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Reviewed October 19, 2011

I stayed at The Golden Strand for business and will be back with my family. I found the beach and pool areas to be a highlight of this resort. The rooms although they do need some updating are clean and comfortable. The staff were extremely helpful and kind. I noticed in other reviews people complain of parking and other fees at this resort. When I travel, I have not yet found a Hotel where I have not had to pay for parking, and it has usually been a per day fee. So $20 a week to me seems like a good deal. Also, most Hotels on a beach will charge for a cushion or an umbrella if you sit by a pool or on the beach per person. So once again, I think The Golden Strand charges something like $10 as an amenity fee per room, not per person, so everyone gets a cushion and a beach towel? Sounds pretty good to me!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank Hhigs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 9, 2011

The beach is beautiful, but the windows leaked in the rain and the furnitue was dated. Also charged an amenity fee of 10 per day and there were no amenities to speak of. It was a good trip, but we would look to stay somewhere else in the future.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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Thank sthompsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 18, 2011

Finding a timeshare location close to Miami City is not easy. This one is an exception, with large living and bedroom, big kitchen, balcony etc. The bathroom could be bigger, but has everything you need. The italian restaurant on the groundfloor is inexpensive and has excellent food. Many other good restaurants are within walking distance, supermarket and deli with fresh bread also close. Drive to Miamin Downtown takes about 30 min. A place to recommend and we will be back.

Room Tip: Room on 1st floor, building next to italian restaurant was perfect, higher up would give better views.
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank billtyson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 25, 2011

Okay call me picky but when I go to a timeshare resort I don't expect to be nickel and dimed to death with annoying little fees. And this is a timeshare, not a regular hotel so why all the little annoying fees? I usually travel in timeshares to avoid all this pettiness but unfortunately here at Golden strand you won't escape those fees. Just an FYI, this resort has already been paid nicely by the owner of their week to the tune of probably $1000 in maintenance fees, so there is really no reason to be hassling exchangers with little profit making annoying fees. Even if this unit sits vacant all week they're already had their expenses paid thanks for the owner of this week.

So what's nice about the place? Well for one, it's on a nice beach. Unfortunately this week Hurricane Irene is passing by so the jellyfish are out in full force and the water is unswimmable due to the hurricane but I've been here before and know first hand that it's usually a great beach. It's also in a great location for a stay-cation. I live in Miami so a few gallons of gas and I'm on vacation. That makes this place a great RCI exchange for me. The staff is much improved since my last stay. Apparently they've upped the training, I mean afterall if you're gonna charge resort fees then you better have staff that act like they're running a resort. In that sense it's much much improved.

The room is nicely furnished and although there aren't granite countertops and stainless steel applicances (who really needs that at the beach anyway), the rooms are nicely designed with everything you need for a great vacation. The beds are extremely comfortable and are probably newer. The TV's are all flat screens and they have direct TV with French channels. I guess they get lots of French speaking guests here. The local channels are surprisingly not all available but you have all the CNN/Fox that you care for along with the Chicago local news channels. Okay this is Miami but the local news is from Chicago. I guess that's what happens in the satellite world.

Now for the reality check. Well for starters, you pay $20 for parking. Now that's $20 for 5 minutes or for a full week so forget about your friends coming to see you. They won't want to pay $20 and honestly they should not have to pay this ridiculous fee for just one hour of visiting. Made us skip the resorts restaurant and meet at Red Lobster. So sorry for the onsite restaurant Azzurro because this is just a dumb fee IMO. I mean if you're gonna eat at the restaurant then the parking should be free. No wonder the restaurant is struggling. Other guests that I spoke to complained about how expensive the restaurant was and not that great for the price. They did put flyers in our room with $6 lunch specials that seemed reasonable and they do a happy hour from noon to 4 with wine and beer so it looks like they're getting the message for the lunch crowd but free parking will need to be essential if they're ever going to have a local restaurant crowd.

