In a city known for its nighttime antics, this 426-room eco-resort is an oasis of calm — with direct access to the beach and four beautiful swimming pools. Being kind to Mother Nature is a priority: Rooms are outfitted with hemp-blend Keetsa mattresses, organic cotton sheets, and walls made of salvaged driftwood. A fleet of Teslas offer complimentary rides within a three-mile radius and the lobby features a stunning 11,000-plant "living" green wall. Dine on locally caught fish, antibiotic-free meats, and fresh produce at Tom Coliccho’s first seafood restaurant, Beachcraft.
With its Georgian architecture and contemporary interiors, The Betsy feels refreshingly low-key compared to its glitzier Ocean Drive neighbors. The lack of a nightclub also means this place is perfect for families, but sitters can be arranged with the concierge for date night (might we suggest BLT Steak). Get up early to secure prime sunbathing spots on the rooftop deck, or take a dip in the tiny, but very private, courtyard pool. It's currently undergoing expansion to an Art Deco wing next door, promising more darling accommodations and communal spaces.
An exercise in Mediterranean Revival decor, the 50-room hotel acts as a relaxed guest house and arts hub. Rooms are stocked with Frette linens and Argentinean malbec, not to mention peace and quiet. Guests congregate in the main sitting room underneath a giant paper ceiling installation by Manuel Ameztoy. Look out for tuna tartare served on the patio, rotating art exhibits, and curated musical tertulias (social gatherings) on Friday nights.
As the cultural and social scene shifts from South Beach to Downtown Miami, the cool hotels are following. This 52-story high-rise overlooks the Atlantic on one side and Miami's glittering skyline on the other, enjoyed from floor-to-ceiling glass doors and private balconies. Arrive by yacht to the hotel’s own marina, stop for lunch at the Japanese sushi shrine that is Zuma on the first floor, and head up to the sixteenth-floor terrace for a dip in one of their two pools. Pets are welcome and bikes are ready for loan.
The Art Deco landmark opened in 1954, designed by legendary Morris Lapidus. In the 1950s and '60s, the hotel was a favorite playground of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Rat Pack, and it starred in the sweeping, opening aerial shot of James Bond's Goldfinger in 1964. At 1,504 rooms, multiple restaurants, nightclubs, and a 40,000-square-foot spa, this is the place to come to live large.
Read more on Fathom: No Sleep Till Miami
A breezy Deco building a block from the beach is outfitted with a fun and fashionable crowd drinking specialty cocktails by the pool. Both a hotel and a hostel, choose from private rooms with en-suite bathrooms or shared rooms with hotel-grade mattresses. Even if you're not staying here, drop by for a drink at The Broken Shaker or lunch at 27.
With just 87 rooms, the Gale feels tiny next to its bigger and glitzier South Beach neighbors. It's Old Miami by way of Retro Hollywood with plush leather seats, oak panels, and chandeliers in the lobby and Regent Cocktail Club (where bartenders mix the best cocktails in town). Shout-out to the rooftop pool for panoramic views of the city, and the Rec Room in the basement for the impressive vinyl collection.
A recent reno reveals modern beachy furnishings in creams, off-whites, and muted blues. A variety of rooms (affordable doubles to suites) are have Dean and Deluca snacks, Sferra linens, and large bathrooms. Cabanas surround the lovely, heated deco pool. A great little spot to know about on the strip.
On a tiny island near downtown Miami, the Brickell Key locale feels like a Zen escape from the South Beach crowds. The private beach is well-kept and almost always empty except the occasional private parties hosted by the hotel. The 15,000-square-foot spa has a variety of Chinese, ayurvedic, European, Balinese, and Thai treatments and massages. Azul is a local favorite, as is MO Bar and Lounge with live Cuban jazz music.
The latest of Ian Schrager's EDITION hotels for Marriott (London and Istanbul are thriving) has 294 minimalist rooms and suites, many with breathtaking ocean vistas. Everything is spotlessly clean, and white linens and neutral wood finishes abound. The staff — from room service to cheerful concierges — are eager to please. Market by Jean Georges Vongerichten serves delicious food 24/7 in a vibrant, open air space. The poolside restaurant Tropicale has perfect shrimp cocktail in a bouganvillea-strewn landscape. But really, this place is such a one-stop hotel shop that you could bring an entire family here and find an activity, spa treatment, luxury suite, or amenity for everyone.
