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Not your typical W: A review of the W Miami in Brickell

March 26, 2021
11 min read
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Many travelers don't realize that there's much more to Miami than just South Beach. For those that want to skip the crowds and hang with more locals, the Brickell neighborhood in Downtown Miami could be a great alternative. While you don't get direct beach access, there are terrific dining, nightlife and entertainment options and you're closer to popular neighborhoods like Wynwood and Little Havana.

On a recent trip to the area, I decided to spend my first two nights in Brickell and stayed at the W Miami. This is one of three Ws in South Florida; there's a newly renovated one on South Beach and another up in Fort Lauderdale, though this is the smallest of the bunch with only 118 rooms.

Here’s how my stay went.

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Booking

The W Miami is typically priced slightly higher than the W Fort Lauderdale but lower than the W South Beach.

It's a Category 6 property in the Marriott Bonvoy program, meaning an award night will cost you 40,000 points for an off-peak night, 50,000 for a standard night and 60,000 for a peak night. This also means that you could use the annual up to 85,000-point certificate at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (certain hotels have resort fees) from a card like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card on a standard night here.

Paid nights start at around $299 but often hover around $400 per night before taxes. So, paying with points yields a redemption rate of around 0.8 cents per point, which is on par with TPG valuations.

Another perk of staying in Brickell: The W Miami doesn't charge a resort fee like the hotels on the beach do.

Related: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card is right for you?

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Location

The W Miami is located right off Brickell Avenue and shares many facilities with the Icon Brickell apartment complex. It's a five-minute walk to the Brickell City Centre, where you will find four levels of high-end shops and restaurants, as well as a dine-in movie theater. There's also Sugar, the city's hottest rooftop bar, on the 40th floor of the Brickell City Centre’s East hotel.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

If walking is not your thing, you can get around using readily available shared bikes and scooters. Alternatively, free public transportation is available via the Metromover and trolleys. Of course, ride-sharing is also an option, but there can be a lot of traffic during rush hour.

Miami International Airport is about 20 minutes away by car, while Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is about 45 minutes away.

Related: The best ways to get to or from MIA

Check-in and lobby

The lobby (or Living Room, as they like to call it at the W) was relatively small, with limited seating and no bar. It was also much brighter than your typical W Living Room.

I arrived at the hotel at 10 a.m. and was able to get a room right away — a full six hours before standard check-in. There was never much of a line when I passed the front desk.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Room

I was assigned a standard Wonderful King room on the fifth floor. The room was decorated with an Asian flair, featuring a bold celadon palette, lamps in the shape of foo dogs and a painting of a crane.

Stepping into it, I was immediately impressed with its size. The 440-square-foot room opened up to a long corridor with green, black and white marble floors.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

To the left was a set of double doors that opened into the bathroom. The bathroom featured a double vanity, a large mirror and a whole lot of marble.

The shower was a walk-in with a single showerhead. As is now the norm for Ws, toiletries were provided by Davines and its sister brand Skin Regimen.

Back in the hallway, there was a gigantic wooden wardrobe that housed the safe and plenty of storage and hanging space. More storage space, along with an iron and ironing board, was available in a small closet on the other side.

There was also a small kitchenette with dual electric burners, a microwave and an empty minifridge. The coffee maker and minibar items were removed as a response to the pandemic. Instead, snacks and drinks were available for purchase at the front desk.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

The bed was very comfortable, dressed in crisp, white linens with four pillows (the decorative pillow has been removed as a part of Marriott's Commitment to Clean program). There were nightstands and lamps on both sides of the bed, but only one side had power outlets.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

The TV remote came in a bag and there were also disinfectant wipes available for personal use.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Opposite the bed was a comfortable workspace with easily accessible power outlets.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

My room at the W Miami came with a balcony. While I enjoyed working from there, I did wish that I were on a higher floor and didn't face the street. Luckily, noise wasn't much of an issue when the balcony door was closed.

Amenities

The highlight of the property was the massive 15th-floor pool deck, which was shared with the Icon Brickell apartment complex. There was a total of three pools: a wading pool, a large hot tub and a lap pool.

Chairs and cabanas were free for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Poolside service was available from the hotel's restaurant Addikt (more on that soon), but only from Thursday through Sunday due to the reduced hours. And unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to bring outside food or drinks the days the restaurant was closed.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Also on the 15th floor was a small, makeshift gym exclusively for W guests. While it worked fine for me, I later found out that I could have trekked to a much larger gym in one of the Icon Brickell buildings.

The Icon also has what looks to be a beautiful spa, though it was closed due to the pandemic.

Wi-Fi was free for all guests and performed well in my room. I just wish it would have worked better by the pool.

Food and beverage

While there wasn't a lobby bar, on the opposite side from the front desk was Panther Coffee, which is a local coffee chain. It was open daily and served a variety of drinks and pastries. Marriott Platinum and Titanium elites that chose breakfast as their welcome amenity could pick up one coffee and two breakfast items here.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

The hotel's main restaurant, Addikt, was located on the 15th floor by the pool. Due to the pandemic, it was only open from Thursday through Sunday. In-room dining was also limited to these days only.

It offered great views from both inside and the socially distanced outdoor patio.

It's usually open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves mostly American cuisine, such as salads, burgers and chicken sandwiches.

For breakfast, the only option available was a buffet (served by employees). It cost $26 per person and included items like scrambled eggs, waffles, pastries, cereals, fresh fruit and yogurt.

Related: How to get free hotel breakfast

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

While I didn't have a chance to dine in, I did enjoy a poolside lunch from Addikt. I had a Beyond burger ($18) and piña colada ($15), which were both great, albeit on the pricier side.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Although the on-site dining options were limited, there were a ton of terrific restaurants nearby, such as Komodo, Cipriani and Luna Park. I also had a tasty outdoor lunch from the food trucks parked behind First Presbyterian Church, next to the hotel.

Related: The 18 best places to eat and drink in Miami

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Service

All of the staff members I interacted with at the hotel were friendly, but there were some service hiccups. For instance, I requested housekeeping (currently only available by request) one day, but they never came. The wait was also quite long when calling the front desk even though occupancy was low. In fairness, it's likely that the pandemic forced the hotel to reduce staffing.

Overall impression

The W Miami is not your classic W experience. There was no swanky restaurant or lobby bar with DJs spinning at night. That being said, the pool deck was awesome, the room was spacious and the location was great (for those that don't need to stay on the beach). I would consider staying here again, especially if I can get a good deal using points, though I hope that operations will be back to normal by then.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023