South Beach is a section of Miami, Florida, that is known for its art galleries, boutiques and great beaches. It’s also an easy area to find the perfect place to stay. Whether you are looking for a large resort or a small boutique property, you will find hotels lining the streets of Collins Avenue and Ocean Avenue.
Hotel Riu South Beach
The Spanish Riu Hotel chain brought a little bit of Europe to South Beach. The Hotel Riu South Beach is a bit further down the road than the other hotels, giving it a quieter section of beach. There are also complimentary loungers and umbrellas by the pool, where you can enjoy snacks and drinks while relaxing. The Riu restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner. Many of the nearly 300 guest rooms have balconies with ocean views.
Even the swimming pool at The Raleigh mixes artsy and glamorous, for a stay you want forget. Conde Nast Traveler called this hotel “one of the Grand Dames.” It is quite a find, with attention to details in every room, including complimentary Wi-Fi and the availability of in-room massages. Make sure you get make a reservation at The Royal Restaurant, where the drinks are as unique and delicious as the food, which is also available in your room, 24 hours a day.
W Hotel South Beach
The W Hotel South Beach breaks the norm with a grand entrance of its own, rather than opening its doors on Collins Avenue, but the luxury goes beyond the valet service. Enjoy dinner at the famed Mr. Chow, treatments at a Bliss Spa, or workout at the SWEAT Fitness Center. If you’d rather run on the beach, the W will lend you an IPod. Service at the heated pool is also impeccable, especially if you rent a VIP cabana.
The motto “big things come in small packages” could easily have been said of The Betsy. From the outside, it looks like just one of the small hotels on Ocean Avenue, but once you step inside you realize this is something different. You will only find 63 rooms here, each decorated to include every detail, including fresh orchids. The rooftop, which has a Wellness Garden that offers spa treatments and The Deck for cocktails, has some of the city’s best views.
Delano South Beach
The Delano South Beach is not the place for the budget minded, though they do run some great specials. This is the place you come to see and be seen. The contemporary design flows indoors and out, with art touches from modern masters such as Salvador Dali. Snag a bungalow for the ultimate luxury on the beach, or get a stylish room and reserve a cabana by the pool and orchard. It will come with your own butler.
Royal Palm South Beach Hotel
If you blink, you will go right by the Royal Palm when you are walking down Collins, but it’s definitely worth a stop. This place puts the art in deco with an ultra-modern lobby and upscale accommodations. Incredible ocean views are available from many of the over 400 rooms and suites, all equipped with flat screen televisions and wireless internet. Two outdoor swimming pools and a fitness center will keep you in shape.
Loews Miami Beach
The address for Loews Miami Beach is on Collin Avenue, but the hotel is set back enough that it has a world of its own. A $50 million dollar renovation updated 790 rooms and suites, added additional food and retail venues and gave the pool of this large resort its own private cabanas. Among the seven eateries you will find Emeril’s Miami Beach. The Loews Miami Beach also has an Elemis Spa and Fitness Center and a Pottery Barn SoBe Kids Camp.
You will not find a more opulent place to relax by the water in South Beach than the Gansevoort. The hotel has the Rooftop, a 26,000 square foot paradise with an adult only pool; a ground level Pool Plaza, offering round beds, cabanas and an oversized Jacuzzi; and the Beach Club on the largest private beach in Miami. Inside, the nicely sized and appointed rooms and suites will keep you comfortable in modern luxury.
Shelborne South Beach
The old meets the new at the Shelborne South Beach. This symbol of the South Beach Art Deco District has been a piece of Miami history since the 1940s, visited by celebrities and dignitaries from around the world. In 2011, it began a multimillion dollar renovation to bring it into the new millennium. The rooms and suites are all modernized, as is the oceanfront pool, deck and tropical gardens.
If you are looking for a no frills place that’s in a perfect location, The Cavalier Hotel is a great option. It’s right on Ocean Avenue just steps from the beach, but you won’t find room service or a concierge here. What you will find is small, reasonably priced rooms with wireless internet, refrigerators and coffee makers. The Crab Shack is right downstairs for a meal – or a happy hour drink overlooking the ocean.