Freehand Miami bills itself as “a hostel for a new generation of travelers.” Indeed, a visit here confirms that it’s very far from the stereotypical dingy hostel. In fact, were it not for the shared rooms, the Freehand would likely fall into the “boutique hotel” category. Room decor includes vividly colorful modern art and Mexican blankets, and free Wi-Fi is available. There are also private rooms that come with work desks and flat-screen TVs. The complimentary breakfast is popular with guests and includes Cuban pastries and locally roasted Panther coffee. Evenings are well-spent at the hostel's on-site bar, the Broken Shaker, which in 2014 was listed #22 on Drinks International’s World's 50 Best Bars list. It specializes in inventive “garden-to-glass” cocktails, which blend familiar spirits with unique homemade bitters and ingredients that aren’t usually found in cocktails, such as green bean juice.
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The Freehand sits just two blocks from the beach, offering easy access to Miami’s surf and sand. Indian Creek Drive isn't, however, the most happening spot in Miami Beach, though it's easy to forget that with all the entertainment and activity at the hostel itself. For off-property exploring, it's best to rent a bike from the front desk, walk, or take a taxi to local attractions. Head over the causeway to Wynwood, a recently rehabbed neighborhood that's home to trendy restaurants, bars, boutiques, and the Wynwood Walls, a massive street art project.
Need to Know
Rooms: 63 rooms, some of which are shared; from $29 shared and $100 private. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: The Freehand has no restaurant on-site at present; however, management is in the process of renovating a historic home next to the hostel for the purpose of turning it into 27, a restaurant that will likely have a farm-to-table focus. Guests rave about the Freehand's bar, the Broken Shaker, which has won numerous awards and has been voted one of the top 50 bars in the world. Spa and gym details: Freehand has neither a spa nor a gym, but it does have an outdoor pool that is open year-round. Guests can also rent bikes at the front desk.
Who it's for: Budget-conscious travelers; solo travelers looking for company. Our favorite rooms: The Private King Suite is the hostel's most spacious and comfortable private room. Entertainment:Check the hostel's calendar for on-site events, including parties, live music performances, painting classes, and beach yoga.