Review: Kimpton EPIC Miami

Review: Kimpton EPIC Miami

NAME: Kimpton EPIC Miami
LOCATION: Miami, Florida
DATE: December 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Kimpton EPIC Miami has recently renovated rooms, nice pools, a good gym, and is dog friendly. Given the deal I got, I was a happy camper.
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While we ordinarily live in Miami, we’re not living there right now, as our place is still under construction due to an extended delay. Nonetheless we have to go to Miami once in a while for commitments, which allows me to try out some hotels in the area. We recently spent a couple of nights at the Kimpton EPIC Miami, an IHG property. The hotel was perfect for our needs, and we got a fantastic deal on our stay here.

Booking the Kimpton EPIC Miami

While I’m not usually an IHG loyalist, I do have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review), which I consider to be worth it for the benefits. In particular, I value that the card offers an anniversary free night certificate valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night. To me this more than covers the card’s $89 annual fee on an ongoing basis, not factoring in the other perks, like IHG Platinum status, a fourth night free on award redemptions, and more.

When I knew that we needed to go to Miami, I took a look at options using IHG free night certificates, and to my surprise the Kimpton EPIC was charging just 38,000 points per night, which meant that I could use a free night certificate. While IHG’s dynamic award pricing is often a negative, in this case it worked in my favor, since previously the hotel was never priced that inexpensively when using points. I consider that to be a fantastic deal, given that the paid rate at the hotel was $270+.

Kimpton EPIC Miami location

The Kimpton EPIC is located in the Brickell area of downtown Miami, right on the Miami River. This is essentially the equivalent of Miami’s financial district, and it’s also where the biggest apartment and condo buildings are.

The issue with Brickell is the traffic, and I’d argue that the Kimpton EPIC Miami is possibly located in the area with the worst traffic. I thought this long before staying here, but the two blocks around this area have indescribably bad traffic.

That’s partly because the Aston Martin building going up right next to the Kimpton (which causes lanes to be blocked), it’s partly because there’s a drawbridge a block away that frequently opens and causes congestion, and it’s also because of the incredibly odd exit from the nearby Whole Foods, which brings out the worst in people.

The reality is that most of the decent hotels in Miami are in the Brickell area, so the traffic is just something you have to deal with. If you’re on vacation and primarily looking to visit Miami Beach, then I’d recommend staying over there. However, I’ve never been much of a Miami Beach person.

Kimpton EPIC Miami check-in & lobby

The Kimpton is located in the EPIC Residences & Hotel building, which is 54 floors. The 411-room hotel takes up the 14th through 30th floor of the high-rise. The driveway leading up to the hotel isn’t very big, and tends to get very busy, since you have 411 hotel rooms, residences, and the Zuma restaurant in the building, which tends to be popular.

Kimpton EPIC Miami exterior

Service outside is definitely lacking, and for that matter there generally weren’t people to open the doors, assist with luggage, etc.

Kimpton EPIC Miami entrance

The hotel’s lobby has very high ceilings and a bit of seating, but otherwise feels pretty sterile, and like it could belong in an office building.

Kimpton EPIC Miami lobby
Kimpton EPIC Miami lobby
Kimpton EPIC Miami lobby
Kimpton EPIC Miami lobby
Kimpton EPIC Miami lobby

On the plus side, the guy checking me in was extremely friendly and efficient. I mentioned the Kimpton social password, which is currently “just chilling,” so at the conclusion of check-in I got to spin the wheel. I ended up getting free parking, which is an awesome value — this ordinarily costs $44 per day, so that saved us nearly $100 over the course of our two night stay.

Kimpton social password prize wheel

I should mention that we were still on the hook for the hotel’s $30 daily guest amenity fee, which includes the following:

  • Wireless high-speed internet access
  • $10 off one fitness class at Exhale
  • Turndown service upon request
  • Access to PressReader on your smart device featuring over 7,000 newspapers and magazines
  • Local and 1-800 calls
  • Complimentary black and white printing (up to 10 pages)

It’s a bit odd to me that the list of amenities didn’t even include what I’d consider to be the best additional feature, which was complimentary coffee in the lobby in the mornings. 😉

Kimpton EPIC Miami complimentary coffee

There was also a complimentary hot cocoa bar, in case you need to “warm up” when the temperatures dip into the upper 70s. 😉

Kimpton EPIC Miami complimentary hot chocolate

We were assigned a King Premier Water View room (#2815), located on the 28th floor. So we headed to the back of the lobby, where the elevators are located.

