Hottest hotels to make yourself at home
Miami and Beaches
When it comes to hotels, Greater Miami and Miami Beach offers an array of accommodations from bold boutique and lifestyle properties to luxury resorts that appeal to travelers with an affinity for design and decadence.
As for the latest places to stay and play, there are plenty of new celebrity hot spots, classic Art Deco establishments, stellar amenities, and exciting eateries to keep on the radar.
On the hotel front, Greater Miami and Miami Beach stands out for several reasons. Along with having the world’s most expansive collection of Art Deco architecture, the chic, modern, international metropolis offers the highest concentration of boutique and lifestyle hotels in America*. The options are vast and vibrant, complementing visitors’ unique personalities, preferences, and style year-round.
South Beach, set at the southern tip of the City of Miami Beach, is where boutique and lifestyle hotels reign supreme. Home to the world-famous Art Deco District—the youngest community on the National Register of Historic Places, the dynamic destination boasts a beautiful rainbow of pastel buildings with striking facades from the 1930s and 1940s, serving as a whimsical escape through the decades from the Depression Era to today. Much of the activity centers around Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue, with striking surroundings inside and out, including a mix of architectural styles from Mediterranean Revival to Miami Modern. Visitors who want more insight into this treasure trove of historical architecture should head to the Art Deco Welcome Center-Miami Design Preservation League on Ocean Drive and 10th Street, for walking and biking tours, among other enriching experiences.
New To The Scene
Not surprisingly, lifestyle hotel Moxy South Beach, has loads of moxy. The buzzy newcomer, a 202-room, seven-story lifestyle hotel on Washington Avenue attracts attention with whimsy and wonderful amenities that modern travelers crave. Bright and bubbly, the interiors by Rockwell Group and Saladino Design Studio blend the bold Latin influences of glamourous, mid-century Havana and the sophistication of Mexico City with tropical Miami. Dining and drinking delight with six concept-driven spaces, including the sleek Como, marisqueria, aka, a seafood restaurant with a flowing tequila tree on the ground floor. Serena, a sultry open-air rooftop restaurant and bar that looks like it came straight out of a Frida Kahlo painting, features Oaxacan dishes and classic staples by Chef Scott Lindquist. Cabanas lining the pool, a fitness center inspired by Muscle Beach, the Moxy Beach Club, and weekly live music series, among other happenings, ensure every day is fabulous.
Kimpton Hotels and Resorts has two exciting developments in Miami. Kimpton Surfcomber, an Art-Basel preferred boutique hotel set on the oceanfront in South Beach, is undergoing a refresh, with the South of France serving as design inspiration. Nearby, in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, the new sister property, Kimpton Hotel Palomar South, catches the eye with a yacht-like exterior by Miami architect/designer Kobi Karp and stylish interiors by Chapi Chapo Design. The 96-room boutique hotel boasts an Instagram-worthy, two-tier rooftop overlooking Biscayne Bay with a pool, bar, daybeds, and creative cocktails from Altamarea Group out of New York—the same team behind Osteria Morini, a modern restaurant featuring Northern Italian fare by Chef Michael White.
Following the success of the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, the ritzy heart of the Faena Arts District, and the remarkable cultural renaissance that continues to evolve, comes a new crop of hotel contenders—each boasting individual style and flavor.
Attracting all the hype, The Goodtime Hotel on Washington Avenue and 6th Street is a dreamy collaboration between David Grutman of Groot Hospitality and international music icon Pharrell Williams. The 266-room property, which occupies an entire city block, boasts a reimagined Art Deco aesthetic with calming spaces inside and out. The hip hotel offers a “passport to a good time,” transporting travelers to a place where hedonistic revelry and laidback R&R happen in equal measure. The centerpiece, Strawberry Moon, named after the full moon that occurs closest to the summer solstice, provides an energizing gathering spot with an outdoor pool area and happening restaurant and lounge serving a mix of Mediterranean classics and clubhouse favorites, always with epic music in the background and the occasional celebrity spotting. When it’s time to escape, there are eclectic experiences, from relaxing at the expansive pool lounge to mindful yoga and meditation classes and getting lost in a book at the library. Over at the indoor/outdoor gym, fitness enthusiasts will get their energy pumping with Peloton bikes and MyBeast immersive training.
