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gail Jan 19th, 2011 06:46 AM

Miami airport/Coral Gables/U Miami hotel - safe, just to sleep for a nite
Early March - flying into MIA mid-day, picking up DD at airport 10 PM, then she is visiting friend at U Miami next day - before we head off to West Palm for weekend. So just need a convenient, safe place for us to stay for a night. Will have car. Not familiar with geography - should we just pick airport area hotel - then maybe she could cheap cab to hotel rather than me picking her up at 10 PM

Graziella5b Jan 19th, 2011 07:11 AM

Hi, I live in Miami Beach and this is what I would do , supposing I understood correctly what you wish to do:

1) arrive at Airport at mid day, take Airport Shuttle,should be like 15 to 18 dollars to a hotel nice and safe in South Beach.I can recommend the small, quiet and nice Cadet Hotel right in the middle of South Beach, close to both Lincoln Mall and Ocean Drive and Beach.

2) spend alone a nice time in SouthBeach, window looking, may be swimming in beach,etc
sitting in a cafe along Lincoln Rd, like Pauls.

3) Your friend when arriving should also take Airport Shuttle to hotel.

4) I would rent next morning the car, avoiding paying overnight parking which does not come cheap in Miami.

5) Walk to pick up car, or take a taxi to rental office which should be in Miami Beach not far. They might bring car to the hotel not sure.
6) Next morning drive to University of Miami, not difficult.

7)Leave for Palm Beach.

I think this way you can enjoy your few hours in Miami ,avoid driving at night near airport which is not ideal, avoid paying parking at Airport etc

Hope you will agree because I know you will have a nice time and a safer time this way.

6) I know the owner of the Cadet, this is a quiet , safe place and you will have a nice time. I think you might get better rates through one of the reservations webs like Orbitz etc. check all rates through Good luck.

Graziella5b Jan 19th, 2011 07:41 AM

I was thinking if you are planning to return car to Miami Airport before flying home , and this cannot be so if you rent your car in Miami Beach, you can do as follows, upon arrival rent car at mid day, drive to South Beach , ask how much is parking or shop around other hotels who might have parking. If you like you can ask me and I can tell about any other hotel you find agreable. The Cadet has an ideal location for a woman staying alone it is close to everything and when your friend joins you late at night you both can walk anywhere for a nite cup etc ..., South Beach is alive till very late.
Then it is if fundamental that you do not drive at night to pick up your friend, you might miss an exit or something at night and it is not worlth it. Your friend can take the Airport Shuttle to the hotel. .....
Next morning from South Beach to UM it is simple, print a map, I would simply drive South on US 1 to the Uof M. To get into the US 1 you must cross the Washington Causeway, beautiful view of Miami , Miami's port etc. It should not take too long.

321go Jan 19th, 2011 07:46 AM

<<avoid driving at night near airport which is not ideal>> Nicely put, Graziella.

Gail, I like Graziella's plan, and I think you'd enjoy relaxing in South Beach while waiting for your daughter.

Ackislander Jan 19th, 2011 09:49 AM

I agree with getting away from the airport, Gail.

The second worst hotel in my entire life was at the airport Holiday Inn, though we did see manatees swimming in the garbage-strewn canal the next morning. The thrill wasn't worth it. Disgusting housekeeping and scary people.

lvk Jan 19th, 2011 01:00 PM

Another vote against staying near the airport.

A Coral Gables/Coconut Grove hotel closer to "The U" would work, too. It is a short drive or shuttle ride from the airport and the Miracle Mile shopping district is a pretty safe area for you to walk around, shop, and have a solo dinner while waiting for your daughter.

I'm looking at Miami hotels for a late Feb. date, and haven't found any bargains. Priceline isn't being very cooperative, either. :) Hopefully, you'll have better luck for your March date.

gail Jan 19th, 2011 01:58 PM

These plans have some merit - I will give it some thought. Agree that airport is not nice area - a few years ago daughter and I had early AM flight out of MIA and were trying to find rental car lot - ended up taking wrong turn and ended up in some truly scary areas (and I am an inner-city homecare RN, so I do not scare easily). Will continue to research - thanks.

Graziella5b Jan 19th, 2011 04:26 PM

Hi Gail,I did not wished to over do it but now that you say you took the wrong turn once.... let me tell you that some years ago several different tourists cars were attacked in the area where some of the rental car agencies are located. AS you probably know most European cities have the rental car returns within the airports grounds. Europeans arriving in late evening flights rented cars at the airport to go to Miami Beach. They had no idea they would easily get lost trying to leave the rental car agencies. Tourists take the wrong turn very easily in that grey impersonal area. I myself got lost one morning when renting a car, and it was not dark., and I live here...¡¡¡ that makes me a total idiot or proves my point.
After those bad incidents the city changed the plates of car identifing rentals,;
nice maps were given to drivers etc.There was no internet like to-day and
people renting cars at night not knowing Miami were at severe risk of being robbed or worst.

In case it helps you I believe that Hertz,Alamo and Enterprise are among rent- a =car companies in South Beach within easy reach...
It is difficult to suggest an area to someone I do not know, but most likely you will find agreeable to walk and window shop along Lincoln Rd. There is big option of hotels in South Beach , parking is not cheap and driving does not make sense on the other hand walking is ideal.

gail Jan 19th, 2011 04:50 PM

Graziella - thanks. I actually will be flying into either MIA or FLL and out of PBI - daughter is flying into MIA since it is only flight at convenient time from North Carolina (I am in Boston). Florida seems to have low or no drop-off fee if one rents car at either of these airport locations and returns to another - but will check on that as well.

Familiar with South Beach - we visit my brother in West Palm area every winter. Still like the idea of staying one night in South Beach area - or even Coral Gables.

Thanks again - and for reminding me that it is not just the inside of Miami airport that I dislike, but also the surrounding area.

Graziella5b Jan 19th, 2011 06:54 PM

Coincidentally yesterday we flew into Fort Lauderdale's airport. We do this often but for the first time we had to take a shuttle home which is in the Ball Harbor area.Fare is quiet reasonable :$19 per person and we were very lucky because for some reason they sent us home in a town car , the two of us alone, for the $38 dollars. I didn't even know there was a shuttle from FL Airport to our home. So if you wish to go to SB you can take a shuttle from FL and your daughter a Super Shuttle from MIA. 305.871 2000.
If it were my daughter I would feel it is better to ride a shuttle at night than a taxi.
I agree Miami Airport is a very unpleasant unfriendly airport while FL being smallish is more
This is the company we used,,954 561 8888.Good luck.

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