Kimpton EPIC Miami lobby

Kimpton EPIC Miami Water View King Premier room

Once on the 28th floor we headed down the curved hallway until we reached our room.

Kimpton EPIC Miami hallway
Kimpton EPIC Miami room exterior
Kimpton EPIC Miami floorplan

Rooms at the Kimpton EPIC Miami were apparently recently renovated, and the room category I was in was marketed as being 475 square feet, with a 66 square foot balcony. I would imagine that the 66 square foot balcony is accounted for in the 475 square feet, because there’s no way that was the interior space of the room.

The room was perfectly nice, functionally designed, and felt fresh. The room featured an entryway with a sliding door to the bathroom on the left, and the rest of the room straight ahead.

Kimpton EPIC Miami room entryway

The room had a king size bed, a chair with an ottoman by the window, and then a table with two chairs, which could be used for dining or as a workstation.

Kimpton EPIC Miami king room
Kimpton EPIC Miami king room
Kimpton EPIC Miami king room sitting area
Kimpton EPIC Miami king room desk & chairs

The room featured a mini-fridge, and it wasn’t stocked with anything.

Kimpton EPIC Miami mini-fridge

The only thing for sale in the room was a bottle of Evian on each side of the bed, with a $10 sticker on it.

Kimpton EPIC Miami water for purchase

Oddly there was no in-room coffee machine. I wouldn’t ordinarily mind that if there’s complimentary coffee in the lobby (as there was here), but that coffee station was only out at around 7AM. That’s basically lunchtime for me! 😉

The bathroom was downright spacious for a standard(ish) room, and had double sinks, a walk-in shower with rainforest showerhead, a soaking tub, and a partitioned off toilet.

Kimpton EPIC Miami bathroom
Kimpton EPIC Miami double sinks
Kimpton EPIC Miami bathtub
Kimpton EPIC Miami shower
Kimpton EPIC Miami toilet

Toiletries were from Exhale, and were quite good.

Kimpton EPIC Miami toiletries

The only downside to the bathroom is that there was no separation between the bedroom area and the bathroom, except for blinds that could be drawn. But the blinds didn’t even go down all the way.

Kimpton EPIC Miami bathroom privacy curtain

The room also had a balcony with two chairs. I loved the view from the room, as you could see the Miami River, Biscayne Bay, and you could also look right down Brickell Avenue.

Kimpton EPIC Miami balcony
Kimpton EPIC Miami view
Kimpton EPIC Miami view

Kimpton EPIC Miami dog friendly

One thing I love about Kimpton is what a dog friendly brand it is. Not only are dogs allowed at the Kimpton EPIC Miami, but there’s not even a fee to bring them, which is awesome, and a reason in general that I’d seek out a Kimpton. Winston gives the bed two paws up, and also enjoyed doing some in-room yoga on the yoga mat (or something).

Winston at the Kimpton EPIC Miami
Winston at the Kimpton EPIC Miami

And since anti-dog comments somehow always seem to make it into reviews where I mention traveling with a dog, let me save the trouble and just recite your line for you — “how dare you bring your dog to an explicitly dog-friendly hotel, that’s disgusting!”

Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 breakfast

In addition to Zuma located on the lobby level, the hotel’s other food & beverage outlet is Area 31, located on the 16th floor. Kimpton is usually known for its interesting food & beverage outlets that are sometimes popular with locals, so based on those expectations this restaurant seemed pretty unexciting.

Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 restaurant
Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 restaurant

On the plus side, Area 31 had outdoor seating, which meant we could bring Winston with us, and have breakfast here one morning.

Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 restaurant
Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 restaurant

You can find the breakfast menu below.

Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 breakfast menu

I had a hot coffee to drink, while Ford had an iced coffee.

Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 breakfast

To eat I ordered an acai bowl, while Ford had the two eggs any style.

Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 breakfast
Kimpton EPIC Miami Area 31 breakfast

The food was reasonably good, and the service was very friendly.

Kimpton EPIC Miami Exhale Spa & gym

The Kimpton EPIC has an Exhale Spa on the 16th floor.

Kimpton EPIC Miami 16th floor
Kimpton EPIC Miami Exhale Spa

While I didn’t get any spa treatments, I did use the gym twice, which is open 24/7. The gym was great — it had plenty of modern equipment and wasn’t crowded.

Kimpton EPIC Miami gym
Kimpton EPIC Miami gym
Kimpton EPIC Miami gym
Kimpton EPIC Miami gym
Kimpton EPIC Miami gym
Kimpton EPIC Miami gym

Kimpton EPIC Miami pools

I’m not a very aquatic person (oceans are the shark’s house, and don’t even get me started on what pools are), and for that matter we weren’t here for a pool vacation. Nonetheless I checked out the pools, also located on the 16th floor. The Kimpton EPIC has a very nice pool setup with plenty of seating, and two surprisingly big pools, given that this is on a rooftop.

Kimpton EPIC Miami pool
Kimpton EPIC Miami pool
Kimpton EPIC Miami pool
Kimpton EPIC Miami pool
Kimpton EPIC Miami pool
Kimpton EPIC Miami pool view

The only thing I’d note is that this is very much a party scene. On weekends there’s a DJ with very loud music. So if you have a toddler you’re looking to take to the pool, this probably isn’t the place to do so, at least in the middle of the day or on weekends.

Bottom line

The Kimpton EPIC Miami was great for our needs — I could redeem an IHG free night certificate here, and I even scored free parking thanks to the Kimpton social password. Add in that dogs can stay for free, and I think this was just about the lowest out of pocket cost hotel stay I could make in Miami.

The Kimpton EPIC Miami has modern rooms, nice pools, a good gym, and friendly service at the front desk. While I probably wouldn’t seek out this hotel again in the future (I’m simply loyal to other brands with better elite recognition), I’d gladly return if redeeming an IHG free night certificate.

If you’ve stayed at the Kimpton EPIC Miami, what was your experience like?

Conversations (23)
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  1. Carl Guest

    As far as I'm concerned, a five-star hotel that does not have a Nespresso or a good coffee maker in the rooms is bad. No coffee maker at all in the rooms is a complete joke, you have to get dressed and go down to the lobby? Or order from room service for a coffee that'll come 30 mns later? Is this a Hampton Inn? For this reason I will not stay at this hotel....

    As far as I'm concerned, a five-star hotel that does not have a Nespresso or a good coffee maker in the rooms is bad. No coffee maker at all in the rooms is a complete joke, you have to get dressed and go down to the lobby? Or order from room service for a coffee that'll come 30 mns later? Is this a Hampton Inn? For this reason I will not stay at this hotel. Thanks for the review though, as I got a new job that involves traveling a lot to Miami-Brickell. I'll keep this one out of my list. And yes the resort fee is ridiculous too.

  2. Steve Diamond

    Stayed at the epic in 2019 and was even in that same room or at least same view +/- a couple of floors. I attended a two week conference and really got to like the hotel, the rooms are quiet and i enjoyed that view and watching the boats come and go and seeing the draw bridge open every 30 mins or so. The location is great if you are staying in Brickell and Downtown...

    Stayed at the epic in 2019 and was even in that same room or at least same view +/- a couple of floors. I attended a two week conference and really got to like the hotel, the rooms are quiet and i enjoyed that view and watching the boats come and go and seeing the draw bridge open every 30 mins or so. The location is great if you are staying in Brickell and Downtown only since you can walk everywhere. There is a wholefoods right across the street for quick meals, snacks, water, beer/wine. The hotel didnt care when we brought beer we bought at wholefoods to the pool. Best part was the conference catering, the food and bev staff at this hotel were amazing. Best conference food and snacks i have ever had and ive been on a lot of these long conferences. Wine hour was a plus.

