Miami will drain your bank account if you’re not careful. That’s why finding a good cheap hotel can make all the difference in your vacation budget. But we’re not talking about moldy old motels with sinisterly stained mattresses. Our favorite cheap hotels in Miami hardly feel like slumming it. These wallet-friendly lodgings feature incredible hidden cocktail bars and gorgeous MiMo-style architecture. Some are within walking distance of the best Miami beaches and others will have you just around the corner from the best brunches in Miami. And—just in case you still need to save some cash—they’re all a short Uber to some great free things to do in Miami. So which cheap hotel is right for your Miami vacation? Let’s discuss.
Best cheap hotels in Miami
Small, intimate and quirky, the Freehand has more character than many of its South Beach competitors. The interior is a whimsical Pueblo-Deco blend, dotted with vintage pieces from flea markets. The rooms are cozy and thoughtfully decorated with a chic, minimalist touch. You’ll find a writing desk and other charming amenities in each unit. It is technically a hostel, so you can choose from shared rooms for four or eight or private rooms for two. The whole place has a homey feel that promotes mingling among its international guests—who often socialize with bikini-clad locals by the Freehand’s courtyard pool.
Minimum: Pay as little as $35 a night when you book a shared room.
Time Out tip: Within the Freehand’s property lies the Broken Shaker, the hotel’s cocktail bar which is as popular with locals as it is with guests. 27 Restaurant, the adjacent locavore concept, serves up dishes inspired by Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. It’s probably the best dinner/drinks combo on Miami Beach.
Draped in the neighborhood’s signature MiMo-style architecture, this lovable old school 44-room hotel features modern amenities with retro accents. The Vagabond originally opened in 1953, an alleged hang of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Its restoration has been heartily received by locals and lovers of old Miami. At the center of the bi-level property is a pristine mosaic pool, whose iconic tile mermaid was restored from the original. Most of the rooms are small, fitting only an armoire rather than a full closet, but comfortable and contemporary. Vagabond Kitchen and Bar, the restaurant on property, serves modern gastro fare and a lively brunch on Sundays.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally, starting at $109 a night for a standard king room.
Time Out tip: Every Saturday, from 8pm to midnight, there’s a party—complete with live DJ—at the pool bar. It’s a great chance to pregame a bit before a night out.
Adjacent to the Versace Mansion, the Victor is every bit as rich and opulent as the designer label itself. Another designer, however, Jacques Garcia (the man behind Paris’s Hôtel Costes), is responsible for beautifully adapting the 1930s into the Victor’s modern structure. He based the interiors on warm beige tones and distinctly accented the lobby with bold ox blood, magenta and emerald furnishings. The mosaic-tiled pool—while small—is similarly striking, as are the spa (with hammam) and Bice Ristorante. Luxurious guest rooms have a touch of boudoir about them, plus infinity bathtubs and huge walk-in showers.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $229 a night.
Time Out tip: Skip the Ocean Drive restaurants—generally expensive and not that tasty—immediately around Hotel Victor and walk a half mile to Taquiza, one of our favorite taco joints in Miami.
Chilean hospitality company Atton Hotels’ first U.S. outpost does not disappoint. The rooms at this flagship property are sleek and airy, particularly suites, which are nearly 1000 square feet. And for a city that can’t get enough of its rooftop views, we’re surprised more people haven’t discovered the one from the Atton’s pool deck. Its got stunning views of Brickell and downtown Miami. Atton receives its share of business travelers, given its proximity to the airport and financial institutions headquartered nearby, but it’s also convenient for families who wish to stay close to a number of popular Miami attractions. And with Brickell’s growing popularity, this hotel is one of the only places left in the neighborhood that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $152 a night.
Time Out tip: You can actually use public transportation in Brickell. Skip Ubers and cabs and use the Metromover (your closest station is the Financial District Station). It’ll take you right to the Brickell City Centre.
How does an apartment-style hotel stand out in beautiful, Art Deco-driven Miami Beach? First, it needs a notable patron, which you have in Argentine hotelier Alan Faena, who purchased the property, restored its 520 rooms and christened it Casa Faena. The Mediterranean-style hotel features contemporary rooms, a sun-drenched courtyard and a garden terrace, where guests can relax and sip cocktails. There’s also a restaurant next to the lobby that serves up a mix of American and Argentine fare. Casa Faena is on the western side of Collins Avenue, but the beach is but a mere two-minute walk away.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $152 a night.
Time Out tip: Just next door is the Faena Forum, an event space where—every second Sunday of the month—folks roll around on the vibrantly painted floor during a free roller skating party.
