Miami Journals

Miami Airport/Doral Area for Business

An April 2005 trip to Miami by mekurtz

Quote: The Miami Airport/Doral Area isn't the most exciting of spots to spend extended time. But there are a few places worth eating and sleeping if you know where to look.

Miami Airport/Doral Area for Business

Overview

Quote:
West Miami is nothing to write home about, but it can be used as an effective base for exploration. SoBe is only 30 minutes away (out of rush hour), for example.

Quick Tips:

Stay OFF of the Palmetto Expressway at all costs. Take the Turnpike to go N/S if you have to travel during peak hours. Surface streets may even be better than the Palmetto.

Best Way To Get Around:

Walking is an option to get from hotels to restaurants, but not much else. Taxis are scarce, at best.

Abbey Hotel

Hotel

Quote:
A very solid mix of classic Miami Deco and modern, I first read about it here! Smallish hotel with an outstanding restaurant, just enough off of the beaten path to make it nice and calm. The reception and lounge areas are quite small, but it's not the kind of hotel where you'd hang out all day. The rooms are a bit smallish, but good-sized closets help. There are TVs and phones and plenty of lighting. And GREAT beds. VCRs as well. It's not a great business hotel, and most rooms are good for lounging around, but it's in a nice, quiet spot across the street from a museum/park; a block off Collins and far enough north in South Beach that the late-night madness is walkable but not on top of you. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 27, 2005

Abbey Hotel
300 21st Street
Miami Beach 33139
305-531-0031

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Miami Airport West - Doral Area

Hotel | "Fairfield Inn Miami - Airport West Doral Area"

Quote:
This was a disaster of a hotel. It was quite possibly the worst Marriott property I've stayed in (and that is probably approaching 100).

The rooms have an outside door entry and are smaller than average Fairfield rooms. Mine was a bit moldy. They definitely need a complete overhaul.

The lobby/breakfast area was so small that about 10 people can sit in it to eat breakfast. TEN! It was completely inadequate.

The location is the worst part! It is almost on top of the Palmetto Expressway, one of Miami's busiest streets.

It’s just bad all around. Avoid it at all costs.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on April 27, 2005

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Miami Airport West - Doral Area
3959 NW 79TH AVE
Miami, Florida 33166
305-599-5200

Hampton Inn Miami Airport West

Hotel | "Hampton Inn Miami-Airport West"

Quote:
This was a very average Hampton at best.

The location is on a fairly main drag, so it's not quiet and a coworker never felt safe. There are a few okay places to walk for dinner, and sometimes you have to because the nearby traffic is terrible.

The rooms, breakfast, etc., was from the book for a Hampton. There were okay rooms that were big enough without being interesting. Breakfast had enough variety without being tasty, and service was just fine.

I'd stay there again if the StayBridge nearby was booked, but not for any other reason.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 27, 2005

Hampton Inn Miami Airport West
3620 NW 79TH AVENUE
Miami, Florida 33166
305 513 0777

Staybridge Suites Miami Airport West

Hotel | "Staybridge Suites Airport West"

Quote:
This has a perfect mix of value, location, and amenities for a value/business hotel. Nestled just far enough off 87th Avenue and 41st Street to be quiet, it's right next door to a Holiday Inn. The rooms are good-sized suites with full kitchens, including all cooking utensils. The TV has three or four times the normal number of channels. There is a spot downstairs to get supplies if needed. There are free laundry machines and a decent gym for a hotel. It’s steps to Doral Ale House. From an interest standpoint, there is nothing going on, but for a business hotel or for the Doral golf tourneys, it is the perfect spot. A coworker had been sold on the nearby InterContinental until ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 27, 2005

Staybridge Suites Miami Airport West
3265 NW 87TH AVENUE
Miami, Florida 33172
305-500-9100

Candlewood Suites Miami Airport West

Hotel | "Candlewood Suites Miami Airport"

Quote:
Candlewood Suites Airport is a classic 'good and bad' hotel. The good: -Quiet, as it's a good block off of a main street (87th Ave) -Good value, as it's a good $10-20 less than other good chain hotels -In-room: Kitchen, fridge, good TV channel selction, videos to borrow (not rent) -Pantry for little items -Location is close to a lot of small restaurants (walking distance even) -Free laundry The bad: -Only weekly full service for maids -Small gym -Front desk is not 24-hour (though someone on-site all night) -More of an apartment feel than hotel as it's more designed for long stays I probably won't stay here...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 11, 2005

Candlewood Suites Miami Airport West
8855 NW 27th Street
Miami, Florida 33172
(305) 591-9099

Quote:
The InterContinental West Miami seems a bit out of place in its neigborhood as a higher-end hotel where the closest hotels to it are moderate or standard business-class hotels. The IC has some of the things that one expects from this fine chain: A good restaurant, nice pool, comfortable rooms with classy amenities, nice gym. The lobby and hallways are very well appointed, and the soon-to-be completed expansion will only enhance this. However, I do have some major issues. High speed internet is $10 a day. Valet parking is assumed, and not cheap. No HBO (whoever heard of that in a chain hotel!). No refrigerator of any kind. While these are little things, I can stay 2 blocks away for $20 to $40 le...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 17, 2005

InterContinental West Miami
2505 NORTH WEST 87TH AVE
Miami, Florida 33172
305-468-1400

Sakura at Doral

Restaurant | "Sakura Doral Japanese"

Quote:
This is a hidden Japanese and Korean restaurant in a grocery-store strip mall. There are about six restaurants in this particular strip, but only Sakura is worth it. I have eaten there twice and gotten takeout twice. It's definitely on our weekly rotation for lunches. The Korean we've tried was average overall, with a decent variety of standard dishes. It generally lacked much punch.

