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Coral Gables/Coconut Grove or North Miami Beach -- One Night Stay???

Coral Gables/Coconut Grove or North Miami Beach -- One Night Stay???

Old Mar 28th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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Coral Gables/Coconut Grove or North Miami Beach -- One Night Stay???

We have actually been to Miami (very briefly), but not for a few years. We are booking one night pre-cruise (out of Miami) -- wherever we stay will be thru Priceline -- it has usually worked well for us in the past. We will have a rental car.

We have not stayed in Coral Gables/Coconut Grove, but the area was recommended to me. Then on Priceline I saw a decent hotel in the North Miami Beach zone (Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort).

So I am looking for opinions really of North Miami Beach and/or how it compares to Coconut Grove/Coral Gables.

BTW, this is for a Saturday night in mid May. Thanks for any suggestions
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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My parents have stayed at the Newport Beach Hotel in Sunny Isles and the area is great as is the hotel. However, it is quite a drive to the Port of Miami.

I love Coconut Grove! One of my favorite areas of Miami! Great shopping and dining.

Coral Gables is a sort of ritzy neighborhood with the Biltmore Hotel. Very nice area.
 
Old Mar 28th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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So, in effect, you have recommended all three areas Maybe I'll bid for North Miami Beach then and if I don't get it, move on to the other area. Thought it would be nice to be beachfront for one night....but not at the expense of the budget Thanks for the help.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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I guess it depends on what you want to do. North Miami Beach would be my last choice. To me it's simply a place to stay and beach it, but there's nothing else really around it.
I'd opt for Coral Gables where you can stroll in the evening, pick a nice restaurant and window shop at least.
Coconut Grove is sort of fun too, but it tends to be pretty college (and even high school age) spring-break-like in the evenings.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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I've had experience with a Priceline hotel in Coral Gables (Hyatt) and it was great with a nice pool. Coral Gables is lively on Saturday night and it is pretty walkable so you don't have to use your car. Coconut Grove is also lively and walkable on a Saturday night, a little closer to the port. I would vote that there are better restaurants generally in the Gables. It might depend on your ages - Coral Gables is "nicer", Coconut Grove is funkier. Both are great areas. So yes, like GoTravel, here is an endorsement for both areas that I am familiar with
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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OK, then the better choice is Coconut Grove/Coral Gables. We'll drive by and check out North Miami Beach as a maybe for another time.

I know how expensive Miami hotels are and it seemed a nice option for a possible beachfront stay. However, with only the one night, we won't have much time to enjoy their beach.

Thanks for the feedback -- the strolling in the evenings and nearby restaurants is probably the best choice
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Before I forget, is there some street parking available in Coconut Grove/Coral Gables? We only use overpriced hotel valet or garages if they're the only option.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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In Coral Gables you could probably find a meter, but you have to feed them between 8am and 10pm. In Coconut Grove, parking is a bit harder to find and I would just do the hotel. There are municipal garages in both locations that probably aren't as expensive as hotel valet.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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You are getting good advice here. We visit Miami several times a year from the midwest, and we really like the Gables and the Grove areas. More to do and you can park in a centeral location for shopping and dining. North MB is a long way in the wrong direction from the port of Miami. Traffic can get ugly as well.

What cruise line are you on?
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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We have done quite a few cruises, but this will be our first on Carnival.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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As sone who has traveled a lot to Miami--daughter at UM--I LOVED priceline, but since they have combined the Coral Gables/Coconut Grove areas, I would not bid there again. The Hyatt in Coral Gables is very nice, but most of the Coconut Grove hotels are NOT, especially the no-name place that was formerly the Wyndham Grand Bay. That place was so lousy I didn't complete my stay.

As to parking, metered parking in Coral Gables is 25 cents per 15 minutes--you need LOTS of change if you are going to try that.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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I have been getting hotels on Priceline for years. I have to admit, a great deal of the 3* and 4* hotels in/around Miami have very mixed reviews (on tripadvisor.com). But we are just going to have to take our chances since it is only 'one night'.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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I, too, have used Priceline for years, and have always been happy. But The Grand Bay finished that zone for me! Even the one night we spent there was hard to take--we checked into the Holiday Inn University of Miami for the rest of our stay! So good luck, and I hope you get the Hyatt!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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And to think the Grand Bay, at one time, was Miami's only 5-Star Hotel....must have gone down hill in a BIG way.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Hard to believe it was ever a 5-star, though when it was a Wyndham it was definitely a 4-star. I don't know WHAT I would rate the present place, but I know I wouldn't want to stay there again!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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I stayed at Grand Bay years ago and it was a wonderful hotel -- then. They also had a sister Grand Bay in New York -- which is now the Michelangelo, by the way.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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If you are gong to have a car you can stay in the Gables and drive to the Grove it is like 5 to 10 minutes away. I don't know what the deal is with that Priceline but some good hotels in the Grove are The Sonesta, Mayfair, Ritz, Doubletree. All pretty central the two latter have bay views.

In the Gables The Biltmore, Hyatt, small but quaint St Michel, Westin Colonnade. All but the Biltmore are within walking distance of great restaurants.

The Grove is livelier and a lot of the teenyboppers are in South Beach now. It has many outdoor restaurants and more of the Florida flavor since it is very close to the water.
Gables is more upscale but not as lively. Although it is starting to pick up.
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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FYI, on Priceline, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables are a combined zone. When you bid, you may get either area. Also, the Ritz doesn't participate. Some of the others you mentioned may not also.

We will cross our fingers that we don't get the Grand Bay!
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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By the way, are you flying in and then leaving the next day for the cruise? Why even bother with a rental car (especially if you end up in a "walkable area"). Returning a rental car to the cruise terminal tends to be more aggravation than it is worth. It really might be preferable to take a taxi to your hotel from the airport and another to the cruise port. Compared to the cost of the car and the overnight parking, you will probably save money as well.
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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Thanks, but we'll need the rental car. We fly into Ft Lauderdale and have a full 24 hours to sightsee, as well as going to the hotel and cruise pier.
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