Miami, the World’s Most Spectacular Beach! The water is warm and the waves adequate enough but it’s the hedonistic excess that keeps a wildly international crowd flocking to South Beach year after year. It’s called the American Riviera for a reason. South Beach is a non-stop party … morning, noon, and night. Lights from the beautiful Art Deco hotels and bars along Ocean Drive bathe the streets, sidewalks, and sand in a pleasing neon glow. Luxury shops, boutiques, and gourmet restaurants are just a flip-flopped leap from the water.
Beautiful tourists, Celebrity and locals stroll along the water’s edge in next to nothing. If it’s a party you’re after this spring, South Beach is always ready. And the best thing about spring in SoBe? The weather … not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right. Let’s go now to read some interesting notes about Miami Beach. Miami’s geographical and cultural position brings a unique flavour to the great American tradition of cosmopolitan life.
Largest city of the southern United States, it has become in many ways the northern most city of South America Up in the gleaming glass and steel skyscrapers of the banking and business districts, the city provides a vital link in financial relations between North and South America. Down in the streets, the smells and sounds of Miami may recall the delicatessens and supper clubs of New York and New Jersey, strong Cuban coffee and cigars and perhaps the exotic beat o Haitian chants. This is the place where the sun spends the winter, a sub tropical haven that never seen the snow. Even in January, the coolest month, thermometer average around 74° Fahrenheit, while the trade winds temper the summer highs. With a good hat and the right lotions, you can enjoy this town all year round. The city stands at the mouth of the Miami River on the shore of Biscayne Bay.
Greater Miami’s metropolitan area comprises 27 municipalities, which sprawl between the mysterious Everglade swamps and the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s population tops two million-almost half of them of Latin American and Caribbean origin. Tallahassee, photo above, runs Florida’s state government and bureaucracy, but there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that Greater Miami is the state’s major centre for commerce, culture and sheer urban bounce. For tourists, the city is most famous for the bright and breezy hotels of its resort area, Miami Beach, connected to the mainland by causeways.
But massive construction at a cost of literally billions of dollars has given a dramatic new look to the downtown district, attracting business people and shoppers, as well as traditional tourists from the beaches. Sleek office towers line Flagler Street, Biscayne Boulevard and Brickell Avenue, the Wall Street of the South. Over 200 million dollars were spent on the Southeast Financial Center alone, tallest structure south of New York and east of Houston. With completion of the Bayside leisure complex and the ultra-modern “people- mover” (elevated train) system, renaissance in Miami has become a reality. Yet a mere hundred years ago all was wilderness here. A handful of settlers traded with the Indians at the mouth of the Miami River, named by the Tequesta tribe to mean “Big Water”.
The pioneers lived in part by wrecking, salvaging the cargoes of ships that ran aground. They also farmed vegetables and citrus fruit for sale in northern markets. Sailing boats from Key West, photo below, called every fortnight, bringing news of the outside world.
To this frontier outpost came a widow from Ohio named Julia Tuttle.
Convinced of South Florida’s potential for development, she urged railway magnate Henry Flagler to expand his Florida East Coast line south to Miami. At first the tycoon refused, but Mrs. Tuttle persisted. Finally in 1896, the railway reached Miami. Flagler built a luxury hotel on Biscayne Bay and Miami’s course was set. The resilient city has weathered killer hurricanes and financial collapse, the panic of the 1962 missile crisis and the usual modern big-city woes of riots and drug traffic, aggravated by a new influx of Caribbean refugees in the 1980s.
The Miami authorities seem now to have their problems well under control. Things are looking up for Miami Beach, too. Hugely popular in the 1920s and 30s, and again in the 50s and 60s, the resort is bounding back in favour as a new generation of holiday makers discovers the pleasures of the “Florida Riviera”, with its silver sands and swaying palms.
Preservationists are restoring the Jazz Age hotels that line Ocean Drive in the Art Deco District, designated a national historic area. And the resort palaces along Collins Avenue are undergoing extensive remodeling. The beach itself is bigger and better than before, right now is considered the best one around the world. The tide was lapping at the gateposts of the oceanfront hotels when the United States Army Corps of Engineers created a new strand stretching 300 feet to the high water line. Now, as in the 20s, there’s a boardwalk by the sea.
