The Top Hotels in Miami

It used to be that Miami’s best places to stay were mostly in South Beach, but now the city has top properties everywhere from the Design District to Little Havana to Coconut Grove. Whether you want something with a party scene or some Art Deco flair, Magic City has a hotel for every traveler.

500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami, FL 33131, USA
Close to Miami‘s busy center, but set back from it, the Mandarin Oriental, Miami enjoys a quiet spot and the designation of the only hotel to sit on Brickell Key, a small island connected to Brickell Avenue by a bridge. This location gives the Mandarin Oriental a sense of both exclusivity and privacy; it also means that rooms offer some pretty incredible views of Biscayne Bay, the city, and one of Miami’s causeways. And what rooms they are; with 13 different types, expect a variety of choices with respect to layout and amenities. Standard in every room, though, are oversized tubs, large flat-screen televisions, Illy espresso machines, luxurious linens, and Carthusia toiletries. Turndown service is also included, as is the guest’s choice of newspapers, delivered to the room each morning. Mandarin Oriental, Miami does not have beachfront access, but it does have a pool. Finally, although the hotel doesn’t go out of its way to advertise the freebie, Wi-Fi is complimentary for guests who set up an account on the hotel website.
4441 Collins Ave., South Beach, Florida
Fontainebleau is perhaps Miami‘s most legendary hotel, dating back to the mid-20th-century golden age of South Beach’s social scene. Opened in 1954, the hotel has seen a number of celebrities—as well as scandals—over its six decades. Frank Sinatra filmed the movie A Hole in the Head here, and the Black Tuna Gang used the hotel as a front for its drug-running activities. Fontainebleau has had several owners over the course of its existence; it closed in 2006, only to reopen again in renovated splendor two years later. Common areas have Vegas-like glitz and glam, with lots of gold accents and sparkly chandeliers (made by, of all people, Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei Wei). The hotel’s art collection is enviable; besides Ai, there are Sol Le Witt and Damien Hirst pieces. Rooms are full of attentive design elements, too. Turquoise-and-green color schemes evoke the ocean, and high-tech amenities include 20-inch iMacs. Concerts take place at several venues on the property, including poolside and at the nightclub, and the hotel has some serious star pull. Recent concerts have featured Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Pitbull.
2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140, USA
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.
Hotels
1690 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
It appears small from the outside, but Gale South Beach manages to pack a lot into a modest space, including Italian restaurant Dolce, a cocktail lounge, and a nightclub. These attractions, and its prime location on Collins Avenue, just a block from the beach, make the Gale a social hot spot. The landmarked art deco building is, like many of its neighbors, protected from structural changes; as such, the hotel harks back to the golden age of American architecture. Inside, the decor evokes 1940s–1960s style, with throwback typography, black-and-white family photos, newspaper clippings, and mid-20th-century memorabilia providing atmospheric design touches. The rooms are on the smaller side but tend to let in lots of natural light. The color scheme is nautical, with blue carpeting and white walls, and crisp, bright white linens embroidered with the hotel name in blue. Guests can take advantage of an outdoor bar on the fourth floor, and a rooftop pool. An annex of the hotel is set to open just a few feet away in December 2014. The Gale Suites at Kaskades is a 25-suite complex with a focus on luxury and privacy. It features rooms with Jacuzzi tubs and rain showers and has its own rooftop deck with cabanas.
Hotels
1100 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
One of only two hotels right on Biscayne Bay (the other is the Standard), rooms at Mondrian South Beach are coveted by guests wanting a stellar view. Designed by Dutchman Marcel Wanders, the hotel’s decor is intended to evoke a sense that one is floating around in an underwater world, and the property is described as an homage to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The slightly whimsical and slightly creepy mermaidlike woman whose face appears on walls throughout the hotel is the “keeper” of this “castle,” where incongruous elements—traditional blue-and-white Dutch porcelain juxtaposed with busy black-and-white patterned wallpaper, say—somehow work in odd, unexpected harmony. Everything about the hotel feels spacious, including oversized rooms, many of which are flooded with sunlight and enjoy bay views.
Hotels
1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
Nearly hidden behind a tall row of hedges is Delano South Beach, a landmarked hotel built in 1947 and renovated by Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck in 1995. Schrager and Starck wanted Delano to feel like a home; to that end, Starck created a series of discrete “living spaces,” with mismatched furniture, in the hotel’s common areas. Each of the spaces is intended to evoke specific images and experiences from his childhood, such as a wall of nightlights. The Delano’s backyard and pool area are an extension of the lobby’s “living room,” and that’s why a table and two chairs sit in a shallow section of the pool, and why the hotel’s veranda features the kind of comfortable furniture usually found inside a building, rather than outside it. In rooms, guests will find oversized marble bathtubs, said to be a favorite among NBA players because of their seven-foot length, along with Malin + Goetz toiletries.
2001 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The Setai is unlike most hotels in its neighborhood, offering a mature, sophisticated alternative to the frenetic party-time energy of other properties. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, the Setai attracts numerous celebrity guests, thanks in no small part to its attentive and discreet service. While the hotel’s exterior may be somewhat staid, with art deco flourishes that are modest compared with other hotels built in that era, the Setai more than makes up for this in interior design. Somehow avoiding being ostentatious, the hotel still uses ultra-luxurious everything: the finest Swedish beds, deluxe Italian linens, deep soaking tubs, and lacquered wood furniture and accessories. The building includes residence units, which are ideal for extended stays.
Hotels
40 Island Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
The Miami outpost of a hotel brand well known for its Los Angeles and New York properties, The Standard Spa, Miami Beach is less a hotel in the traditional sense, and more a spa with guest rooms set amid tropical gardens. The concept extends to the hotel’s atmosphere, which is downright staid compared to the party scene of so many Miami Beach hotels. A nearly all-white color scheme and extra-comfortable linens, pillows, and robes give rooms—small by local standards—a calm, comfortable air. Extra attention has been invested in the hotel’s common areas, with lots of Danish and 1950s-inspired furniture and spaces arranged in such a way that some spots offer solitude while others focus on bringing people together. There’s a reason many guests have called The Standard a playground for adults: a co-ed hamam, gardens with hammocks and swing chairs, and a hydrotherapy circuit (including bayside infinity and icy plunge pools) are just a few of the on-site attractions.
4385 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140, USA
Tucked away on a bend in the road on the northern part of Collins Avenue, the Soho Beach House feels surprisingly removed from the Miami Beach bustle. Once inside, however, especially on a weekend, it’s evident that the hotel is hardly a secret. Weekend brunches bring throngs of hungry locals, who rave about the charcuterie and cheese spreads. Lots of common areas—two pools (one is adults-only) and several open-air eating spaces—contribute to a constant social hum, as does a packed events and activities schedule. The hotel’s members-only club, allowing access to a private library and dining room, among other things, adds an air of exclusivity that makes Soho Beach House even more popular. The hotel makes liberal use of rough wood walls and a furnishing aesthetic that draws on a “little bit of everything” approach, with mismatched furniture and decor. For the most part the rooms have a rustic, homey feel in keeping with the hotel’s overall vibe, but numerous amenities—including classy home-style minibars—help justify the price.
Hotels
2341 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
Why we love it: An eco-friendly jewel in South Beach with massive rooms, multiple pools, and a serious wellness focus

