The National Hotel, An Oceanfront Resort
What We Love
- Direct beach access and two lounge chairs per room
- The two swimming pools are open 24 hours
- The meticulous attention to detail in the Deco-inspired decor (think steamer trunk side tables, rotary phones and record players)
- The Jazz Age–inspired Blues Bar
What To Know
- The hotel underwent a multimillion-dollar revamp in 2014
- Pets are welcome in the poolside Cabana Rooms (there's a cleaning fee)
- Although there’s no dedicated spa, a masseuse is available
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Cool cats have been preening at this legendary Miami Beach stay since 1939, and thanks to a multimillion-dollar overhaul — and a place on the Historic Hotels of America list — this Art Deco classic is having another heyday. The guestrooms have been revamped in painstaking detail, with rich hardwoods, chrome plate accents and terrazzo tiling in the bathrooms, along with whimsical touches like steamer trunk side tables, rotary phones and record players. There’s enough clean-line modernity at play to rescue the look from feeling too gimmicky, although diehard Jazz Age fans can get an unadulterated nostalgia fix in the Prohibition Era atmosphere of the Blues Bar. Things are much more up-to-date South Beach–style once you venture outdoors, where the chic infinity pool, which is lined with palm trees and cabanas, offers a glamorous hideout for those wanting more privacy than the scene on nearby Miami Beach. (Guests can also opt for a massage in a cabana or their own suite under the soothing hands of Melisa Brown and her team from UneedaMassage.) The menu at Tamara Bistro (named for provocative Jazz Age artist Tamara de Lempicka) hews close to bistro classics like salade niçoise and steak frites, with the occasional foray into healthy options such as grilled tofu with couscous and vegetables, to keep the svelte set happy.
In the Area
Pick up a glamorous poolside outfit or a piece of contemporary art in the Miami Design District, a wonderland of fashion, art, design and dining around four miles from the hotel, or hit the famous Bal Harbour Shops, where you can drop some serious cash on big name designers like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Dolce & Gabbana. Or save your dinero and cash in on wonder instead by taking a stroll through Miami’s iconic Art Deco District, where some of the world’s best-preserved and most impressive Deco architecture lives. Skip the scene at South Beach’s hotel hot spot restaurants and nosh instead at Joe’s Stone Crab; this no-frills century-old icon is the place for crab cakes, lobster rolls and other nostalgic feasts.
How to Get There
This is a very good hotel in a near-perfect South Beach location. The rooms are good, but a little on the small side even by comparison. Service is adequate with excellent staff at the pool and bars and average service from front desk and baggage personnel. The rooms, particularly the cabana rooms are noisy. Expect to be awoken by hall noise, neighboring hotel noise and random music, bass and passerby noise throughout the night and morning. The real star of this hotel is the pool and common amenities. They are relatively uncrowded and truly 5-star. We would consider returning.
I had stayed here as a guest many years ago and decided to stay again. Unfortunately, this stay didn’t fair as well. There was a small issue with our room at check in, the second room we were given had a broken toilet, and we had a very uncomfortable situation with an aggressive hotel security guard: we had rented a cabina for an entire day assuming we could get some private time away from other guests. We decided to close/zip the front since there were many noisy kids around. A security guard rudely and aggressively tapped on the tarp and yelled “You can’t close this!” He did that twice. The pool boy who rented it to us never informed us of that policy nor was our waitress who helped us close the tarp aware of the policy. So we called Chloe, the manager, over to explain the conflict and the security guard continued to harass us. He questioned whether we were even guests there and demanded our room number. Chloe tried to diffuse the situation but the security kept reprimanding us. Had we known at the beginning of the day that one could not zip the tent we wouldn’t have rented it. It’s $200+ for NO PRIVACY?? And have the entire staff be informed of hotel policy. We weren’t given the option of a refund nor a compensation. That entire scene has tainted our view of your hotel.
From the time we arrived everything was perfect. Check in was easy, and even though we arrived a bit early we were immediately let into our rooms. I was part of a large group (13 people) for a stag weekend and everything ran perfectly smooth. The rooms were more than adequate for our purpose, which was really just to lay our heads at night or early in the morning. The food was great. I ate breakfast there everyday and lunch once or twice. The pool and beach were both perfect places to have a few drinks and/or rest after a few drinks! We sang with the piano man at night while having a few cocktails before heading out and the concierge and reception were very friendly and helpful with anything needed. Shylah and Natalia G. were great with helping me find packages which seemed to be lost, but were just hiding in plain sight!! All in all, I give the hotel a 11 out of 10!!
The most striking attribute of this hotel is the service. The staff is incredibly polite, welcoming and accommodating! We had an especially great check in experience with Natalya. The hotel’s decor is stylish and full of personality. The food and drink were delicious. We loved how relaxing the pool area was compared to other South Beach hotels. We can’t wait to go back!!
The National is our favorite hotel in SoBe. This was our sixth stay. The staff is excellent and the rooms and food are above average. The whole vibe is a throwback to the real SoBe and so much more authentic than the newer pretentious "chic" hotels.