Travel Inspiration

10 Best Hotels in Miami

Fora Shella Zelenz Travel Agent wears grey rimmed glasses and brown shirt with ocean in the background

Travel Advisor

Shella Zelenz

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Once upon a time, Miami was the destination for an oceanfront getaway. Back in the 1930s, this Florida city played host to everyone from Lucille Ball to Frank Sinatra, who flocked to Miami’s beaches for renowned nightlife, Atlantic Ocean views and Art Deco hotels. Today, Miami — and especially South Beach — harkens back to this glamorous age of travel, when Hollywood starlets sunned on poolside lounge chairs and notorious characters like Al Capone gambled in the back alleys of Española Way.

To visit Miami is to go far beyond the city’s outdoor pools and beachfront views; it is to reconnect with the past by staying in stunning boutique and historic hotels that pay homage to the city’s culture. Whether you’re booking a stay in downtown Miami, a hotel on South Beach, a beach resort in Coral Gables or a room at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach, you don’t have to look hard to find a Miami hotel that captures the magic of this Florida city.

Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club

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Image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club

First opening its doors on New Year’s Eve in 1930, the Surf Club is a historic Four Seasons Hotel that has played host to the likes of Elizabeth Taylor. The hotel’s impressive guest list should come as no surprise, as it was first ideated by business mogul Harvey Firestone, who sailed past its stretch of sand and envisioned a hideaway for stars looking to escape the limelight. Today, the Four Seasons at the Surf Club upholds its storied past with beachfront accommodations and high-end amenities typical of a luxury hotel. Notably, Four Seasons at the Surf Club is home to the Lido Champagne Bar, which just so happens to have the largest selection of Champagne in all of Miami. After spending the day taking in the ocean views, grab a seat at this palm-tree-filled bar and enjoy a glass of bubbly. 

St. Regis Bal Harbour

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The St. Regis Bal Harbour is a five-star oceanfront hotel next to the coveted Bal Harbour shops (Miami’s answer to New York’s Fifth Avenue), and mere minutes from the energetic South Beach neighborhood. Beyond its location, one of the true draws of the St. Regis Bal Harbour is its Remède Spa, which is regarded as one of the best spas in Florida, offering indulgent treatments and massages. If you can swing a stay at a Presidential Suite in this Marriott hotel, do it. The room comes with a private elevator and a wraparound balcony offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach. 

Fora Perks:

  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • $50 daily breakfast credit per person.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Mr. C Coconut Grove

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Image courtesy of Mr. C Coconut Grove

This luxury hotel is surrounded by gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove neighborhood, home to chic sidewalk cafes and eclectic shopping. While the hotel is a little ways away from South Beach (a 25-minute drive), this is actually one of the reasons it has made our list. Pro travelers know that when you book a hotel away from Miami’s main tourist areas, you can actually snag a better hotel deal without sacrificing those stellar waterfront views. Plus, Mr. C. Coconut Grove puts you close to the iconic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, an Italian-style villa that looks as though it’s been plucked off the Amalfi Coast and dropped in Florida. If you’re keen to stay in South Beach anyway, look at the Freehand Hotel, which offers cool digs at a more affordable price point than other luxury hotels in the area.

Fora Perks:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • $30 daily breakfast credit per person.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Betsy

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Image courtesy of The Betsy

Located on Ocean Drive in the South Beach neighborhood, The Betsy is a four-star hotel that is also dog-friendly. Because this is Florida, the hotel boasts plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy that warm Miami weather, including an outdoor atrium, courtyard pool and numerous decks and terraces. Notably, The Betsy prides itself on offering a stellar work-from-home atmosphere replete with fast and free Wi-Fi, hidden workspaces, poolside cabanas, common areas and (of course) a never-ending flow of coffee provided by the local roaster, Panther Coffee. While quietly working in Miami’s party-central South Beach might seem impossible, The Betsy is found at the end of Ocean Drive, which is quieter than the rest of South Beach but within walking distance from the many clubs and restaurants that bring visitors here. If you’re sick of answering emails from home, The Betsy Hotel just might be a great option to marry work and play.

The Faena Hotel

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Image courtesy The Faena Hotel

Beyond the parties and bikinis, Miami’s South Beach is an area known for its Art Deco architecture. Because this beachfront neighborhood became a wildly popular vacation spot in the 1930s, today, it houses the most Art Deco buildings in the world, making it a historic and protected district. The Faena is a five-star hotel on South Beach that celebrates its past with Art Deco-inspired guest rooms with red and turquoise pops of color, gold accents and oceanfront terraces. Beyond the hotel’s nod to Miami’s architectural past, the Faena pays homage to the city’s creative present as host of the annual Art Basel. Look for the giant Golden Mammoth by Damien Hirst enclosed in a glass case by the pool, which is valued at an estimated $15 million.