KAYAK, an online travel company known for its technology and app with millions of users, is transforming the accommodations experience with the opening of the boutique hotel property, KAYAK Miami Beach. Serving as a design lab, the property, located in the cultural hub of Collins Park, pushes the boundaries of innovation, with guests having the KAYAK app at their fingertips to check-in, check-out, make requests, stay abreast of hotel events, and more. Other amenities include tech-forward touches, such as connected TVs and Marshall speakers in the rooms, and a wrap-around public rooftop area featuring Layla, a modern Middle Eastern bar and restaurant concept.
On charming and historic Española Way, Esmé Miami Beach exudes bohemian grandeur throughout its Spanish-Mediterranean-inspired setting and former artist village. Across the 145-room property, the ambiance and aesthetic capture the artistic spirit of days gone by, with elegant rooms in rich rose and emerald colors, mahogany tones, and gold accents featuring distinctive details, such as luxe Bellino linens and Grown Alchemist bath amenities. Stylish spaces for mixing and mingling abound with five food and beverage concepts, including Bar Pintxo, an homage to Spanish cantinas with delicious flavors from the Basque Country, and The Drexel, where celebrated chef Nano Crespo keeps a watchful eye. An escape from the hullabaloo, The Roof, featuring four interconnected spaces, provides a chic destination to sip artisanal sangria poolside. Set along the Collins Park Arts Corridor, steps from The Bass museum and white sand beaches, The Berkley Park Hotel provides a serene haven. The newest member of Accor’s Mgallery Hotel Collection, the 80-room boutique property features beautiful Mediterranean Revival elements and much of its original design, including its 1936 façade. The expansive roof deck spans 2,070 feet with an inviting swimming pool, and shady lounges to take in the breathtaking views all around.
In Downtown Miami, the financial, commercial, and cultural center of South Florida booms with possibility and popularity. Reignited in recent years by the celebrated opening of the luxurious Brickell City Centre and the debut of EAST Miami, the area continues to grow. South of the Miami River in Mary Brickell Village, Hotel Indigo Miami Brickell taps into a rich tapestry of Latin, Spanish, Native American, and American folk influences with striking interiors by internationally renowned architect and fashion designer Angel Sanchez of Sanchez + Coleman Studio that combine Brutalist details, a mosaic of colors, and local artwork. An outdoor pool and terrace with city and ocean views, a 24-hour fitness center, and lively Mosaico Kitchen and Bar add to the splendid guest experience.
North of Miami Beach in Aventura, the home of the renowned upscale Aventura Mall with retailers like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, the Serena Hotel Aventura, Tapestry Collection by Hilton offers a unique upscale experience with an impressive rooftop entertainment, pool, and dining area featuring 360-degree views of the city and the Spanish-Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Cielo Rooftop & Lounge.
A recent newcomer, THēsis Hotel Miami in Coral Gables—home to a delicious “restaurant row” and a stone’s throw from Miami International Airport—offers a contemporary retreat for relaxation and creative exploration. Along with an elevated pool deck and co-working spaces, the 245-room property features two restaurants led by James Beard Award nominee, Chef Niven Patel: Mamey featuring flavorful cocktails by Bar Lab and island-minded dishes, and Orno, a New American restaurant.
Since its opening, the stunning Mr. C Coconut Grove still entices with luxurious yacht-inspired interiors and settings. Founded by Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, the premier boutique hotel features 100 well-appointed guestrooms with views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove skyline, Bellini Restaurant and Bar on the top floor, and other inspiring amenities, including a rooftop pool, deck, and bar, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a welcome Bellini upon arrival.
Life House Hotels is a new addition to Little Havana. Their newest “house” is a “tropical estate” with a lush rooftop cocktail bar and restaurant. Their guest rooms will take you on a vivid journey. At the Life House Hotels, you can also enjoy a rooftop bar, that overlooks the Miami skyline.
