Freehand MiamiMiami Beach, Miami, Florida
- Stylish, converted 1930s Art Deco building
- Great location near the beach
- Clean, comfortable rooms (some private, some dorm style)
- Hip, social atmosphere in lobby lounge
- Nice outdoor pool with poolside table service
- Broken Shaker cocktail bar attracts locals and visitors
- Good value for style and location
- Free breakfast and free Wi-Fi
- Street parking only
- Rooms near pool can be noisy
- Not a traditional hotel (a youth hostel)
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Mellow hipster vibe
Housed in the old Indian Creek Hotel, the 63-room Freehand's decor celebrates all things vintage, from the faded floral wallpaper in the bar to the jumble of midcentury tables and chairs in the campus rec hall-style lobby. Out back, guests hang in a shady cobblestone courtyard filled with more mismatched seating, strumming guitars and sipping cocktails from the tiny bar. There's ample room for sunbathing on striped loungers that surround the small but well-maintained pool.
Off Collins Avenue, north of South Beach proper
The Freehand is on Indian Creek Drive just off Collins Avenue, about two blocks north of where Collins converges with A1A. The beach is a couple of blocks from the hotel, but guests will probably need a bike or taxi to reach the Lincoln Road Mall or South Beach, as both destinations are more than a mile away.
Bunk alone or with a group
Rooms range from king suites with private baths to four-person bungalows to bunk rooms for up to eight people. Bunks are surprisingly comfortable, with hotel-grade mattresses, adjustable reading lights, and docking stations for personal electronics. Decor is tastefully basic, with built-in cubbies, oversized clothes hooks, and small, wall-mounted writing desks.
Just the right basics
The Freehand provides a simple continental breakfast and inexpensive bar snacks. There is currently no on-site restaurant, although plans for one are underway. The hotel rents retro-style bikes for cruising around the neighborhood or heading to South Beach.
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