The Coolest Places To Stay In Miami
The pool at The Betsy. Photograph courtesy of The Betsy
From the Art Deco architecture on Ocean Drive to the taco shops in Little Havana and the glass skyscrapers in Brickell, Miami is one of the liveliest, most colourful cities on Earth. Sitting on the southern edge of the US, it is known locally as “the Capital of Latin America”, for its wealth of Latinx inhabitants, and functions as a cultural bridge between North and South America, which means it buzzes with the energy of both. But where should you stay to ensure you can sufficiently rest and repair? We’ve compiled a list of Miami’s finest hotels to use as a base for your next trip.
COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
The pool at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach. Photograph by Mr Martin Morrell, courtesy of COMO Hotels
Perfect for: The Wellness Devotee
For those who want to rein in the hedonism and try to keep healthy, the COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach is a wellness haven set in the heart of Miami’s Art Deco district. Inside, it’s possibly the most subdued hotel on the oceanfront strip, glamorously clinical in its aesthetic (dreamt up by Milanese interior designer Ms Paola Navone) – think lofty ceilings, cool white marble floors and furniture in shades of peppermint green and chrome. It’d be rude to stay at such a restorative retreat and not fully utilise all the facilities: the rooftop hydrotherapy pool, medical gym, relaxation and yoga terrace and in-house COMO Shambhala spa are all worth a look. Afterwards, head over to the Traymore restaurant by chef Mr Michael Schwartz for some of the healthiest food in the city.
The Mandarin Oriental
View fom the Presidential Suite at the Mandarin Oriental Miami. Photograph courtesy of Mandarin Oriental
Perfect for: The Business Traveller
The small bridge that connects Brickell Key with mainland Miami allows guests at the Mandarin Oriental to feel like they’re entering their own private sanctuary. The waterfront hotel, favoured by the likes of Messrs Will Smith and Adam Levine, is an ideal escape from the crowd that still sits in the heart of the city. The bright and airy East Asian-inspired decor, in-house spa and fitness centre will help soothe jangled nerves, while oversized rooms with ocean views offer ample opportunity to decompress. Try dinner at the hotel’s marquee restaurant, La Mar by Gaston Acurio, which is best known for its signature ceviches, sashimi-style tiraditos and grilled whole branzino. If seafood isn’t your thing, some of Miami’s famous taco restaurants are only a five-minute cab ride away in Wynwood.
Nautilus by Arlo
Cabanas by the pool at Nautilus by Arlo. Photograph courtesy of Nautilus
Perfect for: The Jet-Setter
Nautilus is a towering Art Deco beachfront hotel that was originally designed in the 1950s by Mr Morris Lapidus, the famous “Miami Modern” architect behind the Fountainbleu, the city’s crowning jewel. After an extensive makeover, the hotel has all the laid-back charm of a beach house, but one with eight floors of mid-century inspired rooms clad in white marble, a palm-fringed pool flanked by breezy cabanas and a cocktail bar (if Ms Marilyn Monroe had a Miami beach house, it probably would have looked a lot like this.) Take a dip in the heated saltwater swimming pool with an underwater sound system. If you’re planning on staying a while, book one of the eight poolside cabanas (you’ll need to book in advance).
The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour
Artisan beach house at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour. Photograph by Mr Seth Greenberg, courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton
Perfect for: The Luxury Hunter
Worlds away (or a 20-minute taxi north) from the neon-soaked hubbub of South Beach lies the decidedly upmarket Bal Harbour. You’ll find an elite side of Miami here: speedboats cut through the Haulover Inlet, candy-coloured sports cars cruise over the bridge and, at the open-air shopping mall the area is known for, Gucci and Chanel boutiques sit alongside ponds swimming with koi carp. It’s fitting then, that the hotels around here are nonpareil. Sitting on the northernmost point of Miami Beach, the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour is a sanctuary within a sanctuary, and one of the most luxurious places to stay on the entire island. The wide stretch of beach is tranquil here, and the hotel’s swimming pool is lined with private cabanas. This is where you come to wind down rather than to party, but that’s the entire point.
Soho Beach House
Terrace at Soho Beach House. Photograph by Ms Claudia Uribe, courtesy of Soho House
Perfect for: The Creative
The Miami outpost of this member’s club skirts the oceanfront on what’s been dubbed “Mid-Beach”, five minutes away from the neon lights of the infamous party strip. A rework of the Art Deco Sovereign Hotel with a new 15-storey tower, the 50-room hotel attracts Miami’s media and music heavy hitters. Hidden behind towering bamboo, there’s a whiff of exclusivity about it, but don’t worry – paying guests are granted access to members-only sanctuaries such as the private beach, rooftop and cabana-flanked plunge pool and cocktail bar. Rooms here mix retro Latino with an eclectic Anglo-ism – mosaic Cuban floors, mid-century decor, exposed concrete beams and plush supersized beds.
The Betsy Hotel
Skyline penthouse at The Betsy. Photograph courtesy of The Betsy
Perfect for: The Art Lover
With an impressive cultural history that stretches back to the 1940s when it was built, The Betsy is a bastion of sophistication and elegance amid the comparatively lively Ocean Drive it inhabits. And while you might see scantily-clad tourists rollerblading up and down the strip on its doorstep, what goes on in The Betsy is a little more cerebral. Pegging itself as “a destination with purpose”, The Betsy is where you come if you want to soak up Miami Beach’s art scene. With a Writer’s Room that has hosted more than 800 artists and musicians as well as regular exhibitions, it has earned its place within the city’s art scene. Oh, and it’s dog-friendly, too – if you’re lucky, you’ll bump into the hotel’s duo of golden retrievers, Katie and Betsy, in the lobby.