Living resort style in hotels

For some students, vacation didn’t end once school started. When everyone else was settling into their dorms and apartments, they were moving into a hotel. Due to a shortage of on-campus housing, about 300 students had to be moved into the Holiday Inn across from the University of Miami and for the first time ever, to the Dadeland Marriott.

“We had a record number of students that signed up for housing last spring when they had a chance to continue staying at the dorms for the upcoming semester,” said Jon Baldessari, associate director of the Department of Residence Halls. “That, combined with a strong freshman class, led to an overflow.”

For the past three years, the Department of Residence Halls has dealt with this overflow by placing students at the Holiday Inn. Each student is put on a waiting list and when a student living on campus cancels registration, transfers schools, or has to leave the university, someone living at the hotel moves onto campus in his place.

In the few weeks since classes started, the number of students staying at these hotels has dropped to 275, with an emphasis on moving out those at the Dadeland Marriott first.

However, living in a hotel while going to college isn’t quite the same as living on campus. Students at the Holiday Inn take the Hurry ‘Cane to class, others walk across U.S.1, and those at the Marriott take the Metrorail for their longer commute. They also have access to the hotel pools, fitness centers, maid service, and room service.

“You have a lot more freedom living here,” said Tim Divis, a junior and exchange student from England. “[At the Holiday Inn] you can bring anyone to your dorm at any hour, without having to sign them in after 10 p.m. You get a balcony if you’re lucky, and the maids make the bed.”

Students living at the hotels pay the same housing fee as those living on campus in a double occupancy room, and the Department of Residence provides them with monthly passes for the Metrorail. Since freshmen are required to live on campus their first year, nearly all of the students staying at the hotels are transfer and international students.

“In my other college, the dorm rooms were really small – now I’m living in a resort,” said Alex Brown-Gitelman, sophomore, who is living at the Dadeland Marriott. “I didn’t have to bring bed sheets or a TV, the beds are bigger, and we have our own showers.”

Not all students feel as lucky. The commute can be inconvenient, and the Metrorail only runs until midnight, after which they have to find alternate forms of transportation.

“I’ve been [at the Marriott]two weeks but now I’m moving into Hecht. It’s going to be easier to go to class and get involved,” Cristine Mantis, sophomore, said.

The Department of Residence said that while some students living at Holiday Inn may be there all semester, all will be on campus by the spring. In the meantime, they try to simulate the on-campus experience with R.A. programs. On any given day, students are visiting each others’ rooms, taking the elevator in their towels to the pool, and socializing in the hallways.

“It’s like the campus is brought here,” Lara Berman, junior, said. “People make this their home and college.”

Natalia Maldonado can be contacted at

September 14, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.