In our coverage of Miami’s hotel scene, we bring you onsite reviews and updates of the city’s finest accommodations to help you put your clients in the right environment. We detail the properties and their amenities, spa, renovations and the like, but we realize some Miami-bound guests are in it for the pool scene. So here is our first-ever hotel pool-only review—in this case of The James Royal Palm in Miami Beach—and since summer is right around the corner, look for even more hotel pool reviews in coming months.
Set Up: The James actually has a plunge pool and two regular pools. The thing we liked about The James the most was the “Sun Concierge”—an actual job title—who during our pool time hangout was there to take care of our every wish. First he helped us pick our lounge location: In this case, we opted for the lounges behind the actual pool area, for a little privacy. The James has direct beach access, meaning a short walk to the sand from our spot, which was nice for this lazy pool dweller.
Poolside Dining & Wining: The pool F&B is catered through one of the hotel’s two main restaurants, The Florida Cookery. Here, food is prepared under the auspices of the creative and may we say slightly wacky chef Kris Wessel, formerly of Miami’s Red Light.
Standout Dish: Biscayne Boulevard shrimp
Poolside Service: It’s attentive and great—and our sun concierge kept us smiling with trays of frozen pineapple (with and without alcohol), mixed fruit, chocolate and moist towels.
The pool on the upper deck is less crowded for those who want to be near—not in—the fray and boasts a beautiful view of the ocean.
Who Belongs: (Cool) families; gays and lesbians; and couples (in other words not a big singles scene)
Volume: Not loud; ambient music plays in the background
Who’s In: The James Miami pool is only available to guests staying at the resort.
Package It: The James Royal Palm’s R&R Retreat package lets your clients take a dip into the pool and so much more. They’ll hang out at renew the spa, and get pampered with a 60-minute salt-infused massage, including welcome foot bath and signature face and scalp massage, choice between renew massage, relax massage, bamboo roll, face and eye treatment, or muscle fatigue massage; and a Limited Edition or Salt Water Soak Service of choice. After that, there’s a custom dinner prepared by chef Kris Wessel, and a bottle of wine selected by Florida Cookery’s resident sommelier. Rates start at $329 and booking is through Dec. 31.
More info? Visit jameshotels.com. And you can check out my on-the-spot coverage of Miami’s finest pools on Twitter, @recommendmag.