by Lissa Poirot
Nestled along the lush landscape of quiet Coconut Grove, the Sonesta is just minutes from the beaches, Coral Gables, downtown and the University of Miami. Offering panoramic views of Biscayne Bay, 143 rooms and suites feature complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and coffee makers. One- and two-bedroom suites provide separate living rooms and fully equipped kitchens with refrigerators, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, microwaves and dining areas. The living rooms also feature sleeper sofas. Traditional and Deluxe Rooms provide a king or two queen beds, with Deluxe rooms also providing kitchenettes with refrigerators, stoves and microwave ovens. Dine in Panorama Restaurant, on the top floor, for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The hotel features a rooftop pool with food and beverage service from sunrise to sunset. Parking is only available via valet with daily rates.
Our Editor Loves
- Suites with kitchens
- Rooftop view
- Near Coral Gables
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Let me start off by saying I normally do not post a negative review. I try to handle complaints etc with the hotel itself but this could not be accomplished. While the lobby and hallways look nice and new the rooms are horrendous. Ours was extremely outdated and had a musty smell that would not go away. The worst part was the air conditioner. The noise it made was something out of Jurassic Park. When I brought it up to the front desk they said an engineer would come up. When he did he did not speak English and from what I understood was that there was only little he could do since it was old. After already losing a full nights sleep from the sound II was concerned. I returned later in the day And heard the noise from the hallway. I immediately went to the front desk and was told “ I understand, can I offer you complimentary headphones”. ? Really. That’s what they do. They should never be renting out a room in this condition but yet they did.
On top of that three out of the four elevators were not working for the entire day. A complete disaster. Try having to walk 17 floors.
I have stayed at several other hotels in the area and they blow this away. Very unfortunate that management was unable to handle these situations.
Traveling to Coconut Grove every week for business and the location of this hotel is perfect, pricing is good but everything else is middle of the road. I've stayed here 5 different times, each time for multiple days and always in a different room. Until late 2018 this was the Royal Sonesta hotel until Best Western bought it as an addition to their upscale 'Plus' collection but still operates like clunky old BW that I remember from the 80's. In addition the Arya is a mixed private/public property with resident owners and hotel guests often sharing the same floor which is strange. Also there is ongoing remodeling in the hotel so noise can be an issue during the day but evenings and overnights have always been quiet for me.
Start with positives:
-beds, pillows and bedding are all very comfortable and I've slept great every night (which is a big reason I keep coming back)
-AC units work great and you can dial the temps down lower than in most hotels (love that)
-location, location, location walkability to everything in Coconut Grove
-Staff trends very young and low on professionalism scale, but Im seeing that everywhere in Miami, but they are always pleasant and helpful when asked
-Views are fantastic especially from upper floors
-Pool 8th floor and gym penthouse level are both very nice
-Restaurant doesn't open till 7AM which is def late for a US hotel but this hotel has a European vibe so that may be why. In addition, the breakfast buffet, only option, is a 2 out 5 stars and priced at $15 plus tax and mandatory 18% gratuity for a no service buffet. Food quality is poor and I do not recommend unless you want convenience over experience.
-Prepaid, discounted breakfast is an option when booking your room, $10 instead of $15, but there is no system in place to make this happen. Restaurant says you need a voucher from front desk but front desk says you don't, so restaurant lets you sign to the room for total cost of $20 and then you have to review with front desk on check out that they booked it at $10/day instead of $20/day- again ridiculous system so skip the breakfast option.
-Rooms are dated and being slowly updated Ive been told but not sure if they will stay as hotel rooms or be sold as private units. Dirty carpet, torn shower curtains, dirty balconies, and just tired overall. Except the beds which are fantastic. And its random so some better/worse than others. One room had old TV the only got a few channels and another room had new model that worked great.
-Sensitive room access cards- almost daily I have to swing by front desk to get the cards reactivated despite being mindful of keeping away from my phone. I think even my rental car key fobs will deactivate it.
-Arrival- poorly designed arrival circle, only enough space for 1 car to pass so always a backup during busy periods and numerous steep steps to get to hotel level. Bell/Valet are however available to help you
-Lavazza espresso machines in rooms which make good coffee in small quantities. If you want big coffee before 7AM there is a Starbucks 1 block away
-Room size varies- the standard and cheapest room is pretty tiny but has a big bathroom and often doesn't have a balcony. Next size up is best value in my opinion and comes with a full kitchen which is great if spending a few days.
-Parking in the garage is $30/night but the city lot next door is only $12 for 24 hours from the kiosk