The Setai Miami Beach Rating: 5.0 Pearls
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.
W South Beach Rating: 5.0 Pearls
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.
Shore Club Rating: 4.0 Pearls
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.
Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach Rating: 4.5 Pearls
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.
The Resort at Fisher Island Club Rating: 5.0 Pearls
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.
Townhouse Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
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.
Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach Rating: 4.5 Pearls
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.
Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort Rating: 3.5 Pearls
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.