What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Courtyard oasis with a swimming pool, ping-pong, bocce and board games
- Home of the Broken Shaker, arguably Miami’s best-loved bar, which serves artisanal cocktails and snacks
- Lobby activity board and constantly updated website list opportunities for fun in the sun
What To Know
- In keeping with Miami Beach custom, an 18 percent gratuity is included in tabs at the Broken Shaker
- Hallways are subdued, unlike the bright, cheery rooms and art-filled lobby
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Miami vacation?
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Grown-up summer camp. From the hand-painted map of Miami Beach on one wall of the lobby (parts of South Beach are labeled “Boobs” and “Gay Dudes,” respectively) to the activity board with flyers advertising free art classes in the courtyard and yoga on the beach, everything at the Freehand is quirky, witty and site-specific. The entry is papered with vintage travel ads for Miami, the courtyard is studded with Midcentury Modern patio furniture — even the tissue boxes in the rooms are covered in road maps of the Magic City.
Bed & Bath
Spotless shared rooms — quads and eight-beds that can be rented by a group or split with other solo travelers — have ship-shape bunkbeds, woven blankets in primary colors, and the ambience of a perfect place to play truth or dare or tell ghost stories. But a private room is perhaps more your thing. Private King rooms are basic but surprisingly large, with well-chosen details: flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and design-conscious bathrobes embroidered with the word Miami. Bathrooms are as retro as the Art Deco building itself, with beige-and-white tiles and full tubs, and the same attention paid to little something extras, such as hair dryers in embroidered bags dangling from the back of the bathroom door.
The in-house bar, the Broken Shaker, opened as a pop-up experiment in the courtyard of the old Indian Creek Hotel before its transformation into the Freehand. Its artisanal cocktails — made from housemade bitters, courtyard-grown herbs and house-pickled garnishes — proved so popular that locals clamored for its return. Now it serves drinks and a small but impeccably procured food menu (locally made Proper sausages on pretzel buns from Zak the baker) starting at 6 p.m. each evening. There’s also a light menu of wraps and salads available all day by the pool, and the restaurant, 27, made its debut in fall 2014, serving tasty creations with produce sourced from the on-site garden.
In the Area
Two blocks from the shores of South Beach, the Freehand sits in a quiet neighborhood of luxury hotels 11 blocks from the pedestrian mall of Lincoln Road and about 15 from the Art Deco madness of Ocean Drive. Guests can rent bikes ($15) to take in the sights, stroll over to the beach for yoga, or hop in a cab to admire the graffiti art during the Wynwood Art Walk. The friendly Freehanders at reception can arrange for further adventures, such as paddleboarding on Indian Creek. Everyone is focused on visitors having fun and getting to know Miami and its inhabitants — which will happen even if you stay on campus, as locals flock to the Broken Shaker come sundown.
How to Get There
Extremely disappointed. The way the hostel/hotel is marketed is like a scam. Let’s begin with the main picture, that they show of the inside garden is not really a place to relax and chill. The area is restricted, after maybe 3pm they put a reserved signed on the tables. This is more for locals that come to consume and eat at the restaurant, which is not part of the hotel. If you coming to the hostel, forget about seating on this area or bringing food to relax or a cold beverage. The place where they offer breakfast is in the far back of the garden, really a secluded area, they had 3 tables and this is the only place where you can bring your food and drinks. Sometime places are overrated and this place is certainly one of them. The main lobby is adorned with old, stuffy and dirty furnitures. Actually my great-grandmother furniture are more pleasant. They guard the garden like is heaven, but mainly for the locals that comes in to spent money. Although I spent 100 within 30 minutes and I had the staff all over my ass, just maybe because I looked relaxed and was seated on a spacious table and they probably wanted it. Anyways the room are as well stuffy and Old.
They had built a reputation cause the locals ones into the “secreta garden” and spend couple of dollars. And being Miami a party theme, word has spread out. But this is not really for the guests that are staying here.
Perhaps for some it might look impressive. I had traveled enough and I had stayed in expensive and inexpensive hostel/hotel and this one is very deceiving. For god sake this is a hostel and an expensive one based on the prices. Don’t go for the reviews when selecting this one, there are more places around the area that treat you with respect and does not hide information
Conveniently located to visit Miami South Beach area and accessible by public transportations. The rooms and beds are comfortable but cleaning needs some improvements. As an hostel the reception team could have more information about the local options, we asked few questions and we were referred to google, if we are asking them is because we are looking for a local knowledge and expertise. The bar and restaurant are excellent and the vibe is good
Booked two rooms as the website and their Expedia page suggest that they have parking ( all be it local and limited). I emailed them to confirm that we would need parking. No reply so I’d assumed all ok. Arrived to be very rudely told ‘ it’s Miami Beach of course there is no parking- what did you expect!’
On arguing that their website say they had parking I was told by the manager that they didn’t ( A LIE). I was then told that I could park at a lot a block away but I would have to renew my ticket every 3 hours up until 3am!! Worse I would have to do that at the machine in the lot!!!!
When I explained that this clearly wasn’t going to work and that I’d find somewhere else to stay they refused to refund me. They then refused Expedia’s request to refund me. So they took my money for two rooms that I couldn’t use because their website lied! Best of it all is that pretty much all of the other hotels along that strip not only have parking but it’s valet.
The food might be good but the level of service is appalling!