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. There is also Bar Centro, by Chef José Andrés for breakfast, lunch and cocktails along with a bar and restaurant and Hyde Beach for cocktails and food by 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.
Another Art Deco gem from the 1940s is the Shelborne South Beach at 1801 Collins Ave. It has recently been renovated. Also with an Art Deco design is the Sagamore Hotel South Beach offering 101 all-suite rooms, two-story bungalows and oceanfront penthouses.
The Freehand: At 2727 Indian Creek Parkway, The Freehand is hotel/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!
Just north of the Freehand is the AC Hotel Miami Beach. I like this Marriott brand and have stayed with them in other cities. 2912 Collins Ave.
W Hotel South Beach: The W Hotel is a larger contemporary hotel with several bars and restaurants.
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. It has two restaurants and bars along with a spa.
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, brunch and dinner. The Alley restaurant is an Italian trattoria.
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.
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. For dining, Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has Market at EDITION and the Matador Room. The hotel also has the Matador Bar, the Tropicale bar and restaurant and the Lobby Bar.
The New York Times recommends the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, an Autograph Collection property, that was recently restored to the architect Roy France’s original 1940 Art Deco design. It also recommends the Vagabond Hotel located in a former motel from the 1950s at 7301 Biscayne Boulevard that also has been remodeled. The Nautilus by Arlo in South Beach is also popular.
Other hotels getting good reviews and press include the Soho Beach House, Gale Hotel, The Local House Miami, Royal Palm South Beach Miami (formerly The James Royal Palm), Riviera Hotel South Beach, the new COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, the Hotel Croydon and the Faena. Still more include The Palms Hotel & Spa,
The Lord Balfour Hotel in South Beach has been remodeled and is now the Life House South of Fifth. They also have the Life House Collins Park hotel and a new spot in Little Havana, the Life House Little Havana. The later has a rootop bar and restaurant. The Life House Collins Park also has Mama Joon a new restaurant getting good reviews . This ” Lebanese slanting restaurant boasts Mediterranean dishes with a Miami twist.”
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