The upscale 380-room Confidante (formerly Thompson Miami Beach) 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. Prices here also tend to be more affordable than at comparable hotels in the heart of South Beach.
The hotel has a stylish retro design and sees a variety of travelers.
In typical Miami fashion, the Art Deco-inspired design begins with the white facade of the 1940s tower surrounded by palm trees. Inside, the lobby is rather small, with a retro couch against a wall, a stunning crystal chandelier hanging from the center, and a beach mural behind the front desk. The style continues into the hallways filled with orange wingback chairs and patterned pillows. Attracting couples, friend groups, families, and business travelers, the hotel is laid-back and friendly, particularly when it comes to the genuinely helpful and courteous staff.
Though the hotel is 20 blocks north of trendy South Beach, it still provides guests with on-site nightlife options. The poolside 1930s House was built in the 1930s (hence the name) and originally across the street; the hotel relocated the bar to its backyard and it now hosts live music three nights a week, and acts as a cozy congregation spot. The Crown Room is another gorgeous space filled with a striking orange light fixture, a marble bar, and walls lined with books and tchotchkes.
The colorful and fun decor can also be found around the pool and beach, where bright yellow, pink, and blue loungers and striped umbrellas decorate the spaces. Despite DJs performing poolside some nights and the pool and beach drink service, the vibe remains relaxed.
In Mid Beach, a calmer alternative to the rowdy South Beach scene
Located in the Mid Beach area of Miami Beach, The Confidante sits on Collins Avenue at 40th Street. It's a good 20 blocks, or 10-minute cab ride, from the revelry of South Beach. There's not nearly the selection of dining or nightlife options in this area, but for travelers who want a quieter beach, that's the point. The popular Fontainebleau, with multiple restaurants and a lively nightclub, is just a few blocks north. Behind the hotel, guests walk across the Miami Beach Boardwalk to get to the beach, or they can walk in either direction for a scenic stroll. Guests with cars will have to use the pricey valet, but that's typical of Miami hotels. The airport is approximately 25 minutes away by car.
Chic, retro decor and high-tech amenities in all rooms, but some minor wear and tear
Rooms and suites at The Confidante are stylishly outfitted with retro furnishings -- blue patterned carpet (added after our visit), wooden bed platforms, and marble-topped minibars. Design-wise, it effortlessly blends a Mad Men-era vibe with hip, modern features; walls have framed prints, floral patterned chairs sit in the corner, and curtains are colorful with a geometric motif. Beds are comfy and have 400-thread-count Sferra linens, though some room designs have beds close to the wall and it can be a tight squeeze to climb in on that side. Additionally, minor wear and tear exist and the rooms lack coffee- and tea-making facilities.
All the modern amenities are present: large flat-screen TVs that pull out from the wall; free Wi-Fi; and minibars that include liquor, snacks, and intimacy kits. Closets hold soft robes and slippers, safes large enough to fit a laptop, and umbrellas. Bathrooms are a good size, equipped with big walk-in glass showers with rain showerheads, C.O. Bigelow toiletries, and hairdryers.
Suites have a living room area with a couch and dining table. Not all rooms have balconies, and views range from city to oceanfront.
Beautiful beachfront; two swimming pools; multiple bars and an upscale restaurant; a spa and fitness center
There may be a plethora of things to do in Miami, but The Confidante has made it so you never have to leave the property. If you're in Miami, it's likely you'll want to spend some time on the beach and the hotel has a beautiful one; it's equipped with comfortable, colorful loungers and umbrellas (for a fee) and attendants are there to take your food and drink requests. There are also two good-size pools surrounded by yellow loungers, cabanas, and a bean bag toss. Pool staff will set up a chair and umbrella for you, as well as take any dining orders.
Speaking of food, the upscale Seagrape restaurant serves Florida-inspired dishes for all three meals and is run by James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein. Entrees are in the $20s and $30s and receive mostly positive reviews. There's both indoor and outdoor seating as well 24-hour room service. Free coffee and tea is served here in the morning. The poolside Garden bar has food and cocktails available as well.
The spa has a variety of treatments available and the fitness center is well-equipped with cardio and strength training machines, free weights, and even a punching bag on the terrace. There are free fitness classes available throughout the week. For business travelers, there's no business center, but there are multiple meeting and event spaces.