Disclaimer: This was a sponsored stay, but as always, all opinions are my own.
It took a year of traveling abroad for me to be able to identify exactly what makes a perfect hotel stay.
There are specific qualities that every hotel should deliver on — and these include basic things like clean sheets, a comfortable bed and a filling breakfast. And then there are the extras, which can range from small touches like ice-cold, fruit-infused water in the lobby to more extravagant offerings like a rooftop pool overlooking the ocean. Those are the qualities that elevate a stay from “just fine” to just plain fantastic.
Fortunately for me (and this review), the Residence Inn hotel on Sunny Isles Beach delivered on that and more. Here are a few of the things that stood out for during a three-night stay at the South Florida hotel.
Room with a view
There’s nothing I love more than waking up to a beautiful view, whether it be snow-tipped mountains, a web of city lights, or the endless blues of an ocean. There’s something special about waking up to a pink-skied sunrise from the comfort of your own bed.
The Residence Inn in Sunny Isles Beach sits less than a block away from the Atlantic Ocean, and its rooms hone in on the views. Our room was lined with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pool, Collins Avenue and Sunny Isles Beach.
Here’s an easy thing to get behind: A rooftop pool overlooking the ocean. I mean, need I say more?
Sometimes you just don’t want to leave your hotel. Maybe you had a late night; maybe you’re feeling under the weather; maybe there’s a Harry Potter marathon on TV. Or maybe you’re just plain lazy. Having a restaurant inside your hotel literally eliminates any reason to step outside.
Don’t bother taking off your pajamas. This is your home for the weekend so why not take advantage of it? Order that milkshake with a side of fries and whatever else your heart desires — and ask for it to-go, if they allow that sort of thing. Then take that elevator straight back to bed.
The best way to save money on a trip is to cook your own meals. While traveling abroad we always tried to book a place with a kitchen because it gives you so much more freedom to eat what you want. It’s also fun to explore local grocery stores and pick something up that you probably wouldn’t buy at home.
The king studio suite we stayed in came equipped with a full kitchen, and while we didn’t have time to cook anything this time around, it’s always nice to have a full-sized fridge for your restaurant leftovers; wine; cheese; and the dozens of Brazilian desserts I stole from the wedding we went to.
Minutes from the ocean
Other than an epic room view, the next big thing on my list of what makes a Perfect Hotel Stay is location. Location is EVERYTHING when traveling. It could make or break a trip, and when you’re traveling to Miami, well, you’re probably trying to stay near the water.
The Residence Inn hotel is a few steps away from Sunny Isles Beach, which is honestly so much cleaner/nicer/less crowded than Miami Beach’s tourist-laden swaths of sand.
There are a good number of restaurants, bars and food stores around — plus, there’s a neat pier nearby where you can snap a great photo of your vacation-self sipping on a margarita.
Free happy hour drinks
Did someone say free drinks? Yes, when you check into the Residence Inn hotel, you’ll get a “Free Drink” ticket for every day of your stay. Pair that with a sunset, and done! You just won your own vacation.