This just-opened "next generation urban resort" from Ian Schrager and Marriott Hotels occupies a sleekly renovated 1950s landmark on Collins Avenue in the mid-beach section of South Beach. There are 294 minimalist rooms and suites, many with breathtaking ocean vistas. Everything is spotlessly clean, and white linens and neutral wood finishes abound. The staff — from room service to cheerful concierges — are eager to please.
The 1940s style — reflected in the furniture, the cedar wood pieces, the terrazzo floors — nfuses the hotel with an impossibly beautiful aesthetic. And the world the hotel creates manages to include so many conflicting qualities: The Raleigh is cool and welcoming, gorgeous and high-quality, trendy and timeless. Guests and locals flock to the Martini Bar or to the Art Deco Pool Bar. You'll never want to leave the hotel but when you do, the hotel will loan you a Raleigh bike to go out and explore the neighborhood.
See more on Fathom: A Taste of the Raleigh, Miami
It’s 40 floors of over-the-top opulence that really only works in South Beach. While they preserved the Art Deco exterior of the refurbished Dempsey Vanderbilt building, interiors reflect strong Asian influences. Gone are the Miami whites, replaced with polished teak floors and black granite baths. Add three infinity pools, Sunday jazz brunch, and a tea-inspired spa experience to round off an extravagant stay.
David Chipperfield’s design is fresh and clean with lots of white-on-white complementing the bright hand-painted pillows by Izhar Patkin and Kim MacConnel sprinkled around the hotel. Opt for one of the seven poolside bungalows with a private outdoor shower (swipe the Malin+Goetz for home). The hotel's two pools are South Beach favorites, as is the Redroom in Skybar.
It's a boho boutique hotel stunner, thanks to its big name associations (Sam Nazarin, Philippe Starck, Lenny Kravitz). Rooms are filled with Starck's take on French aritocracy and naughty touches (mirrors on the ceilings). By day, everyone's recovering from last night's party in cabanas with steps leading straight into the pool. Nighttime is when the rest of the world wakes up, starting with dinner at The Bazaar, where James Beard award-winning chef José Andrés creates inventive dishes, and ending at Hyde Beach for drinks.
A bastion of charm and good service in an usually charmless and service-less town. While its location right next to the famous Fontainebleau means occasionally dealing with the spillover party crowd, the 50-room boutique hotel and member’s club is a different scene entirely. It's all Cuban-style tiled floors, leather armchairs, freestanding tubs, exposed ceiling beams. Do not miss the private beach, a massage at the aptly-named Cowshed spa, and brunch at Cecconi’s.
It's on the bay, so though you're in South Beach, the scene feels miles away. Go here to get away from kids, eat tofu-avocado salads by the pool, dunk in the waterfall, and simmer in the hamam. No Miami hotel makes you feel classier, and it's a great place to make new friends from all over the world.
Read more on Fathom: Detoxing in Miami. Of All Places.
This 380-room beachfront spot captures the mid-century modern aesthetic through interior design by noted British tastemaker Martin Brudnizki. Rooms feel spacious: Many have ocean views, and more than 30 suites have expansive terraces, full kitchens, and living rooms. The pool and garden areas are perfect for people watching, and Seagrape is run by James Beard Award-winning chef and local food hero Michelle Bernstein. The tenth floor spa has lovely sea views and the Crown Room is the perfect spot for a cocktail connoisseur.
A surprisingly elegant for South Beach that harks to the old Miami glamor with its monumental L. Murray Dixon-designed Art Deco entrance. All 45 suites face the ocean and are some of the most spacious along Ocean Drive (walk-in closet included). Kudos for the mellow mezzanine-level pool scene, and for Kelly Wearstler's '08 update with marble bathrooms, faux animal rugs, bleached oak screens, and lots of tortoise shells.