Okay let me continue with the fees, $10 resort fee per day. It includes internet but the wi-fi signal is very weak and slow. For $10 a day it should be upgraded. Then they give you these latex Livestrong style arm bracelets that if you lose them you owe them $25 each. They gotta be kidding? So no momento of your visit for what you've basically already paid in the $10 resort fee. Now please don't lose a towel or that's another unknown $ amount because they don't tell ya they just say there will be a charge.
They will actually also fine you $50 if you leave a garbage bag outside your door. Now they do come by everyday around 10-11am and knock on the door to collect the trash which is nice but don't even think about leaving it outside for them to pick up or it'll cost you $50. There is also a $50 penalty for moving the furniture on the balcony. Mind you the balcony is maybe 12 feet long and 4 feet wide and don't you dare move a chair. I don't know but with all these fines and fees they're really not sending a "you're a valuable" guest message to me.

Parking is limited when crowded. It was very crowded on the weekend with maybe local owners or renters using the resort and then by Monday the parking was fine. We are in building #1 with no view. This is an improvement to my last visit where we were put in building 4 with a Collins Ave. view and constant traffic noise. I guess no view and quiet is better than street view with noise. Ask for a pool view. There aren't really too many ocean view units here as it's a low rise and they have lots of palm trees. I think if we were up one floor it would have been better but we're on the first floor. Not the nicest view of the AC ducts on the top of the cottages next door. We can also see the cars in the parking lot below the building.

The pool is very nice and they do keep it clean. It's almost Olympic size and I see lots of people diving into the 8 foot deep end. It's a bit deep for toddlers as the shallow end is like 4 feet so all the kids congregate on the stairs. or hand on the buoy ropes. There is plenty of room for a spa or kiddie pool but I guess kids are not a priority here. I don't have children but could see that it would be an asset here.

There are also nice beach chairs and pool chairs with umbrellas provided. I guess that's where the $10 resort fee comes in. They have a combination lock on the gate to the beach so don't leave your room without the code. Apparently they change it every week or two along with the color of the $25 bracelets.

So will I return? Probably cause it's just so close but I'm not sure that it would be my first choice if I was exchanging in on an RCI or II exchange into the area. Solara Surfside, and many of the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood resorts are much cheaper if you want to control all the annoying fees and yet still be on a great beach. You will pay $90 in extra fees just for parking and resort fees so add that to the cost of your week to see if it's worth it to you.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank chriskre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bertrand S, General Manager at Golden Strand Ocean Villa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2011

Dear Guest,
I am glad to see you enjoyed your stay at the Golden Strand Resort. Our desire is to create memorable family vacations for our guests. I also wanted to clarify that outside guests who wish to eat in our restaurant Azzurro do not have to pay for parking. We hope to welcoming you soon! Bertrand Saysset, General Manager.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 21, 2011

We are from South Carolina and this was our first vacation ever to South Florida. I knew I wanted to give my wife that Miami beach feel - but also make it family friendly which I suspect South Beach is not. I was a little concerned though because of the price we paid. This is my first time using my parents travel club membership - they bought some club called Resorts Plus International - I think it is something similar to a timeshare but easier to use supposedly. I do have to say though that Resorts Plus International has an amazing website, and this resort was easy to find. We only paid $368 for the week, so no complaints here!!!! However, I thought we may get a different caliber of accommodation because of how little we paid. It seems the resort didnt recognize as anything different than an RCI exchanger (my parents own timeshare too) - however - we were never able to get here with their timeshare?! The resort claims to charge people from off the street $300 a night?! Does anybody seriously ever pay this amount?!
My opinion of the resort is that its a few years outdated, it seems its stuck in the late 90's especially with such modern luxury accomodation surrounding it. However, it definitely was a slice of Miami we could afford to enjoy ourselves. This resort holds it own, and its so convenient to walk to the local grocerty store, etc.... The staff was very friendly and seemed interested in making our vacation memorable. I'm not sure we will return here, but not because of the resort...... but because there are too many other places to see here in the United States. And heck, as long as my parents keep buying this type of stuff for the kids to use..... we might as well make the best of it, LOL.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank StephenTnT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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