Our Stay at the Park Central Hotel in South Beach, Miami

My girlfriend and I decided to take a long weekend, end -of-summer trip to Miami Beach. The beauty of South Beach is that it always seems to be summer there. After finding a great deal online, our hotel for the four-day, three-night stay was the Park Central Hotel.

The hotel sits right smack dab on Ocean Drive, right across from the beach. Because it sits right on one of the most heavily trafficked (both people and cars) areas of South Beach, there is no real place to pull up your car and check in (she rented a car to visit family and friends in Ft. Lauderdale). They have a small curb-side area with a sign marked for loading/unloading for guests. If you are not good at parallel parking, this may present a challenge.

Once we got the car parked we entered through a beautiful lobby. The staff at the front desk was courteous and welcoming. They let us know that we had two beach chairs available for us during the days we were registered. We also had the option of having our call valeted ($25/day) or self-parking ($15/day). We decided on the self-parking in a secured lot a block away.

The hotel is listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of Historic Hotels of America, and they have done a good job of keeping the old school ambience intact. Clark Gabel once stayed there, you know. An original elevator with steel doors still sits next to the front desk. The elevator we had to use was down a hall and around a corner. It has a door that unlocks and you have to pull open when the car reaches your floor. You enter and the door swings shut behind. Enter your floor, the elevator door closes and you are on your way.

We received a memo Sunday evening that they would be filming a scene from the USA show “Burn Notice” the next day but would try to make things as convenient as possible for the guests. It was a little chaotic the next morning when we had to check out. Cameras, sound equipment, lighting and workers filled almost the entire lobby, but we were able to scoot by them to check out at the front desk.

The whole point of visiting a destination like South Beach is to spend as little as possible in your hotel room, but for the time we were there the Park Central Hotel gave us everything we needed: Location, comfort and affordability.

Park Central Hotel
640 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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