What makes a hotel qualify as one of the best in Miami? At Oyster, we know that the “best hotel” is different for just about everyone. For some, the best hotel is the most luxurious, and for others, it’s the one that offers the most for kids. We compiled lists of the best luxury hotels, family-friendly hotels, romantic hotels, hotel rooms, hotel service, pet-friendly hotelsgay-friendly hotels, best hotel beaches, iconic hotels, best hotel pools, best hotel spas, and best bathrooms. Don’t have time to read all that? Not to fear. We selected one hotel from each list that bests its competitors (if only slightly). Below, we present the best hotels of Miami.
The stunning 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 lush Bliss spa -- the W tops the Miami greats.
Small, unpretentious and lacking an interior designer's touch, the budget-friendly La Flora is not for those seeking glitzy South Beach style. But if a central location, friendly staff, and good value are key considerations, this unfussy boutique hotel more than delivers. La Flora offers a basic free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and a free welcome cocktail in its lobby bar. Bustling Ocean Drive and the beach are a short walk away, as are many of the area's hottest restaurants, boutiques and clubs. While simply furnished, rooms are clean, bright and adequate in size, and some feature kitchenettes.
Unlike at most other Miami hotels, the Kids Club at the Trump is free. The large, family-size rooms all have kitchenettes, and many suites also include washer/dryers. The grotto-style pool comes with a broad shallow area that's great for little swimmers. Plus, there's always Globie -- the hotel mascot -- who entertains kids around the pool.
The 74-room boutique Metropolitan by COMO is a gorgeous Art Deco property from the luxurious COMO brand. The pistachio and gray guest rooms are stylish, and outfitted with modern features like 42-inch flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel's other amenities include a pretty outdoor pool, beach service, fine-dining restaurant and bar, elegant spa, and rooftop hydrotherapy pool. Service is genuinely friendly and doting, and the hotel attracts an upscale clientele of primarily couples. If you're looking for a calm, relaxing getaway in South Beach, Metropolitan by COMO is the premier pick.
Starting at about 550 square feet -- twice the size of most Art Deco hotels in South Beach -- every room at the Tides comes with a perfect ocean view. The bright, beach-tone color palette and organic textures by Kelly Wearstler work well with high-end comforts like the 42-inch flat-screen TV and free movies from the Tides' DVD collection. The marble-coated bathroom comes with Molton Brown bath products and a deep soaking tub -- a rarity in South Beach.
Service is full of small but classy touches, like the extra towels that are delivered to rooms on wooden trays. Around the pool, food is brought with both a table by your lounge chair and a bed tray, should you wish to lie back and nibble. The concierge staff is especially accommodating, from getting yoga class schedules from the beautiful Sports Club/LA gym to making restaurant reservations. All requests are dealt with promptly and thoroughly.
Hotel Victor's spa features a coed steam room and a clothing-optional Turkish hammam. For vacationers who prefer to show off their bronzed, buff bods outside the hotel, South Beach, where topless sunbathing is not only legal but socially acceptable, is right across the street.
The Epic is a pro at pampering -- doggie mats, bowls, and Yip-Yap breath mints come standard in the rooms booked for guests traveling with dogs. Pets can also get pedicures, a shampoo, toys, and one-hour daily walks as part of the Epic Pet Getaway package. Like all other Kimpton Group hotels, there is no cleaning deposit required, no hidden fees, and no restrictions on weight, size, or even type of pet -- cats, birds, turtles, and snakes are all welcome. Best of all, there are no off-limit areas for pets in the resort -- feel free to take Precious to the pool.
A 1954 mainstay, the 1,504-room Fontainebleau is a sprawling Art Deco complex built by legendary architect Morris Lapidus. It was the hangout of the Rat Pack in its heyday, and it's back in the headlines after a $1 billion face-lift in 2008. Sleek designers like Jeffrey Beers have punctuated the glossy white interior with bright pieces of art ranging from Yves Klein's Venus Bleue to Don Suggs' Black Cross.
Built in 1926, this 22,000-square-foot swimming pool is the largest pool in the continental U.S. Actor Johnny Weissmuller, better known as Tarzan, used to be a swimming instructor here. Even today, the hotel hosts synchronized swimmers doing vintage routines. The pool features al fresco dining and full food and drinks service.
With some of the most beautifully decorated large rooms in Miami, a beachfront location, a great spa, and a huge fitness center with a rock-climbing wall and dozens of daily classes, Carillon Miami Beach is a great choice for a healthy vacation -- provided you're not also looking for nightlife or a happening pool scene. Wellness Spa features a number of innovative treatments, from Chinese medicine consultations to prenatal massages to Turkish body rituals. Most amazing is Aquavana, a European thermal suite with a Finnish sauna, a crystal steam room, a foot spa, an herbal laconium, an igloo, and Experiential Rains treatments.