March. During the summer, you'll want to have your bug repellent handy at the pool and out and about.
Most guests fly into Miami International Airport, about 15 minutes from the hotel, or Fort Lauderdale's International Airport, about 35 minutes (26 miles) to the north. The Four Seasons Miami does not offer shuttle service from the airports. From Miami International Airport, a taxi will cost you between $25 and $30 each way. The hotel can also arrange chauffeured pickups from either airport for a heftier fee. Unless you're planning to stick around the hotel and downtown Miami, you'll want to consider renting a car during your stay. All of the major car rental companies have onsite counters at the Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports.
For Mom and Dad
The hotel can suggest local babysitting services if you want to have an adult night on the town, and Miami has plenty of reasons to splurge on an evening of fun. Kick off the evening with one of the excellent specialty cocktails at the hotel's swanky Edge Bar (try the Ginger Brickell, with coconut foam), then head to one of Miami's top-rated restaurants, such as Azul, inside the nearby Mandarin Oriental Hotel, for a gourmet meal to remember. Couples' massages at the spa inside Sports Club LA on the hotel's ground floor are not cheap, but if that's your thing, they are worth the splurge and come in 50, 80 and 110-minute ahhh-inducing intervals.