The Clay Hotel
Located on a restaurant-lined block in South Beach’s Art Deco District, 0.4 miles from the beach and 1 mile from the convention center, this restored Spanish-style budget hotel, first built in the 1920s, was once the center of the Miami rhumba craze and home to Al Capone’s gambling ring. If you’re looking for a slice of old Miami, you won’t find much better than the Clay Hotel. Its primary selling point is its fantastic location in South Beach at the foot of Española Way, a charming pedestrian thoroughfare lined with outdoor bars and restaurants. Doubles go for only $88 a night!
Whitelaw Hotel and Lounge
The Whitelaw Hotel has a slogan: “Clean sheets, hot water, stiff drinks.” This may be over-simplifying what they do slightly, because this budget hotel has more than just clean rooms and a generous bartender. The decor in the hotel, which is a mix of 60s-style mod and Victorian opulence, attracts a hipster crowd, who can enjoy the flamboyant nature of this boutique hotel. Doubles go for only $87 a night, which is an amazing price for a place to eat, sleep, and drink on Collins avenue in Miami Beach.
In a restored art deco building, this trendy hostel is in a great location and a bed in a dormitory style room will only put you back by about $40. Freehand is only two blocks from the beach and a five-minute drive from the Bass Museum of Art. Brightly colored shared rooms sleep up to eight and have en suite bathrooms, linens and lockers. Bunks have outlets, privacy screens and reading lights. Gender-specific rooms are available.
Hip, contemporary rooms are what you’ll find at Hotel Shelley, located on Collins avenue in South Beach. Amenities include a stylish bar and hookah lounge with a complimentary daily happy hour. This boutique hotel has both great location and great value, with double rooms going for as little as $78 a night. The look is simple and casually elegant, the crowd is relaxed, and the patio is usually occupied by three or four guests relaxing around the fireplace or talking over a happy hour drink.
Not many places can offers accommodation for $55 a night in one of Miami’s most popular districts. Shalimar Motel is one of the few of its kind that can! Like the more illustrious New Yorker Boutique Hotel, the Shalimar Motel, built in 1955, is part of the burgeoning MiMo district. From the outside, it looks like a standard bi-level mid-century motel, complete with a kitschy facade; inside, many guest rooms have been renovated to feature crisp white linens, smooth tile floors and contemporary bathrooms.
Featuring all the usual amenities that you’d expect from a hostel (four- and eight-bed dorms, lounge space, communal kitchen, and laundry facilities), SoBe Hostel is a backpackers dream. With a youthful international scene, this popular hostel bar stays open until 5AM, running frequent drink specials and hosting pool tournaments. SoBe Hostel is located a few blocks from the ocean at the southernmost end of South Beach. Doubles with a shared bath go for $62 with breakfast included.
By Laurence Kidd