Review: Corona Beach House Miami Airport (Priority Pass Restaurant)

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, Trip Reports
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Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,200 locations around the world. The number of Priority Pass members has increased greatly the past couple of years, ever since the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card was introduced, as now there are quite a few credit cards with lounge access.

Priority Pass has gotten creative when it comes to the “lounges” they’ve added to their network. For terminals in which they struggle to reach a deal with a traditional lounge, Priority Pass has in some cases come to agreements with restaurants.

The idea is that Priority Pass typically pays a lounge a fixed amount for each guest who enters, so instead Priority Pass pays restaurants a fixed amount, in exchange for giving their members a dollar credit that they can spend towards food and drinks.

At this point Priority Pass has about two dozen restaurant locations at US airports, including the following:

Corona Beach House Priority Pass basics

Miami Airport has three Priority Pass restaurants, one of which was added last year, and two of which were added this year. Two of these are landside (before security), while one of them is airside (after security).

Over the past several weeks I’ve reviewed the two landside Priority Pass restaurants:

  • My review of Viena Restaurant (I was really impressed by this restaurant, though it’s only open for lunch and dinner)
  • My review of Air Margaritaville (this is a good option for breakfast, and for that matter the two landside restaurants are near one another, so you could visit both if you wanted to)

Today I had the chance to check out the third Priority Pass restaurant at Miami Airport. I visited Corona Beach House, the one airside Priority Pass restaurant. There are two things that make Corona Beach House different as far as Priority Pass restaurants go:

  • Members receive $30 of credit per person, rather than the usual $28 of credit
  • The restaurant automatically includes an 18% gratuity when paying with Priority Pass, so there’s no need to tip; this is different than other Priority Pass restaurants, where I think it’s appropriate to tip

Priority Pass members can bring as many guests as their particular membership type allows (for most credit cards this includes two guests). This restaurant requires not just that you have a same day boarding pass, but it also needs to be an outbound boarding pass, so you can’t use this restaurant upon arrival if paying with Priority Pass.

Corona Beach House is open daily from 6:30AM until 10PM, so it’s useful whether you want to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

As a reminder, here are some of the popular credit cards that come with a Priority Pass membership:

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
Chase Sapphire Reserve®2Yes$75 Per Person
Citi Prestige® Credit Card2Yes$75 Per Person
The Platinum Card® from American Express

No access to Priority Pass restaurants as of August, 2019.
2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That (Rates & Fees)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

No access to Priority Pass restaurants as of August, 2019.
2Yes$300 Per Person (Rates & Fees)
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

No access to Priority Pass restaurants as of August, 2019.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

No access to Priority Pass restaurants as of August, 2019.

Corona Beach House MIA review

Corona Beach House is located airside (after security). The restaurant is located between gates D23 and D24. This is the same concourse that American uses for a vast majority of their flights (and it’s also connected airside to the E Concourse).

If you use the TSA Pre-Check or premium security line, Corona Beach House is literally right there. Like, below is the view from the security checkpoint.

If you are originating your travel in Miami and plan to use this restaurant, make sure you leave plenty of time, because Miami security lines are bad (even the Pre-Check lines).

Corona Beach House MIA exterior

When we arrived at the host stand we saw a sign explaining all the restrictions associated with using Priority Pass here. In addition to what I explained above, most notably they limit you to one visit every 24 hours, and to-go and take-out orders aren’t eligible for this benefit.

Corona Beach House MIA Priority Pass rules

This restaurant does things differently than the other Priority Pass restaurants I’ve been to. Here they actually scan your Priority Pass card before you sit down. So the host scanned it, and also verified my outbound boarding pass. In the other Priority Pass restaurants I’ve been to they’ve scanned it at the end of the meal.

We were then seated and presented with the menus. The restaurant has a bar area with high-top seating and then an area with more traditional dining tables.

Corona Beach House Miami

The menu read as follows:

The drink list read as follows (am I missing something, or are there no prices for everything except the wine?):

Our server quickly came by to take our orders — Ford and I both had Diet Cokes to drink.

Corona Beach House Miami — Diet Coke

I ordered the shrimp tacos, while Ford had the chicken tacos. They were both brought out within about 10 minutes.

My shrimp tacos were described as being “lightly spiced crispy shrimp, shredded cabbage, and fresh pineapple salsa in a soft flour tortilla.”

Corona Beach House Miami — shrimp tacos

Ford’s chicken tacos were described as being “char-grilled chicken breast in a soft flour tortilla with crisp lettuce, tossed house made salsa fresca-ranch, finished with pice de gallo, jack, and cheddar cheese.”

