Four Seasons - Miami Rating: 5.0 Pearls
An astounding, immaculate property that lives up to the brand -- super-accommodating service, large rooms, a great rooftop pool overlooking Biscayne Bay, and the Sports Club/LA on-site (one of the best gyms in Miami). Though the rooms are a bit outdated, it's a premier choice for Miami's relatively boring business district.
Mandarin Oriental, Miami Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Located on beautiful Brickell Key, this beachless island resort offers a mix of serenity and high design. Inside its soaring lobby, warm golden-brown floors, beautiful artwork, huge windows looking out over Biscayne Bay, and soft instrumental music are a welcome alternative to loud, clubby hotel lobbies. Rooms are equally creatively designed with priceless views from up high. The Mandarin also sports a phenomenal spa, a first-rate gym, and excellent (if pricey) restaurants like Agua.
EPIC Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Just opened in 2009 by the Kimpton hotel group, the Epic is a relaxed, luxurious alternative to humdrum Downtown business hotels like the Hyatt or Intercontinental. The hotel's 411-room, 30-floor glass tower sports a broad terrace on the 16th floor, three pools, and the excellent Italian restaurant Area 31. It literally overshadows neighboring hotels.