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By Alex Martin | October 5 2019
From space to enjoy the vibrant South Beach club scene to relaxing after a day spent in the sun, this list of the best hotels in Miami features accommodations to suit any discerning traveler’s taste.
Whatever your requirements, Miami has an extensive range of hotels that cater for everyone. Whether it’s urban chic, luxury or a combination of the two that you seek, Elite Traveler has listed the best of the best.
When hotel owners look for interior designers, they tend to go with the tried and tested. Not so with the ambitious people behind Faena Hotel, who thought outside the box and hired filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning wife Catherine Martin as designers for their Miami Beach Hotel.
The result is a hotel unlike any other with an over-the-top design that feels like a homage to a bygone era of glamour and prestige. Fantastic gold pillars adorn the lobby and are separated by a beautiful art collection. Art is of huge importance to this hotel, and guests can marvel at Damien Hirst’s woolly mammoth skeleton dipped in 24-karat gold, which is kept in a temperature-controlled glass case.
Faena Hotel is also a major dining destination for both tourists and locals. Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann has an extraordinary grill restaurant located on-site, which features in our select list of the best restaurants in the city. Pao is also a commendable dining experience, offering pan-Asian cuisine underneath a dramatic dome and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The over-the-top style does not stop at the door of the Penthouse Suite. Designer Frank Pollaro has curated a space in keeping with the rest of the hotel’s design. The two-floor, 4,419-square-foot space comes draped in gold, beige, ivory and black furnishings. There are uninterrupted ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the suite’s multiple living areas and a wraparound balcony to soak up those reliable Miami rays. Each of the five bedrooms feature king-size beds with en suite bathrooms. The master bedroom has a freestanding bathtub and a walk-in wardrobe.
3201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
+ 1 305 534 8800
Situated in the northern fringes of Miami, Acqualina sits on four-and-a-half beachfront acres with 400 feet of stunning Florida coastline. Featuring a design reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa, and with the sophistication that goes with it, Acqualina is the perfect destination for those looking to get away from the city. The endless marble, Spanish tile and limestone, and golden chandeliers leave guests in no doubt that they are in luxury accommodation.
The resort contains 98 impeccable rooms and suites. Most floors have a maximum of five rooms so all of them are generously space. They also come with balconies with views of either the Atlantic Ocean of the Intracoastal waters.
Acqaulina’s dining options are well established with two fine restaurants. Il Mulino New York serves accomplished Italian food in an intimate setting while AQ Chop House is a modern steakhouse with ocean views. The hotel also boasts a world-class spa by ESPA with a host of fantastic treatments and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Opened in January this year, the new Grand Deluxe Three-Bedroom Oceanfront Suite is located on the 32nd floor and features sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and Miami skyline. Guests enter the suite through an opulent foyer with marble flooring and three round mirrored sconces.
The suite’s expansive living room boasts a queen sofa sleeper and an antique brass coffee table, making it a sophisticated place to relax. The dining area has a Ralph Lauren Baxter metal shade chandelier, bay window and floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean, two bar stools and dining table for four people.
17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach
+1 305 918 8000
For those who want to a more peaceful experience, the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club offers the same level of luxury as central Miami in the quiet residential town of Surfside. The hotel sits around 30 minutes outside of the main city and offers sanctuary from the hustle and bustle that comes with it.
The main building was constructed in the 1930s and the original hotel was frequented by some of the biggest names of the era including Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor. The interior still shows signs of that era’s glamour, particularly in the champagne bar (originally a ballroom).
Sitting alongside its old-world charm is a host of modern amenities. This includes a vast spa and wellness center and three swimming pools. Rooms come with beautiful upholstery and marble finishes. Floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies also offer guests a private slither of paradise.
Dining options include the stupendous La Sirenuse. The Italian restaurant brings the heart and soul of the Amalfi Coast to Miami with dishes plucked straight from the streets of Positano. If that wasn’t enough, the world-renowned Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame all has a restaurant at The Surf Club.
The Marybelle Penthouse Suite debuted in 2018, making it one of the newest in the wider Miami region. Its name is inspired by the yacht that Harvey Firestone and his peers were sailing on when they discovered the pristine beaches that would later become The Surf Club.
The 7,200-square-foot suite has been designed by Joseph Dirand and is a wonderful mix of modern, understated luxury with old-school style. The suite is set over three floors with the third boasting a private patio with its own pool. There is also another patio on the ground floor for entertainment.
