My husband and I visited the National for Memorial Day weekend. First of all I have to say that we were unaware of the Hip Hop Convention that was going on, so our weekend started with very crowded and dirty streets and walkways, as well as lots of noise and police activity everywhere. Ocean Drive was unrecognizable.
The National Hotel was just okay. First, our reservations were a little messed up and we ended up getting there a day earlier than expected. We ask for a standard room and we were going to be charged $489 for a Thursday night. I went to their Internet service in the lobby ($6.95 for 15 minutes) to try to book it through the website and I got a rate of $199.00. I asked the front desk if I cook just book it though the website and they told me it would take at least 3 hours before they would receive it. I then ask if they would honor the $199.00 advertised on the Internet, and they refused. They said the best they could do is give it to me for the “cheapest” walk-in rate of $299.00, now keep in mind that this after they tried to charge me $489.00.
We ended up taking it as we were tired and it was late. However, we wanted to checkout and go somewhere else, but were forced to stay there for all 4 nights (the 3 nights originally booked, and the extra night we arrived early). I say forced because if we did not stay there for the original reservation of 3 days, we would have been charged $570.00 cancellation penalty.
The room was city view, we???ve always stay in ocean front rooms, but because we were planning to go to Isla Morada (one of the keys) for a day, Cramden Park another day, and charter a boat the third day, we figure, getting ocean front would have been a waste of money.
The room was extremely noisy with the huge amount of cars and people parading outside the hotel. It was old and decorated like any other Hampton Inn. The bathroom is very small and the shower was not designed pleasantly.
Tamara restaurant was a joke. I ordered the mushroom and truffle raviolis, and my husband got the seafood pasta in a saffron broth. However, my husband ended up getting another mushroom linguini, I brought it up to the attention of the waitress, she took it back and then brought the same pasta but with seafood added to it. I then told her that the dish was supposed to be in a light saffron broth, and what we had was a Campbell cream of mushroom soup with seafood added to it. They did take that dish off the bill (my husband didn???t touch it), but that was about the extent of it.
Housekeeping was good the first night, but then we never got any of our toiletries replenished. We had to call every night to ask for either shampoo, conditioner, bath cloth, glasses, etc. Getting ice was also a challenge since they make you call housekeeping for it. Also keep in mind that each time we called for something we tipped, and we also tipped housekeeping $5 per day, except the last day when we decided not to leave a tip (a first for us) because we felt they just didn’t deserve it.
Room Service, could never get the orders right. We would get call backs reconfirming the orders or we would have to speak to a few people to make them understand that what we wanted was on their 24 hour room service menu. One time, the person taking the order gave us an attitude because it was late and I guess we woke him up.
Concierge. Okay, here the person we dealt with did not know much about anything. Getting reservations at places couldn’t be done for one reason or another. Asking for suggestions for a good Chinese restaurant, we were sent to two that had closed down already. Total distance we walked was over 16 blocks in crowded, crowded streets, and we never got to eat Chinese. Coming back we encountered there was one about 2 blocks from our hotel, go figure!
The only positive experience that I can talk about was the beach. I honestly can say those guys took care of us and gave us great service. Other than that, nothing was anything better than a 3 star hotel at best.
I am not going to sit here and tell talk about all the places I’ve travel to and the types of hotels I am accustomed to, as I know anyone can have a bad day. I also chose not to name all the staff I have mentioned above because my experience is over and naming them won???t change a thing. However, I had to write this review because I felt the National didn???t even come close to what I expected. This was not one bad day, this was 4 days. I never went expecting it to be a 5 star hotel, but I did think it was probably a 4 star hotel, and believe me, giving them 3 stars is being generous. I believe is just the hype of the name or, we just happen to be very unlucky in our stay.