Thanks, Bev, your assessment about the lack of friendly service seems to be a common theme in the reviews I've been reading...
I'll look into the Ritz Carlton and I am also considering The National and The Tides, in case anyone else has experience with those.
We'll have dinner at Joe's Stone Crab for sure!
the tides, on ocean drive, is not directly on the beach, but across the street.
their pool on the roof is tiny.
the ritz carlton is huge and IMHO, not inviting.
the national is right next door to the delano.
my cousin stays there often, likes it and it is less expensive than the delano.
we always stay @ the delano.
great pool, tiny rooms, good restaurant, gym and spa, full and friendly services.
this would be my recommendation.
right across the street is a good cuban restaurant, with great espresso and cafe con leche.