9011 Collins Avenue, Surfside
+1 305 381 3333
Located in Miami Beach and with a strong Asian influence, The Setai is one of Miami’s most luxurious hotels. An impressive and historic building, The Setai originally opened in 1938 under a different name and comprises two separate buildings: one an Art Deco masterpiece, the other a glittering tower that is one of Miami’s tallest buildings.
Serene and Zen-like, The Setai is an idyllic enclave for those looking to relax, and with its beautiful décor, stunning views and a host of fantastic suites, there is ample opportunity to do so.
The Setai features an Asian-inspired spa and a host of dining facilities, which includes The Restaurant, the premier dining establishment at the hotel. For entertainment, the hotel holds regular food, wine and music events, and is situated near to the beach.
With a slide of your key card, the private elevator opens directly into the four-bedroom penthouse that occupies the entire 40th floor of this stylish new property. This suite offers 360-degree ocean/city views, teak and gray granite floors and several terraces, one with an eternity pool and a Jacuzzi. With an updated 1930s Shanghai decor, the services of a butler, a Steinway piano, eight rooms in total and four bathrooms, it is no wonder a host of A-list celebrities have enjoyed this luxurious Penthouse.
2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
+1 305 520 6000
The Mandarin Oriental combines a quiet serenity with exceptional service and amenities. The hotel is located on Brickell Key, a 44-acre island in Biscayne Bay, and easily reached from South Beach and Miami International Airport.
For those seeking high-quality dining, look no further than the hotel’s Peruvian restaurant, La Mar by Gaston Acurio. Peruvian cuisine has stormed into the fine dining scene over the last decade and that is in no small part down to the work of Chef Acurio. The multi-award-winning chef and author of several cookbooks brings authentic and diverse flavors from his home country to Mandarin Oriental Miami.
Featuring elegant rooms with stunning views of the Miami skyline, the hotel also boasts a world-class spa, pool and a level of service that caters for guests’ every need.
The suite is the only room on the top floor of the hotel and comes with unparalleled views of the Miami skyline, Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean from a private balcony. The Oriental Suite is ideally equipped with everything to create the perfect entertainment experience; a kitchen, a large dining table and a state-of-the-art media presentation room with theater-style seating – even a piano.
The suite also includes a bedroom, living and dining room, as well as an elegantly designed bathroom with a floor-to-ceiling window offering another sumptuous view of the city. The bathroom has a walk-in closet, oversized shower and a free-standing tub. With the whole of Miami spread out before you, this suite provides the perfect background for relaxing or entertaining.
500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami
+1 305 913 8288
Bal Harbour is the place to shop in Miami, and staying at St. Regis Bal Harbour places you within striking distance of the flagship boutiques of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel to name a few. The resort’s interior provides a sense of heightened luxury at every turn, a true reflection of the upmarket area in which it is located. The lobby and lounge areas succeed in feeling big and spacious yet retain a sense of intimacy.
Guests can take advantage of the Remède Spa and take in beautiful Atlantic Ocean views from either of the two large outdoor pools. They can also rent beach villas, which come with a butler, bathroom, wet bar and an indoor lounge. There are also several accomplished dining options including Atlantikós, a whitewashed Mediterranean eatery serving mainly Greek food and The Grill at St. Regis, which serves typical American fare in a relaxed setting.
Located on the 24th floor, the hotel’s Presidential Suite boasts some of the best sea views in Miami. A private elevator opens up to reveal an expansive living area and presents the sea views through floor-to-ceiling windows. A gallery-style chef’s kitchen, a butler’s pantry and a separate service entrance makes this the perfect suite for entertainment. Guests can dine at the eight-person table before watching the sunset on the 1,200-square-foot wraparound balcony. The suite has two king bedrooms with en suite bathrooms laden with fine marble. Those staying in the Presidential Suite are also offered complimentary use of the Presidential cabana.
9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach
+1 305 993 3300
Situated in the Mid-Beach area, The Miami Beach Edition hotel is a central figure in an area that is rapidly growing. Although only a five-minute drive from the heart of South Beach, the hotel’s surroundings are noticeably quieter and all the better for it. The lobby complements its original gold mosaic columns with dozens of potted palms.
The forest theme continues throughout its public spaces and the dining areas, particularly the outdoor terrace at the Matador Room, which is beautifully decorated with hanging baskets. World-renowned Jean-Georges Vongerichten oversees the food here, which serves a menu that blend Caribbean cuisine with traditional Spanish tapas. The other main dining options are Market, a casual Italian eatery, and Tropicale, an al fresco lunch spot located by the pool.
