Surrounded by some of the most glamorous destinations in Miami, the W South Beach has been a success since it first opened. Sophisticated and fun on a grand scale, the lobby contains Mongolian fur-covered chairs, giant purple leather poufs and Pop Art from such legendary names as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol lining the walls. The resort’s all-suite rooms radiate a relaxed luxury with white and grey interiors, chandeliers and mirrored surfaces. After a day of swimming and sunbathing, treat yourself to a meal at The Restaurant at W South Beach (RWSB), the on-site gourmet eatery. A wildly popular bar, the lobby’s Living Room Bar serves craft cocktails to a fashionable crowd.
From reclaimed wood and organic linens to a gigantic 328-foot (100-meter) living wall, 1 Hotel South Beach is at the forefront of eco-luxury. Ideally located on the border between South Beach and Mid-Beach, this chic beachfront resort is close to all that Miami has to offer. The hotel’s 425 bright and airy guest rooms and suites are sprawling in size with grey-toned oak beds, marble soaking tubs and rainfall showers. In addition to multiple swimming pools, there is a full-service salon and spa plus a fitness and wellness center. Dining options range from a poolside vegan eatery and a grab-and-go café in the lobby to the rooftop restaurant, Watr, specializing in creative Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.
The rooms at Faena Hotel Miami Beach are colorfully decorated spaces of relaxation | Courtesy of Faena Hotel Miami Beach / Hotels.com
Situated within the signature Faena District of Mid-Beach, Faena Hotel Miami Beach is unlike any other resort in the city. The whimsical yet decadent design offers high-flying vignettes with bold colors and flashy finishes. Outside, a woolly mammoth skeleton dipped in 24-karat gold overlooks the beach. Suites are furnished with bright turquoise velvet drapes and luscious red velvet sofas with animal-print and brushed-gold accents. Inspired by Europe’s grand opera houses, the Faena Theater stages cabaret shows and music acts regularly. Relax in the pool or book an appointment at the Tierra Santa Healing House, a five-star spa. A true foodie destination, the hotel’s Los Fuegos restaurant is headed by Argentinian asado grill master, chef Francis Mallmann.
A South Beach original, the Delano has set the tone for boutique party stays since the early ’90s. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the hotel lobby features sofas in dramatic proportions and a Leda chair by surrealist Salvador Dalí. The ornate Rose Bar is a perennially crowd-drawing scene, outfitted with Venetian glass chandeliers. In the guest rooms, all-white furnishings and bright green plants create an atmosphere that is serene and luxurious. Leynia restaurant, an Argentinian grill, features indoor and outdoor patio seating. However, with its long infinity pool, copious cabanas and a buzzing bar, the oceanfront backyard is the main attraction.
Just off the southern tip of South Beach, Fisher Island Club and Resort lies on a members-only residential island accessible by ferry. An exclusive boutique hotel set around a 1920s mansion built by William Vanderbilt, it offers tranquility, privacy and unrivaled luxury. With only 15 accommodations, the grounds are never crowded, and service caters to your every whim. The guest house suites feature polished limestone floors and tasteful traditional furniture. The estate’s six dining venues include the Garwood Lounge steakhouse and the elegant Porto Cervo, serving Mediterranean-inspired Italian cuisine. Tee off at the nine-hole golf course, or match up at one of 18 tennis courts. When you get too tired to walk, each suite comes with a complimentary golf cart.
Among the tallest buildings in South Beach, it is difficult to miss this glistening beachfront giant. The Setai, from its elegant Art Deco facade to its tasteful oriental design motif, is a bastion of tranquility and privacy. Dark teak and brick flooring create an atmosphere of discreet luxury, and the hotel’s Ocean suites, which have between one and four bedrooms, feature sweeping ocean views. Inspired by Asian cuisine from Thailand, India and Japan, the restaurant offers everything from pork bao buns to an Indian thali platter with a sophisticated mixology menu to match. Other services include an Asian-inspired spa with lavish treatment options and a steam room.
Resort, Hotel, Luxury, Boutique Hotel, Business Hotel
Built in 1941, the Soho Beach House is an oceanfront resort in the center of South Beach that caters to an artistic crowd. As both a private club and luxury hotel, the atmosphere preserves a level of casual elegance with sumptuous shabby-chic decor, complete with dark wood finishes. With 49 guest suites, each enjoys unique design flourishes such as antique furniture, colorful textiles and Spanish tile flooring. The rooftop Ocho Tequila Bar is ideal for sunsets and pre-dinner cocktails. Specializing in handmade pasta, Cecconi’s offers Italian fare in a comfortable setting. Exclusive guest-only services include the Cowshed Spa and a screening room.
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At the north edge of Miami Beach’s hotel strip, Eden Roc sets itself apart from its neighbors with vintage charm dating back to the 1950s. The lobby is anchored by a central sunken circular bar, four original columns and terrazzo flooring with fleur-de-lis accents. Located in the newly built glass tower, the guest rooms have a modern beach house aesthetic and inspiring ocean views. The world-famous Nobu restaurant sits within the hotel as a modern-chic temple of simplicity, serving the freshest (and most expensive) sushi in Miami. With facilities such as plunge pools, steam rooms and hydro-experience showers, the on-site spa will keep you relaxed and revitalized.
Located in an isolated part of South Beach called Millionaire’s Row, the Fontainebleau is the epitome of mid-century glamour. From the moment you step inside, the lobby exudes style, from its iconic marble bow-tie floor to three sparkling chandeliers by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Spread over four towers, the guest rooms are hyper-modern and bright with a turquoise, tan and white color palette, appealing primarily to a young and late-night-friendly crowd. With several dining venues, including four signature restaurants, you will be spoiled for options. You also won’t have to go far for a good time as the neon-pulsing Bleau Bar and LIV, a world-renowned nightclub, are on-site.
Inside a former mansion once owned by late Italian designer Gianni Versace, The Villa Casa Casuarina delivers a delicate mix of sophistication and flamboyance. Appropriately situated in the center of South Beach’s famous Art Deco Historic District, the hotel is lavishly embellished – from its marble flooring to a 54ft (16m) mosaic pool lined in 24-karat gold tiles. Each of the 10 guest suites is set around an interior courtyard and have elaborate touches like carved wood doors, intricate tiling and gold fixtures. The villa’s 30-seat restaurant, aptly named Gianni’s, serves old-world Italian in a regal setting with river pebble mosaics and flickering candles casting romantic shadows.