With a five-bedroom penthouse that goes for $50,395 a night, the star-studded Faena Hotel is famed for having the most expensive suite in Miami. The 10,000-square-foot bookable apartment features five marble and gold-encrusted bathrooms with vintage baths. A velvet-red and leopard-print living area features a grand piano and wrap-around ocean views, while the rest of the suite includes four powder rooms, several kitchens and an interior elevator. The other hotel rooms are no less flamboyant: expect a reception draped in Hollywood-esque red carpets and golden pillars, silky animal print upholstery and priceless masterpieces (including a 10-foot-tall gilded woolly mammoth by Damien Hirst).
Famed for its neon-blue lights and bold geometric design, this early Art Deco masterpiece is the most photographed building on Ocean Drive. It’s the most consistently filmed, too: the Colony made its debut on the big screen in Scarface (1983) and then later appeared in the hit TV series, Dexter. Inside, lime-green walls, dark brown leather sofas and shiny tile flooring suggest that little has changed here since the hotel opened in 1935, but that’s the charm of it. The best part? Despite its international fame and proximity to the beach, rooms rates are very reasonable (by Miami standards).
If you came to Miami to rub shoulders with the Hollywood and LA elite, then the Fontainebleau should be your first hotel choice. The city’s largest resort (it has 1,500 rooms, 658 of which are suites) has been known to host megastars like Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Lil Wayne – all in one weekend. Though you’re a little secluded from the rest of Miami’s main sites here, it doesn’t really matter: you’ve got 20 acres of oceanfront to play with, 12 restaurants to dine in, several pools to swim in and an 18,000-square-foot club to party in. The decor, too, is a sensory overload of marble bow-tie flooring, glittering crystal chandeliers and blue and pink-neon bars that Frank Sinatra himself liked to frequent.
A hotel designed by Art Deco genius Murray Dixon in 1939, the Marlin is another early member of South Beach’s architectural renaissance. But what makes this pastel-hued hotel so famous today isn’t so much its iconic design, but a single room that was added in the early ’90s. Since the opening of their state-of-the-art in-house recording studio, hip-hop and pop giants like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani have stayed, played and recorded chart-topping hits here. Rooms are suitably high-tech, with most amenities – including a surround sound system that plays the Marlin’s own music archives – controlled by your in-room iPad.
Resort, Hotel, Luxury, Boutique Hotel, Business Hotel
The Courtyard rooms at Soho Beach House are spacious with large bathrooms | Courtesy of Soho Beach House / Hotels.com
The Soho Beach House – an ultra-exclusive member’s club and hotel chain – was created in the ’90s as a space for creatives to unwind and mingle amongst like-minded people. Today, the club remains just as exclusive: stars from the art, fashion, music and film industries can often be seen networking at the bar, entertaining by the rooftop pool or lecturing in the library. If you book one of their 49 rooms, though, you too can get access to all of the Beach House’s perks, including two oceanview swimming pools, a secluded beach club, a state-of-the-art spa and a weekly schedule of creative workshops, talks and seminars.
Promoting themselves as “part recovery center, part hydrotherapy playground and part new-age ashram,” the Standard feels more like an island spa retreat than a Miami hotel. Guests can choose from over 60 skincare and massage treatments, as well as enjoy a Turkish-style hammam, an aroma steam room, Roman waterfall hot tub, Finnish sauna, arctic plunge, mud lounge and a stunning infinity pool. Staying true to their wellness ethos, this Belle Isle hotel serves farm-fresh, largely vegetarian meals and plays host to regular talks and seminars on nutrition, spirituality and wellness. The rooms themselves? They, too, were made with wellness and relaxation in mind: think light wooden floors and whitewashed walls, a healthy scattering of bottle-green plants and breezy terraces with vintage soaking tubs.
Opened in December last year, Life House is one of Little Havana’s newest boutique additions. Yet being the newbie hasn’t phased this 1950s Cuba-inspired hotel: backed by Silicon Valley, Life House is pioneering a social media network dedicated to connecting like-minded guests before, during and after their stay. When you check in, you’ll be encouraged to download the hotel app, where you’ll be able to opt into a social media network that allows you to contact other guests, as well as meet up with verified locals and attend local events. The hotel itself – beautifully decorated with vintage furniture, bottle-green plants and afro-Cuban art – is also centered around getting social: shared dorms, a communal dining room and regular music events make Life House an easy place to make new friends.
There’s something about the word “eco-friendly” that doesn’t always conjure up the image of luxury. But, at the 1 Hotel – an environmentally-conscious resort in the heart of Collins Avenue – this isn’t the case. As you arrive at the 426-room oceanfront resort, you’re instantly greeted by 1 Hotel’s eco-chic genius: a giant “1” made from 7,500 pounds of recycled Florida coral stands at the entrance; a 3,000-foot-long living wall made from 11,000 varieties of local plants covers the hotel walls; a row of white Teslas charge quietly on their docking stations. Inside, the furniture is made from recycled driftwood and canvas, the lobby and rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows (not just for the sea views, but to save on electricity) and clothes hangers are made from recycled paper. Each guest, too, is encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint through an app that allows them to remotely control their room AC and lighting. Eco-warrior status aside, 1 Hotel also boasts two oceanfront swimming pools, 600 square feet of private sand and multiple healthy dining options. Put it this way: going green never looked so sexy.
As InterContinental Group’s latest venture, EVEN Miami is the first hotel in South Florida dedicated exclusively to fitness. Each of its 140 rooms features mounted fitness walls and in-room exercise zones, as well as all the equipment you need for a good workout on the road: resistance bands, yoga mats, exercise balls, weights and a selection of fitness videos created especially for EVEN guests. Outside your room, you can enjoy a 24-hour athletic studio, an oceanfront swimming pool and a jam-packed schedule of spinning, HIIT and yoga classes led by some of Miami’s top fitness instructors. They’ve thought of the little details, too, with same-day laundry service for your sweaty gym clothes, gluten-free and vegan meal options, purified water stations and in-room spa showers are also available.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and there’s no one who appreciates this more than The Copper Door B&B. Opened in the summer of 2018 by food and hospitality power couple Akino West (of Noma, Copenhagen) and Jamila Ross, the morning menu at this 1940s-inspired boutique hotel is redefining the complimentary hotel breakfast. Forget stale croissants and a cold ham and cheese buffet. Instead, think warm lemon-thyme muffins topped with fresh lemon curd, vanilla waffles sprinkled with spiced apricots and toasted pistachios and a porchetta and egg sandwich so good you’ll set your alarm extra early. The food is really the only reason you need to come here, but the decor is something to talk about, too: black-and-white patterned bathroom tiles, bold flower-print wallpaper and bedside tables adorned with vintage radios and crystal whiskey bottles tick all the vintage-chic boxes.