The Whitelaw Hotel & Lounge is a mid-range hotel with 49 rooms in an Art Deco-style building on central
Collins Avenue. It attracts a young crowd who come to South Beach for the
lively party scene, and the evening happy hour at the bar in the reception area is very popular with guests who get free drinks. Guest rooms are flamboyantly decorated and have minibars and marble bathrooms. The hotel is located
in the heart of the Ocean Drive bar scene, so noise is hard to avoid. Families
or couples looking for a relaxing holiday should definitely stay elsewhere.
Apart from free Wi-Fi, the Whitelaw Hotel & Lounge offers few amenities, but
it's a good value compared to other hotels in the same area.
Whitelaw Hotel & Lounge is one of Miami’s iconic Art Deco hotels located in
the heart of South Beach’s party scene and is just a block away from the beach. The cool, white facade with soft gray trim features a front terrace with tables and chairs below hot-pink umbrellas. The hotel interiors are decorated in a quirky and kitschy style, with crystal chandeliers, glossy white furniture, and bright-red and flock-patterned accents.
The reception area is transformed into a noisy lounge bar every evening when
guests are invited to join its free Happy Hour. Guests tend to take full advantage, and at 7 p.m. sharp they'll stream down the stairs, out of the elevator, and in the front door. Expect noisy pop music, girls in short skirts, and plenty of guests getting as drunk on free booze as the the one-hour timeframe will allow. This is a popular place to stay
for young couples who want to experience the nightlife that Miami’s South Beach is
famous for; as such, drinks are flowing starting well before noon and bachelorette parties are common. It does not attract families, business travelers,
or anyone looking for a quiet vacation.
If you'd prefer a mellower scene for about the same price in a similarly stellar location, check out the Albion. Its rooms are a smidge larger, and (unlike the Whitehall) it's got a pool.
A block away from the beach in the Art Deco district
Whitelaw Hotel & Lounge is located on Collins Avenue in the heart of South
Beach’s Art Deco District, just around the corner from Ocean Drive which is
known for its noisy nightspots. The beach is just a block away, and there are
many restaurants, bars, and shops in the immediate vicinity. This location is
perfect for people who want to experience Miami Beach’s bar scene and be close
to the shore. Versace Mansion (The Villa, Casa Casuarina) is a five-minute walk, and within about five minutes' drive are Lincoln Road Mall and Miami Beach Marina. Within 10 minutes' drive are the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach Golf Club, and Jungle Island. Miami International Airport is 15 minutes by car, and Fort Lauderdale -- Hollywood International Airport is about 30 to 40 minutes' drive.
Comfortable and clean rooms with fun, kitschy decor
The Whitelaw's website describes
the decor of its rooms as “overdone,” and lovers of kitsch will not be
disappointed. The rooms are decorated with white furniture, crystal
chandeliers, red polka dots on the headboards, and loud red and white curtains. Rooms were renovated in 2015 and are generally very clean. Standard Rooms are 225 square feet -- a bit on the small size for South Beach, especially if you get a room with two double beds. The marble bathrooms can be cramped
and have small glass sinks sitting on exposed metal legs that offers little space for storage. Rooms on the higher floors can be quieter than those located near or
above the busy reception area, which is transformed into a bar at night. Still, guests can also expect some noise from neighbors; during our first visit to the hotel we could hear the couple next door getting it on. Each room has a 42-inch flatscreen TV, an iPod docking station, air-conditioning, a safe, hairdryer, minibar, and free toiletries.
Whitelaw Hotel & Lounge has few amenities, but it does have a pleasant
rooftop sundeck for guests who want to work on their tans, with showers and
towels available. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. Another
small extra is the free shuttle bus service to Miami International Airport
which runs every hour. Concierge services are available, and guests get free yoga classes on Saturdays at Hotel Croyden, a 10-minute drive away. Breakfast is available for a fee, but there's no full restaurant on-site for other meals.