Pre-Cruise Hotel Review: Courtyard Miami Downtown/Brickell Area

by joeheg

We needed a hotel in Miami before our first trip on Virgin Cruise Line. As we only needed a place to sleep after our drive from Orlando, I wasn’t looking for something fancy on Miami Beach. I wanted somewhere close to the Port of Miami where I’d hopefully be able to use one of our free night certificates.

I found a hotel to meet our needs as it was only a few minutes to the port, and we’d be able to use a 35K Marriott Free Night award from my Marriott Bonvoy AMEX card.

Courtyard Miami Downtown/Brickell Area
200 SE Second Avenue, Miami, Florida, USA, 33131

It was a long day for me as we didn’t leave for Miami until I got home from work and finished packing. We didn’t check in to the hotel until around 10 PM. The lobby area was empty, save for the front desk agent and a security guard.

I left Sharon in the car while I checked in. I was informed I could park in the attached parking garage for $35. I was aware of the parking fee, which was reasonable for the area. We could have stayed near the airport and paid less, but this was more convenient.

We were assigned a room on the 2nd floor. I didn’t care about where we stayed, but the desk agent did say we were at the end of the hall. It wasn’t until I saw the hotel map that I realized we’d received a major upgrade to one of the hotel’s One-Bedroom Executive Suites. Frankly, it’s one of the best Marriott upgrades we’ve received. Even more incredible is that I booked this room under my account, and I’m only a Marriott Gold member.

As we walked into the room, there was an entrance hallway with a table. The living room was to the left.

There was a sofa like you’d usually see at a Courtyard property, and a chair.

There was a TV and a work area with everything you’d expect.

What I didn’t expect was a kitchenette with a sink, microwave and refrigerator.

This was only the living room, and it was already larger than most hotel rooms we stayed in. All the space was wasted since we’d only be in the room for 1 night.

Through the doorway was the bedroom, where we had tons of space to spread out.

We even had a sofa in the nook by the window.

We even had a balcony. Not that there was much of a view, and I couldn’t imagine heading out there to sit and relax. Even worse was that I was able to look out and see the Miami Hyatt Regency, which was across the street.

While the room was larger than we needed, it had a regular size bathroom.

Not to mention the angled toilet placement, which the hotel couldn’t even explain when we asked them about it

The hotel does offer a Bistro for food and drinks during breakfast and dinner. It’s a large area and I’d imagine it could get crowded.

We slept in and missed the breakfast hours. We used the Starbucks App and put in a mobile order for a location within walking distance. Skipping the line, we picked up our food and coffee and returned to the hotel to eat.

The lounge filled up through the morning with people waiting to board their cruises or to leave for the airport. I was able to get a few hours of work done before we headed to our car to drive to the Virgin Terminal. It was less than a 10-minute drive (which was a bit longer because I missed the turn to the Virgin parking lot).

Final Thoughts

When I write a hotel review, I always think about if I’d tell someone to stay at the hotel. For what we needed, this hotel met its purpose. It was close to the Port of Miami. We needed a bed for the night. I wanted to use a free night certificate.

Under identical circumstances, I’d stay there again. However, when Sharon went on a cruise without me, I booked her in a Marriott property that was an hour away from Miami. It was close enough to be a short drive to the port, but she wasn’t staying in downtown Miami.

This hotel wasn’t a place I’d avoid, but I’d only stay there again if I had no other better options. With fewer and fewer options available to redeem a 35K certificate without adding points, this hotel room was worth the $95 annual fee for our Marriott co-brand card, but not much more.

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Christian January 16, 2023 - 9:05 pm

How come you were unhappy about being near the Hyatt Regency?

joeheg January 16, 2023 - 9:31 pm

Because we weren’t staying there instead. 🙂

DT January 17, 2023 - 12:10 am

i stayed at courtyard SFO last month and my suite living room looked absolutely identical. they’ve got their furnishing & decor consistent for sure.


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