What We Love
- History is preserved in such original details as terrazzo floors and hand-painted bathroom tiles
- Affordable boutique hotel in burgeoning Faena Arts District
- Sweet, tasty coconut-mango french toast at Café Claridge
- Free WiFi
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Miami vacation?
What To Know
- There’s no pool, but beach services are available on the sandy shores across Collins Avenue
- Some renovations are ongoing
- If you want unobstructed ocean views, request a room on the upper floors
- Dogs up to 60 pounds are welcome, with no fee (cleaning charges may apply if there’s any damage)
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Originally constructed in 1928 as an apartment building, Casa Claridge offers a different take on Miami style, with Mediterranean Revival architecture as opposed to the ubiquitous Art Deco farther south. Restored to its original beauty by hotelier Alan Faena, it’s the low-key cornerstone of the lavish Faena Arts District. A four-story interior atrium with ironwork detailing and a wooden lattice gallery offers a cozy gathering spot for guests, while vintage sofas and chairs, plus slightly worn board games and coffee table books, create a sense of home.
Bed and Bath
All of the 50 guestrooms are unique in layout, but original details have been left intact wherever possible, from terrazzo floors to heavy pockmarked wooden doors and frames restained a rich brown. The interior decor — much of it from Noir in California — includes carved wood bed posts and burlap-covered headboards, analog Big Ben alarm clocks, vintage Persian rugs and handmade throws from Argentina, which nod to Faena’s roots. The bathrooms have been refurbished and feature painted tilework, Frette towels, slippers and C.O. Bigelow toiletries.
Café Claridge offers a small Argentine-influenced menu to be enjoyed in the airy lobby restaurant or the adjacent terrace (think skirt steak with plantains and wagyu empanadas). The hotel plans on expanding the café into an understated version of Buenos Aires’ El Mercado, with a tapas menu and communal tables.
In the Area
Check out the permanent collection at the Bass Museum of Art, which spans 500 years. For art of the wearable kind, hit the Webster, where the latest designers are showcased in a landmark Art Deco building. Trendy eateries open and close every season in Miami, which makes the Forge even more special; this elegant wood-paneled restaurant has been catering to Miami’s elite since 1968. Afterward head for a nightcap to Haven Gastro-Lounge, which serves cocktails until 5 a.m.
How to Get There
We were first given the wrong room but this was quickly rectified. We paid for an Oceanfront Californian King but the room is a huge disappointment. The terrace is literally less than a foot wide and the room (39) absolutely stinks of damp. Generally it is shabby, with dirty curtains and the bathroom door doesn’t even shut.
Though as a Miami Beach resident I live only blocks from this fairly new (resort/apartment/entertainment/arts) complex , I had yet to visit. My friend and I (together with my companion dog) decided to check out Faena, which occupies several buildings on numerous adjacent blocks, in the heart of Miami Beach. At first we went to the main hotel which is absolutely spectacular— so artfully designed, it did not disappoint expectations.
But this outing was to check out their happy hour, which as it turned out is located at the Casa Faena on 35th Street at the Café Faena. A little confusing at first, but not a bother. We walked the couple short blocks and entered this lovingly restored hotel with lobby bar/restaurant and were warmly welcomed. As it was August in Miami, the place was very quiet, so we had ample choice of seating options from French bistro style cane chairs and tables, or bar area in the front — to the overstuffed sofas (more akin to a spacious living room) in back near some colorful stained glass windows. We opted for the latter, plush comfy lounge area surrounded with floor to ceiling shelves filled with books devoted to art, travel and the like. I instantly felt as though transported to the luxury of an old world European hotel. Not really like any other place I’ve been to on Miami Beach.
Stephanie, our server sharing friendly conversation, very hospitable. We ordered a couple of mixologist cocktails from the happy hour menu, both were refreshing, mine with fresh grapefruit and thyme, and my friend’s with berries and fresh mint. We asked to substitute vodka for the gin, that was listed as the base — no problem. We ordered calamari fritti and flatbread margherita. Both appetizers were outstanding, very fresh and cleanly prepared. We checked out both the relationship lunch and dinner menus, as well as summer “Miami Spice” offerings, and agreed we will surely be back for happy hour, as well as fine dining. We were told once the season kicks back in they become quite busy, and I’m not at all surprised. This is a gem of an appealing destination.
I love this place!!! Estefania and Charles are the greatest!!! It was Charles birthday but he made it like every day was our birthday! This place is beautiful, clean, and second from the sand. It doesn’t get any better!!! Love it!!!! LEOS FOR LIFE!
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This hotel is very charming and the staff is great! We loved the rooftop deck with an unobstructed view of the ocean and the indoor library that is flooded with natural light. Our room was also lovely and the bed was extremely comfortable. Jerry and Alejandro were so nice and took great care of us. I would totally stay here again!
Wonderful small hotel with easy access to the beach. Professional service from Estephania from check-in to check-out including a welcoming chilled sparkling wine. Breakfast in the lobby was tasty and a convenient way to start a morning spent on the beach.
I'll come back here in a second!