La FloraSouth Beach, Miami, Florida
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Art Deco Meets IKEA
Housed in one of the Art Deco District's original hotels, La Flora's tidy, mint-and- cream facade looks much as it did in its heyday. Inside, the lobby's original terrazzo mosaic floors and marble wainscoting have been carefully restored. When we visited, there was an assortment of frumpy leather sofas and potted plants, but the hotel has since added contemporary furniture pieces and stylish decorative elements, such as a modern art piece above the marble fireplace and abstract chandeliers, for a much more cohesive look. A communal table and banquette seating in a rear corner serves as the cocktail lounge and breakfast area. Rooms are bright and clean (if spare) and prices are hard to beat for this super central location -- though it's worth comparing rates with the Sanctuary Hotel.
In the heart of South Beach, one block from the surf
La Flora is one block west of the Atlantic Ocean on Collins Avenue, a legendary Miami thoroughfare once known as "Millionaire's Row." Today, it's a busy tourist area filled with nightclubs, designer storefronts and revamped small hotels. Around the corner on Ocean Drive are some of South Beach's most iconic -- and expensive -- hotels, including The Betsy, The Raleigh, and The Delano. La Flora is about 10 miles from Miami International Airport.
Unadorned but adequate
Rooms are clean, reasonably sized (particularly for an older property) and sparely furnished with plain white bedding, engineered wood floors and Venetian window blinds. Vintage-style bathrooms feature attractive marble console sinks, walk-in showers and aqua tiling. Some rooms include a wet bar with sink, mini-fridge and coffeemaker. South-facing rooms are the most quiet.
Free Wi-Fi and breakfast
Rates at La Flora include free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast and a welcome cocktail at the bar. The hotel charges an additional daily resort fee, and there are extra charges for valet parking and pets. A 24-hour business center is available on-site. There is no pool or gym on premises. There's a shaded patio facing the street that provides a comfortable perch for people watching.