  3. hk Guest

    Stayed three nights at here March 2021 using free night like you did. Lovely hotel, all new, free evening wine, nice pool (unless windy days - so many windy days in March especially this is in the middle of high rise buildings and pool is located at a higher floor). One minus factor was the noise from the connected room. The door wasn't fully insulated such that we could hear everything from the next room...

    Stayed three nights at here March 2021 using free night like you did. Lovely hotel, all new, free evening wine, nice pool (unless windy days - so many windy days in March especially this is in the middle of high rise buildings and pool is located at a higher floor). One minus factor was the noise from the connected room. The door wasn't fully insulated such that we could hear everything from the next room even when they speak quietly or turn on TV in moderate volume.

  4. u600213 Guest

    Since I have 2 dogs, no kids, the dog friendly aspect of US hotels is important to me, but often hotels have a weight limit or a 1 dogs per room policy. If you were able to include that type of information in your reviews it would be most helpful.

  5. Johnny Jones Guest

    Lucky - I hate 'dog-friendly' hotels. Cleaners miss things all the time and they mess with my allergies. I avoid them. That is my right.

    HOWEVER, 100% you should bring your dog to a hotel that allows dogs if you want. I don't understand how anyone could tell you to not bring Winston to a 'dog-friendly' hotel. That is YOUR right!

    - a fellow Miami resident.

  6. Morgan Gold

    Love the dog friendly angle!

  7. ArnoldB Guest

    What's with these "Resort fees" or "amenity fees" in the US? It's like you Americans are addicted to paying extra stuff for nothing. Same recently in Costa Rica, on the carribbean side where it was mostly european tourists nobody ever expected tips, meanwhile in the US touristy areas (Arenal, Manuel Antonio) every single bill had a big TIPS area (in addition to 23% taxes and service charges) and prices were incredibly inflated.

    Ruining it for everyone else

  8. George Guest

    Hello re your comment about no one to help when you arrived at the hotel: today I walked past the starbucks at 901 south miami ave just south of where you stayed.
    There was a sign that they are only open from 7am til 2pm-this at the busiest time of the year.I asked one of the employees what is happening and he lamented they can not find workers.

    Hmm Ben I wonder if your...

    Hello re your comment about no one to help when you arrived at the hotel: today I walked past the starbucks at 901 south miami ave just south of where you stayed.
    There was a sign that they are only open from 7am til 2pm-this at the busiest time of the year.I asked one of the employees what is happening and he lamented they can not find workers.

    Hmm Ben I wonder if your delayed move is to the elegant new Elysee condo in edgewater which had its CO months ago but seems to have run afoul of a local regulation.

  9. glenn t Diamond

    There are often times I enjoy your reviews of hotels and places and make a mental note that I'd like to visit and stay at some of those.
    However this hotel has definately not made the cut, and in fact the hi-rise monstrosity that Miami has become sees it drop off the (near bottom anyway) list, and onto the Avoid/Don't bother list.

  10. Ron Rosen Guest

    Dog comment...

    Dog butthole on bed... I know, I know...

    xxx, Ron R

  11. Dude26 Guest

    Awwww Winston is soooo cute:)

  12. red_robbo Guest

    $10 for a $2 bottle of water!!?? Straight out of the packet and not even ready chilled!
    What is the world coming to? Madness.

    1. Rharris New Member

      And no in-room coffee machine?! Blasphemy!

  13. jrr Guest

    I am a Kimpton fan and Have stayed at a few over the years. I seem to remember that in room coffee makers were sometimes only “on request” but were available (this was in San Diego & NYC). Of course that was pre-pandemic.

  14. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Is it only me or does this not look and feel like a Kimpton? For starters, 400-plus rooms seems huge for Kimpton properties. This looks and feels more like a JW Marriott or Intercontinental; in other words, a bland upscale business-oriented property.

    1. Rharris New Member

      He did mention it's an IHG property. Hotels get bought and sold and they fly whatever flag they want on the property. Perhaps it was under one of those brands (or similiar) previously?

  15. Tom Guest

    I've always been fond of Kimpton properties - what a shame they were acquired by IHG instead of Hyatt! I love the IHG card specifically for getting a free Kimpton night every year, because they are by far the most plentiful nice properties that can be covered by the certificate.

