Review: The Hilton Cabana Miami Beach

The Hilton Cabana Miami Beach is a four star hotel located in Miami Beach about 15 minutes north of the heart of South Beach. It’s a newer hotel with a strong beach vibe and great access to the beach. It has some fantastic ocean views from its balconies but there are some shortcomings for this hotel. Here’s a look at my experience staying there.

Check-in

The vehicle entrance to the hotel is a bit cramped, especially when there are multiple cars coming in at once. Also, it’s a bit tucked away and can be easy to miss, as we found out with multiple Uber drivers. Still, the staff is very attentive here so it usually clears up pretty quickly. 

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Once you get inside the hotel, the space opens up nicely and a sweet, almost citrusy, aroma fills the brightly lit lobby.

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The staff greeted us and because we were Diamond members (Gold would’ve worked, too), we were asked to “spin the wheel” to see what kind of perk we’d get for free. We almost got stuck with a complimentary beach umbrella but luckily they gave us each a free drink at the bar. Later I found the drink voucher was limited to house wines and domestic beer, so Bud Light it was!

The hotel has a very beach vibe and it still feels pretty fresh, as it’s a newer property opened up in 2014.

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Our room was on the penthouse level (the 10th floor), which sounds much more exciting than it actually is. Still, it’s always fun to punch the “P” to get to your room level. As soon as we got up on the floor we noticed some wall art defaced with a swastika, which I really hope they remove soon. People are stupid. 

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Penthouse level.

We booked a “junior suite” with a king bed as part of the documentary we were shooting, where we were followed around Miami with a production team from Germany. (I’ll have more on that later.) Overall, the suite was about what you’d expect for a “junior” suite at a four star hotel.

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Junior suite.

As soon as you walk in there’s a sink with a coffee maker and complimentary water bottles. You then walk into the main sitting area with an L-shaped couch, which is quite comfy.

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This suite had an interesting design with a wall partitioning the room, allowing for two TVs to be hung on either side of the wall. While this design was a bit of a novelty, I honestly would’ve just preferred a larger room since the partition sort of cramped things and just felt kind of awkward.

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The room also comes with an additional half bathroom, so that’s a plus.

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The main bathroom is pretty spacious with a nice shower and a huge oversized closet.

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Typically, when you’re staying in the highest level room the bathroom is a a lot nicer or different than standard rooms but after checking out a standard room, there wasn’t much of a difference, which was a bit of a let down.

The bed was great and the pillows about as soft and comfortable as you could ask. The lamps have weird switches so that you have to flick off two switches on both sides of the lamp to completely turn off your lamp, so that was a bit odd.

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The real attraction to the room is the balcony, however. There’s a fantastic view of the beautiful turquoise ocean from the balcony. And being on the 10th floor, you’re still close enough to the beach to easily hear the waves washing up on shore. 

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Ocean view balcony at the Hilton Cabana.

And the balcony is very spacious, too. You’ve got room for a table to sit up to three people and two lounge chairs to lie down on, so there’s plenty of room to relax to the sights and sounds of the beach (although we unfortunately never really had time to do so). 

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Junior suite ocean view balcony at the Hilton Cabana.

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There’s only one smalllll problem with the balcony set up….

There’s no privacy, even on the penthouse level.

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Lack of privacy on the balcony.

The walls on the balcony are about waist-high and on top of that they are merely tinted and not solid. Hilton really lost me on this; why would you not opt for a more private set up for your guests? Everything else about the balcony was so perfect but the lack of privacy kind of lost me. Pretty much every other hotel I’ve stayed at with a beach view balcony has been private so this was a bit odd to me. The view and balcony was really the one big thing the room had going for it and so it’s too bad it had to be designed that way.

Gym

The gym at the Hilton Cabana is pretty mediocre but there’s still enough equipment so you can get in a decent workout, so I’ll give them that. On the other side of the treadmills and bike there’s a bench with some free weights but they were occupied so I didn’t get a photo. They also have towels and earphones, so it’s not a horrible set up but definitely not a proper gym that you’d find at larger resorts.

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Pools

The Hilton Cabana has two pools. One is on the third floor and the other one is on the same floor as the lobby. The pool on the third floor might be a bit smaller but still has plenty of room for guests to lounge around.

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As you can tell from the photo below, the pool on the third level overlooks the lobby-level pool.

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At around 11am, the chairs and other lounge furniture were mostly unoccupied.

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Many of the couches and chairs offer great views of the beach. 

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I liked the pool on the first floor a little better. Even though it was also small, the bar is nearby so you can easily order a drink and relax. Plus, it’s nice to have the quick access to the beach.

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Hilton Cabana Miami Beach pool.
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Hilton Cabana Miami Beach pool.

On our last day there, we used our drink coupons to enjoy complimentary Bud Lights. Woo-hoo.

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Overall, the pool scene at the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach is pretty good. I’m used to beach resorts with large cascading infinity pools so both pool areas seemed a little bland for me. However, if you’re just wanting to enjoy a dip or are there with your kids, I think the pool area is sufficient and the close proximity to the beach and bar are big plusses, too. 

Breakfast

The hotel had a great breakfast and it was complimentary for Diamond members.

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There was a nice selection of rolls, muffins, and other pastries that were continuously brought out fresh, and I found them to be very tasty. 

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At around 8am, the breakfast area had very little traffic and there was plenty of seating available to us.

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There was also a nice selection of juices.

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For the breakfast, you could put together your own platter of eggs, bacon, sausage, and a host of different pastries and breads or you could even order an omelet. Sliced fruit as also in abundance. While the breakfast didn’t necessarily blow me away it was very solid and quite frankly one of the few things at the hotel that lived up to expectations.

Location 

Because we were there filming the entire time, I didn’t have a chance to do my usual and explore what was around the hotel. There’s a 7/11 directly across the street, which can be convenient, but I’m not sure about nearby restaurants and attractions because we were elsewhere pretty much the entire stay. The hotel is located about 15 minutes from the Lincoln Road/Ocean Drive area, though, so that’s something to keep in mind. Still, the fact that the hotel is right on the beach is obviously a big plus, so if you’re like many people who are just looking for a decent hotel in Miami that is on the beach this might fit the bill.

Final Word

Overall, the Hilton Cabana Bay is a nice hotel and for a smaller four-star hotel, I think it offers some decent value. The location right on the water is magnificent but if you’re trying to experience something truly luxurious, even their junior suites with an ocean view might leave you wanting more due to a somewhat confined space and lack of privacy on the balcony. For families to travelers just looking for a nice hotel on the beach in Miami, this could be a great choice. Personally, I wouldn’t mind staying there again but if I were in the mood for something luxurious, I’d definitely look elsewhere.

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