THE BALFOUR HOTEL MIAMI BEACH
REVIEWED BY Christyn Pek
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Located on the south side of Ocean Drive, The Balfour Hotel offers a breath of fresh air within flamboyant Miami Beach. The lobby captures the eye with modern Art Deco architecture taking boho chic to the next level, with a fully equipped bar adjacent to the front desk, where friendly staff awaits to greet and accommodate a guest’s every need. Valet was on-premise to ensure my car was in good hands with 24-hour surveillance. A helping hand led me to my room through a courtyard that overlooked an exotic mini plunge pool, tempting me to take a refreshing splash. GUEST QUARTERS: My room was on the top floor, tucked away in a corner with a view of the courtyard and an outdoor spiral staircase leading up to the rooftop. I was shocked at how hip and unique the room was, taking vintage and flipping it to modern. The bohemian dream room not only had a love seat overlooking the ocean but a spectacular bathroom with a large peek-a-boo shower that added a spontaneous aroma. The ceilings were purposely left unfinished, giving it an edgier vibe with complementing dark wood accents. The room came to life with orange and teal accents and urban photography. The suite offered all the essentials needed for an extended stay, such as a mini fridge, microwave, safe and large closet. I could easily have spent more than three nights here. The design tactics of this room gave it a personality of its own, one that went far beyond basic. The only thing missing was a vintage soaking tub! SERVICES/AMENITIES: The services and amenities were average, but one fun thing was the availability of complimentary guest bicycles — perfect for exploring the city. The pool, however, was not big enough to swim in. Luckily, the beach across the street had chairs readily available for guests to enjoy after a dip in the ocean. The hotel had a great bar and Latin restaurant area, although it did not offer a proper gym. The staff was kind and kept up with cleanliness, although I had to remind them of some things, such as extra towels. The staff quickly accommodated any requests and was always professional and friendly.