The Clay is an affordable boutique hotel with plenty of old-world charm, situated on a palm tree-lined pedestrian street loaded with dining options. The hotel offers few amenities beyond free Wi-Fi and valet parking for an additional fee. Because there are no elevators, guests must climb tiled staircases to reach upper-floor rooms. Rooms are small but clean, and some retain vintage details, such as French doors that open to the lively street scene below. While conveniently located, nearby bars and restaurants can be quite noisy until the wee hours. Guests might also be inconvenienced by noise and disruption from ongoing renovations.
A 1920s Art Deco hotel with gracious Spanish influences, the 130-room Clay is actually larger than it first appears, since it comprises several buildings that stretch along two blocks. Inside the cheerful pink-and-white exterior is a small lobby paved with Mexican tile and heavily accented with dark wood. The Spanish mood is enhanced by arched entryways, white stucco walls and a fiery mural depicting flamenco dancers at work. A mosaic-tiled staircase leads to upper-floor rooms.
The Clay is in the center of South Beach's Art Deco District, with three buildings that stretch along Washington Avenue at the corner of Espanola Way. This vibrant pedestrian street lined with palm trees and outdoor cafes was named "Best Block" by the Miami Herald in 2013. The Lincoln Road Mall is within a 10-minute walk, and the beach is two blocks away. Miami International Airport is about 11 miles from the hotel.
Room categories range from "budget" to "deluxe," but all are fairly small, although clean and well-maintained, with refrigerators and satellite TV. Decor is brown and beige, with simple white walls and neutral carpeting. Bathrooms have been remodeled with new tile and fixtures but are cramped and lack storage space.
The Clay is an affordable, Spanish-style boutique hotel in the heart of South Beach's Art Deco District. Located in three 1920s buildings, the hotel has quirks as well as charms. There is no elevator, so guests must sometimes carry baggage up the stairs themselves. Rooms and bathrooms are small but well-maintained. Staff is friendly, but services are limited, and parts of the hotel are under renovation. There is no on-site restaurant or lounge, although dining options abound right outside on Espanola Way. There is street noise in front-facing rooms.