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 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 $99 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.
Service outside is definitely lacking, and for that matter there generally weren’t people to open the doors, assist with luggage, etc.
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.
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.
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. 😉
There was also a complimentary hot cocoa bar, in case you need to “warm up” when the temperatures dip into the upper 70s. 😉
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 Water View King Premier room
Once on the 28th floor we headed down the curved hallway until we reached our room.
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.
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.
The room featured a mini-fridge, and it wasn’t stocked with anything.
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.
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.
Toiletries were from Exhale, and were quite good.
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.
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 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).
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.
On the plus side, Area 31 had outdoor seating, which meant we could bring Winston with us, and have breakfast here one morning.
You can find the breakfast menu below.
I had a hot coffee to drink, while Ford had an iced coffee.
To eat I ordered an acai bowl, while Ford had the two eggs any style.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?