Miami's scene has always revolved around its slick resorts. These glorified party palaces come complete with world-class spas, sexy pools, celeb chef restaurants, and nightclubs packed with A-listers. From a Rat Pack-era institution to a brand-new Brickell district diva, these are the hotels heating up the 305.
Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
The 1930s Surf Club is a South Florida icon that once hosted the likes of Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra. When the Four Seasons took over last year, it tapped Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier to revamp the building. The hotel now features a 15,000-square-foot beachfront spa, a restaurant courtesy of celeb chef Thomas Keller (his first in Florida), three gorgeous pools, a champagne bar, and a private stretch of sand dotted with loungers.
EAST, Miami isn’t your average hotel. This year-old hotspot put the Brickell business district on the travelers map and transformed the area into one of the city's trendiest new nabes. At any given time, you'll find a cool crowd mingling on the 20,000-square-foot terrace (with four pools!), at the outpost of Uruguay’s celebrated La Huella restaurant, or at Sugar—the buzziest bar in the 305. Don't miss the 40th-floor rooftop garden, with its lush greenery, wooden walkways, and upscale tiki bar overlooking Biscayne Bay.
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SLS Brickell, Miami
Following the success of SLS South Beach, the buzzy brand has opened a sister property across the bay. This stylish newcomer incorporates everything we love most about the original hotel, including Bazaar Mar, a hip seafood spot run by chef José Andrés, and the slick yet understated suites designed by Philippe Starck. The one addition? A rooftop deck, with a sexy infinity pool and swoon-worthy views of downtown Miami.
Nobu Hotel Miami Beach
When chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper came together to create the Nobu hotel brand, we knew it would be revolutionary. Now, years later and with two lauded resorts under their belts, the trio has set their sights on a third endeavor in Miami. Similar to their first hotel located within Caesars Palace in Vegas, the new outpost is the same hotel-within-a-hotel concept at the Eden Roc resort. Inside, you'll find 203 David Rockwell-designed guestrooms, an art collection curated by Peter Brant, and of course, an innovative food scene comprised of the signature Nobu Japanese restaurant, plus a reboot of California’s popular Malibu Farm.
Miami's Faena Hotel is all about the wow-factor. Set in the haute Mid-Beach neighborhood, the hotel is the vision of film director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, costumer Catherine Martin. So you can expect grandeur from every corner: there’s a 22,000-square-foot spa, a sprawling cabaret-style theater, and Damien Hirst’s renowned 24-karat wooly mammoth skeleton. The property is just the beginning of Argentinian developer Alan Faena’s grand plan for the billion-dollar Faena Arts District, a cultural quarter that is now home to the Faena Theater for performing arts, the Faena Bazaar shopping area, and the Faena Forum, a Rem Koolhaas-designed events space that hosts rotating exhibits.
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1 Hotel South Beach
Miami’s sizzling hotel scene got a little hotter with the opening of this SoBe stunner. Housed in a 1925 landmark, the hotel looks like it’s straight out of your favorite shelter magazine. Breezy interiors are done up in driftwood, organic white cotton, and marble, while green spaces like vertical gardens and terrariums are a nod to the brand’s eco-friendly ethos. There are three cabana-lined pools (plus a posh rooftop pool), a farm-to-table lobby bar and Beachcraft, chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurant that serves standout Mediterranean fare (the grilled octopus is a must).
At hotelier Ian Schrager’s mid-beach resort, it’s all about the amenities. There are, of course, the standard two pools, spa, and oceanfront views that are staples at every Miami hotel. But where else can you find an ice rink, outdoor movie theater, bowling alley, and not one but two Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurants? Talk about bragging rights.
The Fontainebleau has been a Miami fixture for more than six decades. It all started back in the 1950s Rat Pack era when the hotel first opened, instantly attracting Hollywood honchos and celebs like Elvis Presley, Lucille Ball, and Frank Sinatra—the latter of which now has an entire hallway of photos dedicated to him. Today, A-listers such as Justin Bieber, Calvin Harris, and the Kardashians continue to frequent the Fontainebleau. Keep an eye out for them at the glitzy 40,000-square-foot Lapis spa; in the twelve on-site restaurants; and especially at LIV nightclub, the most legendary rage in town.
The Betsy isn’t like most Miami boltholes. Its stately Georgian facade and wrap-around porch fit more among the Deep South’s plantations than among South Beach’s funky Art Deco dames. There’s also an air of sophistication here, trading Miami’s typical poolside parties for a tranquil courtyard plunge pool and a refined rooftop lounge, where elites kick back on plush chaise lounges by day and sip cocktails over live jazz by night.
Fasano Hotel, Residences and Shore Club
The Fasano Hotel may not have opened yet, but it's already making waves. Housed in the former Shore Club Hotel, the three-acre oceanfront resort and residential complex will be Brazilian hotelier Rogério Fasano’s first foray in the U.S. The sprawling property looks like a sculptural work of art, with lush Enzo Enea-designed gardens centered around a 9,500-square-foot, lagoon-style swimming pool, which takes the prize as the largest in South Beach. But that’s not all: an Italian-Latin American restaurant, a state-of-the-art spa, and 100 beach-chic guestrooms all add to the allure.