8 Must-Visit Hotels in Downtown Miami

The SLS Brickell boasts four swimming pools and a rooftop spa – one of Miami's great hotel options
The SLS Brickell boasts four swimming pools and a rooftop spa – one of Miami's great hotel options | Courtesy of SLS Brickell Hotel and Residence / Expedia.com
Photo of Jessica Vincent
2 December 2020

Home to some of Miami’s most luxurious and design-forward skyscrapers, Downtown is no stranger to a world-class hotel.

From Asian-inspired island resorts in Brickell Key to award-winning design in the heart of Downtown, here are some of Culture Trip’s favorite places to rest and recharge in Miami’s most fast-paced neighborhood.

The Gabriel Miami

Hotel
4.1/5 (669 Reviews)
The Gabriel Miami
Courtesy of The Gabriel Miami / Expedia.com

Hilton’s the Gabriel Miami is one of Downtown’s newest luxury editions. This contemporary bay-front hotel forms part of the sleek, ultra-modern Curio Collection from Hilton, featuring floor-to-ceiling views of Biscayne’s turquoise water, smooth wood flooring and white and beige-gold accents throughout. Art and design play a big role in the hotel’s decor, too, with every ocean-facing suite, meeting room and poolside bar featuring custom-curated fashion photography and coffee table-worthy art books. Though new on the Downtown scene, the location is spot on: major sites such as the AmericanAirlines Arena, the Frost Museum of Science and the Pérez Art Museum are all within walking distance.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Full-service spa
Wheelchair accessible (may have limitations)
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities

Kimpton EPIC Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
4.3/5 (1020 Reviews)
Kimpton EPIC Hotel
Courtesy of Kimpton EPIC Hotel / Expedia.com

When you name a hotel EPIC, you’re setting the expectation bar pretty high. But when the Kimpton group opened its latest South Florida addition, the hotel chain was confident it was a hit in the making. And the group 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 9ft (2.8m) beds (this is the home of the Miami Heat basketball team, after all), 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.

More info

At a Glance

Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff

Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Independent Hotel, Hotel
4.6/5 (952 Reviews)
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Miami / Expedia.com
The Mandarin Oriental may be connected to mainland Miami by a short bridge, but this man-made island resort feels more like a Maldivian getaway than a Downtown hotel. The Brickell Key location gives guests a sense of isolation and tranquility, all while being a stone’s throw away from Downtown’s various cocktail bars, restaurants and museums. The decor, as the name suggests, is Asian-luxury inspired: 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 bay-side beach peppered with luxurious cabanas. The daily Peruvian-inspired breakfast by star chef Gastón Acurio – think quinoa omelets and smoked salmon – is pretty famous among Downtown residents, too.
More info

At a Glance

Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Wheelchair accessible (may have limitations)
Business Centre
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

Hotel
4.4/5 (970 Reviews)
JW Marriott Marquis Miami
Courtesy of JW Marriott Marquis Miami / Expedia.com
Most Miami hotels have a pool, spa and maybe a rooftop cocktail bar. But an NBA-approved basketball court isn’t so common. At the 41-story JW Marriott Marquis, guests can shoot hoops in a Miami Heat-worthy arena, 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 boasting whirlpool tubs, glass rainfall showers and television screens in-laid into 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.
More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff

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  • Atton Brickell Miami

    Hotel
    4.4/5 (1069 Reviews)
    Atton Brickell Miami
    Courtesy of Atton Brickell Miami / Expedia.com

    If you’re looking for all the glamour of Downtown without the hefty price tag, then Atton Brickell Miami, also known as Novotel Miami Brickell, may be the perfect choice. This sleek, glass-fronted hotel is in the heart of Brickell’s up-and-coming Financial District, where you’ll find some of Downtown’s best shops, bars and restaurants. Many of its 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 Miami hotel, Atton Brickell also has a rooftop swimming pool and cocktail bar, both of which offer sweeping views of Downtown’s skyline and the Bay. The best part? With extremely reasonable room rates, the Atton gives you the biggest bang for your buck around these parts.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Outdoor pool
    Restaurant
    Business Centre
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Multilingual Staff
    Bar/Lounge

    W Miami

    Hotel
    4.3/5 (973 Reviews)
    W Miami
    Courtesy of W Miami / Expedia.com
    Ever taken a dip in a 300ft (9m) pool? At the W, guests can tackle a length of Miami’s longest rooftop infinity pool, all while taking in one of the best Biscayne Bay views Downtown has to offer. Record-holding swimming pools and movie-worthy panoramas aside, this 50-story high-rise has a lot of style, too. With decor by LA designer Kelly Wearstler, suites come in a mint-green and silvery-grey palette and feature an unusual blend of Asian-inspired artwork and geometric-tiled flooring. Other highlights include a state-of-the-art spa (featuring a “floating library”) designed by Philippe Starck and Panther Coffee, which is open daily for breakfast.
    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Outdoor pool
    Restaurant
    Full-service spa
    Business Centre
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff
    Bar/Lounge

    SLS Brickell Hotel and Residence

    Business Hotel, Hotel
    4.4/5 (728 Reviews)
    SLS Brickell
    Courtesy of SLS Brickell / Expedia.com

    Boasting four swimming pools, a rooftop spa and a restaurant by a James Beard Award-winning chef, the SLS Brickell Hotel and Residence stands out for its five-star amenities. But the real reason people come here is for the hotel’s playful design. Thought up by the creative dream team of Jorge M Pérez (from the Pérez Art Museum), Philippe Starck and interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg, SLS Brickell features guest rooms with candyfloss-pink and chrome-white fittings and a bar with animal-print chairs and giant vintage map rugs. The pool areas are no less flamboyant in their design: expect brightly striped lounge chairs, a mix-match of colorful patterned tiling and original artwork by contemporary artists Fernando Botero and Fabián Burgos (including a 10ft/3m aluminum rubber duck). If you do get lucky enough to stay here, don’t miss chef José Andrés’s salt-baked red snapper and deconstructed key lime pie.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Outdoor pool
    Restaurant
    Full-service spa
    Business Centre
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff

    EAST, Miami

    Hotel
    4.5/5 (947 Reviews)
    EAST, Miami
    Courtesy of EAST, Miami / Expedia.com

    Following huge 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 (£750m) Brickell City Centre, it looks like this Asian-inspired luxury hotel is here to stay. Paying homage to its Asian roots, the decor is minimalist and ultra-elegant: natural stone, smooth brown marble and intricately carved wooden furniture feature prominently. The rooms – many of which are equipped with a full kitchen, walk-in closet and breakfast bar – boast views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, as well as walk-in rain showers, wrap-around balconies and plush king-size beds. Head to the hotel’s Uruguayan restaurant, Quinto La Huella, for a flame-grilled rib eye. Or, take the elevator down to Brickell City Centre, where you’ll have your choice of some of Miami’s best restaurants, bars and boutique shops.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Full-service spa
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff
    These recommendations were updated on December 2, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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