Must-Visit Hotels You Can Book in Downtown Miami

The Gabriel Miami Downtown brims with unique design elements, such as this neon-lit pool
The Gabriel Miami Downtown brims with unique design elements, such as this neon-lit pool | Courtesy of The Gabriel Miami Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton / Expedia
Jessica Vincent

Home to some of the most luxurious and design-forward skyscrapers, Downtown Miami is no stranger to a world-class hotel. It’s also home to excellent restaurants, bars and shops, and near top attractions such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. From an Asian-inspired island resort in Brickell Key to award-winning design in the heart of downtown, here are some of our favorite Downtown Miami hotels in the most fast-paced neighborhood in Miami, Florida.

1. InterContinental Miami, for art connoisseurs


A two-level ocean-view suite at the InterContinental Miami with a light-filled living room leading to a dining area
Courtesy of InterContinental Miami / Expedia

Art beckons in unexpected ways at this InterContinental. Walk through the green-lit doors of this hotel in Downtown Miami, and tons of antique Florentine marble and LED canvases will catch your eye. But reach the FedEx Office Print & Ship Center, and a statue will evoke pictures of Dustin Hoffman’s diver scene in the 1967 romantic comedy-drama The Graduate. Art and luxury are also glued together in the earth- and neutral-colored suites that come with movies, games and heavenly views of Biscayne Bay. Need a tan? The Florida sun will hug you at the rooftop pool.

2. Dunns Josephine Hotel, for jazz music buffs


An opulent sitting area at the Dunns Josephine Hotel, with brocaded armchairs with fuzzy accents and tables with flowers
Courtesy of Dunns Josephine Hotel / Expedia

Set in the century-old Overtown, Dunns Josephine honors the Harlem renaissance. While not a luxury hotel in Downtown Miami, this B&B’s appeal is in its eye-catching design that blends baroque elements with an African American musician theme. Step inside, and you’ll notice the owner Kristin’s background as a historian. From photo pillows to gold-framed images of jazz stars, musical souls breathe in all 15 rooms. Some come with Tiffany-tinged lighting, others with phonograph-reminiscent lamps. Either way, Kristin gives you personal attention plus a complimentary bottle of signature wine.

3. Hotel Beaux Arts, Autograph Collection, for a hi-tech stay

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

The outdoor pool area with city views at Hotel Beaux Arts, flanked by high-top chairs and tables, loungers and cabanas
Courtesy of Hotel Beaux Arts, Autograph Collection / Expedia
Comfort-minded art fiend? This hotel in Downtown Miami combines rusticity with modernity. All suites are outfitted with Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, but illuminated, touch-controlled faucets and TVs integrated into washroom mirrors make a statement defying the art. Book the bay-view suite for sweeping views of Biscayne Bay through the floor-to-ceiling windows. While the sky-brushing pool offers the same, the on-site restaurant, Boulud Sud, provides a sleek, contemporary space with unique lighting to enjoy hummus baba ghanoush and herb falafel meze as authentic as on the Lebanese shores.

4. The Gabriel Miami Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton, for Biscayne Bay views


A private balcony at the Gabriel Miami Downtown, with cushy seating, a table and chairs, and bay views
Courtesy of The Gabriel Miami Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton / Expedia

This luxury hotel in Downtown Miami features sweeping views of the turquoise Biscayne Bay, smooth wood flooring and white and beige-gold accents throughout the property. Art and design play a big role in the hotel decor, too, with every ocean-facing suite, meeting room and poolside bar featuring custom-curated fashion photography and coffee-table-worthy art books. Its location is spot on, with major sites such as the FTX Arena, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami all within walking distance.

5. Kimpton EPIC Hotel, for an award-winning stay

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

A cozy yet light-filled living room with a sofa, an art piece and a waterfront balcony at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel
Courtesy of Kimpton EPIC Hotel / Expedia

When you name a hotel EPIC, you set the expectation bar pretty high. But when the Kimpton group opened this South Florida property, the hotel chain was confident it was a hit in the making. And it was right; since its opening in 2008, this riverside stay has been featured in several top hotel lists, including Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2018. The Cheryl Rowley-designed guest rooms feature double or king-size beds, honey-gold and beige furnishings, and – the pièce de résistance – sleek glass balconies overlooking the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. The two on-site restaurants, Area 31 and Zuma, are lunchtime hotspots for entrepreneurs and celebrities wanting to wow clients with dishes such as Faroe Island salmon, spicy tuna tacos and wagyu sirloin steak.