The Highlights:
- Direct beach access and four pools
- The full-service Bamford spa and 14,000-square-foot fitness center
- A onsite restaurant helmed by Tom Colicchio

The Review:
It’s hard to make people take notice in flamboyant South Beach but 1 Hotel managed to make a significant mark not with opulence but with eco-consciousness. Since its debut in 2015, the hotel has become a hub for stylish, wellness-focused travelers who love its environmentally friendly features like salvaged wood, living plant walls, and bulk toiletries. The four pools—including an adults-only one on the roof with sweeping ocean views—direct beach access with chairs and umbrellas, and spacious Bamford spa don’t hurt either. Children are welcomed with a play area on the beach, kids’ club, and two family-friendly pools.

Rooms here are massive, with the smallest starting at 700 square feet. Whites and beiges rule the color palette, complemented by rattan and wood accents for a beachy feel. Also included are hemp mattresses covered in organic sheets, chalkboards instead of wasteful pads of paper, and take-home socks in place of disposable slippers. There’s even a yoga mat in every room, should you feel so inclined, though you could also head down to the massive fitness complex, yoga deck, and obstacle course (yes, really). If you’re feeling peckish, buy a snack at the lobby farm stand, or wander over to Beachcraft, chef Tom Colicchio’s ode to seasonal produce and fresh seafood. Tom on Collins is the cute lobby bar and often hosts live Cuban music or jazz—a quieter scene than most South Beach party spots. Sometimes the rooftop bar is a bit more sceney, but if you need to get out, hitch a ride in the house Tesla anywhere within three miles.
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