Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
An Art Deco throwback with a lively vibe
Past the bustling sidewalk restaurant at the front of the hotel, guests enter a narrow lobby designed in classic Art Deco style. Original terrazzo floors are inlaid with an intricate, orange-and-brown sunburst pattern and white chairs with swooping, tufted backs stand at attention. There's a tiny bar in one corner, while a second-story mezzanine houses the business center and a small lounge with flat-screen TV.
Heart of the South Beach hubbub
The Beacon is in the Art Deco District on busy Ocean Drive, just a few blocks north of the MacArthur Causeway leading to mainland Miami. The hotel is surrounded by scores of nightclubs, bars, and restaurants (including one right outside the front door), so expect plenty of pedestrian traffic, encouraged in part by hostesses hawking giant margaritas. Lummus Park, the liveliest area of the beach, is right across the street.
Spotless, but small
Rooms are clean and feature fresh white decor with bright turquoise or coral accents, but most are on the small side. The bathrooms -- though quite pretty with mosaic tile and pedestal sinks -- are especially tiny, with little space for stowing towels and toiletries. Oceanfront rooms are larger and offer lovely views, but overlook the busiest, loudest street in South Beach. Rooms at the back of the hotel are considerably more quiet, although some guests complain of a lack of soundproofing between walls.
Small fitness center, but no pool
As with most hotels along Ocean Drive, the Beacon lacks a pool. There is a small workout room with one treadmill and a multifunction weight machine that's open around the clock. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, and there are three computers for guests to use in the mezzanine business center. Valet parking is available for a daily fee.
The Beacon is a South Beach "postcard hotel" — a term locals use for the oft-photographed Art Deco edifices that line Ocean Drive. And if a trip back to 1930s Miami sounds like a cool idea, this 75-room hotel delivers. Unfortunately, the realities of the modern world are inescapable: Rooms and bathrooms are cramped, there's no outdoor space, and the sounds of the non-stop party on the street below may disrupt your shuteye. Freebies that include breakfast and beach chairs are a nice touch, but there is no pool.