When cruising out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables does not generally come to mind as a pre-/post-cruise destination. However, during a recent assignment, we flew into Miami (MIA) and were scheduled to sail out of Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale). Typically, we would look for a hotel in South Beach, or even on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, but this time we decided to check out the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables. As it turns out, this was a good choice.
Hyatt Regency Coral Gables
The Hyatt Regency Coral Gables is about 20 minutes from Miami International Airport (by taxi) and about 15 minutes from the Port of Miami. Our drive from the hotel to Port Everglades on a Sunday took only 45 minutes. So, it is a better choice for a Miami cruise, but still feasible for a Ft. Lauderdale departure. The property is located just a couple of blocks from the popular "Miracle Mile," a retail district with shops, restaurants and bars. While not as sexy or hip as Miami Beach, Coral Gables is a quieter, more "laid back" location.
We arrived at the hotel around 3:00pm and check-in was very efficient and smooth. Our Deluxe King on the 6th floor was a corner room with windows on two sides and a balcony with two chairs and a table. The room was large and
appeared to have been recently remodeled. The king-sized bed was comfortable and nicely dressed with quality linens. The bathroom looked as though it had been recently remodeled with a new granite counter top. The complimentary WiFi worked
well and offered decent Internet speed. The only 'nit' I would pick with
the room was the location of the AC vent right in front of the desk.
This vent directed cold air on to my face while I was working at the
desk and the air direction could not be adjusted. However, this may only
be an issue with this particular room. Other than that, the room was
very comfortable and quiet.
The hotel has a beautiful pool on the 5th floor with lots of comfortable loungers for soaking up the Florida sun. In fact, since the property is not anywhere near the ocean, why not spend a day or two working on your tan in the private surroundings of the hotel pool?
Swimming pool on 5th floor
Even though the hotel feels more like it was designed for conferences and corporate clients, it is very suitable for leisure travelers. The Twin Sisters restaurant was open each day for breakfast and the bar has a menu available for food service until midnight.
Granite counter top in bathroom
Perhaps the best feature of Hyatt Regency Coral Gables for pre-/post-cruise guests is its proximity to the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.
Miracle Mile in Coral Gables
This half-mile strip consists of high-end shops, trendy bars and hip restaurants. The Miracle Mile is only a three-block stroll from the Hyatt, so you can easily walk to lunch or dinner. And, when it comes time for dinner, check out Bulla Gastrobar, located just one block off of the Miracle Mile. We had dinner there one evening and it was amazing. Bulla specializes in Spanish tapas (small plates) combined with an excellent wine choice, or any cocktail you desire. It is hip, trendy and has delicious food!
For about $20, you can get an Uber ride from the Hyatt to South Beach, if you decide you need to be lost in a sea of tourists, but there is enough to see and do within walking distance of the Hyatt to stay right in Coral Gables. You can find out more about the Miracle Mile at ShopCoralGables.com.
We consider this hotel to be a good alternative to the trendy South Beach boutique hotels, or even the downtown hotels in Miami. When your next cruise departs from or arrives at Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, consider a pre-/post-cruise stay at Hyatt Regency Coral Gables. For more information, check their website at coralgables.hyatt.com.