There are many hotel choices to stay in Miami, Miami Beach and South Beach. I recommend staying in South Beach where you can easily walk to restaurants, nightlife, shopping and the beach.
Albion Hotel: 1650 James Ave., near the corner of Lincoln Road and Collins. This is a hip, boutique hotel right at the beginning of Lincoln Road. I have enjoyed it on past trips.
The Setai Hotel South Beach: At 2001 Collins, this is a stunning hotel with a wonderful sleek Asian inspired lobby and pool area.
SLS Hotel South Beach: At 1701 Collins Miami Beach, this is a sleek, renovated boutique hotel in the heart of South Beach. Originally built in 1939 it was designed by Miami architect L. Murray Dixon. It was then transformed by well-known designer Philippe Starck. Food is a huge part of the mix. The entire downstairs lobby area is the Bazaar by the James Beard award-winning Chef José Andrés. Then you have Katsuya, designed by Philippe Starck, which is a wonderful Japanese restaurant and sushi bar by Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi.
Dream South Beach, 1111 Collins: These former Art Deco buildings have been transformed into a sleek boutique hotel, with an attractive lobby and restaurant plus a rooftop pool and lounge. It is in the heart of South Beach and a short walk to restaurants, shopping and the beach.
The Tides South Beach: 1220 Ocean Drive. This is an Art Deco landmark building built in 1936 by famed architect L. Murray Dixon and renovated by Kelly Wearstler. It is a wonderful boutique hotel, with great outdoor terrace, restaurant and lobby and 45 suites.
The Freehand: At 2727 Indian Creek Parkway, The Freehand is the newly opened hostel owned by the hip Nomad Hotel in New York. Though small, I had a private room with king bed and small bath. There are other rooms including rooms with bunks for younger travelers. Here you will find a young crowd including some from Europe and South America. There is an eclectic lobby and a large pool and outdoor lounge area near the bar. I would ask for a quiet room. A continental breakfast is served in the lobby which you can take outside to eat. This was a fun, hip experience all at a reasonable cost!
Raleigh Hotel South Beach: At 1775 Collins Ave., this is a wonderful Art Deco hotel that has been there since 1941.
W Hotel South Beach: The W Hotel is a larger contemporary hotel with great restaurants including The Dutch, a New York City institution.
The Redbury: At 1776 Collins Ave, the Redbury, by SLS is an attractive boutique property.
I also liked the Surfcomber, a Kimpton Hotel at 1717 Collins Ave.
The Betsy: Opened in 1942 as The Betsy Ross. In 2009, it reopened after a total restoration. 1440 Ocean Drive. Highlights include a roof deck and the restaurant, LT Steak & Seafood, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Aloft Brickell: I found that the Aloft Brickell was a perfect spot from which to explore Miami. Away from crowded Miami Beach, it is located near downtown and between Coconut Grove/Coral Gables and the Wynwood Arts/Design Districts. It is a short drive to Miami Beach. Plus there are restaurants near the hotel that my local friends enjoy. I always enjoy the contemporary vibe/decor of the Aloft chain. They also offer valet parking and a free buffet breakfast in the room rate.
Other hotels getting good reviews and press include the Soho Beach House, Gale, Sense Beach House, The James Royal Palm, Riviera Hotel South Beach, the new Metropolitan Miami Beach, the Croydon and the Faena.
The Lord Balfour Hotel in South Beach has also just received great reviews after re-opening following an extensive renovation.
The Miami Beach EDITION was designed by Ian Schrager and is located in the former Seville hotel from the 50’s. This luxury resort was included on Wallpaper* Magazine’s ‘Best Urban Hotels’ list.