Bustling nightlife scene, bikini-clad beachgoers, and couture shopping make Miami Beach a pretty sexy location. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not a family-friendly destination. Beaches great for sandcastle-building, friendly locals, and an aquarium are great activities for travelers of all ages. So if you’re planning a family vacation with children or teenagers, you’ve come to the right place. We visited the top hotels in Miami Beach to evaluate how they stacked up against the competition — all with families in mind. Here are the best kid-friendly hotels in Miami Beach!
The Loews is one of South Beach's first family hotels, and its "Loews Loves Kids" motto still rings true. Enthusiastic counselors host beach tours and Nintendo Wii competitions at the Kids Camp, the Toy Library loans out beach shovels, and the hotel can even send DVDs and PlayStation games up to your room. Plus, there's the Loews' enormous -- and shallow -- free-form pool.
Among the Fontainebleau's eight pools are several shallow pools for kids to splash around in, as well as a swing for the water-shy. The kids' club -- for 4- to 12-year-olds -- features supervising instructors to lead various sports, art, and drama activities. Full-day programs are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include a lunch for $75 per child. Half-day programs -- held twice daily and excluding the meal -- are $50. A crib or rollaway can be a tight squeeze in the small, Art Deco-era rooms, but larger suites are also available.
Though the Ritz-Carlton is located in a prime party section of South Beach, families still flock to its enormous pool. "Ritz Kidz" -- the hotel's supervised club for children ages 5 to 12 -- is open from Thursday through Saturday and offers various activities, from kite decorating to video games to basic Spanish lessons.
The 75-room Savoy Hotel is an Art Deco icon in a tranquil section of South Beach, within walking distance of the area's nightlife, and with private beach access, ocean-view sun decks, two tropically landscaped outdoor pools, indoor and outdoor dining, a bar, and elegant private function rooms. Rooms are decorated with light, beach-house-style decor, and most have kitchenettes and balconies with ocean or pool views.
The 186-room Surfcomber is more affordable and casual than most of its swanky neighbors. It comes with a huge, beautiful pool, direct beach access, and a great address on Collins Avenue. Most rooms are small but trendy, with surf-themed decor, bright pops of color, and modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, and free in-room yoga equipment. Other highlights include great freebies (bicycle tours, hosted wine hours, bartending lessons), two solid restaurants with bars, a well-equipped fitness center, and in-room or poolside spa services.
This mid-priced, 18-floor high-rise sits on a pristine beach with two gorgeous pools. The Alexander All-Suite Oceanfront Resort is great for families on a budget who benefit from the easy beach access and fully equipped kitchens. Rooms can be hit or miss; each of the 125 suites are individually decorated, some have sleek,modern kitchens and bathrooms with granite counters, others have outdated decor, and some are in desperate need of renovation with moldy ceilings and grout. Some booking sites include breakfast with the price of a room. Shula's Steakhouse is popular with locals and guests while Top of the Falls does cocktails and happy hours.
Big, beige, and offering striking ocean views, the 430-room Grand Beach Hotel is a relaxing alternative to the hectic South Beach scene. Guests get more space for their money; big, contemporary suites have balconies, mini-kitchens, and separate living rooms. There are several pools -- including an adults-only tranquility pool on the 7th floor -- and the hotel is located on a long stretch of uncluttered beachfront. Few dining options are within walking distance, but there is a full-service restaurant on-site and a small bar in the lobby. There is also a sunny fitness center, bikes for rent, and free Wi-Fi but there's a pesky fee for chairs on the beach.
Opened in June of 2014, the 231-room Hilton Cabana Miami Beach is an upper-middle-range hotel on 63rd St. and Collins Ave in North Beach. Retro guest rooms and suites have pops of color, flat-screen TVs, iHome docking stations, and (in some cases) balconies. As some rooms face a wall, ocean-view and oceanfront rooms are worth the upgrade. Amenities include a wide beachfront with loungers and umbrellas (for a fee), two swimming pools, a French-inspired restaurant, two bars, and a 24-hour fitness center. But the hotel is far from the nightlife found farther south, so it's best for families or couples seeking a beach stay.