What’s new: While the former Indian Creek Hotel retains much of its shabby chic appeal, the upscale hostel has been reimagined as a haven for budget-conscious globetrotters and locals alike. New York’s Sydell Group bought the property in January 2012; it opened in time for Art Basel Miami Beach in December after design firm Roman and Williams transformed the 62 rooms (and 250 or so beds) with a part-nautical, part-camp aesthetic. The $8 million in renovations include ongoing work to include an adjacent restaurant, guest kitchen area and annex with more beds.
Bragging rights: A lovely sprawling outdoor area that includes a pool, patio and game area (think table tennis and lawn bowling). The bar, The Broken Shaker, is a hipster magnet — crowded, but worth the wait for the daily punch and small bites.
Caveat emptor: Note the s — this is a hostel, not a hotel, so know what you’re getting into.
Best for: Young or young-at-heart travelers who want to mingle with a similar crowd (and don’t mind bunking with strangers in the least expensive rooms). Penny-pinching friends looking for a laid-back vibe close to South Beach action.
Details: 2727 Indian Creek Dr., 305-531-2727, thefreehand.com
Rates and deals: Starts at $31 a night per person in an eight-bunk dorm for the weekend that starts May 31. The per-person price for a quad dorm is $37, or a private quad room can be had for $148 a night. A private standard king is $159 and a private bungalow (which includes four bunk beds, a living room and kitchen) is $222 a night.
Gale South Beach & Regent Hotel
What’s new: Two historic South Beach lodgings — the Gale and the Regent — have been gutted, connected and reborn as a refined, Italian Riviera-inspired hotel. The 87-room hotel opened in December after a $35 million renovation.
Bragging rights: The property has an elegant, classic feel with plenty of South Beach touches, including a rooftop pool, basement nightclub, cocktail bar and restaurant.
Caveat emptor: Although it’s in the heart of South Beach action, the hotel is not directly on the beach. Guests have access to beach amenities at Shelborne South Beach, a sister hotel. Some online reviews include complaints about loud music from the club, Rec Room.
Best for: Visitors seeking old-school glamour with nightlife options nearby.
Details: 1690 Collins Ave., 305-673-0199, galehotel.com
Rates and deals: Starting at $215 a night for the weekend that begins May 31. A summer getaway package includes rates of $250 a night (not including tax or a resort fee), two beach cruisers and a beach bag and towel. Florida residents get another 10 percent off that package through the end of summer.
Pestana South Beach Hotel
What’s new: Portuguese hospitality company Pestana Group transformed three separate structures — the old Miljean hotel and two apartments — into a four-building, 99-room hotel with a new pool in the middle and a mermaid-themed cafe. After $25 million in renovations over several years, the property had its grand opening in early April. Decor is understated and calm, with rooms featuring black and white photographs and walls of thick stripes in tan, blue or gray depending on the building.
Bragging rights: Close to Lincoln Road, the Miami Beach Convention Center and the beach, but nestled in a quiet residential area.