October 21, 2018

Hotel RIU Plaza Miami Beach Review

RIU Plaza Miami Beach Sign

I visited the RIU Plaza hotel in Miami during November while staying in Miami for a long weekend.  The RIU Plaza is located on Collins Ave. in between 31st and 32nd streets.  The hotel offers direct access to the beach and includes over 250 rooms, an outdoor pool, two restaurants, a bar, and a poolside snack bar.

Location

The hotel is located 25 minutes (12 miles) from the Miami International Airport.  It’s central South Beach location offers easy access to nearby shopping and the bars and restaurants on Ocean Drive.  Reaching the Ocean Drive restaurants requires just a short 9 minute taxi ride from the hotel.

RIU Plaza Miami Beach Hotel Sign
Sign by the main entrance into the RIU Plaza lobby.

Brand Background

RIU hotels operates over 100 properties in 19 countries.  The Spanish hotel brand is primarily known for its All Inclusive resort properties.  Some of the most popular and well known RIU resorts can be found in the Caribbean.

Sitting right next to the beach, gives the RIU Plaza Miami a distinct resort feel.  However, the Miami property represents a hotel included under the umbrella of the recently launched RIU Plaza brand.  The RIU Plaza brand focuses on large hotels in major cities like the Hotel RIU Plaza New York Times Square.

Miami Beach Location

The Miami hotel originally operated as the Sans Souci.  In 1996, RIU hotels acquired the property and converted it into the Hotel RIU Florida Beach.  Starting in 2014, RIU Hotels initiated a major nine month renovation project.  The renovation project included modernization updates to the lobby, hotel rooms, and included the addition of a new outdoor bar and restaurant.  Upon completion in 2015, the hotel re-branded itself as the RIU Plaza Miami Beach.

RIU Plaza Miami Beach Lobby
Dramatic large pillars and clean modern design.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Lobby Seating
Seating area around the main hotel lobby.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Lobby Seating Area
Hotel lobby seating.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Bar
Hotel bar nearby the outdoor terrace restaurant.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Indoor Restaurant Seating
Indoor seating section for the hotel bar and restaurant.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Outdoor Terrace
Outdoor terrace seating area for the hotel bar and restaurant.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Outdoor Terrace
View of the outdoor terrace from the main pool.

Ocean View Room

RIU Plaza Miami Beach
View of the sunrise from the balcony of an Ocean View Deluxe room.

I stayed in a Deluxe Ocean View room on the 4th floor.  The room included a small balcony with a direct view of the hotel pool and ocean.  The balcony offered a great view, but palm trees partially blocked the beach view.  Guests staying on the higher floors receive a phenomenal view of the ocean and hotel pool from the balcony.

RIU Plaza Miami Beach Ocean Deluxe Room
Ocean view deluxe room at the RIU Plaza Miami Beach.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Twin Beds
Hotel room twin beds.
Hotel room closet next to the twin bed.
Hotel room closet and entrance into the room.
TV and dresser inside the room.
TV and dresser inside the room.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Room Corner
Small table with two chairs.

Design

The hotel room design included a modern, minimalist design, similar to my room in the RIU Plaza New York Times Square.  However, the RIU Plaza Miami room included light purple accents instead of the red accents included in the RIU Plaza New York room.

My room was clean and the bed was comfortable.  I didn’t have any issues with noise from nearby rooms.  Since this was Miami, I didn’t spend much time in the room other than to sleep.  The hotel pool and beach provided more appealing options for my time.

RIU Plaza Miami Beach Bathroom Sink
Bathroom sink located by the entrance into the room.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Hotel Room Shower
Shower inside the hotel room.

Pool and Beach

Large palm trees surround the outdoor pool area.  Guests have access to the lounge chairs and towels stationed around the pool.  Access to the beach is available from a path at the back of the pool area to a gate.

Make sure to bring your hotel key card with you to the beach because you need it to access the gate when returning to the hotel from the beach.  Beach chairs and other rentals are available directly on the beach as a separate charge.

RIU Plaza Miami Beach Pool
Outdoor Pool at the hotel.
Palm trees and pool chairs by the pool. The poolside snack bar can be seen in the edge of the picture.
Palm trees and pool chairs by the pool. The poolside snack bar can be seen in the edge of the picture.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Lounge Chairs
Additional lounge chairs near the entrance to the beach.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Path
Pathway from the RIU Plaza onto the beach.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach
View of the north side of the beach.
RIU Plaza Miami Beach Sunrise
Sunrise at the beach across from the RIU Plaza Miami Beach hotel.

Restaurant

The Florida Restaurant in the hotel lobby offers a daily breakfast and dinner buffet.  The breakfast buffet was $20 and the dinner buffet was $29.  Children 12 years old and younger receive a 50% discount on the price.

The buffet options were extensive.  I ate at the restaurant for both breakfast and dinner.  I found the options to be much more extensive than what I usually see at some of the Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott properties that offer free breakfast for elite members.

Pros

  • Modern European style hotel located directly on the beach.
  • Large pool area with plenty of lounge chairs.
  • Walk outside the hotel and directly onto the beach.
  • Central location in Miami Beach.  Ocean Drive restaurants are just 9 minutes away by taxi.

Cons

  • The hotel’s 31st and 32nd street location requires a short taxi or car ride to most of the major bars and restaurants on Ocean Drive.  You can reach Ocean Drive by foot, but its close to a 30 minute walk.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed my stay at the RIU Plaza Miami beach property.  The hotel was modern, well maintained, and included a nice sized pool with direct access to the beach.  The hotel is great option for people looking for a relaxing stay and want to be close to the action on Ocean Drive without being directly in the middle of it.

About First Class Travel Guide 128 Articles
Travel enthusiast that spent years flying in the back of planes and staying at cheaper hotels in order to save a little money. After learning how to leverage airline and hotel loyalty programs, I've developed an interest in luxury travel and write about my experiences with it.

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