Summer is the best time for locals to take advantage of Miami’s lavish hotel inventory with rates at their lowest all year. There’s a slew of new hotels to discover from lavish resorts on Miami Beach to cosmopolitan escapes in Brickell and downtown. These are our top picks for where to spend your hard-earned staycation dollars this summer.
The Lap of Luxury…
The newly minted Four Seasons at The Surf Club (9011 Collins Ave., Sursfside; 305-381-3333; http://www.fourseasons.com/surfside/; offseason rates from $599) opened in March in Surfside restoring the original club’s hallowed grounds built in 1930 and erecting an ultra-modern glass tower by Richard Meier housing 77 jewel box-like guest rooms. Book an ocean view room with a frameless glass balcony and get glitzy at the Champagne Bar inside the original ballroom.
Sure, you’ve waltzed through the gilded cathedral and posted an Instagram of Damien Hirst’s gold dipped wooly mammoth chilling poolside, but have you seen the rooms at Faena (3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-8800; http://www.faena.com; offseason rates from $549)? Under the artistic direction of Alan Faena in collaboration with Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning designer wife Catharine Martin, they’re like stepping onto the set of Moulin Rouge, decked out in plush velvets in an arresting palette of turquoise, red, gold and animal prints. We know—it sounds crazy, but trust us, it works beautifully.
A Cosmopolitan Retreat…
With a powerhouse team of collaborators (Jorge Pérez, Philippe Starck, José Andrés, Michael Schwartz), the SLS Brickell (1300 S. Miami Ave., Brickell; 305-239-1300; http://slshotels.com/brickell/; offseason rates from $249) is everything you want it to be: a playful and luxurious temple to high design, contemporary art and fine dining. Check in with someone you want to get naughty with and take full advantage of Starck’s rooms with mirrors on the ceilings.
As the flagship hotel of Brickell City Centre, check into EAST, Miami (788 Brickell Plaza, Brickell; 305-712-7000; http://www.east-miami.com; offseason rates from $199) and enjoy a shopping weekend with the convenience of your own plush accommodations an elevator ride away. Blow off some steam poolside and take in the sunset atop the 40th floor lounge Sugar.
South Beach Hipster Hideaway…
Tucked away on the southwestern corner of Collins Park across the street from the Bass Museum, the 110-room Plymouth Hotel (336 21st St., South Beach; 305-602-5000; http://www.theplymouth.com; offseason rates from $200) brings a touch of the South of France louche life to South Beach (or so designer Fernando Santangelo’s cites as his inspiration). Inside a restored Art Deco hotel from the 1940s, he’s created a sublime courtyard pool with a black and white checkered tile deck, a cool indoor tiki bar and an outpost of New York City’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. Ask for a room with the claw foot tub at the foot of the bed and get creative after a few sake bombs.
A Different Side of Downtown…
The Langford Hotel (121 SE 1st St., Downtown; 305-420-2200; http://www.langfordhotelmiami.com; offseason rates from $149) is a great way to discover Miami’s burgeoning downtown scene while spending a night inside a charming Beaux Arts boutique hotel on the National Register of Historic Places. Their rooftop lounge Pawn Broker by the Pubbelly Boys makes for the perfect perch in the middle of the city while sipping on creative takes on Prohibition era cocktails like the Giggle Water inspired by bathtub gin and served inside a miniature porcelain tub.
Hooray for Hollywood
Make the short drive north to Hollywood and check into one of their newly opened or renovated beachfront resorts for a change of scenery… or as Jimmy Buffett would put it “changes in latitude, changes in attitude,” which is exactly what you’ll get at his Margaritaville Beach Resort (1111 N. Ocean Dr., Hollywood; 954-874-4444; https://www.margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com; offseason rates from $299), sure to please both Parrotheads and the uninitiated with its bright, luxurious rooms, lagoon-style swimming pools and nightly entertainment at the band shell on the oceanfront Broadwalk.
For a taste of South Beach in Hollywood, check into sbe’s all-suite Hyde Resort (4111 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood; 754-212-3038; http://www.hydehollywoodbeach.com; offseason rates from $300) and soak up the sun poolside or at their oceanfront restaurant Terrazas. Meanwhile, the Diplomat Beach Resort (3555 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood; 954-602-6000; http://www.diplomatresort.com; offseason rates from $199) is all new with management by Hilton and an impressive gastronomic experience with over 10 food and drink destinations including celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Point Royal.