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With seemingly endless sun, Miami is a favorite getaway of travelers from around the world looking to enjoy the great weather, beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, and lively nightlife. While many tourists flock to the islands of Miami Beach, and, in particular, the ever-popular, ever-rowdy South Beach, there are also a number of great stays popping up in Downtown Miami and Brickell, just over the causeway from the beach, where the shopping scene thrives in the business district and trendy restaurants and bars are drawing locals and tourists alike. There are, of course, a number of incredible brand-name properties and condo-resorts that provide luxurious amenities across Miami, but if you’re looking for a more personalized stay with fewer crowds, consider one of the dozens of boutique hotels in the city. Here, we suggest our favorites, from hotels that live and breathe by Miami’s party-hard mentality to serene retreats and family-friendly, but still stylish stays.
Best Overall: The Miami Beach EDITION
Though South Beach may be the reigning king when it comes to Miami hotspots, Mid-Beach is quickly becoming a hotel mecca in its own right. In fact, our favorite Miami boutique hotel, the Miami Beach EDITION, is located here, a little more than a mile north of Lincoln Road Mall. The Ian Schrager hotel, which is in partnership with Marriott, checks all the boxes for a great Miami stay: swanky Art Deco meets midcentury-modern design, top-notch dining, and excellent nightlife.
Housed in a 1955 building that was formerly the Seville Hotel, the EDITION features minimalist, luxe interiors in creams, whites, and golds overseen by design firm Yabu Pushelberg. For dining and drinking, there are several options, including two bars, a casual alfresco café, an upscale food hall, and the signature Matador restaurant, the latter two of which were spearheaded by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Head downstairs to the Basement, an entertainment complex in the basement of the hotel (where else?) with a nightclub, bowling alley, and ice-skating rink. Plus, there’s also a spa, pool, and beach, of course.
Best Budget: Freehand Miami
The original outpost of the Freehand brand (which now has properties in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles), this hostel-hotel combination brought an air of affordability to South Beach — and without sacrificing style. The hotel is housed in a typical Art Deco building, the former home of the Indian Creek Hotel, but the interiors take on a hippie-chic vibe that’s not common to Miami Beach. The rooms, many of which are shared hostel-style, though private rooms do exist, were designed by firm Roman & Williams and feature bohemian yet sophisticated decor.
While the Freehand Miami doesn’t sit on the beach, it has quite a trendy pool scene set in a lush courtyard with funky, mismatched lounges and chairs. Off the pool is the extremely popular Broken Shaker cocktail bar, which draws tourists and locals alike. There’s also the 27 Restaurant, which pulls off of the diversity of Miami Beach for its dishes. Looking to get around town? The Freehand offers vintage bike rentals to guests.
Best for Luxury: The Betsy
Art Deco might be the architectural style of choice in South Beach, but The Betsy stands apart with its Georgian flair. This luxury hotel places an emphasis on culture — think musical and literary programming, plus art exhibits — in a refined oasis that combines beachy decor with the elegant atmosphere of a gentleman’s club. There are 61 light and airy rooms here, each with a small library and marble bathroom, that range in size from standard kings to a four-bedroom suite with a baby grand piano. There are also a number of drinking and dining options like LT Steak & Seafood, the Lobby Bar, and the Panther Coffee Shop. The majority of other activities revolve around the Ocean Front Deck, three stories above the hustle and bustle of South Beach; here, there’s morning yoga, a pool during the day, and a romantic lounge in the evening. It’s also the site of the hotel's Zen-inspired spa and wellness garden.
Best for Families: 1 Hotel South Beach
When it comes to taking your family to Miami Beach, there are several key features you should look for in a hotel: large rooms, a great pool scene, easy access to the beach, and a focus on daytime — rather than nighttime — activities. The 1 Hotel South Beach has it all. The eco-friendly property — it not only takes energy- and waste-saving measures, but also is decorated with reclaimed materials — has a number of large suites perfect for accommodating families. There are also three pools, the largest of which is child-friendly, with the Sand Box poolside café providing snacks and beverages, not to mention a 70,000-square-foot beach club along 600 feet of beach. Rather than have its own nightclub or raging bar scene, the hotel focuses more on daytime activities like wellness programs, spa treatments, and fine dining, making the atmosphere less of a party and more appropriate for families. Plus, there’s a children’s club to entertain the kids all day so the adults can enjoy some of their own amenities.