6. Mandarin Oriental, Miami, for island living

Independent Hotel, Hotel

A spacious suite at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, with blue carpeting, one bed, a sofa and a large balcony with water views
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Miami / Expedia
The Mandarin Oriental may be connected to the mainland by a short bridge, but this human-made island resort feels more like a Maldivian getaway than a Downtown Miami hotel. The Brickell Key location gives you a sense of isolation and tranquility while being a stone’s throw away from the various cocktail bars, restaurants and museums downtown. As the hotel name suggests, the decor is Asian luxury; the lobby is drenched in shiny marble, dark wood flooring and decadent gold sculptures. Meanwhile, suites feature bamboo plants, patterned bedspreads and marble tiling. Other highlights include a spa and fitness center, a sun-soaked oceanfront swimming pool and a private bayside beach with luxurious cabanas. The daily Peruvian-inspired breakfast by star chef Gastón Acurio – think quinoa omelets and smoked salmon – is pretty famous among area residents.

7. JW Marriott Marquis Miami, for a basketball court


A contemporary guest room in shades of brown at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, with skyscraper and water views
Courtesy of JW Marriott Marquis Miami / Expedia
Most Downtown Miami hotels have a pool, a spa and maybe a rooftop cocktail bar. But an NBA-approved basketball court isn’t so common. At the 41-story JW Marriott Marquis Miami, you can shoot hoops on a Miami Heat-worthy court, as well as enjoy a game of golf, air hockey, foosball, table tennis or lengths in the lap pool. The in-room facilities are no less impressive at this high-rise bayfront hotel, with suites having whirlpool tubs, glass rainfall showers and television screens in the bathroom mirrors. The Boulud Sud restaurant – the brainchild of French chef Daniel Boulud – serves Mediterranean dishes such as crispy zucchini with harissa aioli, octopus with almond and orange flakes, and short ribs with swiss chard and parmesan cheese.

8. Novotel Miami Brickell, for a rooftop pool and cocktail bar


The rooftop pool and bar at the Novotel Brickell Miami, with pinkish sofas, white loungers, and a leafy mural
Courtesy of Novotel Brickell Miami / Expedia

If you’re looking for all the glamour of Downtown Miami without the hefty price tag, the Novotel Miami Brickell may be the perfect choice for you. This sleek, glass-fronted hotel is in the heart of the up-and-coming financial district, where you’ll find some of the best shops, bars and restaurants downtown. Many of the 275 rooms – elegantly decorated with geometric wall designs – look over the lush grounds of the Simpson Park nature preserve and the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay. Like any good Downtown Miami hotel, it also has a rooftop swimming pool and cocktail bar, offering sweeping views of the city skyline and bay. The best part? With reasonable room rates, it gives you the biggest bang for your buck around these parts.

9. SLS Brickell Hotel and Residences, for playful decor

Business Hotel

The outdoor pool at the SLS Brickell Hotel and Residences, with vibrantly striped loungers, trees, daybeds and a 10-foot duck
Courtesy of SLS Brickell Hotel and Residences / Expedia

With a rooftop pool, a spa and an Italian restaurant, the SLS Brickell Hotel and Residences stands out for its five-star amenities. But the real reason people come to this hotel in Downtown Miami is for the playful design. With interiors designed by Philippe Starck, SLS Brickell features soft-pink guest rooms with chrome-white fittings and quirky design elements, such as mirrors above the beds. The pool area is no less flamboyant in design; expect brightly striped lounge chairs, colorful patterned tiling and original artwork by contemporary artists, including Fernando Botero and Fabián Burgos.

10. EAST Miami, for East-meets-West design


A living room in a suite at EAST Miami, with a gray sofa looking towards the large balcony with city views
Courtesy of EAST Miami / Expedia

Following its success in Beijing and Hong Kong, Swire Hotels – a Hong Kong-based luxury hotel brand – opened its first North American EAST hotel in Downtown Miami in 2016. And, thanks to its sleek East-meets-West design and smart positioning atop the $1bn (£739m) Brickell City Centre, this Asian-inspired luxury hotel is here to stay. Paying homage to its Asian roots, the decor is minimalist and ultra-elegant, with natural stone, smooth brown marble and intricately carved wooden furniture. The rooms – many of which come with full kitchens, walk-in closets and breakfast bars – have walk-in rain showers, wraparound balconies and plush king-size beds, as well as views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. Head to the on-site Uruguayan restaurant, Quinto La Huella, for a flame-grilled rib eye. Alternatively, take the elevator down to Brickell City Centre, where you’ll have your choice of some of the best restaurants, bars and boutique shops in the city.

Philipp Meier contributed additional reporting to this article.

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