Howard Johnson Plaza Dezerland Beach Spa Hotel

, Miami, United States
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Howard Johnson Plaza Dezerland Beach Spa Hotel

, Miami
2 star

Rooms: 225

8701 Collins Avenue - Miami - Florida - 33154 - United States Hotel Website | | 305 865 6661
570 Traveller

Reviews - Howard Johnson Plaza Dezerland Beach Spa Hotel

Do Not stay here!
Submitted by: MO in 30/05/08
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From:
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
Customer service does not exist at this hotel. What was promised to us when we booked the room and what they gave us were totally different. The staff were rude, their practices were shady and the service was unacceptable. They charged us a "resort fee" even though we had told them we would not be using any of the "resort" accommodations as we were getting in late and leaving early. They tack on charges in fine print when you sign in so be careful if you go here. The room was expensive ($220 for 2 people), yet uncomfortable and shabby.
What A Dump
Submitted by: Julie in 25/04/08
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From:
  • Traveller type: Pleasure Seeker
This hotel is the worst hotel I have ever stopped in and I have stopped in many as I am a travel agent. Where can I start on a run down. Unhelpful and rude staff who struggle to speak English, we moved rooms as the first was a dump, 2nd was no better. Pool area was a mess with litter and cloudy water, the staff said this was due to rain, but no other pools were like this. I checked out early (after 3 days) loudly voicing my complaints with reception, who were not interested, I refused to pay the safe deposit, as it was "unsafe" it wasnt even fasened down! I was also offered drugs when checking in by an unsavory character in reception, who was obviously known to staff, as he was chatting with the conseige. I wrote to the hotel when I got back to England, and they called me rude and threatened me with liable action for bad mouthing the hotel! One thing is for sure I was not ruining their reputation, as they dont have one apart from being the worst hotel in Miami! It is being demolished so there are no plans to do any work on it, so do not use it!
Unhappy days
Submitted by: George in 18/08/06
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: Netherlands
  • Traveller type: Pleasure Seeker
I do not recommend this hotel at all. Room and the pool were not well clean. They are only nice to Apanish speaking people. $8.00 a day is charge to park your car there and extra $6.00 a night hotel fee. The hotel is very far from everything. I was not happy at all to stay there. I hate this hotel.
Would not reccommend!
Submitted by: Dawn in 28/03/06
  • Age Group: 18 - 25
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Pleasure Seeker
Me and 3 friends stayed there for spring break. I do not recommend this place at all. The rooms were tiny. No one was exceptionally friendly and English is not the predominant language by no means. We left the hotel paying everything, but yet they still fined us a $6 a night hotel fee, which was in fine print. The restaurant was a joke because my meal cost $12 for a grilled cheese, chips and a pop and it wasn't even good. The cleaning staff comes in at all hours in the day very inconsistently. The pool/hot area wasn't very attractive and the place had a weird smell to it. I was very disappointed.
2 stars may be pushing it for this place!
Submitted by: Brenda Spence in 29/03/05
  • Age Group:
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Adventurer
The Howard Johnson Dezerland Beach lacks in the department of polite customer service! The pool area is dirty, never any clean pool towels, even though you're charged $6 for the use of them, and the trash all around the pool area outside is disgusting! I took pictures. You'll be treated much better if you speak Spanish, because obviously English didn't seem to get us anywhere. Good Luck if only looking for a 2 star hotel, you've found it! $8.00 a day is charged to park your car there, no free parking even though you have paid to stay at this "resort". If you want to use the gym, be prepared to pay extra to use that too. Definately, not like Maryland courtesy I've had. You'll have an awful time getting clean and fresh towels, give them atleast 4 hours notice you'll need them. The restaurant at the hotel, is very confusing. They make a big deal out of everything! We tried to buy a cup of just ice, and it was a major trouble on their part. My friends and I were not happy at all with this choice.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Howard Johnson Plaza Dezerland Beach Spa Hotel

a Bit Dissapointment

from NateNyce
Wasn't at all what I expected, especially from a Howard Johnson. The elevators were a bit untidy for a hotel. The rooms are uncarpeted. The first room I received had abroken bed and smoke alarm. The second room was a bit better with a refigerator. The pool was OKAY to say the least. The exercise room cost. The beach seemed like it could use a good clean-up
The location was not far at all from South Beach (10-15 minutes by car) and was away from the crowdedness of South Beach. In fact, I think the location was pretty good. Would I stay here again??? No, it wasn't worth it.