This boutique hotel brings the South Beach party north to Mid-Beach. The airy lobby ticks the trendy boxes: white walls, Starck-style furniture and artsy light fixtures. Purple corridors and a red elevator liven up the minimalism. Wunderbar, off the lobby, is where guests congregate at happy hour. The hotel’s restaurant, Jules Kitchen, serves comfort food from around the globe—tacos, hummus as well as brunch. The vibe is generally lively, especially by the small pool and courtyard, which has curtained beds for canoodling. Rooms range in size but are all generally spacious and comfortable.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: average $150 a night.
Time Out tip: Got a Florida driver’s license? Circa 39 offers a 20 percent discount for Florida residents who book through their website.
This might be the best way to experience the old European charm of Coral Gables. The Hotel St. Michel was built in 1926 as the Sevilla Hotel, and then refurbished and renamed in 1995. Now, the tiny, European-style gem sits in a great location for anyone interested in exploring Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. Fresh flowers and fans adorn the cozy lobby. The distinctive rooms have wood floors, dark paneled walls, lovely antique furniture and a fruit basket. Before you get to those rooms, however, you’re in for an incredible ride on a ‘20s-style brass elevator.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $186 a night.
Time Out tip: The St. Michel doesn’t have a pool, but the Venetian Pool, one of the coolest public pools in Miami, is a short Uber away.
You don’t always get what you pay for, like in the case of Hotel Urbano, a surprisingly affordable hotel in the residential part of Brickell. One would expect to shell out hundreds for accommodations that are just a short drive away from Key Biscayne and its numerous attractions, as well as Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Port of Miami. To that end, Hotel Urbano is a perfect place for cruisers looking to spend a few days in the city before sailing to the Caribbean. You won’t find sprawling downtown views at Hotel Urbano, but you will get stellar service and a convenient location.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: average $100 a night.
Time Out tip: If you can avoid that snooze button, wake up before sunrise and cross the street to the waterfront Alice Wainwright Park. You’ll be treated to one of the best sunrise views in Miami.
The New Yorker Boutique Hotel is a safe bet among the vintage MiMo hotels of Miami’s Upper Eastside—which can certainly be hit-or-miss. But this baby blue boutique will have you feeling like Don Draper on a tropical vacation. The rooms were clearly not thrown together in a rush. They are decorated to reflect the neighborhood’s design backbone there’s also a small pool and courtyard in case you need some fresh air. Although the neighborhood is one of Miami’s fastest growing, you’re not an unreasonable distance from downtown and South Beach either—and you’ll save some serious change opting for this location.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $118 a night.
Time Out tip: You lucky son of a gun. You’re an approximate two-minute walk from Blue Collar, a beloved Miami institution known for serving delicious comfort food classics in portion sizes known to make grown men weep.
This Art Deco beauty is one of the most well-known boutique properties in the area. You’d recognize that grand, nautical-inspired spire anywhere. If it seems like the ocean-facing hotel is about to set sail, well, that’s the point. Though stylistically in the past, the Breakwater’s amenities, restaurant and lounge position it rightfully in the present. Not to be missed are the aquarium-style plunge pool and scenic rooftop.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $189 a night.
With downtown Miami’s nightlife and dining scenes on the upswing, staying in South Beach puts you far away from the action. YVE Hotel, located just across the street from Bayside Marketplace, is near it all: head north five minutes to Wynwood, drive over the MacArthur Causeway to Miami Beach and walk south on Biscayne Boulevard to Brickell, where you’ll find some of the hottest restaurants and rooftop bars. Location comes at the expense of amplitude, as rooms tend to be on the smaller side. Basic amenities are included in the price of your stay, but valet is extra and rather expensive. Compensate for parking with discounted drinks at Biscayne Tavern, the downstairs pub offering a daily happy hour.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $130 a night.
Time Out tip: You’re across the street from two huge Miami venues: Bayfront Park Amphitheatre and the American Airlines Arena. Check their event calendars—chances are, your stay will coincide with a cool concert or event.
Hotel Ponce de León feels more like a bed and breakfast than a hotel. The staff is personable and attentive—more than willing to throw a recommendation your way and point you in the right direction. The ‘20s building has a some vintage touches (black and white photos on the wall, old newspaper clippings and wooden floors with stories to tell) but the rooms are mostly modern with humble appliances good enough to whip up a quick breakfast. This hotel is a great home base for exploring Coral Gables and parts of Little Havana.
Minimum: Rates fluctuate seasonally; right now: $85 a night.
Time Out tip: Coral Gables is a great eating city, but don’t forget to explore Little Havana. Miami’s most famous Cuban restaurant, Versailles, is only a mile north of the hotel.