With its golden sandy beaches, palm tree-lined streets and bustling clubs, Miami is a popular vacation spot – especially as much of the US battles through the bone-chilling winter months. Each year, thousands of travelers flock to its sunny shores to sip cocktails by the pool and indulge in some R&R. And while the city is famed for its nightlife – partying ‘till the break of dawn’ in the words of Will Smith – it’s still essential to have somewhere comfy to rest your head, even if only for a few hours. Luckily, Miami is home to an array of luxury hotels that can hold their own among the very best in the world. From glamorous beachfront resorts to breezy eco-luxe havens, we’ve compiled a list of the city’s top accommodations that are a cut above the rest.
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The Setai, Miami Beach
Situated steps from the ocean, this all-suite hotel is one of the most enviable addresses in Miami. The Setai is a short walk from Lincoln Road where you’ll find plenty of gourmet restaurants, bars and boutiques. Location-wise, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The property is comprised of two buildings: an Art Deco masterpiece and a contemporary 40-story tower. Interiors are stylish yet discreet with an Asian-inspired aesthetic (think clean lines, dark teak wood and cozy lighting).
A major draw is the Valmont Spa where you can indulge in an array of treatments from detoxifying mud wraps to signature facials. There’s also a nice selection of restaurants including Jaya (a celebration of cuisines from across Asia) and the Ocean Grill (which serves an assortment of fresh seafood).
Top Suite: Penthouse Suite
Spanning the entire 40th floor, this 10,000-sq-ft suite is the most exclusive abode of all. With four bedrooms, a private rooftop pool and dining room with space for 10 guests, there’s ample space for entertaining. The ocean views are second to none, too.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour
Our list of the best hotels in Miami would not be complete without mentioning the St. Regis Bal Harbour. Set within an oceanfront enclave known for its luxury boutiques, the sprawling resort certainly ticks a lot of boxes.
If it’s glitz and glamour you’re after, this is a top contender. The striking lobby sets the tone: Expect enormous crystal chandeliers, gleaming marble floors and dramatic mirrored walls.
When it comes to dining, you’re in for a real treat. Grab a casual bite at the hotel’s blue and white-hued Greek eatery, Atlantikos, or head to La Gourmandise in the lobby for authentic French cuisine. There’s also a tranquil pool dotted with daybeds – the perfect spot to watch the sunset with a cocktail.
Top Suite: Presidential Suite
For the best sea views, it has to be the Presidential Suite. Located up on the 24th floor, the plush apartment features a curved 1,200-sq-ft wraparound terrace and a light-filled living room.
The Miami Beach Edition
Located in the trendy Mid-Beach area, The Miami Beach Edition is surrounded by stylish bars, eateries and upscale condos. It’s a popular spot with celebs; Leonardo DiCaprio has been snapped here a few times.
The hotel is home to 294 guest rooms and suites including 28 secluded oceanfront bungalows. Interiors are pared back and comfortable; floor-to-ceiling windows let the views take center stage while marble bathrooms and fine linens add a touch of luxury.
Be sure to book a table at Matador – The Miami Beach Edition’s signature restaurant developed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (the vibrant menu showcases the flavors of South America, the Caribbean and Spain). The resort also has two pools, direct access to a private beach, and, in the basement, a 2,000-sq-ft ice skating rink.
Top Suite: Bungalow Penthouse
Our favorite accommodation is the Bungalow Penthouse. If it’s privacy you’re after this is ideal; the suite features a wraparound balcony with panoramic ocean views, a dedicated elevator and secluded rooftop plunge pool. Count us in.
1 Hotel South Beach
Eco-conscious travelers will love the next entry on our list; 1 Hotel South Beach features a 300-ft green wall bursting with almost 12,000 varieties of local plants and several electric charging points so you can bring your Tesla.
Occupying an entire block on Collins Avenue, the oceanside resort is ideally situated at the point South Beach meets Mid-Beach. This means Miami’s famed clubs, bars and restaurants are within walking distance, but it’s just quiet enough to feel like a tranquil haven away from the madness.
Rooms are breezy and laid-back. The cream-and-blue color scheme nods to the coastal location while rustic wooden furnishings add to the beach vibe. That’s not to say the hotel forgoes luxury: Expect Calacatta marble tubs, soft cotton robes and seriously comfy king-size beds.
Dining at 1 Hotel South Beach is centered around sustainably sourced ingredients; enjoy vibrant Mexican dishes on the outdoor terrace at Habitat, grab a healthy plant-based option at the P1nthouse or head to the rooftop restaurant – Watr – for Japanese-influenced cuisine with gorgeous ocean views.
Top Suite: Sky Penthouse
We adore the Sky Penthouse – a sprawling two-story suite with four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and a 5,300-sq-ft rooftop terrace dotted with day beds. Booking this exclusive accommodation comes with an array of extra perks including round-trip airport transfers, a dedicated concierge and two treatments at the spa.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Since welcoming its first guests in 1954, Fontainebleau Miami Beach has carved out an enviable reputation as one of the biggest and best hotels in Miami, serving as the backdrop for countless movies from Scarface to The Bodyguard.
