Oyster's Favorite Art Deco Hotels in South Beach(3 of 23)

Built in 1947, the Delano needs no introduction: It's truly a fixture in South Beach when it comes to Art Deco architecture, with the added bonus of Phillippe Starck's design throughout the property. Guests can expect to pay steep prices for small rooms, but the history, ambiance, design, and party-hearty (if slightly douchey) nightlife solidify it as an icon. In 1997, the abandoned St. Moritz was purchased and refurbished as the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. With another round of interior updates taking place in 2009, the hotel has a fresh face both inside and out. Rooms are also on the larger side for SoBe, which is a refreshing break from some the of cramped quarters provided by historic buildings. The hotel is also more family friendly than its neighbors: Kids stay free and there's a massive toy library available to guests. The Clevelander's status as a party hotel tends to precede it. It must have something to do with the complimentary rum runner guests receive upon check-in, or the massive patio bar that dominates the corner of 10th and Ocean with its bumping tunes and rowdy revelers. Regardless, the property itself (which underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2009) embraces the Art Deco aesthetic, from the masonry in the lobby to the playful design of the patio bar. The rooms are on the small side, though, so swinging by for a frozen drink may be the best way to take in the architecture. The Hotel of South Beach may be generically named, but its appearance is anything but. The building itself is a restored Art Deco hotel, built in 1939 as the Tiffany Hotel -- the giant original sign still looms over the entrance, causing mild confusion among tourists not in the know. Designer Todd Oldham and SoBe hotelier Tony Goldman perked up the property in 1998 and switched the name to The Hotel after a dispute with Tiffany jewelers. The rooftop-pool deck has a decent scene, and having a drink in the glow of the landmark sign are Miami must-dos. The Raleigh may very well top the scales with Art Deco authenticity. From the pool to the martini bar to the retro lobby, the property is a refreshing laidback break from the glitz of SoBe. Renovations are currently taking place, though, and while we're sure the overall vibe will be maintained, we hope genuinely hip ambiance stays intact. OK, so maybe the Beacon embraces the cheesy side of neon-bedecked buildings. But there is no doubt that the building itself is a true blue Art Deco hotel -- with the small rooms and tiny bathrooms to boot. There's also no party scene here to speak of, but it's worth at least a walk-by on any architecture tour. Somebody call Don Johnson, because this place is right out of Miami Vice. Neon galore, small rooms, and a throwback of a bar make it look and feel like it's still a part of the era it was born in. Even though Deluxe Rooms and Suites have modern fixtures like flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, they're decked out with Art Deco furniture. Offerings like fishbowl-size mojitos -- and drawbacks such as tiny bathrooms -- make this a better spot for less choosy spring breakers than for families or the above-40 crowd.