Couture shopping, celebrity chef-helmed restaurants, and exclusive nightclubs all make Miami Beach an expensive travel destination. But public beaches, cheap Cuban spots, and budget-friendly hotels can help keep costs down. After visiting the area’s top hotels, we reviewed each to see how they stacked up — from the guest rooms to the restaurants to the pools. So if you want to be sure you’re getting the most bang-for-your-buck, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our expert picks for the hotels with the best value in Miami Beach!
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.
The upscale 380-room Confidante has a beautiful beachfront, two pools, multiple bars, and staff that receive consistent praise. Guest rooms have a colorful, retro design and high-tech amenities, though views vary from city to oceanfront and there's some minor wear and tear. However, with ample amenities and a celebrity chef-helmed restaurant, it's a solid pick for couples, groups, and families who want to be a bit removed from the South Beach scene.
The 104-room Hotel Croydon is a competitively priced, upscale property located in Mid-Beach, north of popular South Beach. This stylish property offers panoramic views from a rooftop sundeck, a trendy tavern with indoor and outdoor seating, and a modern gym and spa. The beach is a short walk away, and there's an outdoor pool with chic lounge chairs on-site. The rooms are stylish and modern; some have sea views. There is a hip boutique on-site and Wi-Fi is free throughout.
Tucked away in the quieter, residential part of the historic Art Deco district, the three-pearl Sobe You Bed and Breakfast blends period Art Deco pieces with Key West style. It's a tranquil hideaway that's still close to the action (around a 15-minute walk to the beach and Ocean Drive). This small, intimate property is a good fit for adults who want to be within walking distance of South Beach's craziness while staying in a subdued, relaxing spot that offers a more personal experience than a chain hotel. The rooms are housed in two buildings that do not have elevators, so be sure to book a ground-level room if stairs are a problem. The all-white rooms are clean and comfortable with huge TVs but not much space overall. Free breakfast is served by the outdoor pool set in a lovely courtyard.
The 48-room, mid-range Edgewater South Beach offers good value for the price compared to its competitors. The location is perfect for beach lovers and those who want to be at the center of the lively SoBe scene, and the spacious rooms and suites come with the convenience of well-equipped kitchenettes. The Edgewater lacks a pool and hot tub, but the basic continental breakfast and evening happy hour are appreciated extras. On the lobby level, an independently operated bar and restaurantwith outdoor patio seating attracts lots of foot traffic during the dinner hour. Pets are welcome and a valet will park your car, but both services cost an additional fee.
The upscale Kaskades Suites at Gale South Beach is next door to its sister property, one block from Collins Avenue. The 25 suites don't actually have separate rooms, but they all have a living area, high-tech amenities like a steam shower, and stylish decor. The rooftop has a small plunge pool and loungers, and guests are free to use the pool and fitness center at Gale South Beach. Service at the beach, a restaurant and bar across the street, and free Wi-Fi add to the value. For guests that want the amenities of Gale but larger rooms and a quieter home base, the Kaskades Suites is a great pick.
The 46-room Hotel 18 is a mid-range value property one block from the sandy shores in South Beach. The studios and one-bedroom apartments all have kitchens, making them suitable for longer stays, and some have sofa beds. The hotel has a pretty courtyard with comfy patio furniture and offers parking, a business corner, and laundry machines. There is convenient free Wi-Fi, but some of the room furnishings are plain or even a touch dated.
Circa 39 is an upper-mid-range, reasonably priced hotel sandwiched between Miami's Collins Ave and the oceanfront, a 30-minute walk from South Beach. It has 100 trendy, retro-travel-inspired rooms, all with hardwood floors and white furniture accented by pops of color. Some of the larger rooms and suites have kitchenettes and sofas. Located in Mid-Beach, the hotel has direct beach access, beach equipment, and a mid-size pool surrounded by cabanas and teak loungers. The hotel also has a trendy bar and breezy, popular restaurant, The Jules Kitchen, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Note that, while rates may be reasonable, the hotel has a daily resort fee, in addition to extra fees for breakfast and parking.
Combining a '70s hippie vibe with thoughtful design, The Freehand is a hostel for sophisticated young travelers who care about style, atmosphere, and a good party. This welcoming property offers a range of rooms from an eight-person dorm to private bungalows. The bar scene is renowned, drawing locals along with visitors for DJ-spun tunes and artisanal cocktails. Look for other digs if a solid night's sleep is more important than socializing, as the revelry often continues into the wee hours.
The 22-room Fritz Hotel is a mid-range, competitively priced retreat located on Ocean Drive in South Beach. This property has an appealing rooftop pool and sundeck with sea views along with a computer corner, 24-hour front desk service, and umbrellas and lounge chairs available for rent. The classically decorated suites, stylish studios, and lofts have flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers; some have balconies with sea views and kitchenettes. Guests complain about cleanliness consistency in rooms and the occasional worn fixture.
The 80-room Essex House Hotel is a bastion of Art Deco architecture and decor — so much so that groups of tourists regularly tramp through the lobby on guided tours. And that's not the only hubbub that disrupts this so-called "oasis of calm." The party at the adjacent Clevelander often continues into the wee hours, and the noise keeps some guests awake. On the plus side, there's a tiny pool in a lush, tropical courtyard, a feature that many South Beach hotels lack. Generous freebies include a basic continental breakfast, happy hour cocktails, and fresh towels to use at the beach across the street. Considering the location in the heart of South Beach, this hotel is a terrific value.