2341 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
1 Hotels have quietly been popping up in our favorite neighborhoods over the past few years—including New York, and Brooklyn, but its first location in South Beach, with its laid-back pool scene right along the waterfront, might be our favorite so far. The décor is minimalist, from the whitewashed pool lounges and umbrellas to reclaimed wood walls and cozy white linens in the bedrooms. The light aesthetic feels at home in South Beach yet more Zen and relaxing than some of the other hotels in the area—the rooms feel like an escape from the city. Another major pull here is the food: Chef Jose Mendin serves up Latin American and Asian fusion cuisine at Habitat, while Plnthouse keeps it light with dozens of delicious vegan plates and vegetable-packed juices. Plus, there's the serene British Bamford Haybarn Spa, a SoulCycle, and a legit 14,000-square-foot gym space (that's Spartan certified, if that's your thing).
1500 Reynolds St., Key West
This is a big, beautiful, Deco-style resort that somehow manages to strike a balance between the glitz of a Waldorf Astoria property and local clout: the structure has been here since the ’20s and is listed in the National Register for Historic Places. The massive, 300+ room compound sits on a private beach, so you can retreat to a lounge chair, or your beautifully appointed guestroom, or the world-class spa whenever the craziness of Duval Street, which is walking distance from the hotel, gets to be too much.
1700 James Ave., South Beach
A hotel, restaurant, and private club imply a scene. However, out-of-towners can barely get in the door given locals have taken all the best seats. Casa Tua—which translates to “your house”—resembles a beautiful, homey Mediterranean villa. The four-poster canopied beds are made up with the silkiest white sheets, and the bathrooms have deep tubs for long soaks after days at the beach. The food is some of the best in the city, and the patio is perennially packed with locals, all diving into bowls of rich, peppery truffle tagliatelle at tables illuminated by the Moroccan lanterns that drop from the surrounding trees. Hang out in the lobby during Art Basel—this is where all the deals go down.
1685 Collins Ave., South Beach
The Delano is OG Miami. The brainchild of hotelier Ian Schrager, the property has many of his signature trappings: high-hedge-marked entryway, indoor-meets-outdoor lounge spaces, and Philippe Starck–designed interiors. Since it’s Miami, the scene outside is the real draw with its infinity pool and bungalows with rainfall showers. Escape the party fifteen floors above, at the Agua Spa, where the all-white aesthetic permeates the space.
4525 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
The Eden Roc is on the beach—but you might not even know it given the hotel’s four infinity pools. The building itself dates back to the 1950s, though décor-wise, it’s modern, with neutral colors and floor-to-ceiling windows that not only suffuse the space in light but capture as much of the ocean as possible. Rooms are comfortable, with all the creature comforts you’d want: Nespresso machines, the softest robes, rainfall showerheads, and powerful blow-dryers. Evenings at the lobby bar see locals and visitors alike crowding in for the excellent cocktails whizzed up by expert mixologists.
3201 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
A spin-off of Alan Faena's famed Buenos Aires hotel, Faena Hotel Miami Beach is a reimagining of the 1947 Saxony building, which was an early lavish Miami hotel (Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and the like performed there). It blends old-school glam with a vibrant South American vibe, richly decorated in ruby red and cool teal and turquoise blues, with Art Deco touches and serious animal-print accents throughout. Alan Faena collaborated with film director and producer Baz Luhrmann and his wife, Academy Award–winning costume designer Catherine Martin, on the design. The expansive hall lobby ("the cathedral") is lined with gold-leaf columns and floor-to-ceiling murals by Argentinian artist Juan Gatti. (Faena’s collaborator list reads like a who’s who of the arts and entertainment world, and the result is not unlike a Baz Luhrmann movie set.) The rooms, which begin around $700 per night, are generously sized, with the suites bordering on enormous. Rooms with an ocean view—another splurge—do not disappoint. The long, wide balconies are ideal for taking in the sea and the grand stretch of sand leading. (You can also look down at Faena’s modestly sized geometric pool and hot…
4441 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
The soaring white monolith that is the Fontainebleau dwarfs its corner of South Beach. The hotel is staggering in size compared with nearby properties, and the space is filled with not only guest rooms but several clubs and a few restaurants, including London favorite Hakkasan. An ideal hotel for a weekend of letting loose, you hardly need to leave the property (though we suggest you do). There’s a nightclub, Liv; two cocktail bars; five restaurants; a spa; and an adjacent marina should you care to arrive by sea. While staying here with children doesn’t seem like a good idea (it is loud), the kids' program is excellent and includes day camps, scavenger hunts, sports, and a babysitting service.
1717 Collins Ave., South Beach
Though it’s in close proximity to the glitzy hotels of South Beach, the Surfcomber is unpretentious and relaxed. It’s right on the beach but not super scene-y. The pool is shaded by the surrounding palms and close enough to the waves to catch that essential sea breeze and none of the sand. The décor abandons the all-white concept adopted by so many hotels in the neighborhood and instead goes for bright geometric patterns that complement the Art Deco aesthetic of the property. The surfboards nestled in corners around the lobby and heaped out by the pool are a further nod to the mellow, amiable vibe the Surfcomber is going for.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
28500 Overseas Hwy., Little Torch Key
Lush tropical plants tower over the thatched-roof bungalows on the private white sand beach of this luxury resort on Little Palm Island. No phones, TVs, or kids under sixteen make it a romantic, secluded retreat with not much else to do besides lounge or learn how to deep sea fish or sky dive. The resort’s SpaTerre offers delicious sounding treatments inspired by the area, like coconut sugar scrubs and margarita-infused pedicures. They also offer massages on the beach for optimal relaxation.
Miami Beach EDITION
2901 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
The beautifully redone EDITION hotel (formerly the 1955 Seville Hotel) is a one-stop shop for all things Miami. There’s the fashionable, hard-partying crowd; a palm-fringed lobby; a slick swimming pool; and even an underground nightclub, Basement, which includes both an ice-skating rink and a bowling alley. Guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, white oak furnishings, and all the techy trappings, including a Beats Pill wireless speaker to keep the party going long after you’ve left the pool scene. Matador Room, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s upscale restaurant, is king of the dining scene.
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