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Where to Stay in Miami Beach: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018

Written by Carri Wilbanks

Stretching from South Beach to North Beach, Miami Beach encompasses the strip of sand running parallel to Miami and is one of the top vacation destinations in Florida and as such is filled with hotels for all budgets and styles of traveler. Where you choose to stay will depend largely on what style of beach experience you are looking to have, as well as your budget. If you're traveling with the kids, for instance, there are a number of good family-friendly bets that won't break the bank or be too adult focused at night. Good options for families include the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort in the luxury bracket and the more affordable Plymouth Hotel South Beach.

Couples looking for a swanky, luxe experience will enjoy beachfront properties like The Setai and 1 Hotel South Beach, which are on ultra trendy South Beach and near its most famous shopping and dining strip, Ocean Drive. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly property, check out the area north of South Beach, where you'll find properties like the Collins Hotel, which are still on the beach.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Yachts in a Miami Beach marina

Yachts in a Miami Beach marina

One of Miami's top luxury properties, the The Setai is a stunning Asian-inspired hotel in a great Collins Ave locale with direct beach access. A favorite with couples, it boasts oversized suites ranging in size from studios to a four-bedroom penthouse, which come with divinely comfortable hand-crafted Duxiana beds draped in Italian linens, flat-screen TVs, espresso machines, and rainfall showers in the equally posh baths. Away from the rooms, amenities include multiple restaurants, a state-of-the-art gym, complimentary yoga on the beach, and a luxe spa.

1 Hotel South Beach is another favorite luxury hotel, which is right on the ocean in South Beach. Part of a very eco-friendly brand, it has an environmentally conscious vibe throughout, with features like hemp mattresses and take-home socks instead of disposable slippers in the 426 rooms and suites, which are also spacious and very comfortable. These are also equipped with Nespresso machines and ocean-facing balconies. On-site amenities include direct beach access, a luxury spa, a restaurant, lobby farm stand with fresh fruit and veggies for sale, a massive gym, and four swimming pools including one on the rooftop. There is also a complimentary Tesla car service within a three-mile radius of the property.

If you're looking for more of a wellness experience with a side of ocean then check out Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. This luxury retreat on quiet North Beach offers apartment-style rooms, which are tastefully decorated and feature kitchens, washer/dryers, and spacious bathrooms. On-site amenities include cabanas, loungers, and daybeds set up on the chilled beach; four swimming pools, including one that is adults-only on the rooftop, as well as hot tubs; a restaurant serving health-focused fare; a juice bar; an open-air gym complete with a two-story climbing wall; and a massive spa with hydrotherapy. It also offers a range of wellness and workout classes.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range

South Beach

South Beach

On the far southern end of South Beach in a trendy neighborhood dubbed SoFi, Urbanica The Meridian is the top mid-range property in town. Although it is a five-minute walk from the beach, it has many other redeeming qualities like super attentive service, fabulous common spaces, and bikes for guests to rent. Accommodation is in suites, which are done up with minimalist decor and an inviting neutral and white color scheme. Beds feature pillow-top mattresses and quality linens, while baths have designer toiletries. There is also a swimming pool with sun-loungers and cabanas and a coffee and juice shop serving breakfast and lunch.

El Paseo is another excellent mid-range option, which is about a 15-minute walk from Ocean Drive and the beach and just under that to the shops and restaurants lining posh Lincoln Road. The hotel offers bright and cozy rooms with comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. If you're traveling with kids there are one- or two-bedroom apartments with kitchens available. There is an on-site restaurant, beach club access, and free off-street parking available.

The Palms Hotel & Spa offers good value right on Miami Beach, although the location is more than a mile from the trendy portion of South Beach around Ocean Drive. The rooms and suites are done up with classy beach decor and feature bright splashes of color, flat-screen TVs, and rainfall shower-heads in the baths. On-site amenities include direct access to the beach with loungers and umbrellas, sprawling tropical grounds, a buffet restaurant, a swimming pool with sun-loungers, and a spa with a steam room and a nail and hair salon.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Ocean Drive in Miami Beach

Ocean Drive in Miami Beach

Miami Beach is expensive generally, but there are a few decent budget options including the Beach Place Hotel, which is just a short stroll from a quiet stretch of beach (although not close to South Beach). The rooms are basic and a bit dated but relatively comfortable and come with coffee makers, mini-fridges, and options for kitchenettes if you're traveling with the kids or just want to save on eating out. There is a lovely outdoor pool with loungers, as well as free parking, which is rare in Miami.

Another budget option that is just a block from the beach is the Collins Hotel - although it's also not at the trendy South Beach end, which is about five miles away. The rooms are basic but tidy and come with free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs. Amenities include a pool with a sundeck and loungers, as well as a restaurant and free access to a nearby gym. The property is kid-friendly and also has on-site parking for a fee.

Where to Stay for Families

Umbrellas and beach toys along the shore

Umbrellas and beach toys along the shore

W South Beach is a luxury hotel that is popular with families thanks to its central South Beach location, family-friendly rooms, and swimming pools. This all-condo property features stylish studios with sea views from furnished balconies, as well as larger multi-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and even a family bungalow with its own plunge pool. Cribs are also available. On-site amenities include two restaurants, two outdoor pools, a spa, and rooftop tennis and basketball courts. Parking is also available for a fee.

Another good choice for parents traveling with kids is The Plymouth South Beach, which is about a five-minute walk from Ocean Drive and the water. There are a mix of rooms and suites available, the latter of which will appeal to families as they are quite spacious and come in either one- or two-bedroom sizes with living rooms. On-site amenities include a Japanese restaurant, outdoor swimming pool and sundeck, and a section of the nearby beach with sun-loungers for guests. Valet parking is available for a fee.

Where to Stay for Couples

Beach chairs in the surf

Beach chairs in the surf

The Standard Miami is ideal for couples as it is an adults-only hotel with a very trendy feel. Located on Belle Island, between downtown Miami and South Beach, it features retro stylish rooms, the best of which come with furnished wraparound decks and soaking tubs. The main focus at The Standard is the spa, which is famous for the hydrotherapy baths, Turkish hammam, and even a mud room. Other amenities include a restaurant and a swimming pool facing Biscayne Bay. There are also stand up paddleboards for guests to try out.

COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach is another romantic hotel choice for couples. This Art Deco hotel is located at the north edge of South Beach fronting the ocean. The boutique property offers stylish chic rooms with comfortable beds and retro-inspired furnishings - book on one of the higher floors for panoramic views as well. On-site amenities include an excellent seafood restaurant focusing on locally sourced produce, as well as a swimming pool, gym, and spa with a hydrotherapy pool on the roof. Beach access is also available, and the hotel is pet-friendly. It gets high marks for attentive and professional service.

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