Best Beach Hotels in Miami

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A team of Oyster reporters has made multiple trips to Miami to visit nearly 200 hotels. We slept in the beds, lounged by the pools, ate in the restaurants, and even sampled the nightlife, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. Here's a list of our favorite beachfront hotels.

  1. The Setai Miami Beach

    Paradise doesn't come cheap. Striking but sober mood-lit design; impeccable service; huge, immaculate rooms; three pools, each a different temperature; and a prime beachside location make the Setai one of the best hotels in Miami. Its restaurants are more about design than food, but several of Miami's best restaurants are just half a block away.

  2. W South Beach

    The stunning new 312-room W South Beach -- located on the beach, on the northern outskirts of South Beach -- blends cute comforts, intricate design (that spares no expense), and flawless service. Large, modern rooms; terraces angled to overlook the ocean; elegant landscaping around the pool; a freshly-opened spa -- the W tops the Miami greats.

  3. Shore Club

    The beachfront Shore Club prides itself on being a be-seen haunt, with celebrity-fueled restaurants and bars, and a boisterous infinity pool where DJs spin the latest hits. But despite the hotel's party-focused image, the large rooms, attentive service, and beautiful design make for a relaxing stay.

  4. Fontainebleau Miami Beach

    After its $1 billion facelift in 2008, the Fontainebleau's 1,504 new rooms, nine pools, phenomenal spa and gorgeous design are hard to top. Despite its sexy ads and nightclub, it's a relaxed property that attracts mostly families and convention goers. Its peacful Mid-Beach location has direct beach access and is 30 blocks from the South Beach action.

  5. The Resort at Fisher Island Club

    This 45-room hotel, which completed a $60 million renovation in 2010, is located among homes of the super-rich on a lush, private island that's a 10-minute ferry ride from the Miami mainland. It doesn't have the party scene, the high-design rooms, or the gourmet restaurants of the mainland luxury hotels. But its history, charm, and beautiful golf and tennis facilities make it a great choice for couples and families looking for something special. The surprisingly affordable hotel sits on a private half-mile stretch of sand.

  6. Townhouse Hotel

    Located right on the beach, the Townhouse offers bright, stylish rooms, but little else. Still, it's a great, comparatively clean alternative to the sketchy, similarly priced hotels throughout South Beach. Young singles might appreciate the Townhouse's proximity to clubs and the mix of good-looking Europeans spending the night.

  7. Carillon Hotel & Spa

    With some of the most beautifully decorated large guest-rooms in Miami, a beachfront location, a great spa, and a huge fitness center with a rock-climbing wall and dozens of daily classes, Canyon Ranch is a great choice for a healthy vacation -- provided you're not also looking for nightlife or a happening pool scene.

  8. Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort

    With apartment-style suites, a huge assortment of kid-centered activities, and a beachside location in safe, suburban Sunny Isles -- the Newport is an excellent family option with direct access to a large, clean, activity-filled beach.

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