Published: July 20th 2012June 15th 2012
We stayed at the Deauville Beach Resort on the recommendation of our travel agent. It was all the way up in North Beach, and not in South Beach like we wanted, but it was cheap and right on the beach. Parking was 7 blocks away at a city lot and this place made some mistakes. When we arrived the first weekend, they gave us a key TO SOMEONE ELSE'S ROOM! Thank goodness the occupants weren't there when we opened the door, they would have been pissed. The lights were on and their stuff was stewn all over the place. So we had to go back down to the front desk to get another room key.
The next weekend we came back to stay at the same hotel. In a sense, it was a good thing because the first weekend the weather was too crappy to enjoy the beach or pool. But they lost our booking. We had to wait for 15 minutes for them to sort it out. There appeared to be a convention happening, and they were very busy. Another woman at the front desk was giving them a real hard time about her booking being messed up, and
I started to worry they wouldn't find a room for us even though we had already paid for it. They eventually gave us a $100 upgrade, which they made me pay $30 extra a night for. Fine, I wasn't going to argue because I felt bad for the staff and didn't want to listen to the woman next to me bitch anymore. When we got up to our room and I went out on the huge balcony overlooking the beach, I became giddy and no longer cared about any of the hotel's mistakes. It was beautiful, and we saw two perfect sun rises from that balcony, so I don't care that we paid more. But still, it would have been nice to be closer to South Beach. We took the city bus down to South Beach a few nights and had to taxi our way back.
There was an outdoor bar at the hotel pool and beach, just like on a resort. But I don't really like resorts, and certainly if I'm going to go to one, it should be all inclusive. But here, you had to pay for all your drinks, and they're pretty expensive. They only had
light beer on draft too, ugh. I hate light beer. Who drinks light Corona? Corona is already light, you may as well just drink water! Or, add water to your regular beer if you like it watered down. There were a lot of people staying at the hotel from Latin America, and even from elsewhere in the U.S. And for some of them, it was obvious they were spending lots of time just at the hotel, by the pool and at the beach, drinking expensive alcohol. I really can't understand why anyone would do this; if you want a resort vacation, you go to an all inclusive resort in Cuba. Or, if your unfortunate enough to be an American and can't go to Cuba, then you go to Mexico or Jamacia or the Dominican Republic, or some other wretchedly poor country where you'd be too frightened to leave the resort anyway. You don't go to Miami. But apparently some people do.
South Beach is nice...I love the art deco architecture, and the beach of course is amazing. But all the loud dance music blaring from every hotel and restaurant along the beach is a bit much. I get this
is a party town, and that's great. But lots of people in this party town are hung over from the day before, so how about a little reggae first thing in the morning and early afternoon? We're just waking up, come on! I can't lay on the beach or by the pool and relax to that awful top 20 dance music. And of course they have to play the same terrible songs over and over.
Our first night in South Beach we went to the Abbey Brew Pub, a local microbrewery. The co-owner was really drunk and started talking to us before we had even ordered our first drink. I asked him for a recommendation and he went through the entire list of beers, sluring all the details of each one. I pretty much knew what I wanted to try within the first few minutes, and started to get a bit impatient. The guy talking about beer was interesting, but it would have been nicer if I had a beer to drink while he was going on about his love for beer. I was getting awfully thirsty. Finally we decided what we would get, and I went up to
the bar to order. When I came back the co-owner was no longer at our table, but his beer was still there. A couple minutes later he comes over with the same two beers I had just ordered, and another one for himself even though he still had half a beer left. Yes, he must have been very drunk indeed, as I thought I had made it obvious I was going to the bar to order, I don't know why he thought he should bring it to us. Nice gesture though. His wife came and told him his dinner was on the table, then she left to see a movie. Hours later and he still hadn't gone to eat his dinner, he was drunkenly talking to all his customers. If the other co-owner would have been there, he probably would have been pretty pissed at his partner's behaviour, but it was kinda funny.
We left the Abbey Brew Pub to grab a bite to eat and check out some other place. A guy tried to lure us into a club saying women drink free before 1am. But there was of course cover, and it was amost 1am anyway so
Bike path behind Deauville
Why does this path not strech all along to South Beach? You'd think it would, but no.
I wouldn't have time to drink the cost of cover to make it worth it, and the club didn't exactly seem like our kind of place. After walking around for quite a while, we finally settled on a nice looking patio along Collins. We ordered Coronas and it was skunky. Then it started to pour rain so we took a taxi back to our hotel. Cost of the cab from South Beach to our hotel in North Beach was $15-20. Our travel agent said it'd cost us around $25 from Little Havana, where she knew I wanted to go our first night. It would have been more like $40 from Little Havana so it was a good thing we did Viernes Culturales before even going to the hotel with our rental car (but that of course meant I couldn't drink.) If I were to do it again, I would have booked one of the cheap looking motels right in Little Havana for our first weekend. Oh well.
Another annoying thing about South Beach is there only seems to be people selling jewellry along the paths between the road and the beach. What I really wanted was some ice cream,
why does no one sell ice cream along the beach? Or other food. In Brazil, there's people selling everything right on the beach - towels, sunglasses, beer, ice cream, you name it. And that is why the beaches in Brazil are better.
Lincoln Road is the pedestrian section closed off to traffic. There's lots of restaurants, and it seems kinda nice, but also a bit like a tourist trap so we didn't spend too much time there. We had a nice Italian dinner on a patio along Ocean Drive with some mojitos. We didn't try those giant drinks you see everyone with - a giant cup filled with a colorful liquid and 4 coronoas dumped upside down into it. They looked very bizarre. Not thinking it a good idea to drink anything larger than our heads, we just stuck with ordering regular size drinks. Our mojitos did come with giant pieces of sugar cane I chewed on, that was good enough for us.
We went to Jazid to see some live music. Upstairs they had a dj dance party, and downstairs were the live bands. The band playing when we got there wasn't very good so we spent
a bit of time upstairs, but the music up there wasn't very good either. Then this band named Barrio Activo came on, and they were awesome! They played until about 3am. It was so nice being able to order drinks past 2am (that's when they stop serving in Toronto.) We started walking back to our hotel shortly after the band ended, and walked a bit along the beach. When we finally felt we had walked long enough and should go to the street to hail a cab, we realized we were all the way at 45th (our hotel was at 67th.) By the time we got back to our hotel, it was nearly 5am. I passed out but set my alarm to see the sunset. I wasn't able to enjoy it for too long before passing out again, but it was still nice. Then we had to wake up to put more money in the parking meter for 11am. What a pain in the ass. My credit card got stuck in the parking meter and I had to call to get it cancelled and abandon it cos I knew the parking authority would leave me sitting there all day waiting.
Good thing I had a second credit card. After that little ordeal, we had a nice lunch out by the hotel pool, laid on the beach for a bit and swam. I couldn't stay out in the sun too long though, I was a little hung over so we went back to bed around 2pm to get ready to go out again that night. It was Cinco de Mayo!
We rented Deco Bikes and biked down to South Beach instead of taking the bus this time. It was nice, except the path along the beach wasn't continuous. We had to turn around and back track a couple times and bike along the street instead. We watched the sunset at South Pointe, and then went to the Cinco de Mayo celebrations along Espanola Way. There was a mariachi band and lots of people drinking in the streets. We ate chicken hearts, carioca salad, coronas and tequila shots at a Brazilian restaurant. The next morning we were able to enjoy the sunset off our balcony a bit more. We got lots of pictures, then slept another 30 minutes before getting ready to check out and end our Miami Beach adventure.
There are more photos below