But the sushi and Japanese dishes were all quite good and a reasonable value for the quality. The decor is fairly typical Japanese strip-mall, the service just about right, and the selection of beverages average. The two selling points are the very good sushi and lack of capable competition nearby.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 27, 2005

Sakura at Doral
9753 NW 41st St.
Miami, Florida
305-477-4483

Bruschetta & Co

Restaurant | "Bruschetta & Co."

Quote:
Just plain bad is the only way to describe it. There was bad service, terrible food, and Olive Garden-esque decor. Even the bruschetta was bad! Three of us ate three different appetizers, entrées, and desserts. ONE of the nine dishes was average, and even the wines they recommended were mediocre. It was not a good value either.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on April 27, 2005

Bruschetta & Co
10650 Northwest 41st St
Miami, Florida 33178
+1 305 470 8003

Doral Ale House

Restaurant

Quote:
Part of a Florida chain of sports bar/restaurants, Ale House is a decent place for pub grub. It boasts a very diverse beer selection and affordable food, its two best attributes, that and dozens of televisions with sports from around the country, especially Miami sports at this location. There are pool tables and games in the back, a bar area with seating in the middle, and more standard seating in the front. The decor is simple wood/paneling, and the service is not usually bad for a sports bar. The best things to get are generally burgers, nachos, and fish sandwiches. Avoid steaks and the like for sure. Avoid it at the peak times (Doral golf tourney, Sunday afternoons) and the wai...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 27, 2005

Doral Ale House
3271 NW 87th Ave.
Miami, Florida 33172
305/629-9442

Quote:
This has a very nice mix of well-prepared and presented food, great ambience, and solid service.

Situated on Ocean Drive, Avalon has classic seafood dishes, each with a unique twist. Tuna tartar with taro chips and basil-infused risotto are two examples of this. The dishes were quite tasty, if a tad more expensive than the quality.

But the ambience of live music and people-watching made up for it. The wine list was also well thought-out, with enough quality and variety for anyone.

I'd recommend a terrace table for better visibility.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2005

A Fish Called Avalon
700 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
+1 305 532 1727

Sea Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
Mixed in among the throng of other good but not great restaurants on Ocean Drive is Sea Cafe. We stopped in because they had a nice presentation of entrées at the front. Overall, it was a good but less-than-perfect experience. The Good: They had good seafood dishes, and a friend thought his steak was very good. All are presented well, but there is not a lot of creativity or originality (the paella was NOT paella). The taste was, again, good, but not remarkable. There was good people-watching, and live entertainment (a singer) made for a relaxed ambience. The Bad: Sidewalk tables were just too close together and too much in the way. The service was largely indifferent....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2005

Sea Cafe
740 Ocean Drive
Miami, Florida 33139

Quote:
By far the best value on Lincoln Road, Pizza Rustica offers great pizza with very little fuss. It is located towards the middle of Lincoln, right in the middle of a pedestrian block. This affords a good opportunity to indulge in SoBe people-watching without paying SoBe prices!

The pizzas are Neapolitan style, which means square, and loaded with a range of exciting toppings (goat cheese, shrimp veggies, sausages, etc.) in 15 or so combinations. It's counter service, with a quick turnaround. Grab an outside table, get a big ol’ slice, and enjoy!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 30, 2005

Pizza Rustica Lincoln Rd.
667 Lincoln Rd.
Miami, Florida 33139
(305) 672-2334

Zeitoun

Restaurant

Quote:
Zeitoun is a solid out-of-the-way Mediterranean cafe in the heart of the Doral area. Located in the backside of a large strip of stores and restaurants, it's possibly the best of the nearby group. The decor and service are fairly average for a moderately priced small restaurant.

The food is certainly above average for that same group, however--a wide range of Mediterranean specialties line the menu. I'd recommend a sampler to share, as each item on it is quite good.

Not a fancy or 'special' meal, but given the limits to options for good food in the area, it's worth a visit.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 11, 2005

Zeitoun
2600 North West 87th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33122

Quote:
Outside of New York and L.A., not many places in the USA offer the nightlife that South Beach does. It's a wild mix of young locals showing off toned bodies, visiting families, and going to the beaches and dinners and rich Europeans. It's people-watching at its best. The best way to do it might be this simple: -Find a spot on Ocean Drive in the early evening for a drink to watch the sunbathers pile off the beach. -Move up or down the street to get an on-the-sidewalk table to watch the world heading out for dinner. -Walk off dinner, especially on Collins Avenue. And watch the clubbers start heading out for the night. -Grab a coffee or gelato and watch the post-dinne...Read More