So, you’re off to Miami for fun in the sun. Maybe you’ll wander the historic Art Deco district of South Beach, maybe visit the gators of the Everglades, and maybe- ok probably- you’ll spend some quality time on the sands of renowned Miami Beach. With so many activity options such as deep sea fishing, golfing, major league sports, as well as a lively shopping and nightlife scene, Miami offers something for everyone. Whether you’re making use of the cruise port, or just enjoying Southern Florida, you are bound to find much to enjoy about Miami. Even better, you’ll easily be able to find some great travel deals to make it all fit into your set budget.
But, now that you’re excited about your trip… where are you going to stay? As a vacation destination, Miami has no shortage of lodging options. Whether you’d rather base yourself in the heart of the city scene or at the beach, choices abound- it’s simply a matter of matching your style and budget. So, while it’s a hard decision to choose our favorites, we offer up this list as our ‘Best Hotels in Miami’.
True Miami Style – if the sky’s the limit, these top-notch hotels are sure to impress.
Located oceanfront in the heart of South Beach, the Setai has one numerous awards including from US News and World Report (#1 Hotel in Miami), Frommer’s, Travel + Leisure, Concierge.com, Forbes, and has been on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List for five years running. Designed by Adrian Zecha, rooms at the Setai are spacious and beautifully designed with both Asian and Art Deco influences that radiance serenity. The property contains three stunning pools with varying temperatures, a full service spa, and three world class restaurants. Tower rooms feature stunning floor to ceiling windows while the 1938 Art Deco building (originally the Dempsey-Vanderbilt Hotel) are done in Asian-style with teak walls and dark gray bricks imported from China. The Setai is also known for its impeccable service staff.
Designed by Morris Lapidus I 1954, the Fontainebleau underwent a $1 billion makeover in 2008 and is a luxury world unto itself. Home to a whopping 1500+ rooms including 2 new towers, a dozen restaurants and bars, an award willing spa, a kids club with daily activities, shops and eight pools, one not need leave the property. A legendary Rat Pack hangout, a black bowtie pattern pays homage to the original décor, while rooms today are arrayed in dazzling white tones with tropical accents.
For a blast to the 1940’s past, look no further than The Raleigh, often named as a ‘Grand Dame’ of art deco style. The Raleigh is also known for it’s old Miami vibe, world-class service, and most of all for its iconic pool, showacsed in several movies starring Esther Williams.
The Delano is a world in a resort, one which you literally never have to leave. The pool and clubs attract the rich and famous, making the Delano a place to ‘see and be seen’. At the Delano, you can attend movies, swim, play volleyball, enjoy spa treatments and fine cuisine, and afterwards sleep in an all-white haven away from it all.
Affordable – If you’re more a middle of the road traveler, these affordable options are a great way to get the most bang for your buck you can spend more on having fun.
Moments off of Collins Avenue, close by but in another realm, lies The Standard, a Scandanavian-inspired spa hotel designed and still owned by Andre Balazs. At a nightly rate a quarter of some larger, more showy properties, The Standard delivers a deluxe boutique experience, complete with a sensational spa, co-ed sauna, and pool open 24 hours a day. The décor is modern, utilizing white tones and light woods and despite its proximity to South Beach, The Standard offers up a serene retreat.
Located right on Collins Avenue, the Chesterfield absorbed the former Lily and Leon Hotels and has been fully renovated, featuring a jungle safari theme yet retaining its Art Deco roots. The concierge desk at the Chesterfield proudly announces that they can garner VIP passes to several trendy nightclubs. A free nightly happy hour and an outdoor lounge provide excellent people watching opportunities.
A block off the beach and in the heart of the Art Deco district, the Kent Hotel is a relaxing haven with a Caribbean theme. Offering up personalized service and luxury at a fraction of the cost of many others, the Kent Hotel features spacious comfortable rooms decorated in soft colors. The floors are blond wood with steel accents, mixing modernity with classic 1930’s style. A tropical garden and patio provide a for an outdoor spot to observe the lively neighborhood scene.
Families – Bringing the kids in tow? Many accommodations actively support families and provide programs and amenities just for kids.
An impressive renovation of an original 1952 Morris Lapidus building, the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach is frequently voted the best full-service resort in Miami. Sporting an English country house look, this is the type of property one need never leave. The pool is enormous, the beach is stunning, and there are amenities such as a tennis center and a 20,000 sqaure foot spa. Kids age 5-12 have their choice of daily club activities through either half or full day programs. Adults can enjoy the beach firepit at the Cantina Beach Restaurant, home to over 80 varieties of tequila.
Bucking the South Florida Art Deco trend and decked out as a Mediterranean villa, two-thirds of the Acqualina is devoted to family residences and the resort features an award-winning marine-based daily kids program. Situated on 400 feet of the Atlantic Ocean coastline and a world away from any nightlife scene, it’s all about the water at the Acqualina which features three oceanfront restaurants and three oceanfront swimming pools.
Halfway between Miami proper and Fort Lauderdale to the North, on a beautiful stretch of beach in Sunny Isles, the Newport Beachside definitely caters to the kids. The rooms are all suites with kitchenettes, making for a perfect ‘home away from home’. The vibe here is a bit like a cruise on land, in that constant organized activities can be found. The pool is large and there’s a beachfront kids playground as well as an arcade, kids menus, and even family movie nights.