This Spring 2022, the first-ever CitizenM hotel opens in the Brickell area of Downtown Miami. CitizenM is the originator of ‘affordable luxury’ hotel stays, created with business travelers in mind. They do not skimp on either quality or style but do take away everything unnecessary. Check-in takes just one minute, and instead of a lobby, there’s a signature living room. The hotel includes 252 smart bedrooms that are fully app or tablet-controlled.
The Latest In Luxury
Long an idyllic and international playground for the sophisticated set, Miami has even more hotels for visitors to live the luxe life. From multimillion-dollar renovations to new developments and the addition of stellar amenities, there are plenty of fabulous places to indulge in the finer things in life in Miami and beyond. The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is beaming from a $90 million multi-year renovation, with elegant design details throughout the historic Morris Lapidus-designed Art Deco masterpiece. The landmark resort, which lies on Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue, is one of the most coveted destinations to stay in South Florida, with timeless design, thoughtful programming, and attentive and anticipatory service. In the stunning new lobby, the Lapidus Bar features a lively setting for libations with live music and vintage cocktails. As for dining, Executive Chef Anthony LePape impresses with vibrant flavors of Latin America at the new Fuego y Mar Restaurant, while the DiLido Beach Club offers an intimate oceanfront location for memorable meals. Rest and rejuvenation await at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, featuring the only Timeless Capsule in the United States, for enjoying condensed spa treatments for guests who don’t have a lot of time.
The waterfront oasis, Mondrian South Beach, fresh from a multimillion property-wide transformation, introduces a new striking setting to enjoy from dawn to dusk. Along with the modern tropical look, feel, and experience, the refined retreat boasts a new destination, the Baia Beach Club, with boutique restaurant group behind Scarpetta, Dolce Italian, and American Cut, LDV Hospitality, leading behind the scenes. Set on Biscayne Bay, the restaurant, bar, lounge, and pool deck exude effortless sophistication and casual chic that embraces the coastal lifestyle of Miami and the Mediterranean.
Guests of the W South Beach will also experience an elevated stay as the cutting-edge property is fresh from a multimillion-dollar renovation that includes a complete redesign of its spacious 408 guest suites and triplex bungalows, including circadian lighting with preset mood modes Bright/Entertain/Relax, transient 24-hour music playlists, a new best-in-class spa, and a museum-quality art collection. Away Spa spans 9,000 square feet and is a serene sanctuary with an indulgent spa lounge, lush outdoor basking terrace, Chanel-inspired vanities, among other niceties. Completing the hotel’s new appearance, is the Aby Rosen-curated art collection that includes four new works by Andy Warhol and a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Spa enthusiasts will also want to unwind at The Setai, Miami Beach, where they will find the recent debut of Valmont for The Spa at The Setai, Miami Beach. In partnership with luxury Swiss cellular skincare brand Valmont, the wellness haven features an enticing treatment menu of exclusive Valmont head-to-toe therapies, such as the bespoke lifting massage that incorporates the Japanese tradition of kobido along with a tranquil oasis that includes poolside serenity pods, a private bath, and steam room, among other features.
Nearby, the award-winning Carillion Miami Wellness Resort in Miami Beach—home to the largest spa and wellness facility on the eastern seaboard—takes pampering to a new level with a collection of touchless spa experiences, including the Prism Light Pod, which uses powerful red-light therapy to accelerate healing. Another noteworthy treatment is the Pure Wave Vemi, a vibroacoustic electromagnetic and infrared therapy incorporating healing sound resonance with full-body vibrations for a mind, body, and spirit experience that is ordinarily only possible through deep meditation.
Known for celebrating nature and its eco-conscious ethos, 1 Hotel South Beach welcomes Audi of America as its official automotive partner. The new initiative from the luxury lifestyle brand introduces the Audi e-tron as the Official Electric Vehicle of the property, which will support sustainability-driven initiatives and events, and serve guest shuttles, chauffeured drives, and local excursions, and guest test drives experiences.
In tune with the needs of sophisticated business travelers and glamorous global nomads and influencers, The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour and The Ritz-Carlton South Beach now offer a “Work and Learn” experience that entails oceanfront accommodations, office space, and high-tech amenities that promote remote working and learning. Ideal for guests who want a change of scenery, the new offering even includes alfresco working environments with private cabanas that inspire productivity and people to do their best work, albeit with spectacular views.