Best for Romance: Kimpton Angler’s Hotel
Miami’s raucous nightlife might cater to singles, but the sun and sand draw honeymooners as well. One of the most romantic hotels in the city is the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel, which feels like an oasis amid the chaos of South Beach. The main building has a Mediterranean Revival façade, while the newest addition is a sleek, modern tower; as seen by the duo, the hotel does a great job of blending the warmth of the Mediterranean style with a contemporary sleekness. Rooms feature warm woods, midcentury-inspired furnishings, and electric blue as an accent color. Though there’s no formal spa, guests can receive spa treatments in their own rooms. When it comes to wellness amenities, there is, however, a fitness center that offers free classes. Retreat to the rooftop pool to find some peace from South Beach while sipping a cocktail, or head downstairs to the Minnow Bar to sample some of the inventive gin drinks.
Best for Nightlife: Delano South Beach
The beachfront Delano South Beach is the original party hotel in town, having opened in 1947 but given new life in the 1990s by Ian Schrager, who tapped Philippe Starck to redesign the interiors of the Art Deco building. The bold, swanky public spaces contrast the minimalist, all-white accommodations, which provide guests with a sanctuary from the wild parties below. Nightlife is the focus of the hotel, with celebrities frequenting its many restaurants and bars over the last 30 years. For dining, there's the LEYNIA Argentinian grill, the Umi Sushi & Saki Bar, and the poolside Delano Beach Club, which Starck decorated with an Alice in Wonderland theme (the latter is open exclusively for hotel guests until 7 p.m., when the public is allowed in). For drinking, there’s the uber trendy Doheny Room off the lobby, plus the glamourous and sultry Rose Bar. But truth be told, drinking happens all over the hotel, save, perhaps, for the spa and fitness center.
Best for Shopping: EAST, Miami
Part of the billion-dollar Brickell City Centre development, EAST is a new-build hotel by local firm Arquitectonica, located adjacent to the complex’s shopping center, with dozens of high-end stores, restaurants, and entertainment, like the CMX movie theater. Of the hotel’s 352 rooms, 89 of them residential-style suites with full kitchens and multiple bedrooms, but all the accommodations feature modern, minimalist furniture, accent walls, and balconies.
If the dining options within Brickell City Centre aren’t enough, there’s the on-site Uruguayan restaurant Quinto La Huella, the Sugar rooftop bar and garden that serves Asian tapas, and the Domain lobby café and bar. One of the biggest draws to the hotel — other than its proximity to amazing shopping — is the 20,000-square-foot rooftop pool deck, which has not one, but two pools, plus a hot tub and a cold plunge pool. There’s also a 24-hour gym, and guests are welcome to bring their own private trainers or book one through the concierge.
Best for Foodies: Nobu Hotel Miami Beach
The luxurious Nobu Hotel Miami Beach is actually a hotel within a hotel — it’s located in the original Morris Lapidus tower of Eden Roc in Mid-Beach — giving its guests special access to certain amenities, like room service from the on-site Nobu restaurant. Of course, that restaurant is one of the highlights of the hotel, as is the new Malibu Farm restaurant, which brings coastal California cuisine to Miami Beach. The rooms in the Nobu Hotel features Japanese-inspired decor by David Rockwell, like a silk accent wall with cherry blossoms and paper lanterns, and the designer also refreshed the iconic Lapidus sunken bar in the lobby.
Casual bites and cocktails can be ordered poolside or from the beach — two plush beach chairs are included per guest room, but umbrella rentals come at a fee. If you’re looking to splurge even more on a stay, consider booking a villa, which comes with bonuses like complimentary airport transfers, VIP seating at the restaurants, and a bar and pantry filled with your personal preference of goods.
Best for Business: Eurostars Langford
While the majority of the city’s boutique hotels are located near the beach, the Eurostars Langford is tucked away in Downtown Miami, a business district just north of trendy Brickell, making the property an ideal stay for business travelers. Eschewing the Art Deco style of the beach, the hotel’s Beaux-Arts building is a former bank, constructed in 1925, that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It pays respect to its heritage with decor that’s more Golden Age in nature than super contemporary, though as a recently reopened hotel, the furnishings are quite new. While amenities are lacking — there’s no spa or pool — there’s an indoor-outdoor rooftop bar called Bloom Skybar which has become one of the biggest drawing points to not only the hotel, but also the entire neighborhood. The bar hosts themed events every week, from a Sunday Funday midday party to late-night DJ sets on Fridays and Saturdays.