Miami is weird, plain and simple, and its accommodations follow the lead. Unique and experimental, Magic City hosts a collection of strange overnight settings that make your stay unforgettable, to say the least.
While you can always find a cheap chain hotel or motel in the Miami area, that isn’t any fun, especially when there are more interesting spots that meet any budget. After several treks through the Sunshine State, we have a good understanding of the Miami hotel scene, whether it be low-cost or luxury accommodations. So, follow our lead and peruse our list of the best places to stay in Miami Florida that highlight the top luxury spots, boutique hotels, and affordable places that are clean, comfortable, unique, and provide a solid reflection of Miami.
Where to Stay in Miami Florida?
Most People head to Miami Beach With its Sun, Sea, Sand and Plethora of Nigh-life Venues and Eateries. Really we see no reason to argue with them. South Beach is where the Heat is on in Miami and Accommodation Ranges from Very Expensive, and Very Luxurious, to also Quite cheap and incredible Value for money at times.
There are other options however for those wanting to avoid the rather high pace of life in South Beach.
Best Luxury Hotels in South Beach
Our choices for best luxury hotels in South Beach provide guests with a proper amount of pampering and a bit of Miami magic to make you feel as if you have been transported to another reality. If you are willing to pay more than $250 a night for a hotel room, take advantage of these unique accommodations:
- Pelican Hotel: The Pelican receives credit as being the first boutique hotel in South Beach. In 1994, Italian clothing and accessories company Diesel bought the hotel and brought aboard Swedish designer Magnus Ehrland to transform the antiquated location into an eccentrically-themed whimsical romp. For $375-$400 in the winter and $175-$225 in the off-season, you can stay in one of 32 themed rooms that fuel a mad experiment, including “Best Whorehouse” and “Me Tarzan, You Vain,” which sports an electric, tiger-striped motif, supporting the Diesel motto, “Only stupid can be truly brilliant.”
- Delano South Beach: Delano single-handedly resurrected South Beach to “cool” status in 1994 by bringing a touch of chic glamour to the boardwalk. With poolside beds and white-on-white modern décor along with a splash of color to offset the vanilla, this place defines “hip.” For $700-$5,000 a night, you can hang out in a top-notch spa, work out in a cutting-edge gym, or head down to the hotel’s swank Rose Bar or FDR nightclub to party through the night.
Best Moderately Priced Hotel in South Beach
For us, Miami “moderate” is expensive, but maybe you operate on a different budget. For the most part, we all have to shift our notions of what we are willing to pay when vacationing in Miami. While you can find a bargain around the city, cheap accommodations are rare outside of chain establishments. So, in Miami, moderate is $150-$250 if you are looking for something unique during your stay.
- The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club: To stay at the Catalina Hotel, you are going to have to round up $250-$300 per night in the winter and $150-$250 in the off-season, but you can make up for the cost with FREE COCKTAILS. During Catalina’s happy hour at the hotel’s four bars, the drinks are complimentary, and for the two hours after happy hour ends, an all-you-can-drink plan can be purchased for $25. This place has plenty of booze and bikinis to keep you happy, with two pools—one on the ground for leisure and one on the rooftop terrace that gets loud—along with a central location in South Beach. It also has two restaurants and rooms that are adorned with sophisticated décor, if you can find your back to it after happy hour.
Best Inexpensive Hotels in South Beach
Our choices for inexpensive hotels, includes spots under $150, but even with $30 in your pocket you can find a spot in Miami Beach, if you are only looking for a rack with which to sleep a few hours a night, But even Budget Hotels in Miami can be incredible especially in the offseason here are our top choices:
- Clay Hotel: Clay Hotel was a big deal in its heyday, which lasted a while. In the 1930s, Al Capone set up a gambling ring in the hotel, and in the 1980s, Clay Hotel provided the occasional backdrop for the crime show “Miami Vice.” The pink stucco hotel is stationed on a charming stretch of road called Espanola Way, which is a pedestrian walkway with a European feel that is lined with boutiques and restaurants to browse. You can’t beat this SoBe spot if you are on a budget, at $100 a night in the off-season and $120-$300 during peak.