In Coral Gables, The Biltmore Hotel, a National Historic Landmark and a longstanding destination for world leaders, dignitaries, and other famous guests for nearly a century, recently relaunched its iconic Signature Brunch. Taking place every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the weekly event and South Florida’s favorite tradition takes place in the courtyard at the center of the beautiful resort, featuring sweet and savory items, traditional breakfast dishes and a selection of specialty boards, from Pork Osso Bucco to Caviar, and Poached Lobster.
On Sunny Isles Beach, the AAA Five Diamond, Acqualina Resort & Spa, also named #1 Best Resort in the Continental U.S. by U.S. News and World Report (2022) tempts the palette with the opening of Ke-Uh, an exciting Japanese fusion restaurant in the AQ space. The creative, eclectic menu—enjoyed in a spectacular, airy setting that lifts the spirits—features plates ideal for sharing, such as cold izayakas, including Tuna Tacos and Salmon Truffle Pair, and hot izakayas, from Pork Belly with Watermelon and Spicy Honey Shrimp.
A Revival Of The Classics
The National, is a glamourous adults-only, 152-room South Beach oceanfront hotel and Art Deco landmark on Collins Avenue with the longest infinity-edge pool in Greater Miami and Miami Beach. In spring 2021 the hotel debuted Marea 1939, a dynamic Spanish concept restaurant with Executive Chef Sergio Chamizo at the helm. The sharing menu of tapas with a twist includes Iberico Ham Croquetas and Cantabrian Anchovies and Boquerones, and savory signature dishes, such as Black Paella with Shared Scallops. Overlooking the lobby, Bar 1939 entices with its selection of organic wines and handcrafted cocktails in an intimate setting.
Cinematic settings, vibrant environments, and curated experiences abound at the newly rebranded Nautilus by Arlo (formerly The Nautilus), a 250-room lifestyle hotel in South Beach set in a historic mid-century-modern building designed by none other than Morris Lapidus, the father of Miami Modern architecture. Since reopening, the playful property with a carefree vibe already has several accolades, with Condé Nast Traveler declaring it one of the Best Hotels in Miami (2019), and Maxim recognizing the splashy heater pool with an underwater sound system as one of the Top 30 Hotel Pools in the World (2019). Guests have much to discover at the oceanside property, from Mediterranean fare at the Nautilus Cabana Club restaurant, and hammocks at the bohemian Backyard, to the 24-hour fitness center and the Blind Barber speakeasy—where you can enjoy haircuts by day and hang out by night.
Along with performing chart-topping hits, “Conga” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the music icons behind Miami Sound Machine, seem to know quite a bit about entertaining. Although this time, they do so behind the scenes with a 15-million-dollar-redesign of the Cardozo South Beach, a stunning, contemporary 41-room boutique hotel in a 1939 Art Deco property on Ocean Drive that Gloria dreamt of owning as a young girl. Guests encounter a welcoming place designed in collaboration with architect Aldo Ducci, with accents, accessories, and unusual pieces originating from the famous couple’s global travels. Other highlights include a spectacular 1,500-square-foot penthouse with panoramic ocean views fit for their celebrity friends, the restaurant Call Me Cuban from the creators of the James Beard Award-winning Yuca Miami, and pictures from years past featuring the original building making a star turn in “The Birdcage,” “There’s Something About Mary” and other films.
After four years of renovation, the ‘new’ Fairwinds Hotel South Beach at the corner of 10th and Collins is ready for its closeup with a modern, 21st-century makeover of its two Art Deco landmark buildings designed by famed architect L. Murray Dixon. Capturing the spirit of the Golden Age, the boutique hotel features a complete refurbishment and two new dining destinations—La Sombra for Caribbean classics and Blanche’s, a French-inspired outdoor café. After guests retreat to their stylish and comfortable accommodations, they can take in the dazzling SoBe skyline with several spaces featuring private balconies or furnished outdoor terraces.
