GOLDEN SAND IS CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS. WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF UPDATING OUR REVIEW.
The three-pearl, 92-room Richmond Hotel is in the heart of South Beach, walking distance to all the dining, shopping, and nightlife on Lincoln road. It’s in an ideal location for tourists, providing direct access to a reserved beach area with loungers and umbrellas (fee). Its rooms are on the small side, with minimal amenities and some have a ton of visible wear, but they also have a charming Art Deco style. The courtyard is one of the best in the area for a mid-range property, complete with a sizable outdoor pool, hot tub, and cushioned loungers, but the gym is small. A poolside cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. The hotel definitely looks and feel old, so for a more modern hotel along the beach in this range, check out the nearby Marseilles Hotel.
An affordable, comfortable, clean hotel that’s two blocks from the beach and surrounded by popular South Beach bars and restaurants. The Clinton offers more than most small-scale budget boutiques — free Wi-Fi, a sunny courtyard, Kama Sutra kits, and a popular hot tub with food and drink service. For the price, it’s an excellent pick.
The three-pearl Penguin Hotel has improved dramatically after a series of renovations and interventions that provided much-needed updates to this old Art Deco building. It’s across the street from the beach, and has its own restaurant and bar with outdoor seating that takes advantage of the ocean views. Most of the rooms don’t benefit from the same views, but they have streamlined, mostly white decor with a few colorful accents, plus conveniences like mini-fridges and tablets for guests to use. Free continental breakfast is included. Travelers who don’t need the on-site dining or close proximity to the beach can find better rooms at similar rates in the nearby El Paseo Hotel.
The Casa Grande Suite Hotel is a mid-range property with 35 privately owned condo suites. While the Casa Grande feels more like a temporary-stay apartment building than a hotel, it’s ideal for big groups and families seeking a home base in the middle of SoBe. It’s tucked behind the shops and restaurants on bustling Ocean Drive, right across from Lummus Park and the beach, so there’s plenty to do nearby. But the building itself doesn’t offer much in the way of amenities — no pool, gym, restaurant, or bar. Suites, which range from studios to three-bedrooms, are simple but contemporary and spacious with fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms, sitting areas, plasma TVs, and free Wi-Fi. By comparison, Princess Ann Hotel offers more standard hotel digs for a similar price, but rooms there aren’t nearly as big.
The 54-room Beach Park Hotel is a mid-range property with affordable rates right off Ocean Avenue in the Art Deco Historic District of South Beach. Rooms were renovated in 2017 and feature a contemporary Art Deco look, AC flat-screens, and mini-fridges, though the rest of the hotel maintains a classic Spanish look inside and out. There’s no pool here, but a daily resort fee covers things like beach gear and Wi-Fi (but not parking). A third-party restaurant is on the ground level, plus numerous eateries and shops are nearby. The reasonable rates, location across the street from the beach, and lovely rooms are popular with young travelers looking for a place to crash between partying. Those wanting a similarly priced option with a more features may prefer the Bentley Hotel one block south.
Stranded about 35 blocks from the South Beach party scene, this beautiful beachside resort draws an older clientele. Its great service, large (though dated) rooms, small spa, and big pool might seem like a bargain, but the only food around is its own expensive fare.
Located on the D.R.’s softest and calmest stretch of beach, the highly active Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus is a pretty solid family option — three clean pools, attentive service, and excellent scuba diving (though for a cost). But because the rooms are dated and poorly maintained, and the food is only good (not great), the newly renovated Dreams La Romana is a better option for the same price.