Blanc Kara Boutique Hotel South Beach is one block away from the beach in the SoFi area of South Beach. The Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Beach Marina, the Art Deco Welcome Centre and Lincoln Road Mall are very close to the hotel. Lots of restaurants, bars, club and entertaining places may be reached on foot quickly from the Blanc Kara Boutique Hotel South Beach. Lumus Park/Ocean Drive are just 10-minute walk while Nikki Beach is around the corner.
"A cute boutique hotel in a great location..."
I stayed at the Blanc Kara, for four nights, over the New Year's Eve weekend. As expected, the 31st and 1st had higher priced rates. The old, boutique hotel is on the corner of 2nd Street and Collins Avenue. This is at the far southend of the peninsula that is the city of Miami Beach. For perspective purposes, the older boutique hotels on Ocean Drive (just one block to the east), are located from about 6th-15th Streets. The large, commericial, multi-story hotels (Ritz, Loews, W, etc.) begin at 15th Street and go north from there. The Blanc Kara is located generally in a residential area. There is one restaurant directly across the street (The Big Pink) and one nightclub just a few hundered feet away. It's about 1.5 blocks from the beach. The first thing I noticed upon arrival at the hotel is that there are only about 1.5 parking spaces dedicated to the hotel (marked valet). I was thankful there were no other cars. I was surprised and disappointed that there's no bellhop or cart to assist with luggage and you must carry your luggage/belongings up three stairs, to the front door of the hotel. I had to lug a large suitcase, a cooler, a case of water, three beach chairs, and a beach bag. Needless to say, it was quite the workout. I met William (front desk) the first night. He was very kind, engaging, and considerate as was his co-worker, Suzy. My room was #306, on the top floor. The room was quite large, had ample closet space, I loved the stocked kitchen (although no toaster), the black out curtains were very convenient, and the bath was well stocked. This is an older hotel and certainly the age shows (cracks in the marble bathroom floors, etc), but this should be expected at a boutique hotel. The lack of sound proofing, however, was somewhat troublesome. I literally could hear my neighbor snoring, through the wall. The king size bed was comfortable but the memory foam top was terribly hot. The a/c unit was truly the loudest hvac unit in a hotel room I've ever experienced, I had to put in ear plugs and a pillow over my head. I drove my personal vehicle from my home in the Tampa area. My car was "kept", via valet" at a parking garage on 5th Street and Washington Avenue, about three blocks away. I never accessed my vehicle during the entire trip. The traffic was horrific the entire weekend and there's no parking, any where. I walked, biked, and Ubered every where. The parking/valet charge is $28 plus 7% tax, per day. I was aware of the charge at the time of booking, so I certainly wasn't shocked. Overall, I had a very good experience. If I return to Miami Beach, I'll stay in the multi-story, large, luxury hotels with a pool; but, I have no regrets with my stay at Blanc Kara.
"Cute, clean and convenient "
I love the adults only feature. I had a ground floor room facing "big pink". Everything was clean and the room was quite well done. There was some obvious water damage on the ceiling but the pros weighed out the con. The room had a safe and I was able to.buy some groceries and take advantage of the kitchenette. The ro was very modern and king sized bed was very comfortable. The location is kiddie-corner to a "club" but I didn't notice and noise or issues during the night. It was a very short walk to the beautiful beach. It was also a very short walk to several places to eat with various price ranges. I loved the little coffee shop. I rented a car from Orlando and returned it as soon as possible up the street. Parking was too expensive ($4.00 an hour) and I didn't feel comfortable giving the car to the valet service because of insurance reasons. Great hotel, no gym. We will be back!
"Boyce and Betty visit Miami Beach"
We stayed in room 108 and found it charming and interestingly decorated. The hotel is worth a visit for the color schemes and general décor. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, especially Suzie, who is a true gem. The morning breakfast features delicious croissants and a smiling waitress with great coffee. Everything is sparkling clean and the location is ideal for walking, riding the bus or Uber, which is available in literally minutes, due to the location. I highly recommend this hotel for a cozy, charming and romantic stay.
"Very poor experience. Stay away"
I booked a hotel through Hotels.com, and a week ahead got sick and had to go to the hospital, I called 10 hours late of my latest cancellation time and explained a situation, which is still a week ahead, I was sneezing on the phone and the front desk told me she spoke to a supervisor, that by the way somehow was in the meeting and couldn't speak to me on a phone, and the supervisor said there is nothing they could do but charge me a one night stay, which, by the way, was all I booked. Now I am sick like a dog a week ahead before the vacai and am still paying $200 to them keep making money on people.