t stay at this hotel!

from A TripAdvisor Member
My sister and I and my two young boys, stayed here for spring break, April 1-6. We got a room overlooking the ocean, but that was the only thing that kept us from leaving. The hotel is old and not kept up very well. The room was scary. The bathroom had cracked tile and plaster falling off the walls. The "closet" had silverfish in it, so we didn't use it at all. The tub was discolored and falling and probably needed replacement 20 years ago. We had these horrible tiny red ants crawling all over in the bathroom. I called to have it taken care of and the "maintance person" said he would come back while we were gone and spray (so we wouldn't get fumigated). He must not have done it because the bugs kept coming back. I finally stuffed tissues in all the cracks to keep them at bay and also any strays that appeared were doused with my hairspray (I went through a lot of hairspray). We complained again, but they just looked at us like we were nuts. So I gave up. The restaurant food and service was awful and the food and drinks were way overpriced for what you got. The swimming pool had black scum in it even though we saw a pool person "cleaning" it a few times. The staff just didn't seem to care if we liked it there or not. I was surprised since there is a lot of compeitition in that area for hotels. The only nice part of the whole stay was that the gift shop clerk was very nice, the view of the ocean was fantastic, and that part of the beach was very quiet.

Don't stay at the Ho Jo Dezerland Miami Beach!

The worst hotel!

from elsabran
I can't believe Virgin represtent such a tacky hotel.
I booked to stay at the Dezerland with my friend (both of us early 20's) for 2 weeks but we moved to another hotel after 2 days because it was so bad!
The lobby was so eerie, dark and dirty. When we went to check in, they weren't even expecting us! Obviously, it was no problem getting a room because it was such a crap hole. We didn't have a balcony or fridge and were overlooking a shabby hotel. We were quite hungry but didnt fancy the food at hotel so decided to take a walk. The streets weren't lit and it felt very unsafe - we were in the middle of nowhere!
Even the guy that looks after the sunbeds on the beach told us we should stay somewhere else!
The swimming pool was nasty...pretty much resembles a swamp and there was sewage surrounding it.
I called the Virgin helpline after 2 days and within 2 hours we'd been upgraded to another hotel (the Thunderbird, Sunny Isles). So much nicer!
Dezerland makes me shadder, I would never ever go back.

pool is a health hazard

from A TripAdvisor Member
The pool here was nothing short of a health hazard. We had an adequate room overlooking the beautiful ocean and the most disgusting pool we had ever seen in our lives. Since we were up early every morning we know for a fact in was never once vacuumed or checked. The bottom of the pool was covered in sand and muck that just got filthier every day.
My children were very dissapointed that they could not once use their hotel pool. The hot tub did not work yet guests including children were allowed to sit in the warm water with no warning. The staff could have cared less. The rule of thumb at the Dezerland is to blame any problem on someone else. The pool, restaurant and hotel are evidently all run by different companies with Dezerland management taking no responsibility for any problems. Avoid this hotel, there are better, friendlier, cleaner hotels in the same price range available. We stayed at The Casablanca just up the street for one night. They are a much better choice!

t do it again.

from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed at this hotel for a week. When you walk in it is a little shocking and a little funny because the 50's theme decorations are so ridiculous. The rooms however are clean, and are cleaned every day.
This hotel however is farther from South Beach than advertised and is definitely not a three star hotel as advertised on some websites. The pool is old, but okay. The beach was beautiful. This hotel is perfect and safe for sleeping, but that's about all.