- Deco Walk Hostel: Do you want to stay ON South Beach for 30 bucks a night? At Deco Walk, you can crash on Ocean Drive at the Ocean’s front, on the second floor above an ice cream counter and a few shops. The Deco Walk Hostel offers 132 beds in either co-ed or single-sex quarters. Rooms come with four triple bunk beds, lockers for all occupants, a clean bathroom, and a spattering of art for color against the white walls. On one weary evening, as I was passing through to Key West, I spent a night among the restless young in this busy joint. While I didn’t get much sleep because of the action all around me, I enjoyed the public spaces, which included a kitchen, and a 3,500-square foot rooftop sunbathing deck that has a pool table, ping-pong table, Jacuzzi, flat screens, outdoor furniture, and large beds, which provided me a spot to nap before I hit the strip.
- Chesterfield Hotel and Suites: Prices here regularly dip below $100 a night and this can bag you a fantastic night in a plush suite that you would expect to pay hundreds of dollars for. We booked in here mainly as the prices were down to $65 a night and we just needed a couple of nights to explore, and Price was the major factor. The Room we received exceeded our expectations in every way! Huge master bed (Plus second double bad) Walk in Wardrobe Twin Bathrooms, and plush furnishings it was incredible. And the FREE one-hour open bar got the nights off to a great start too. It was the best $130 we have ever spent!
The bottom line is there are some fantastic bargains to be had at times in Miami. We have provided links to Our Favourite booking site, Booking.com so you can check out the up to date prices for your dates.
Best Hotels in Miami, Outside of South Beach
The Miami area is an easy-to-understand metropolis with a few basic areas outside of South Beach. Depending on your personality, you might decide that you are better suited for a dwelling outside of the swinging scene found on Miami’s beaches. The three main areas of Miami that DO NOT include bare-as-you-dare beaches and pools, and all-night parties:
- Downtown Miami: While it is a beautifully-designed city that is clean and has great architecture, it is not a place to hang out. In other words, there is no clear strip in which to deploy, and the streets at night are desolate. If you are looking for a quieter place to lay your head, stay in downtown Miami.
- Coral Gables: In far south Miami, “The City Beautiful” was the first planned development in Miami, which began to take shape in the 1920s. You will find great restaurants, golf, and upscale shopping among Mediterranean homes and businesses with Spanish-tiled roofs.
- Coconut Grove: While South Beach is sizzling hot and all energy, Coconut Grove is warm and laid-back. Once the spot for bohemians and adventurers, it is now home to numerous chain restaurants and stores but does host a slew of original boutiques, novelty restaurants, and plenty of crafty bars.
Best Luxury Hotels in Miami, Outside of South Beach
- Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables: Spread across 150 acres with a stunning, statue-lined pool—that was the largest in the world when it was built—and a 12,000-foot spa, you’ll feel like royalty at the Biltmore. And, it is probable that you will run across a well-known face if you stay there, for the Biltmore has hosted a regular lineup of celebrities, business moguls, and heads of state over its long history—FDR even had a vacation office there. The stately neo-Spanish building with classically-decorated rooms was the tallest structure in Florida when it was built in 1926, rising 315 feet above the property. The tallest portion of the hotel is fashioned after the Giralda, a tower in Seville, Spain. It hit the mark, for sure. There is courtyard restaurant with the best Sunday brunch in Miami, along with three other restaurants and four bars. Do you play tennis? 10 courts. Golf? 18 holes. Work out? Cutting-edge gym in the basement. You will not suffer for lack of amenities, as everything is covered, at a winter rate of $400-$900 a night and $240-$500 in the off-season, so the one thing that will suffer is your wallet, but this is the Hotel for people lucky enough to not need to care about such things!
- Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key: Brickell Key is a 44-acre manmade island shaped like a triangle, just across a short bridge from downtown Miami. The gated island has its own zip code and is home to 2,200 residents. Among the high-rises on the property is the Mandarin Oriental. The contemporary hotel is the only downtown Miami accommodation with a sandy beach, and beyond it, a Miami cityscape to adore as you bask in the sun on its premises. The hotel’s two-story spa is world-class, just ask Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez, who visit it often to get restorative treatments that base their science on Chinese traditions. You spend a lot for the Mandarin’s luxury and serene atmosphere, but it is a unique experience like none other in Miami.
Best Moderately Priced Hotel in Miami, Outside of South Beach
- Hotel St. Michel in Coral Gables: At St. Michael, you can actually get a “SUITE” for $150 and a double for \$119 in the off-season, and you will not be disappointed. At one point, Hotel St. Michel fell into decay, becoming a flophouse for the local drunkards, before its “resurrection” to sainthood. It is now a pretty darn romantic Mediterranean-styled joint with a sweet Peruvian restaurant to boot. Every room is unique and historically charming with distinct antique decorations.
Best Inexpensive Hotels in Miami, Outside of South Beach
- YVE (Formerly B2) Miami Downtown: B2 is free of frills, but it is ultra-chic and reasonably priced for a Miami indie hotel in DOWNTOWN, and the views are spectacular, as it sits on the waterfront. White, gray, and black adorn the room décor and the neo-comfort food found in the hotel’s Biscayne Tavern is glorious. If you want to catch a Miami Heat game or you are on a downtown Miami museum tour this is the place to land, and you will have money left to visit the Bayside Marketplace, which is right around the corner.
- Zen Motel in Coconut Grove: Ever since the demise of the Zen Village, which was Very disappointing for us we have considered this a spiritual replacement. It is a long way from what the Not For Profit Buddhist Center offers but still has super cheap (less than $50 pp off-peak) clean and comfortable accommodation with am eastern zen theming.
The Final Word on Miami Accommodations
Through the years, Miami has evolved from a retirement community to a gangster’s paradise to a place for jet-setters and their viewing audience, while always being an oasis for the disparaged immigrant looking for a second shot at creating a better existence. Miami’s eclectic soul takes shape in its overnight dwellings as well, whether you pay preposterous prices or peanuts. Those “peanut prices” can even be found in South Beach, though most are in the farthest reaches of Miami like Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and North Miami.
Furthermore, the tourist season begins in the middle of November and ends around Easter, so room rates are 30-50% higher during this time. There is also an outrageous 12.5% sales tax added to your hotel cost, which probably helps to pay for the latest Miami sports arena since that is how it normally works in big American cities. In addition, the closer you reside to sand, the more you will pay. Therefore, you will see an extravagant reduction in lodging costs only two blocks from the shore. on top of that even Hotels on the Sea Front will charge a premium for any Ocean View, so you could pay more to be ON the seafront with a view of an alleyway!
Also, consider that when choosing a nesting quarters, think of Miami like New York City, a city that seldom sleeps. So, if you are looking for a good night’s rest, and not a party zone, do the research because there will be no sympathy paid to the cranky guest who is upset by the late night pool party that is happening near their room. Don’t think this won’t happen to You!
We have been to Miami several times, and part of the fun is staying in unique settings, and pinching those pennies during normal working hours to stay at those weirdly ritzy places that are over-the-top with Miami attitude and ripe with whimsy. For us, it is evened out between a night at a $50 hostel and “NIGHT” at a $250 castle, and both have their charms and downfalls, like snoring (or copulating) neighbors in the hostel, and hands-out doormen at the expensive spots, but is all part of exploring, and we hope you take advantage of both sides of the coin in Miami. Or like us Find that Sweet spot between the two! It is well worth it.
Have Your Say?
Where Do You Stay in Miami? Do you have a Favourite Hotel? A Favourite Area? Or Maybe a hidden Gem that offers great value for money. Let us know in the comments below if you have anything to say on Miamis Hotels and Lodging options or if you have any further questions we would love to answer anything we can.