Alright, let’s go to see the Miami Beach Hotels.
In Miami Beach, it is possible to stay in any type of hotel. From Boutique Hotels, which are small, have a small number of rooms and trendy designs, to the large hotel chains with more classic furniture.
We have selected the best for each category: 5 Stars, 4 Stars, 3 Stars and Budget Hotels, based on position, style, charm, services and price. All our hotels are quite unique. Their design is fancy, and there’s a great care for details. All of them also represent the Miami Beach’s philosophy: trendiness.
The most interesting and famous Hotels are usually found in Ocean Drive. We suggest those because that way you won’t necessarily need a car. You’ll be able to walk out of the hotel and dive into SOBE’s atmosphere. One gets a nice feeling when one opens the door and feels a lot of people talking and moving.
One will never feel alone in Miami Beach. You’ll be able to dress the way you like, eat at any hour of the day, even by yourself, and no one will bother you, as you will always feel part of the community. However, we are warning you: these hotels may be noisy, with all the music and confusion out on the streets. If you have difficulty sleeping, book rooms on the back. They are usually soundproofed, but we assure you that Ocean Drive and South Beach are alive from night until the morning after.
If you have a car, a valet will take your car from the front of the hotel and park it. However, they are usually quite expensive. On the other hand, timed parking spaces are available with nighttime fees halfway through Washington Avenue between the 11th and the 12th, or in Collins Avenue between the 5th and the 6th.
There are also expensive sheltered private parking spaces, scattered around Collins Avenue. We suggest renting a bike between the 5th and Washington if you’re planning to stay in SoBe. We suggest locking it well and leave it indoors especially designed for hotel guests. If you’re renting an apartment, we suggest putting it in your room.
Do not leave your car in residents-only parking spaces or timed (which use multiples of two hours), because in South Beach fines and car towing are very common practices. The classic, largest and most historical hotels with Cuban background are found in Collins Avenue from the 15th on. They provide all kinds of comforts and some of them are very famous. Most rooms offer ocean view, swimming pool, fitness area, spa, restaurants, and other services. There are lots of them until North Beach and Bal Harbour.
Up north, one may also find cheap, beach-side motels. There are also various skyscraper hotels, especially in the financial part of Miami Downtown, in front of the Miami Harbour. They are all part of various hotel chains and are suggested for quick stops or business meetings.
Miami Beach’s Five Most Fashionable Boutique Hotels
For people who want to travel in style and expect to be spoiled with every amenity possible during their hard-earned vacation, then Florida’s South Beach area is the right place. South Beach is full of boutique hotels that specialize in catering to guests in every way imaginable. These boutique hotels are well known by locals and tourists alike, because they have so much to offer in the way of recreation, luxury and amenities. In fact, these services and amenities are practically just as popular as the area’s vibrant nightlife scene.
This guide of the top five boutique hotels in Miami Beach is meant to help the discerning tourist choose the right one.
Angler’s Boutique Resort
600 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida
305.534.9600 / 866.729.8800
This hotel was the creation of Henry Maloney and construction of the building was finished during the 1930s. This chic and exotic hotel has a Mediterranean flair to it and guests will feel as if they are on a tropical island. The overall atmosphere here is very relaxing Zen-like. Included among the suite amenities of the Angler’s Boutique Resort are such luxuries like jacuzzis, plasma televisions, spas and wireless internet. Guests can reserve one of the 49 suites that range from studios to duplexes, rooftop terrace rooms or ones with private garden.
The Angler’s Boutique Resort is conveniently located in Miami Beach on Washington Avenue, between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. All of the popular South Beach restaurants, clubs and bars are within walking distance of the hotel, including Opium Garden, Prime 112, Mansion and Prive. There are four different buildings that belong to the hotel. One of them is the well known Parisian Brasserie Maison D’Azur, which is a locally well known bar and restaurant. On top of that, the hotel also has other luxurious amenities that fit well in what is considerred the Miami Beach lifestyle, including 24/7 concierge service, wellness spa, gym outfitted with the most modern equipment and a cafè.
