My spouse and I stayed at the Shore Club for three nights in early July 2016. We booked our room using the Shore Club’s parent/group website for the Morgan Hotel Group (with other properties in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Europe, and the Middle East). Note that although some people call this a “sister hotel” to the nearby Delano, in fact, the two hotels are owned by the same hotelier, nothing more. You do not receive
reciprocal privileges for one hotel by being a guest at the other.
The Shore Club is located on Collins Avenue in South Beach, in the same ocean block as the Raleigh/Richmond/South Seas/Surfcomber/Marseilles/SLS hotels and in the block next to the Setai. Nearby restaurants include the Orange Blossom Café (at the Boulan) and Maxine’s Bistro (at the Catalina). In addition, Terazza is the hotel restaurant, with the outdoor Skybar available for drinks. Note that Nobu restaurant is no longer onsite at the Shore Club (Nobu now resides at the Eden Roc Resort). Despite claims that the hotel operates an indoor bar/nightclub, the space was empty and deserted during the busy holiday weekend when we visited, which included a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night; if the bar was not open on a busy holiday weekend when the hotel is operating at capacity, we assume that it is never open.
Be aware if you plan to use Uber when you stay at the Shore Club: for the 10+ times that we used it over our 3-night say, on all but one pickup, the drivers had to call us because they could not find the hotel, and on every single drop-off, the drivers took us to the side of the building rather than the front driveway. Google maps (or whatever directional application the drivers use) sent them around to an unused side entrance across the street from the Setai side entrance, but you cannot enter or exit the Shore Club from there because the doors are locked. We mentioned this Uber issue at checkout, but the clerk said that he uses Uber all the time, and they can always find him! So perhaps it was just some error that we kept making. Parking costs approximately $42 per night, and note that because there is nowhere to park nearby, posted signs at the front door inform you to allow 30 minutes for staff to retrieve your car.
The lobby smells awesome, looks hip, and feels serene; you can purchase scented candles in the gift shop to recreate the smell at home. That is where the good comments end. Much of the hotel looks old and tired; particularly the outdoor bar and the pool area and furniture.
Although the Shore Club is an Art Deco-style property with a landmarked lobby, the hotel was designed by British modernist David Chipperfield. Chipperfield modeled the property’s gardens in the style of the Yves Saint Laurent-designed Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech.
The “active” swimming pool contains Moroccan beds with lots of colorful stuffed pillows and Turkish loungers. However, during our stay, the unique furniture was covered up with heavy plastic and featured standing rainwater, while pool/outdoor staff stood around idle. (Seeing the standing water was alarming because of the recent Zika mosquito outbreak in Florida.) Music from the weekend pool party at the Shore Club and its neighboring hotels is ridiculously loud, so thunderous that the entire hotel reverberated and vibrated along with the bass. It would have been tolerable if we could have heard the music; as it was, we just felt the throbbing and pounding of the bass notes. Not only was it impossible to rest during the daytime, guests must be early riser as well, because the racket begins at 10:00 am and continues until 8:00 pm. Actually, when we initially felt the pulsations, we went up to the floor above ours (the20th/top floor), thinking that must be where one of hotel bars was located that was playing such ghastly noise, but it was the rising, resonating, and echoing of the music off all the concrete buildings.
The lounge chairs on beach are arranged very closely together; and the service provided by the beach attendants is slow. Some guests (older and unattractive ones, like us) were charged to use the beach umbrellas at $19 per day, while other guests (young and attractive ones, unlike us) were given the umbrellas for free. Guests can also wander in themselves while the beach attendants are seating other guests (because of under-staffing), and claim chairs that already have umbrellas next to them, thus saving themselves the daily fee. With such expensive room rates (and with a resort fee already assessed), the nominal umbrella fee should be waived for all guests, not just the pretty ones!
This hotel is not suitable for families. There was some topless nudity displayed around the pool (and condoned by the pool attendants), which is not legal in Florida, and the vibe party atmosphere. This also is not a hotel for the older crowd – the pool lounge chairs are not regular height, but more of a platform bed type of lounger, which may be difficult for anyone slightly mobility challenged to easily get in and out of. (Both pools do contain handicapped lifts, however, to raise and lower guests into the pool.) The hotel has two pools, one that is supposed to be more relaxing, but the pools are located adjacent to each other, and it is impossible to escape the clamor from the “active” pool.
The Shore Club offers 309 minimalist rooms, with concrete floors, white bedding/duvets, sisal area rugs, and luxurious bathrooms. We booked an oceanview suite, and we were placed on the 19th floor (of 20 floors). Our suite featured a small living room with a futon daybed (not suitable for sleeping), a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, desk/chair, and nightstands, and two full bathrooms. One of the large sandstone bathrooms contained a wet area divided by glass doors that housed a large soaking (but not jetted) bathtub and rainfall showerhead, with a shimmery mother-of-pearlish tile floor. The other bathroom was smaller and more traditional. The hotel offers Malin + Goetz toiletries (in 1.7 ounce tubes, so you get more than one use from them). Perhaps the best feature of our suite was a large terrace that was positioned along the side of the building, affording views of the bay, the Art Deco district, and the beach. Two small tables, each with two chairs, were arranged on the covered terrace; however, we could see other rooms similar to ours with uncovered terraces that also contained lounge chairs.
We encountered several problems during our stay, and spoke to the front desk about them, but we never received any satisfactory resolution. General Manager, Jesper Soerenson, went unacknowledged to this day. We have heard that the Shore Club (which opened circa 2002) will eventually be closed and turned into condos – you can see evidence of this from the sales desk in the lobby (we seem to remember prices starting at least $1 million per unit). The pending closure is apparent in most of the staff’s attitudes.
The most distressing event of our weekend occurred as we sat at the outdoor Skybar one afternoon. The bartender washed his bar tools (silver strainers) in an ice bucket that was collecting rainwater runoff from the roof. When we questioned him about it, he laughed! This cleaning method made us wonder what the staff is doing behind the scenes to the food, drinks, and serveware, if that is what an employee will do in front of us! We voiced this concern to the manager on duty that night, who said she would investigate, but we never heard any resolution. We probably should have called the local health department, for that was certainly a health-code violation! We even had to pay for that disgusting round of drinks (which was only a beer and a soda)! We definitely did not eat in the restaurant or order any more drinks after what we witnessed. To make this matter worse, as I told the front desk manager, I am recovering from cancer and chemotherapy, so the thought that some callous bartender could have introduced unnecessary germs into my body is just unforgivable and demonstrates depraved indifference! And even now, we have received no response from the management of the Shore Club. The Shore Club truly does not care about the health and welfare of their guests!
We do not recommend this hotel – there are many newer properties nearby where you might get better service! Although you might read some positive reviews on TripAdvisor, take heed of the number of those great reviews that are the only one posted by the reviewer, which to us is an indicator of a planted fake review. We feel like we tried every avenue to correct the issues we experienced during our stay, but no one seemed to care! We are still waiting for Mr. Soerensen to return our phone call to address our concerns – ten weeks after the fact! We had hoped to keep our issues between us and the hotel, but his lack of response has encouraged us to post them now. Skip this property!