    This was a great review and a useful review. I've looked at this booking property before but have usually been staying with friends who wanted...

    I've always been fond of Kimpton properties - what a shame they were acquired by IHG instead of Hyatt! I love the IHG card specifically for getting a free Kimpton night every year, because they are by far the most plentiful nice properties that can be covered by the certificate.

    This was a great review and a useful review. I've looked at this booking property before but have usually been staying with friends who wanted to do one of the beachier hotels so I haven't had an opportunity to make it to this property yet.

  16. Charles Guest

    Great review! Was interested to read this as a former Epic Residences condo resident. Many of the amenities are shared, although the Residences have a private, extremely quiet, pool deck on the other side of floor 16 that is world’s away from the hotel pool party scene. While you’re right that no locals dine at the Area 16 restaurant, the Area 16 outdoor bar is very popular with locals, especially when it’s having its progressive...

    Great review! Was interested to read this as a former Epic Residences condo resident. Many of the amenities are shared, although the Residences have a private, extremely quiet, pool deck on the other side of floor 16 that is world’s away from the hotel pool party scene. While you’re right that no locals dine at the Area 16 restaurant, the Area 16 outdoor bar is very popular with locals, especially when it’s having its progressive happy hour at which drink prices increase a dollar per hour. Just a minor correction that the building is located in downtown, not in Brickell. The Miami River forms the boundary and people who live in the towers in Brickell love to take digs at the people in the Epic for living “up there” and “over the bridge” in downtown. Fun fact: Pitbull’s “Room Service” music video was filmed in the hotel portion of the building.

  17. Regis Guest

    A nice feature of staying at the Epic is that guests can use the amenities of the nearby InterContinental, two blocks away, and vice-versa. But the Epic is more modern in almost every respect. One negative aspect is the lack of privacy in the pool area, as the hotel is surrounded by residential towers in close proximity and you feel like you are being watched by the people on their balconies.

  18. Stvr Guest

    On the hook for a resort fee. Paid breakfast. You won parking but that wasn’t guaranteed.

    You should try Hyatt!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Stvr -- In this case the nearby Hyatt Centric would have charged a $100 pet fee. That's about the same as we paid for the amenity fee and breakfast for one morning. And that's not accounting for the fact that I would have had to redeem 15K Hyatt points (worth $225 to me), rather than a free night certificate on an $89 annual fee card. So I of course agree in general, but in this case the math worked out.

  19. John T Guest

    Finally, a review of a hotel that can actually be booked with points! ; P

    That resort fee is such a joke. $30 a day for internet and printing?

    When was the last time anyone made an external call from a landline in a hotel room?

    1. Elias Guest

      What do you mean? Look at my savings: (Sarcasm)

      https://imgur.com/tbttzWj

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

John T Guest

Finally, a review of a hotel that can actually be booked with points! ; P That resort fee is such a joke. $30 a day for internet and printing? When was the last time anyone made an external call from a landline in a hotel room?

1
Carl Guest

As far as I'm concerned, a five-star hotel that does not have a Nespresso or a good coffee maker in the rooms is bad. No coffee maker at all in the rooms is a complete joke, you have to get dressed and go down to the lobby? Or order from room service for a coffee that'll come 30 mns later? Is this a Hampton Inn? For this reason I will not stay at this hotel. Thanks for the review though, as I got a new job that involves traveling a lot to Miami-Brickell. I'll keep this one out of my list. And yes the resort fee is ridiculous too.

0
Steve Diamond

Stayed at the epic in 2019 and was even in that same room or at least same view +/- a couple of floors. I attended a two week conference and really got to like the hotel, the rooms are quiet and i enjoyed that view and watching the boats come and go and seeing the draw bridge open every 30 mins or so. The location is great if you are staying in Brickell and Downtown only since you can walk everywhere. There is a wholefoods right across the street for quick meals, snacks, water, beer/wine. The hotel didnt care when we brought beer we bought at wholefoods to the pool. Best part was the conference catering, the food and bev staff at this hotel were amazing. Best conference food and snacks i have ever had and ive been on a lot of these long conferences. Wine hour was a plus.

0
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