When it comes to accommodation you need to be within striking distance of both South Beach and Lincoln Road Mall. Downtown Miami is more for the business traveller and anyone joining a cruise ship to the Caribbean and elsewhere. But be warned, many of the so-called art deco hotels on Collins Avenue are pretty shabby and overpriced. Be prepared to spend a little more in order to avoid some of these dodgier boutique style properties.
Metropolitan by COMO
One of Miami’s coolest new hotels, Metropolitan by COMO on Collins Avenue has already established itself as a home away from home for America’s moneyed elite who like to party on South Beach. The modern 74-room hotel offers two swimming pools (one on the roof), a luxury spa, gym and a destination restaurant. The lavish interiors by celebrated Italian designer Paola Navone are cool, sophisticated and gloriously contemporary.
The Delano South Beach
Fans of Philippe Starck will love every part of this imposing and highly theatrical waterfront hotel which is a magnet for visiting movie stars, hip hop artists and rich New Yorkers. Dating from 1992, this stylish hotel is now something of a landmark on Collins Avenue with its glamorous pool area, stylish cocktail bar, subterranean lounge, crisp service and general air of exclusivity.
The Miami Beach EDITION
Another recent arrival, the EDITION occupies 3.5 acres of prime real estate in Mid-Beach. And while the hotel is sometimes called a boutique property, it is far grander than that, with 294 guest rooms and suites, two swimming pools, a private beach, bowling alley, dance club, outdoor movie theatre and ice-skating rink. The hotel offers several gorgeous bars and restaurants, including the Matador Room – its signature dining room.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Travellers seeking an Australian connection during their stay should book into this art deco inspired masterpiece. Sydney duo Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin oversaw the transformation of the former Saxony Hotel into an opulent pleasure palace which offers 169 jaw-dropping rooms and suites. Other facilities include an Argentinian grill, a luxury day spa and, naturally, an in-house cinema.
Shore Club South Beach
In the 1990s the Shore Club, with its ultra cool DJs, Moroccan-inspired pool area and minimalist rooms, was simply the hottest place to be seen on South Beach. Designed by British architect Sir David Chipperfield, this stylish beach pad feels more like a private house than a standard Miami boutique hotel – and the interiors have weathered the passage of time admirably. It’s still cool.
The Deauville Beach Resort
For nostalgia buffs and those on a tighter budget The Deauville, a grand old hotel away from the main beach strip, is the obvious choice. In the 1960s anyone who was anyone partied at this gleaming beachfront resort, including The Beatles. Although the hotel is a little faded, the rooms are spacious, staff cheerful and the tariffs modest. Facilities include a family-friendly swimming pool, grand lobby and a mini shopping arcade.