Our Kenyan vacation has finally started.
We always try to fly in a few days before our tour group begins, just in case there are flight issues and so that we can chill and acclimate ourselves.
We chose to fly from Miami to London Heathrow and then on to Nairobi. Flights from Tampa or Orlando would have connecting flights somewhere in the Northeast before heading across to Europe. We’ve learned the few connections the better off we are.
We stayed at the Aloft Miami Airport, it was easy to get to, and they offered a Park, Sleep Fly program where we stayed one night, parked in their lot, took their shuttle to the airport and then picked up our car when we returned for $168.00. Airport parking for nearly two weeks would have cost almost that much.
*we had initially booked Red Roof Plus through a corporate site, it was a little less expensive for a similar program however when we called the hotels front desk to find out specifics about parking we were disconnected, lost during call transfer or hung up on three times. So we canceled and booked Aloft, which was a fantastic choice.
Aloft was easy to access, plenty of parking, new, modern, and comfortable. This location has a Starbucks, Chipotle, and Pollo Tropical in the same parking lot.
The room was HUGE and very comfortable, we overlooked the pool and back parking lot. Although we weren’t there long enough to enjoy it, there was a fitness center, outdoor seating, and a large bar area.
Unfortunately, the room above us had a few small children, and we could hear them running and jumping across the floor. At 8 PM we were like “their kids, it’s fine,” but by 10 PM it was annoying and by 10:30 we were pissed off at the parents. Chuck made a trip to the front desk, where one of the staff went to the guest’s room and spoke to them. It quieted down by about 11:45.
The hotel was kind enough to give us each a $10 breakfast coupon. $20 covered two English muffin egg sandwiches, two big slices of pound cake (which were great later at the airport) and a bottle of milk.
Later that afternoon, we made our way across the street to El Rinconcito Latino, a local Cuban restaurant located in the corner of a strip mall across from the hotel. At lunchtime, the place was packed, which is always a good sign.
We both ordered their Cuban Especial (about $9.00). When I asked the server about the “especial” vs. the regular Cuban, she said the especial was much larger, which was good since we were both hungry.
Chuck ordered a side of Tostones, and I ordered a side of Yucca Frita, about $4.00 each. When we saw the sides and entrees come out to the table next to us, we both realized we might have made a mistake.
The orders were HUGE. The side dished were excellent, (the garlic sauce was KILLER), and the Cuban sandwiches were enormous and packed with meat. Chuck does not like pickles, and NO ONE ever gets his order for no pickle correct, this was a first. Kudos!
The sandwiches were so big we each took half of ours with us intending to have them on the plane. Realizing we had two meals on the first flight, we gave the sandwiches to a homeless man near our hotel who could not have more thankful.
The Aloft hotel shuttle was large, roomy, and clean. It runs every hour on the hour and was very prompt. The driver was terrific and friendly, and the drive to the airport is just a few minutes.
The staff at the Aloft was warm and friendly, the accommodations were excellent, and the package was a reasonable price, so, for now, I’d give them four stars; we’ll see where that goes when we return for our car.