The hotel also doubles up as a trendy late-night spot. Basement, located underneath the hotel, is one of the top nightclubs in the city. There is also a dance club, a four-lane bowling alley and an ice skating rink. Other facilities including a beautiful palm-lined swimming pool, a modern spa and a large fitness center.
This expansive penthouse suite boasts five balconies with ocean views. The living areas are flooded with natural light thanks to a plethora of floor-to-ceiling windows. The master bedroom comes with an oversized marble bathroom complete with a soaking tub and a rainforest shower. The dining table seats 10 people comfortably, making the penthouse a perfect venue for hosting.
2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
+ 1 786 257 4500
Built in the 1930s by Alden Freeman and once owned by fashion icon Gianni Versace, the Villa Casa Casuarina is one of the most storied properties on Miami Beach. It was on the steps of this mansion that Versace was tragically killed in 1997, and today his legacy is survived not only in a global fashion empire but one of Miami’s most luxurious accommodations.
Versace spent a fortune transforming the building from an apartment complex into a single property containing 10 large suites. Today, these individually designed suites make up The Villa Casa Casuarina.
The hotel is also home to one of the city’s best restaurants, Gianni’s. Obviously named after its famed former owner, Gianni’s offers a delicious blend of Italian and Mediterranean food in one of the mansion’s most beautiful rooms.
Once the room of Gianni, this one-bedroom suite is designed around a decadent custom double king-sized bed. It is not the largest suite in the villa, but it is clear why it was the choice of its former owner. The suite’s two balconies overlook Ocean Drive, offering an exclusive view of South Florida’s most exclusive enclave.
1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
+1 305 779 8787
With low-lying lands and rising tides, Miami is on the frontline in the war against climate catastrophe. 1 Hotel South Beach is one establishment that knows its future depends on stopping the worst of global heating and is leading the charge in the eco-luxury sector. The hotel boasts an inspiring 300-foot “Living Wall” containing 11,000 varieties of local plants.
The hotel goes to great lengths to lower its carbon footprint and has replaced its own paper brochures with an ingenious app. Its functionality goes beyond anything a normal brochure an do, allowing guests to tailor do anything from turn off their air-con to order room service.
All of the hotel’s 426 rooms have been designed with nature in mind. Guests will find them clad with rustic tables made from reclaimed wood. They can dine at a variety of healthy-eating restaurants, including the Plnthouse, which as the name suggests serves plant-based cuisine. Habitat is known for its excellent seafood and has a great farm-to-table menu from award-winning chef Thanawat Bates.
At 4,207-square-feet, the two-story, nature-inspired Sky Penthouse has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, pool table and a den. Its main feature, however, is a huge 5,300-square-foot rooftop terrace with sweeping ocean and Miami skyline views as well as several daybeds and sofas for lounging.
Guests also benefit from a range of extra amenities and services. Most notably, guests will be paired with a Personal Guru, a concierge/butler hybrid who takes care of their well-being and can arrange VIP access during their stay. A personal chef will also be on-hand to customize a unique menu to your exact tastes.
2341 Collins Avenue, South Beach
+ 1 305 604 1000
This colonial-style building sticks out like a stylish sore thumb amid Ocean Drive’s Art Deco infrastructure. The sophisticated façade embodies the hotel’s ethos, which is dedicated to the promotion of local art and culture. Indeed, the Writers’ Room has hosted more than 800 artists from beatnik poets to chamber choirs. The lobby also plays host to nightly jazz sessions, which helps set the mood for guests returning from a night strolling down South Beach.
The hotel has a wide range of dining rooms from the formal LT Steak & Seafood to The Alley, a casual trattoria serving excellent Neapolitan-style pizza. The Lobby Bar is also a popular place for cocktails and is successfully designed to feel like Old Havana. Here you will find a curated list of cocktails inspired by literary heavyweights such as the F. Scotch Fitzgerald and the Hemingway Daiquiri.
It may only have 710 square feet of living space, but what this suite lacks in size it certainly makes up for with style. This beautifully-designed space includes a baby grand piano and a Viennese chandelier that spent 70 years in the Zimbabwe home of the matriarch of the family that owns the hotel. The suite also has a stunning wraparound terrace with plenty of space to host a sophisticated al fresco dining event. For those needing more space, the suite can also be connected to three more one-bedroom suites via private elevator.
1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
+ 1 305 531 6100