Z Ocean Hotel
1458 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida
The Z Ocean Hotel, once known as the Regent South Beach, consists of 80 suites. A whopping 27 of them are located on the rooftop terrace, and the designers of this hotel, Ronald Molko and Gene Grabarnick, wanted it that way so as many people as possible could get a great view of all that Miami Beach has to offer. This hotel is truly the ideal place to stay for guests looking for glamour and luxury. The amenities offered include butler services, elegant penthouse rooms, a full spa, luxury car rentals that includes brands like Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley, as well as a fleet of Mercedes Benz house cars that are all the latest 500S model.
Everyone who appreciates art and culture will enjoy the hotel’s chic revival design by Arquitectonica. The Z Ocean Hotel is also located in the center of the area’s Art Deco district and is just a short walk away from the Cameo. The famous Table 8 restaurant also belongs to this boutique hotel and the fine cuisine served here appeals to even the most distinguished tastebuds. Many well known people come here to enjoy meals by the Chef Govind Armstrong and it is not impossible to see stars like Elton John or Al Pacino eating here.
However, even ordinary guests are treated like stars here and people who arrive in their own car can turn it in to the hotel staff who will then take care of it. In addiiton, there is an in-house concierge service that is there to provide guests with any type of assistance they need, such as making reservations for nightclubs, arranging jet ski rentals, and even purchasing event tickets. Regardless of how a guest spends time here, the ambience is relaxing and inviting. Guests can choose to just stay and enjoy the Z Ocean Hotel’s own glass-bottom pool or go out on the town.
The Sagamore Hotel
1671 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida
The Sagamore, also referred to as the Art Hotel, is a new hotel that opened up in 2002. This high class boutique hotel in South Beach is known for its large collection of artwork and the minimalist decor. Scultptures and paintings are found in every room of the hotel, and future artists can display their art work and photography in a gallery. Another unique feature of the Sagamore is the production studion that provides artists with a workspace for fashion shoots The location of this hotel, which can almost be comparied to an art museum, on Collins Avenue is also extremely convenient.
The Sagamore, which was built in 1942, has an impressive selection of suites. There are not only eight rooftop penthouse suites with three bedrooms, but also a total of fifteen two story bungalows, seven of which have agarden and eight with a balcony. Luxury is a given in any suite, though, and each features upscale furniture, complete kitchens, two 42 inch flat screen TVs and wireless internet, as well as some tasty gourmet snacks by Dylan and some products from Philosophy.
However, there is no need to stay indoors in order to enjoy all the amenities. Guests who want to soak up some of the Florida sun can go outdoors and enjoy the sleek infinity pool and poolside spa services. For the more adventurous guest, there is even an additional sundeck on the second floor that allows people to get a full body tan without having to worry about wearing a bathing suit. Location is one thing that can’t be changed and the Sagamore is in a great spot.
As the concierge points out, the hotel is only a short walk from anything a guest needs. Nonetheless, the Sagamore still provides full concierge services that make the stay even more enjoyable. This includes car services, making reservations for guests at local popular nightclubs and even bottle services.
Even though all the hotspots of Miami Beach are within walking distance, there is no need to leave the hotel to enjoy fine cuisine. This is because the fabulous Social Miami, which is famous for its house parties that take place every Friday night, is located right inside of the Sagamore. Guests need a reservation to experience one of these house parties, but there is no need to worry about that since the concierge will ensure it is taken care of.
Congress Ocean Drive
1052 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida
Ocean Drive is probably the most famous street in all of Miami Beach, and this makes it a great location for a truly unique hotel. The Congress Ocean Drive is a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel that seamlessly integrates the different styles of architecture found in South Beach. The hotel is made up of five different buildings, four of which are considered historical buildigs and one which is a modern construction. From the rooftop, guests can relax in the pool and take in all the breathtaking views of the beach and downtown Miami Beach.