"Fantastic place to stay in SoBe"
We stayed at the Blanc Kara during the holidays. Absolutely wonderful place. It's not a large hotel, which is nice, and it is situated in what is mostly a quiet residential neighborhood (with one exception...see below). It's adults-only (read: no kids). The design is very modern throughout. When you walk in, the check-in desk is to the right just off of a small lobby. As for design, think sleek, modern, white, splashes of color, and different fibers/textures. However, it's not so modern that it feels cold and impersonal. It was modern, yet comfortable. When we got there, our room wasn't quite ready (it was about an hour before check-in time, so no problem). The gentleman at the desk was able to store our luggage and we went to grab a bite to eat nearby. When we returned, our room was ready to go. It was a large room with a kitchenette. Had we been staying a little longer, we would have definitely taken advantage of that & gone shopping at the grocery store since eating out in SoBe can be quite pricey, even for mid-range restaurants. The kitchen seemed to have decent amenities, such as pots, pans, plates, glasses, etc, but to be fair, I didn't explore it thoroughly, so I can't give a strong opinion either way as to the kitchen's quality. There was a small instant espresso machine that the hubs took advantage of a couple of times. Our room had white and hot pink walls with white trim. The bathroom was excellent, with rain-shower shower head (no bathtub, just a shower). The cleaning staff did a really nice job each day. The curtains on the windows did well to block out external light (though we weren't night owls... too much to do each day!). Special bonus were the shampoo, body wash, and conditioner bottles in the shower... they weren't your usual few tablespoons-sized bottles. These were hefty and provided enough to use for several days. The closet is a walk-in, with a safe that was large enough for us to put our laptop into it. A word of advice - do not rent a car in SoBe. It's just not necessary - and parking is extremely expensive and sometimes really hard to find. There are street parking spaces outside the hotel, but it was rare to see them open except for maybe first thing in the morning. Traffic is often terrible anywhere around on the major streets, especially at nigt. If where we needed to go wasn't within walking distance, we took a certain car-share service whose name starts with L and ends with t. There was always a L**t driver nearby, and we never had to wait more than 3 or 4 minutes for a driver to show up once we requested one - and the only reason we had to wait a little longer one time was due to the traffic that the driver got stuck in trying to get to us. One time, right outside the hotel, our wait was only about 5 seconds. We did take the bus from the airport to get to & from the hotel. The #150 bus drops off/picks up about 2 small blocks from the hotel, and one-way fare is $2.25 per person. (You can get prepaid fare cards at the airport transit center (which is near the car rental building) and you can pay for the fare cards using cash or credit card. It's nice to pay for the cards once so you don't have to fumble for exact-change cash later. Even with the various stops, it's only about a 45 minute trip to/from the hotel, which is longer than taking a L**t or U**r car, but the price can't be beat. Also, the bus has luggage racks. A non-price-surge regular Saturday morning L**t drive to the airport from the hotel would have cost somewhere around $16, plus tip (though at other times, it would likely be more...I can't say what the other prices are like). Our total round-trip bus fare from the airport to the hotel and back was $9 (for two people, total). Compared to everything else in SoBe, that's CHEAP. The hotel does have a little bistro. We didn't go in, but it looked nice. I can't say whether or not the food was good or if the prices were good, but it is nice to have it available if you don't feel like going out. I don't *think* it's open all throughout the day, but again, that's not anything we checked out during our stay. I think it closes for a few hours after breakfast and after lunch. Overall, the neighborhood was pretty quiet, with one notable exception. Story nightclub is only a few hundred feet away. It is open Thursday through Sunday (I think) STARTING at 11 pm until 5 pm. Around 3 am or so, the streets around Story get clogged with cars, and several times, I could hear car horns honking. I was able to get back to sleep each time, so it wasn't so bad that it kept me up. Our room faced the front of the hotel, and when I looked out the front windows, Story was just kitty-corner to the left across the street. The hubs never heard the traffic, and it really only would have been bad if we had the windows open. I suspect that any rooms that are away from the actual streets hear the traffic even less. Anyway, it's definitely not a reason to knock the hotel's rating down at all. Overall, we really loved this hotel and we definitely would stay here again, if our travels bring us back to Miami.
Credit cards accepted by the hotel: Visa - MasterCard - American Express - Diners Club - Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) - Discover
Check-in: 3:00 PM , Check-out: 12:00 PM