Tag Archives: Downtown Miami

Leamington Hotel at 307 NE First Street in Downtown Miami, Florida

Surprised by some reviews of the Leamington Hotel, what the hell did you expect? If you want luxury, pay for it. This is an old building in the middle of OLD Downtown Miami, recently the old human-powered elevator with a state-of-the-art elevator. Having to pay for parking is a shock? DUH! There is no need for a car here, public transit is everywhere. The free MetroMover rushes by the hotel every few minutes, and stops a block away. The free trolley stops at Bayfront Park a block away, which takes you all the way north to Midtown and the Design District. The free trolley system takes you several miles, this is a generous city.

Back to the Leamington Hotel, where I have stayed more than once. I have reserved through Hotels.com sometimes months earlier, no problem checking in. The large lobby has three tables with chairs plus three sofas where guests can enjoy the complementary breakfast. It’s usually coffee, toast with butter and jelly, and chunks of banana nut bread or similar. Guests can watch the large TV screen and relax.. A beautiful Christmas tree plus wall Christmas decorations is a welcoming sight during holiday season.

Shops and restaurants everywhere here, plus a 24 hour Hispanic cafe across the street and 7-11 at the corner. Get up early for the sunrise at Bayfront Park, then stroll north to Miamarina and the Bayside Shops. Tourists and locals walking around all night, yes there are a few sketchy characters.

Had a large room to myself at the fourth floor corner at the Leamington Hotel, with street views up to two blocks. Everything has worked fine, carpet looks fresh. Yes there is chipped and blistered paint plus misaligned tiles in spots, which don’t affect your livability. Great hot shower in tub. The stairway is the fire escape, and be patient waiting for the elevator if staying on upper floors.

The staff was quite pleasant, and housekeeping did my room even on Christmas day, quite impressed. The maid leaves an envelope on your room’s desk with her name, thanking you and letting you leave her a tip if you wish. When checking out, the kind Hispanic lady tells me ‘Thank you for staying with us, it was a pleasure to serve you’ We need more like her.

Miami Springs Inn 1 stars 661 East Drive, Miami Springs, Miami, FL 33166


Got two beds when I only needed one, maybe nothing else available. No lamp and nowhere to sit except beds. Uneven wood floor. No maid service although not needed for only two days, that might be their policy.

ŽąáSmall fridge and microwave? Pleasant surprise here. Spacious bathroom and shower. Two towels provided. Huge television. Little ice bucket and four plastic glasses.

Spirit Airlines

Departed Tampa on December 22 for Christmas vacation, returned December 27th. Every seat taken on departure, almost full returning. Detailed fees list on their website, so don’t understand many negative reviews. Departing flight began boarding 45 minutes prior, left on time and arrived early. Returning flight over an hour late while waiting for crew.

Round trip total $99 without extra fees, unbeatable. Here’s how those extra fees can be easily avoided:

Avoid their ticket counter by reserving flight online, then confirming online 24 hours or less prior and printing your boarding pass either at home, the public library, or their airport boarding pass printer. When prompted for seat assignment choose random, I got an aisle seat departing and a middle seat returning.

Grab that old backpack and stuff it, mine fit easily under the seat. Yes, airborne backpacking is easy on a short vacation, or buy whatever you need upon arrival.

Decline their expensive food and drink menu, plus endure their annoying credit card sales pitch. No problem with their high-density seating at 5 foot 6, but taller folks may feel squeezed.