Corona Beach House Miami — chicken tacos

The tacos were… fine. They weren’t bad, they were just sort of bland, and I didn’t taste any of the pineapple salsa that was supposedly in my dish. Would I be thrilled with these in a non-airport restaurant? No. Were they perfectly fine for a Priority Pass airport restaurant and probably better than what I’d be fed onboard an American Airlines flight? Yes.

Our server was friendly, and checked on us a couple of times.

At the conclusion of the meal I asked for the check, and he told us we were under our allowance, and thanked us for dining with them. It’s really cool that gratuity is included, so you can eat here without paying anything guilt-free.

He even asked if we wanted some bottled water to go, given that we were under our allowance.

Corona Beach House Miami Airport bottom line

All things considered, Corona Beach House Miami Airport is an excellent option. The food allowance is slightly higher than other Priority Pass restaurants, and they even include an 18% service charge, so for those who would otherwise tip, those are some savings.

This also has the convenience of being the only airside Priority Pass restaurant at the airport. If I were connecting at Miami Airport and didn’t otherwise have to clear security, I’d absolutely just visit this restaurant.

The food is decent, service friendly, and location convenient.

If I were originating in Miami I’d probably prefer Viena Restaurant for lunch or dinner, since their menu is a bit better, they have great views, and the restaurant is less crowded.

But Corona Beach House was better than I was expecting based on the name.

If you’ve visited Corona Beach House, what was your experience like? What’s your favorite Miami Priority Pass restaurant?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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  1. That’s great they spell it out like that and add in the tip. This is how all PP restaurants should work.

  2. Yes, each time I go, they are VERY nice to say “oh you are good to go… no need to sign anything”. The location in the middle of concourse at MIA North Terminal Entrance and that fact is the best reason to visit.

  3. The reason they don’t price the drinks is that they’re super expensive – if I recall, a mojito was about $13.

  4. This food looks Sad!

    This is your job, Lucky and Ford. Thanks for taking one on the chin for all of us.

  5. We’ve eaten there several times using PP. The food is generally very good, especially the burgers. Service has been hit and miss–it can be very slow when they’re busy, so give yourself plenty of time to eat there before boarding it it looks full.

  6. You STILL have to worry about a tip if you order items MORE than $25.50 (+18% = $30) . So the “drinks without prices” makes it tough to estimate. Guess you have to let the server figure it out 😉

  7. I have had dreadful experiences each time I went (but then again, it was all “free” so can I really complain?)

    First time I had clearly processed, flavorless guacamole that was frozen in the middle. When I complained, they replaced it with another. Guess what, still frozen. With crunchy ice chips in the middle. Unbelievable.

    As a member of the service industry, I always still tip, but I’ve had awful service each time as well, no servers checking on us after initial order, waiting 20 minutes for a drip coffee, etc. It’s clear that they aren’t motivated to provide great service since the tip is built in. So the issue of poor service in PP restaurants (either because they don’t expect to be tipped, or they are already guaranteed a specific tip, both of which can be problematic) remains. I have similarly poor service experiences at Bobby Van’s in JFK.

    On the contrary, I have had excellent service at the Cadillac restaurant in IAH, and the PF Chang’s in LAX.

  8. Lucky, it’s worth mentioning this place used to allow you to grab food and go at their express counter. The have made to order sandwiches, salads and bottled drinks. I used to to use that all the time and not have to tip. Well they no longer allow you to grab and go unless you order from the sit down menu.

  9. We dined there twice connecting to and from Haiti: breakfast and lunch. Food was just as described. My wife had a Santa Fe salad and liked it very much; I had a grilled chicken sandwich with a side salad. Service was very good. Waters were offered as we left after lunch. Didn’t know about the gratuity included; we left cash on the table both times.

    Not my favorite PP restaurant (Timberline Steaks At DEN) but a solid choice nonetheless.

  10. @James – Unless I’m misunderstanding I don’t see how you have to worry about tipping. If your total, including the tax and tip is $45 they will take off the $30 allowance and you pay $15. The tip in the total before the allowance takes all the stress off the servers.

    Sorry if this double posted. It seems since I had a critical comment in a different post my new comments appear to post and then disappear so I’m trying again.

  11. Went back in June and had breakfast there after landing and then dinner there before my return flight. At the time, you could cram two meals into a day if they were at least four hours apart (or so I was told). If I caused the once per 24 hour rule, my apologies.

    I thought the food was average but the price was right. Because we were well under the limit at breakfast, our server encouraged us to pick up gum, bottled water, whatever at the attached store. I guess they wanted to run up the tab (and tip).

  12. Guacamole ok.

    Nachos decent (as if that fat/salt slab is a good id before a flight).

    Chicken burger dubious quality chicken (not that it wasn’t fresh, but was odd consistency, like it was pressboard chicken)

    Service surprisingly effecient if you are proactive.

    Pelligrino was my beverage of choice.

