Best luxury hotels in Miami
Architect Morris Lapidus’ crowning jewel is a modern dream decked in black and white marble floors—accented by a glamorous bowtie motif, no less—chandeliers and winding staircases (some of which ascend to nowhere). The airport terminal of a lobby has a constant flow of beautiful people making their way to one of the Fontainebleau’s many first-rate restaurants or its deluxe spa. At night, it is buzzing with crowds trying to get into world-famous nightclub LIV.
Close enough to the Downtown action yet slightly removed from the chaos to feel like an island retreat, the Mandarin Oriental is popular with celebrities hiding out and Miami’s well-heeled crowds in search of a luxurious staycation. Request a room with a balcony (which is mostly all on the property) to enjoy the sunset from one of the city’s best vantage points, book a massage at the hotel’s world-class spa and reserve a waterfront table at La Mar, the celebrated Peruvian restaurant from chef Gastón Acurio—and you’ll have done your stay at the Mandarin right.
St. Regis hotels are synonymous with stellar service and plush accommodations. In Bal Harbour, every single room of the five-star hotel—from the junior suite to the grand palace suite, which sleeps 12—boasts beachfront views. If the sound of crashing waves down below isn’t soothing enough, relax on a lounger at one of two infinity pools or book a massage at the property’s Remède Spa. We’re fans of the St. Regis’ concierge team, whose savvy staff handle everything from getting you spot on a Miami tour and making dinner reservations to walking your dog.
If your idea of luxury is opulence, you’ve come to the right place. Crimson walls, gilded accents and priceless artwork all form part of this palatial fever dream. But if sharing the spotlight with Damien Hirst’s Gone but not Forgotten doesn’t bode well for your next getaway, proximity to a 22,000-square-foot spa that offers shaman-developed body-healing rituals and a restaurant from Argentina’s most recognized chef, Francis Mallmann, will change your tune.
A massive $250-million renovation recently breathed new life into the midcentury, Morris Lapidus-designed hotel, which saw modern updates to its 415 rooms, the addition of a shoppable curated exhibit by Saatchi Art and a new beachside mescal bar called Gitano. This spring, the Eden Roc Miami Beach became one of the few area hotels to offer an all-inclusive package, where guests can eat, drink (alcohol is included), exercise and lounge to their heart’s content as part of the nightly rate.
Chances are that one you’re checked in, you’ll never have a reason to leave the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne’s massive waterfront compound. Find ways to break a sweat—tennis, golf, sailing—and areas to chill out and relax, like one of two pools or the fancy on-site spa, within walking distance. You’ll want to have all your meals at LightKeeper’s, just steps from the water, it serves a quality brunch and offers a killer weekday happy hour.
Brides love it for its gorgeous Spanish Colonial architecture (Can you think of a prettier backdrop?) and locals praise it for its collection of upscale restaurants, while guests adore the historic property for its posh elegance and reverence to classic Coral Gables. After all, it was built by the city’s founder, George Merrick, in the 1920s. Though it is within a short drive of several major Miami attractions, make time to stay put and hang out by the glamorous pool or putt around on an 18-hole championship golf course.
What do JAY-Z, Scott Disick and Madonna have in common? They’ve all laid their collective heads to rest on the Setai’s luxurious linens, hid from the paparazzi at one of three heated, infinity pools and possibly escaped to the hotel’s Parisian spa. The Setai’s a veritable celebrity playground that’s also welcoming of mere mortals in search of an upscale retreat in the heart of South Beach.
The nature-inspired interiors of the sweet-smelling 1 (you can purchase the hotel’s signature scented candle in the lobby) instantly put you at ease—a tall order for a property that’s flanked by condos and boasts numerous restaurants, a rowdy rooftop bar and pool and a member’s club. For a true VIP experience, book one of the 1’s Retreat Collection suites, which includes a butler (dubbed a personal guru) and access to exclusive amenities.
Though not technically in Miami proper, the newly restored Diplomat deserves a jump over the county line. The Fontainebleau of the north, the resort boasts top restaurants—like Point Royal by Geoffrey Zakarian—a buzzy lobby bar (this one pays tribute to old-world cocktails), a karaoke lounge for after hours and plenty of Trina Turk-designed cabanas to relax in poolside. The suites are larger than most people’s apartments and feature full living rooms and wrap-around balconies for lounging.