Do yourself a Favor and RUN fromt his hotel

from disarm
I stayed at this hotel march 5th. This reivew is from a graduate student who is not looking for a 5 star hotel nor do I expect one. When you walk into this place you will find that it has this terrible smell.
And it is true that you get used to it BUT it will linger on your clothes when you get home and unpack. I waited in line to check in my room when I was rudely cut in line. When I said "excuse me I think I was next" the lady behind the counter ignored me! Once I got my room I found that it was pretty clean. The reception on the TV is really bad but hopefully that wont matter to you where ever you plan to stay. I went to the diner that they have and it is SPOOKY. There is a old time truck in the middle of the resteraunt with this odd clown in the driver seat looking very freaky. (so if you hate clowns stay away) The lobby is pretty dirty and the decor is crap. Its like you are living in a really bad garage sale. The pool is small but nice and the beach is really nice. You can take a shuttle or bus it to south beach, but i suggest actually staying there (like I will do next time). Do yourself a favor and run away from this place because they charge you for all sorts of things and you end up paying way more than you thought AND you can get a better deal somewhere else.

Pretty Good!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Dezerland for two nights prior to a cruise. We didn't have a car, which some might say is a problem because you're pretty far from any action. However, they do have a free shuttle that will bring you right into South Beach by Lincoln Road Mall. Also, if you're willing, they're right on a bus line, so about $1.50 takes you where ever you need to go. A really beautiful area, great spot on the beach!
Rooms were fine, not great, but fine. The bar is fun, and the burgers in the restaurant are not really cheap (figure about $10 per person for lunch) but are amazingly good! Also, it's about a $40 cab ride from Miami Int'l Airport!! Overall, fine place to stay, and I'd do it again.

I liked it

from A TripAdvisor Member
I personally like the hotel. I stayed there during May of 2003 . True, there is a slight smell upon entering the hotel , HOWEVER you can't even notice it after a couple of minutes. I had a beautiful view of the ocean in my room. The rooms are simple , but they serve their purpose well. I was barely in the room aside from sleeping there!!! Come on , it's Miami ! Who wants to be cooped up in their room all day anyway?
Although the breakfast wasn't the best, the beach more than makes up for it. A quiet , almost secluded stretch of pure sand and picturesque waves - this location is perfect to get away from all the hustle and bustle of South Beach. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE S. Beach , but it is nice to get away from all the hoopla. I liked the hotel and have recommended it to several people for its price and ammenities. It's cheap, clean, has a great beach, and who doesn't like the 50's?! STAY THERE! IT'S NOT THAT BAD REALLY!! :) Fun for all ages!

Nice? Not really. Very cheap and good location? Yeah.

from A TripAdvisor Member
I think the title says it all. Our room was rather crummy (though it had a nice view of the ocean), but it was very cheap (~$60US a night) when booked through the Howard Johnsons website -- far less dear than anything else we looked into that weekend. You should also know that you will also be charged $8 a night parking and $2 for a safe in your room. I don't know that I'd stay there again, but it was basically okay.The bright side is the location -- it's north of the bustle of South Beach and located right on a beach of its own (though not our favorite stretch of sand). It's also a very short drive (or trip by hotel shuttle) to Haulover Park Beach. And if you're hanging out at in the nude at Haulover's clothing-optional beach, you'll probably see some of your fellow hotel guests doing the same!

I would not recommend this hotel for nothing

from A TripAdvisor Member
Looks and smells old. The staff had no clue about hospitality. The food even tasted old. The spa crew were very rude (outside contracters). I would rather stay at the local motels that are unlisted on the internet than stay there again.

Top Local Tips for Miami

Best Ways to Get Around Take a cab from the airport if there are more than one of you. Super Shuttle is 20/pp. Cab may seem expensive but isn't bad when you split it up. For travel throughout town use the Metrobus. $1.50 per trip. We traveled many times on this bus and all kinds of different hours and no one ever bothered us. However, don't forget your basic bus ettiqute when riding - sit in back if you are riding for a long ways, leave the front seats for handicapped passengers, keep to yourself, and have your EXACT fare ready! The bus will start moving when you get on so be ready! Also - the buses get REALLY close to the curb so watch out! These drivers have no mercy!

Dunkin Donuts Dukin Donuts south of Hotel on Collins and 67st. Marshalls north of hotel in Sunny Isles.

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Other names for Howard Johnson Plaza Dezerland Beach Spa Hotel

  • miami beach howard johnson
  • howard johnson plaza dezerland beach & spa
  • howard johnson miami beach
  • Address: 8701 Collins Avenue - Miami - Florida - 33154 - United States
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