  13. My wife and I ate there last week before our BA flight in F. The food here was much better than the slop offered by BA and the service was much friendlier. You are right about the time to get through security etc. Check in and security took us almost 2 hours even with TSA Pre.

  14. I’m based in Miami and travel AA frequently. I’ve visited Corona Beach House at least a dozen times on an arrival. I’ve never been turned away with a same-day boarding pass for a flight that arrived in Miami.

  15. They grab and go option was great while it lasted – and you could use it upon landing, so you could get some lunch/dinner for later in the day.

    Too bad they stopped that!

  16. What struck me about this place was how busy it was compared to the other sit-down restaurants in the same terminal. That’s probably the Priority Pass effect.

    The food was OK, about what you’d expect from an airport beach-themed restaurant, no worse or better. The highlight was the beer – I don’t remember if the IPA I had was the same as the one shown in the menu above (New Belgium Voodoo IPA), but it was delicious. My major worry was that I’d be forced to drink Corona, and that’s fortunately not the case.

    In all, I’ve most definitely had worse and more expensive airport meals. I’d return here without a second thought.

  17. When the ability to use the grab and go ended, it was a sad day in my family. We would travel and go early and eat at margaritaville outside of security. Ask the waiter to scan the card immediately and then have a leisurely meal. Then walk back to the other side of D gates and go to the Amex lounge for an hr. On the way to our gates hit up corona beach and get $90 worth of snacks and drinks. Then on the way home we would land and hit them up again for $90 in snacks before going to baggage. Just about every time we went id say to my wife…this is unsustainable…enjoy it while it lasts because the end is near. I say this to her still all the time about some of the more lucrative MS methods.

  18. Lucky

    They must be paying you for a positive review. The place is not great at all! I’ve had an average experience AT BEST. One time I sat down (was seated) for about 10-15 minutes and no one even came to my table to wait on me. I got up and left. The best secret to this place is the little “mini market” that offers stuff “to-go”, but you mention “to go orders” are not allowed. I suspect you mean ordering from the restaurant?

  19. We ate there yesterday. Service was excellent. Burger was way above average and frys excellent. Nachos were better than most. Offered desert and water as we were not close to allotment. Solid choice for airport food.

  20. Just going to elaborate a strange experience I had there in May 2018 , which you must read , & be careful of not being subjected to the same “scam”.

    Our family of 4 Priority Pass cardholders ( each with unlimited complimentary visits ) got a bill of USD 137 i.e. 17 USD more than a collective of the 120 USD we were allowed to spend ( including the gratuity ). When we were about to pay this remaining amount , the manager came with a “SUGGESTION”.

    Pretending to be a good samaritan , she told us that Priority Pass had a “different” set of rules for Miami , where 1 GUEST WAS INCLUDED FREE OF CHARGE , which gives an extra USD 30 for spends in the restaurant. Thus , she offered to scrap out the already charged visit from one of the cards ( Is that even possible ??? ) , and swipe it again showing 1 guest as well , saving us from paying the extra amount. Being the Mr. “Know-all-the-rules” / “I-doubt-such-nice-behaviour” member of my family , I immediately rubbished this claim , but she diverted her attention to the other 3 people , and “convinced” them that this was a “NEW” rule , as Priority Pass was unable to offer an “actual lounge” in Miami and was giving this as some sort of “compensation” . She then impressed everyone by how happy she was that we came all the way from India to explore Central America , etc. etc. , and sadly all my family members BELIEVED her ‘nice intentions’.

    The reason for this entire “scam” & their guts to do it , were the following :

    1. Paying again through a Priority Pass gave them an EXTRA GRATUITY of 18 % , which obviously they would have missed out on had I directly paid the remaining USD 17. And as mentioned by Lucky above , they verbally come & tell you whether you are under or over the allowance i.e. NO PRINTED BILL IS PROVIDED. I am quite sure they must have wrongly shown in their system that something else was also ordered , just to compensate the difference ( and probably eaten / drank the same )

    2. At that time , there was no rule of a cardholder visiting this place only ONCE in a 24 hour period. Thus , we have no clue whether the visit that was claimed to be “scrapped” by the manager was done so or not , as our Priority Pass charges do not reflect in our credit card statements. If not , they would have managed ANOTHER EXTRA GRATUITY amount at our expense.

    2. They knew that we were not US residents / citizens , and thus highly unlikely to follow up this matter with anyone. Even if we complained to Priority Pass , we would not have any proof of the mischief involved.

    As expected , and much to the disappointment of my naive family members , my credit card was charged the cost of a guest visit – USD 27 i.e. USD 10 MORE than what we would have paid.

    BEWARE !!

  21. PP recently (August 2019) removed most restaurants from their lounge list. Is this still a PP lounge or was it one that got axed?

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