Guests at the Congress Ocean Drive will find that luxury is not an option here. The hotel only has suites to offer, 67 of them in all, and they start at 300 square feet and go up to 800 square feet in size. Each suite features a soaking tub, rainfall showerhead, H20+ products for the bath, and Luminaire furnishings, Attention is also paid to other details in order to ensure the highest level of comfort, including wireless internet, 300 count sheets and flatscreen TVs. The Congress Ocean Drive also offers its guests unique places to eat. Among the restaurants to choose from in the hotel is the Cheeseburger South Beach and the Atlantic Grill & Bar.
Located in the center of South Beach, all of the famous places to go in the area are just a few steps away. Guests can easily walk to Larios on the Beach, Wet Willies, Mansion, Opium Garden and Cameo. There are also many stores nearby, such as the Armani Exchange, Kenneth Cole and Nicole Miller.
Desires Hotels manages the Congress Ocean Drive boutique hotel and the goal is to provide guests with a comfortable, enjoyable and luxurious experience. The concierge is always there to help guests fulfill their wishes and is able to assist in setting up games of golf for visitors, schedule tours of the area, car rentals, and booking recreational activities popular in Florida like jet skiing, fishing and boating. The concierge can even obtain club passes for guests and reserve bottle services.
The National Hotel
1677 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida
People looking for something different will feel comforable at the National Hotel. This boutique hotel offers all the amenities one would expect, such as movies, flatscreen televisions and high speed internet, but also a unique ambience due to the Art Deco styling combined with elements of modern design. Guests at the National Hotel can get what they want from this boutique hotel and can choose the room or suite that best meets their needs. There are so many choices, in fact, that picking out just one might seem impossible at first!
There are more than a hundred rooms and suites with great views of the ocean or city in the historic tower, 36 ultra posh rooms in the cabana wing off of the pool, and several three level penthouse suites with more than 1,200 square feet of living space. On top of all that, there are three exclusive tower suites with one bedroom that come with refrigerators stocked with whatever the guest wants to have, fresh flowers and fantastic views of both the ocean and Miami.
Even guests staying in rooms without an on-demand refrigerator can experience fine cuisine. In the hotel is the restaurant Tamara which features fushion meals from a chef who is well known, Frederic Delaire. For light meals or snacking there are is also the Zee Pool Lounge. After 11 PM when the in-hotel options are closed, guests can take a short walk or drive into the city and find plenty of clubs, bars and restaurants.
The National Hotel is located in a great location near all that Ocean Drive has to offer, as well as close to famous Miami nightclubs like the Prive, Mansion and Opium Garden. Of course guests at the National Hotel do not have to worry about entry into thse exclusive clubs, because the hotel’s own concierge will see to it that all guests are welcomed at any of the nightclubs.
The concierge is also there to assist guests with anything they need, including arranging for massages, car servicing, and tour reservations. This boutique hotel even has their own production department for shooting videos, movies and photographs and this unique service attracts many celebrities. It is not out of the ordinary for a star to show up at this hotel. However, a vacation should also be relaxing and the National Hotel offers its guests plenty of opportunities to just lay back and enjoy themselves at one of the pools or in a yoga class.
1116 Ocean Drive
33139 Miami Beach, Florida
Arguably one of South Beach’s most glamorous hotels. It’s an historic 1930’s villa which belonged to the fashion designer Gianni Versace, which lends to its unique and enchanting atmosphere, featuring a blend of Persian, Egyptian and English style. Each suite is individual and has inlaid furniture, wall mosaics and Italian marble baths. The Versace Mansion it has been for sure the most romantic hotel in Miami. After the Gianni Versace dead, it become an hotel called Casa Casuarina for different years and after this period, is now part of a new property who has totally cancelled the incredible allure who Gianni Versace has created for long time in this villa.
We have decided to include The Versace Mansion in this list as tribute to the Italian designer and becouse the luxury environment who he has designed inside, is second to none in the world. Actually this property is closed. Last but not least, in Miami Beach you can browse for free. Look for these two WiFi signals: City_of_Miami_Beach_WiFi or MBKIDS (This signal is content filtered. If you need assistance please call 305-722-1917.
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