Maybe you’re a Miami local looking for a quick dip in the best swimming pools in Miami after being invited to a great-looking Miami pool party. Or, you’re an out-of-towner seeking out the best place to spend your hard-earned holiday. Either way, South Beach is crammed with luxurious, fun-filled, high-end hotels. We’ve drawn up a list of some of the best, to help you get that little bit of Miami paradise you deserve.
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Best hotels in South Beach
The 1 offers grade A luxury you can feel good about accepting. This whole resort is eco-friendly, as the reclaimed wood used throughout will keep reminding you. It’s also the proud owner of South Beach’s only water-facing rooftop and, even more uniquely, is one of the world’s only hotels selling a signature scent candle for guests to take home with them. Breathe deep and relax.
In our opinion, Standard properties never fail to deliver, so it should come as no surprise to learn that this one on Belly Isle is an absolutely charmer. It’s only a short cab ride from the main part of South Beach, but it’s also far enough outside to feel ultra-relaxed. Get a taste for the frosé served at the Lido then get a full house at Drag Queen bingo. Oh, and don’t miss the hotel’s pool parties.
It’s tall, dark and handsome—basically the luxury hotel version of your dream date. Thankfully, a room at the South Beach property is easier to land than a man in Miami, plus you’ll feel great after the spending the night here. Book one of the Setai’s fabulous suites and prepare for the five-star treatment, luxury amenities and a private pool area where spotting celebrities is almost guaranteed.
Raise your hand if you book hotels based on their proximity to your favorite bars? Good, so we’re not alone on this one. If you’re a fan of Manhattan export Employees Only—which is on premises—like to scoot about town on a bike (the hotel let’s you borrow one for free) and don’t care to stay on the shore, this hip hotel is for you. Just a few blocks from Ocean Drive, Washington Park Hotel offers guests complimentary lounge chair rentals on the sand, comfortable lodging and accessibility to a number of South Beach sites, including Swizzle, Wolfsonian-FIU and others.
This historic boutique property whose—original name, Ritz Plaza Hotel, is still prominently displayed—is a playground for the hard-partying out-of-towner. Hyde Beach provides the late-night dancing and daytime pool parties, while restaurants Bazaar and Katsuya are the on-site hot spots to check out in between. If it ever gets to be too much, upstairs to the plush suite you go.
Few hotels have the staying power of this Art Deco gem, though the Delano has more to offer than its iconic architecture. Guests love it for its stark-white, modern rooms (most are seemingly larger than neighboring hotels from the same era) and the scene-y pool deck—there’s more strutting and selfie-taking than actual swimming and sunbathing going on. Downstairs, the Delano offers a sampling of the typical SoBe experience—think trendy restaurant, a chic bar and an exclusive nightclub.
Traveling with pets? Bring your pampered pooch to the W, where they'll be spoiled like the furry kings and queens they are. You'll get the royal treatment too, staying in rooms that boast floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting areas and multiple balconies for views of Collins Avenue and the beach. Guests get complimentary beach chairs and plenty of shaded areas to sit poolside. Come dinnertime, head downstairs for modern American at the Dutch or upscale Chinese at Mr. Chow. You'll be eating for fuel as a night of dancing at the W's fabulous club, the Living Room, are in order.
If you’re a Miami driver, you likely dread this corner of South Beach for being one of the ’hood’s busiest intersections. But the Gale’s central location is partly what makes it so attractive to tourists. Come from out of town and find a rooftop lounge, a tasty Italian restaurant and a sexy cocktail bar, the Regent, all under one roof. Who cares about traffic when your itinerary for the day is tan, eat, repeat?
Affordable luxury does exist in Miami and nowhere is it more obvious than at the Nautilus, the Art Deco hotel in the heart of South Beach. Following extensive renovations and upgrades to its 250 rooms, the Morris Lapidus-designed property exudes luxury beach-house vibes without the upcharge of neighboring accommodations. Here on the weekend? Head downstairs to the namesake restaurant from one the city’s best rosé brunches overlooking the pool.
The Ocean Drive hotel has become somewhat of a literary haunt thanks to its Writer’s Room, a program that offers creatives temporary lodging and a platform to share their finished products, and a free property-wide library based on the honor system. But you don’t need to be writing the next great American novel to stay here. The hotel’s spanking new wing and fresh restaurants—not to mention the gorgeous rooftop overlooking the ocean—is a welcome source of inspiration for all.