Centaurus week-long visit
Submitted: March 3, 2013
Stayed: February 2013
Our party of 4 (2 couples) arrived for a week-long visit to Miami Beach where we stayed on this 700 sq ft houseboat. Every day a manatee family loitered under the dock for an hour or two, close enough to touch. Still, we were not in the wilderness as Collins Avenue was a few feet away with busy traffic at times. There was no noise inside the boat, but on the deck, where we spent much our time, we gradually got accustomed to the traffic sounds. That was our only complaint, but being right on Collins Ave. also allowed us to step out of the boat at a traffic light controlled crosswalk, and walk a couple hundred feet to our car valet station or into the Alexander Hotel. We loved the tiki bar between the pools where Micheline (chef 30+ years at the hotel) at the bar's tiny kitchen cooked the best fish we had anywhere. Willi and Alex, bartenders, were fun and half-price happy hour from 3-5 was welcome. At 5-7 the No Name Bar next to the famous Shula's Steakhouse was also half priced. All the staff, especially the car valets, were charming with the concierge always coming out to greet us "boat" people as the valets labeled our car to find it easily as we came and went so often. The beach was gorgeous, but we preferred our boat roof top deck to hang out. Security guards walked along the waterfront. Our accommodations were clean, new, and with free Keurig K cups and the easy-to-use Keurig maker (I had never tried this system) we coffee drinkers were happy. The water was smooth. A mile or two north on Collins was a Publix market, pharmacy and liquor store which you park "under" and ride up to on an escalator or elevator making both parking and shopping easy. Lots of small restaurants we enjoyed were there as an alternative to the hyper-busy South Beach area where parking was always tight as the action was constant–a bit much for us "older" folks in their 50's. Driving back past the high rise beach-front condo buildings to our houseboat made us feel a little special on Millionaire's Row as our rooms were more than water front and the most unique, I think, in all the Beach. We're more used to low key Florida stays like in St. Petersburg; however, to visit the action of Miami and stay for a week at reasonable cost in super-expensive Miami Beach I'd highly recommend the house boat experience. Different and budget friendly, with all the benefits of a hotel we recommend it for couples, families with kids, or for a get away for two couples like us.
Helpful votes: 14/16
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