Whether you’re a newbie to Miami or you keep coming back for more, there’s always something new to discover within the Magic City, and it all begins with where your stay. Miami plays host to countless hotels, including a roster of familiar luxury properties and chains. But for those desiring a more relaxed or unique view of Miami, book a room at one of the city’s great boutique hotels. Often smaller and more intimate in space and service, these independent hotels range from urban skyscrapers in the heart of downtown to one-off inns that provide travelers the option to escape the neon glow of all-night clubs and main thoroughfares. My top picks are equipped with special touches, from stylized furnishing and photographs that embody the Art Deco culture to high-end name brand products that are better than the ones you left at home. They house the city’s best restaurants and acclaimed bar programs. No matter your style, these boutique hotels will be sure meet it.
Renovated in 2012, The Gale is an ode to Miami’s Art Deco movement. The hotel’s 87-guest room’s walls are clad with black-and-white photographs that tell the history of South Beach. Upstairs, guests can cool off on the rooftop pool deck, while down below in the basement, the scene heats up in the 1970’s-style Rec Room and speakeasy craft cocktail bar The Regent.
An unexpected departure from bustling Ocean Drive, The Betsy has more awards than rooms. Reminiscent of a grand colonial estate, this historic landmark hotel perpetuates vintage glamour with a courtyard pool and massage services in the outside wellness garden and spa. Poems left on your pillow are The Betsy’s form of a chocolate or mint.
Sense Beach House
Snag yourself one of the 18 rooms at this quiet treasure and sabbatical sanctuary for the body and mind. Immerse yourself in the tranquil décor of the Blue Rooms or the soothing shore-inspired Sand Rooms. Sense Beach House also outsources room service to the adjacent Local House, a restaurant known for serving up oyster martinis and some of the city’s best ceviche.
The Standard distinguishes itself by its location, which is bayfront rather than beachside. In addition to over-the-top public amenities, guests enjoy personal rain spa showers, and minibars and bathrooms stocked with organic treats and products. Relax in the garden fire lounge with a private bonfire, or rent a Warby Park bicycle to explore the district.