The Balfour Hotel, recently opened in summer of 2021 just steps from the sparkling Atlantic Ocean on the corner of world-famous Ocean Drive and 4th Street in South Beach. The historic property, formerly known as The Lord Balfour Hotel, has 82 guest rooms and suites spread out over two, Art-Deco style buildings connected by an enchanting courtyard. Designed in 1940 by Anton Skislewicz, an important architect behind Miami Beach’s Art Deco history, The Balfour Hotel caters to design-conscious visitors with a unique style that has an undeniably timeless appeal.
The Gabriel South Beach, opened January 2022 and is an elegant oceanfront oasis, featuring four interconnecting buildings with 132 guest rooms; three restaurants and bars; a ground-level pool and glass-bottom pool; and a rooftop sun deck. Incorporating Miami’s modern aesthetics with Floridian accents, the four-building hotel features a pastel color palette with hues of pinks, blues, and greens as well as vintage wood and checkered marble flooring throughout.
What’s old is new again with the recent reimagining of The Celino South Beach, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection. Drawing inspiration from its past, the ambitious hospitality development on Ocean Drive features a new five-story atrium and three original Art Deco buildings in one spectacular setting, including the iconic Park Central Hotel, Imperial Hotel, and Heathcote Apartments. Here, modern aesthetics merge with Floridian accents and a Cuban color palette, creating a contemporary beach house ambiance across its 12 signature balcony suites, 14 luxe one-bedroom suites, and 82 guestrooms. The mood is light and upbeat at this serene sanctuary that drew the likes of stars of the silver screen, Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth, and Humphrey Bogart back in the day. Upscale amenities, including a stylish rooftop with a bar and glass-bottom pool, as well as a courtyard pool, complimentary beach service, two restaurants, and live entertainment, offer ample opportunity for refined relaxation.
Meanwhile, The Savoy Hotel & Beach Club, Miami Beach, also boasts a new look and bespoke service. A lot has changed since opening in 1935, with a recent multimillion-dollar refresh transforming the beloved Art Deco gem at every turn. Credit the creative boutique interior design firm Modplay for integrating a Miami-meets-Palm Beach motif throughout the 31-suite resort set on Ocean Drive in the South of Fifth neighborhood. Eye-catching elements from the banana leaf-print wallpaper to brass finishes, eclectic artwork, and other distinctive details evoke tropical charm and sunny elegance. Outside, the massive two-acre poolscape beckons with inviting cabana chairs, umbrella loungers, and towel service, as does the direct access to the beach.
Fresh from a $100 million renovation, the Lennox Hotel Miami Beach, set in the former Peter Miller Hotel, a Collins Avenue landmark dating back to 1936, is basking in its bold, sophisticated splendor with upscale furnishings and interiors, and curated amenities, including toiletries from luxury brand William Roam. Retaining historical elements, such as its Art Deco façade and terrazzo floors and archways in the lobby, the “new” property offers a prominent addition, a Mediterranean-style courtyard with a relaxing pool in the center of four interconnecting buildings. Welcoming interiors have a natural feel with handcrafted furnishings from Patagonia, unique textiles, and other mindful touches from accomplished Argentinean interior designer Juan Ciavarella. A similar eco-conscious ethos extends to the minibar full of non-GMO, locally sourced items, including such Nosh MARKT products as Chia Ballz and Cao Chocolates.
Elsewhere in Miami Beach, in a 1939 Art Deco building at the cultural crossroads of Collins Avenue near Lincoln Road and the Miami Convention Center, the historic Hotel Greystone officially opened its doors in late 2021 after undergoing a complete renovation. An expression of Miami Beach’s past, present, and future, the 93-room adults-only property from Salt Hotels and B Group Capital exudes both a relaxed and refined vibe evident in eclectic spaces and a hyperlocal ethos. Guests have their pick of posh places to unwind at leisure, whether it is the signature restaurant Sérêvène, where award-winning Executive Chef Pawan Pinisetti showcases inventive French and Japanese flavors, or courtyard café Kobo, the sultry basement lounge, serene rooftop pool area, or elegantly appointed accommodations.