|Rainy Day Magazine|
|"We Entertain When It Rains"|
Staying at the Richmond
The hotel was as wonderful as it was last year. I love the Hotel Richmond (www.richmondhotel.com). They have a small staff, but it is a small hotel. No room service, no permanent bar, although there are drinks until about 7 on the Veranda (the entire back side of the hotel that opens to the pool and cabana), and a bar miraculously appears on the front deck (Porch? Terrace? Portico?) at night on the weekends.
Nobody fawns over you here, which is nice, unless you are that older couple from Italy (they announced themselves) who had more luggage than could fit into the elevator and were a little disappointed to discover that the luggage transport vehicle is a heavy-duty commercial hand trolley and the "bell-hops" wore red Richmond Hotel sweatshirts.
The cleaning people – scratch that, cleaning ladies – are very thorough (by the way, you do know that you leave $2 per person per day EVERY DAY for the cleaning lady, right? And it's $2 per person not per room, right? And that you leave the money EVERY DAY because today’s cleaning lady could be different from yesterday’s cleaning lady, right?), and everything is clean, tidy, and, well, nice.
The rooms are about 20 feet square, we figured, with a walk-in closet and a bathroom being off the bedroom. The bathroom is white tiled, which is very sleek and retro. The bedroom itself is very calming in a 30’s kind of way, with the headboard/nightstands and desk being in that blond wood so common back then. There’s a funky 30’s style chair in the room, and an round mirror over the desk. There is a square of four prints of old post cards over the television.
Big picture window with palm-tree motif’d (?) floor-to-ceiling drapes that we did not realize were room darkening ones until we used them on the last day and were practically blinded by the 8:15 sun (Wan mumbled that he thought it was 4 o’clock in the morning when the drapes were drawn).
There is also a cube refrigerator, safe, iron, hairdresser, and robes in the room.
Out back at the Richmond
This hotel has the most amazing “back yard.” Now maybe it’s because I am of Northern European descent and have only been to Miami once before, but I was absolutely delighted with what the Richmond has out back. The entire back wall of the first floor opens, and diaphanous floor-to-ceiling white sheers gently billow as you walk out to the Veranda and down two steps to the pool area, which is surrounded by palm trees and lounge chairs. Just after the pool is the half-moon shaped hot tub (which was more like a tepid tub this year, but we didn’t say anything so that’s our fault). Two cute cabanas (am I the only one that thinks the clothy, tenty cabanas come straight out the Middle Ages? The only thing missing is King Henry VIII's flag atop them) contain the dressing rooms and the bathroom (which has a nautical theme to it and is very clean). An undulating stream leading up to a little fountain, and then – the yard! Actual grass, thank you. And beyond the grass, the gate to the beach. Oh yes, the hotel is on the beach.
Because of the hotel's size, the back yard is very clubby. There might be a gazillion people (okay, only a bazillion) at the hotel next door, but here, it’s just you and those folks in the hot tub.
While we were there, we chatted to a mixed-race couple from the UK, a young mixed-race military couple (met in Korea, he’s Hispanic, she’s white), three sisters from Alabama, and some young people from either Serbia or Croatia. The Americans were well represented too.
There is waitress service from the Veranda, and the fare is light sandwiches and snacks. I can vouch for their Caesar Salad, the croutons were still warm from the pan!
A note about the Richmond’s website: it does not do the hotel justice. If you are reviewing options for staying in South Beach, don’t let the Richmond’s website sway you. This is a wonderful small hotel. We love it.