The Intercontinental is a fantastic 35-story hotel located in its own little corner, on its own dead-end street, overlooking the water. The exterior is non-descript but classy. Pulling into front area in your rental car you ask the valet how much parking is. A calmly delivered $35 takes you back for a moment. You consider parking at the public meters just feet from where you are since it is a weekend but this clever valet reads your thoughts and puts the axe to them. The meters are per hour sir and run on the weekends. Well, so much for that. You give a sigh and hand him your keys. Leaving your luggage for another valet you walk up some steps, through a glass door in a glass wall, and into a large foyer.
The foyer is a beautiful place. Open-air restaurants, statues, nice seating areas, and of course neon lights everywhere(This is Miami after all). You have a little trouble finding the front desk but you hit upon following the valet with your luggage and head to the left. The front desk staff impress you as you follow their directions for the short walk to the elevators. Now these things are wonderful. They have touch screens for the floor buttons. Perhaps these are in other buildings but I have yet to see their equal.
Your room, though not quite as nice as the foyer, is perfect. A couch by the window lets you enjoy the skyline view while the bed is unequaled in comfort. Satisfied with your accomodation you head out to explore. Briefly looking at the restaurant menus before heading out you make your mind up to find a restaurant outside as your pocket already has a hole burned through it from the room and parking. But of course there is always enough in the piggy bank for a quick stop at the Starbucks in the lobby. Carrying your drink out the front door of your base you begin your exploration of Miami.
It turns out that you are located in an office district. Off to your left are office buildings with normal associated shops and restaurants. To your right is the ocean. In front of you is a large park complete with amphitheater. You walk through this park and emerge at an old and ugly mall. Quickly going through here, avoiding all the tourist trap salespeople and some wild chickens you proceed to the other side and into Port Miami. Passing this you arrive at the Miami Heat arena and its blaring advertisements. Deciding that you have walked far enough you head back and plan for going on the bus tour on the next day since it leaves just a short walk from the hotel.