The iconic resort is located in the heart of ‘Millionaire’s Row’, steps from the ocean. Spread across two newer all-suite towers and two original buildings, the sprawling hotel features 1,504 guest rooms – many with breathtaking sea views.
It would be easy never to step foot outside the resort; dining options are plentiful spanning everything from popular Cantonese eatery Hakkasan to chef Michael White’s elegant Italian restaurant, Mirabella. The resort is also home to an expansive spa and celeb-hotspot nightclub, LIV.
Top Suite: Sorrento Penthouse
If you really want to push the boat out, book the Sorrento Penthouse. Covering almost 10,000 sq ft, the pièce de résistance of the multi-level suite is its private rooftop terrace complete with a Jacuzzi.
If you’re looking for an oceanfront location without the crowds, Acqualina is a safe bet. The Mediterranean-style resort is nestled among Miami’s northern beaches on the shores of Sunny Isles Beach, a short drive from Bal Harbour Shops.
This is somewhere you can really relax and unwind: Aqualina has four swimming pools, and an impressive 20,000-sq-ft spa with expert therapists on hand to carry out an array of Ayerverdic-inspired treatments.
The resort also has some wonderful al fresco dining spots including Il Mulino New York – a romantic Italian eatery (expect white tablecloths, red roses and a pretty outdoor terrace with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean).
Top Suite: Grand Deluxe Three-Bedroom Suite
Of the 98 rooms at Acqualina, the Grand Deluxe Three-Bedroom Suite is the most opulent of all. With its marble floors, glittering chandeliers and billowing white drapes, you’ll be enveloped by a sense of calm from the moment you step through the door.
Four Seasons at The Surf Club
Another equally glamorous hotel in a quieter part of town is Four Seasons at The Surf Club. The iconic property is located on a nine-acre stretch of beachfront in the tranquil residential community of Surfside (you can still reach the bright lights of South Beach in about 20 minutes).
Since opening its doors on New Year’s Eve 1930, The Surf Club has catered to a glamorous crowd; Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock are among its star-studded clientele. The legendary members-only club closed its doors in 2013 and, four years later, Four Seasons took over the property, restoring the original clubhouse and adding a 12-story pair of gleaming glass towers.
As well as a palm-fringed champagne bar, the hotel is home to several restaurants including the casual al fresco eatery, Winston’s, and chef Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred The Surf Club Restaurant (located on the historic Surf Club property).
When you’re not relaxing in a cabana by the pool, there are plenty of activities to fill your time from private airboat tours of the Everglades to deep-sea fishing and snorkeling in the Florida Keys.
Top Suite: Marybelle Penthouse
The top key is the 7,200-sq-ft Marybelle Penthouse – named after the yacht Harvey Firestone and his peers sailed on when they discovered the land on which The Surf Club is built. What really sets this suite apart is the sizeable rooftop terrace and private in-room spa treatment area.
Mandarin Oriental Miami
Located on Brickell Key – a man-made island off the shore of downtown Miami – this waterfront retreat boasts stunning views across Biscayne Bay. This is the place to stay if you’re looking for a secluded haven away from bustling South Beach.
As those who have stayed at a Mandarin Oriental property will expect, the hotel is seriously luxurious; expect stylish, modern décor with lashings of marble and contemporary artworks dotted throughout. Chef Gaston Acurio’s glamorous Peruvian restaurant feels right at home here (request a table out on the terrace for a memorable evening dining at the water’s edge).
It’s well worth whiling away an afternoon at the spa where guests can indulge in an array of treatments – our favorite is the hotel’s signature Celestial Black Diamond Infusion Facial which utilizes 111SKIN’s potent anti-aging products to leave you with a dewy glow. Mandarin Oriental also built its own private stretch of white sand; peppered with swaying palms, umbrellas and sunbeds, it’s every bit as idyllic as Miami’s famed beaches – sans the crowds.
Top Suite: Oriental Penthouse Suite
For the best views of the skyline, book the Oriental Penthouse. Set across the top floor of the hotel, the opulent abode features a balcony running the entire length of the suite and a state-of-the-art media room.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Last but by no means least on our list of the best resorts in Miami is this wonderfully extravagant hotel in the heart of Mid-Beach. Argentine hotelier Alan Faena brought in movie director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, to oversee the renovation. Interiors are colorful and flamboyant; gilded columns sit alongside accents of red velvet and elaborate murals.
Best of all, the hotel features its own theater which hosts acclaimed cabaret performances and concerts (there’s live music at the Saxony bar, too). It’s also a major dining destination; be sure to book a table at Argentine grillmaster Francis Mallman’s restaurant.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a 20,000-sq-ft spa, the Tierra Santa Healing House, which features an enormous hamman (you can also book in-room treatments from the comfort of your suite).
Top Suite: Penthouse Suite
With five bedrooms, multiple balconies, a kitchen and living room complete with a grand piano, it doesn’t get much more opulent than this. Decorated with custom furnishings by Frank Pollaro, unique artworks and more than a touch of leopard print this eccentric suite promises an unforgettable stay in Miami.
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