Fora Perks:

  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Esmé

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Image courtesy of Esmé

Esmé is a boutique hotel with a fascinating history. Inspired by New York’s Greenwich Village, Esmé was once a literal town known as Española Way, designed in the 1920s as an enclave for bohemians and artists. Española Way had a small backstreet meant to serve as the main thoroughfare of this idyll, but instead became a seedy locale attracting the likes of Al Capone. Today, Española Way has been transformed into the 145-room boutique hotel known as Esmé. The hotel is comprised of the historic eight buildings that made up this town, now transformed into a Basque-inspired pub, a Mediterranean restaurant called The Drexel, a cocktail bar called El Salon and its sister hotel, Casa Matanza, which is said to have been where Al Capone once gambled. You’ll be hard-pressed to find as unique a hotel in all of Florida as the Esmé. No expense was spared in turning this former village into the idyllic setting it was always meant to be.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

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The Fontainebleau is an iconic hotel on Miami Beach, which you’ve probably seen on the silver screen a few times. Always embracing its ‘main character moment,’ Fontainebleau has appeared in movies like The Bodyguard, Scarface and Goldfinger. It goes without saying that this hotel has been a magnet for celebrities over the decades, including icons like Judy Garland, Bob Hope and Elvis Presley. The Fountainbleu doesn’t really need an introduction — people far outside Miami (and Florida) know about this hotel. In the early 2000s, Fontainebleau underwent a major one-billion-dollar renovation, which saw it expand and improve upon its many pools and cabanas. This is a hotel to flaunt and be seen, especially at its daytime Beach Club-inspired ARKADIA, an adults-only pool party with private cabanas, gourmet eats and personal butler service (if you’re willing to spend a pretty penny). If daytime parties aren’t your thing, the on-site Lapis Spa is considered one of the most beautiful spas in America, offering mineral pools, eucalyptus steam baths and hammams inspired by Marrakech. If a room at the Fontainebleau is out of budget, you can still savor the experience with a drink in their lobby bar, Bleu Bar.

1 Hotel South Beach

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This oceanfront hotel is 1 Hotel’s very first location, fusing the brand’s notable eco-conscious practices with the laid-back and glamorous atmosphere of Miami Beach. For instance, the grand, floor-to-ceiling windows (with scenic views of the hotel’s 600-foot private stretch of beachfront) reduces the building’s energy usage. The interior’s natural design provides a calming oasis in the heat of Miami but also is built mostly with driftwood, reclaimed and recycled wood. Even its location plays on a border and is an ideal location to experience all that Miami Beach has to offer – between the bustling nightlife of South Beach and the luxurious eateries in mid-beach for a night’s sleep.

Fora Perks:

  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Miami Beach Edition

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Image courtesy of Miami Beach Edition

Ocean views, private cabanas, Florida beaches, Art Deco architecture and swimming pools are things you expect to find in a Miami hotel, but an ice rink is not one of them. Having an indoor 2,000-square-foot ice rink that looks out on Collins Avenue is just one of the unexpected surprises at the Miami Beach Edition Hotel. Beyond its ice rink, the five-star Miami Beach Edition is a boutique hotel offering luxury rooms, a beachfront setting and five on-site food and drink concepts, including the Matador Room with a menu from Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Fora Perks:

  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • $60 daily breakfast credit.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Standard 

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Image courtesy of The Standard, Miami Beach

Found on Belle Isle, a short distance from South Beach, Miami’s Standard Hotel touts itself as a spa with guest rooms. In other words, The Standard is a spa first and a hotel second. Rooms here are flanked by tropical gardens with private terraces and, in some cases, outdoor soaking tubs. The Standard’s spa definitely lives up to expectation with an indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy playground, swimming pools, infinity pool, Turkish-style Hamam, plunge pools and sound showers. As if that’s not enough to lull you into deep relaxation, the spa often hosts some of the world’s top yoga instructors and massage treatment experts. 

Fora Perks:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Upgrade, subject to availability.

  • Extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Pssst: Planning a Miami girls trip? Get some inspiration with this curated itinerary for the ultimate Miami girls getaway.

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