In a landmark-studded city where even the trendy clubs have beds, choosing a Miami hotel can be daunting. But for beach hotels Miami can’t be beat, and in this town even a cheap Florida hotel can be chic.
In Miami, even where you stay is a fashion statement. Miami hotels are a living museum of twentieth century architectural style. The charmingly restored historic clapboard houses of the Miami River Inn date back to 1906. The 1926 Mediterranean revivalist Biltmore Hotel features a bell tower modeled after the Cathedral of Seville, and the largest hotel pool in the continental U.S. Now the Setai, the 1930s Art Deco Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel has been fully remodeled inside with teak-and-silk Asian glamour. The 1940 Art Deco masterpiece Raleigh Hotel has had its interiors redone with a bygone Cuba theme, and it’s highlight is a palm lined swimming pool once featured in Esther Williams movies. The 1953 Art Moderne DiLido Hotel is now the Ritz Carlton South Beach, featuring ocean liner themes and synchronized swimmers in the pool. The postmodern interiors of the Delano Hotel were designed by Philippe Starck in 1995 to evoke Greek islands.
Half the fun of staying at a Miami hotel is the chance of rubbing shoulders with a superstar in the lobby. The beautiful beachside Shore Club is rightly famous for hosting the famous. You’ll never know whom you might run into at its popular and trendy Skybar. The ultra-cool Hotel Victor offers lacquered ebony furnishings and satin headboards, and features a jellyfish theme: from the sculpted crystal light fixtures to the real deal swimming in the lobby aquarium.
For a taste of the superstar life, you might invest in a night at Casa Tua, an exclusive club that accepts reservations – albeit far in advance. Overstuffed sofas with cashmere throws, mid-century Italian furnishings, Chinese antiques, and imported toiletries round out your pampering. For the atmosphere of Paris, try the Hotel Place St. Michel featuring European antiques, wood floors and paneling.
Two hotels in the Brickell Avenue district take care of business in style. The Mandarin Oriental features suites with private media rooms and suites overlooking Biscayne Bay, and offers optional dining at either Azul or Café Sambal. The Four Seasons Hotel And Tower Miami, features Botero sculptures, secretarial services, and a Turkish steam room, a martini bar, and an open-air lounge.
Only in Miami
Half hostel, half urban art gallery, The Creek in South Beach offers low budget lodging with poolside parties. The Pelican Hotel has themed rooms in almost every imaginable décor, from casino to bordello to psychedelic.
While most Miami resorts are adult-centric, kids are more than welcome at the Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne, which is known for its complimentary children's activities and field trips to museums and movies.
Finding a bargain hotel in Miami Florida is some trick. But try the affordable yet chic Hotel Astor, with its marble bathrooms and popular restaurant. Another great deal is the Crest Hotel suites, which has excellent service.