10 Best Luxury Hotels in Miami
With miles of beachfront resorts and a slew of hotels in tony neighborhoods like Brickell and Downtown, you won’t have difficulty finding a room in Miami. Since many of the area’s hotels offer a winning combination of sun, sand, sleep, and repeat, the city's best luxury hotels have had to get creative to stand out. An ice rink in the tropics? Why not? Triple-decker spas? Of course. But above all, Miami’s best luxury hotels excel at providing stellar service and unwavering comfort. Here, our 10 VIP picks in Miami and Miami Beach.
Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
This past year, Four Seasons brought new life to The Surf Club, which originally opened in 1930 in Surfside, just south of Bal Harbour. Architect Richard Meier’s glassy new building added 77 rooms and suites to the historic club, and designer Joseph Dirand’s interiors bring the colors of nature indoors. Beige walls and warm-toned marble echo the sand outside, while green and blue accents recall the palm trees and Atlantic Ocean, visible from most rooms through their floor-to-ceiling windows. After a day sunning at the beach or pool, guests can dine at Le Sirenuse, the first-ever international outpost from the restaurant at the legendary Amalfi Coast hotel.
1 Hotel South Beach
Reclaimed woods, organic linens, and a massive living wall: 1 Hotel’s commitment to sustainability permeates every facet of this jumbo-sized oceanfront resort. But going green never comes at the expense of luxury. Its 425 airy rooms and suites average an impressive 700-square-feet each, among the largest in all South Beach, and guests in the sprawling accommodations sleep on grey-toned oak beds topped with cotton mattresses. In the bathrooms, Carrara marble soaking tubs and rainfall showers further solidify this eco-friendly resort as anything but roughing it. Scattered throughout the U-shaped property, four pools cater to different crowds. Families head to the oversized center pool, for example, while lap swingers exercise in the Cabana Pool. The most epic views, though, come from the 18th-floor pool, adjacent to the hotel’s rooftop bar. The adults-only space has 360-views of the ocean to the east and the downtown Miami skyline to the west.
The Villa Casa Casuarina
Built as a private mansion in 1930, Casa Casuarina’s Old World architecture and Greco-Roman statuary convinced fashion designer Gianni Versace to purchase the villa in 1992 while on vacation in Miami. He spent the next three years—and over $32 million—renovating and expanding the house into a gilded palace. After the designer’s untimely murder, the so-called Versace Mansion changed hands several times before reopening as a luxury boutique hotel, first in 2014, and again— following extensive restorations—in December 2017. Now, the ten baroque-style suites, with trompe l'oeil walls, frescoed ceilings, and leopard-print furniture, offer guests an exclusive and intimate glimpse into the life of the style icon. JS tip: Don’t miss taking a dip in the pool; it's comprised of over a million mosaic tiles, many of them 24-karat gold.
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Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Argentine hotelier Alan Faena collaborated with costume designer Catherine Martin and director Baz Luhrmann—the Oscar-winning power couple behind dazzling films like Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby—to create this Mid-Beach resort. The result? A retro-glam masterpiece chock-a-block with theatrical accents, like a 24-karat gold wooly mammoth skeleton from Damien Hirst. In the 169 eye-catching rooms and the oversized lobby, dubbed “The Cathedral,” red and gold abound, with pops of turquoise to remind you that this Gatsby party is in Miami and not West Egg. Each floor features dedicated, around-the-clock butler service, and guests enjoy access to a 22,000-square-foot spa, a serene beachfront pool, and two of the buzziest restaurants in Miami: Los Fuegos, Argentine griller extraordinaire Francis Mallmann’s love letter to wood-fired meats, and Pao, an Asian fusion hotspot from chef Paul Qui.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
This balcony-clad, crescent-shaped resort in Mid Beach feels more like an ultra-luxe cruise ship than land-lubbing hotel. Since 1954, it’s dominated the Miami hotel scene, and not just in size—though, at 1,504 rooms, Fontainebleau is the city’s largest hotel. It’s also been Miami's perennial paragon of style and star power. Early on, Marcus Lapidus’s iconic Art Deco design attracted Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley. Nowadays, the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs, and Gwyneth Paltrow can be seen lounging at one of the resort’s 11 pools, dining at one of its seven restaurants—including a Hakkasan and Scott Conant’s Scarpetta—or partying at its nightclubs. Guests looking for a more relaxing experience could easily spend their whole vacation at Lapis, Fontainebleau’s 40,000-square-foot spa.
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The Miami Beach EDITION
Ian Schrager’s sceney resort draws design-conscious sun seekers, including a fair share of A-Listers, to its 294 rooms and bungalow-like suites in Mid Beach. They come for the 1950s glamor vibes—like white marble floors and golden mosaic-tiled columns—and plentiful entertainment options. There’s a restaurant from Jean Georges Vongerichten, a tranquil spa, and an underground nightclub complex, Basement, which has its own bowling alley and ice-skating rink. Outside, there are two stunning pools lined with lush tropical plantings and a hidden hammock garden called “the Sandbox.” And that’s saying nothing of one of the prime reasons anyone travels to Miami: the beach. EDITION sits adjacent to 70,000 square-feet of pristine white sand.
St. Regis Bal Harbour
With the Atlantic Ocean at its back door and Miami’s swankiest retail mecca across the street, St. Regis Bal Harbour might be the beach town’s most strategically located hotel. More than $1 billion went into its opening back in 2014, and in the ensuing few years the 27-story resort has cemented itself as an opulent escape for the high-rolling fashion set looking for some beach time. The Yabu Pushelberg-designed interiors exude elegance-and-chill with varying shades of gray, tan, and slate-blue, and crystal and beveled-glass mirror accents nod to Miami’s Art Deco heritage. Each of the 243 rooms and suites open to 210-square-foot balconies overlooking the sea. Below, two infinity pools—one for families, one for grown-ups—and the Zen-like Remède Spa beckon guests returning from shopping sprees.
Acqualina Resort & Spa
With its colossal yellow portico, marble columns, ornate fountains, and abundance of chandeliers, Acqualina looks like what the Doges of Venice would have built if only they’d had more money. The 51-story Mediterranean-inspired resort in Sunny Isles is a palazzo on steroids, but the opulent design from Isabel Tragash never feels over the top. The 98 residential-style rooms and suites, done in soothing tones of gray and cream, are a measure of understated elegance. But it’s the attention to service and unparalleled waterfront access that sees guests return year after year (a staggering 50 percent of guests are repeat visitors). Acqualina is the only resort in Miami without a public boardwalk separating it from the beach, and its five pools and landscaped grounds extend all the way to the sand. Kids can spend their days at the family-friendly Beach Club Pool, the dedicated sandcastle zone and life-sized chess board, while grown-ups can relax, cocktail in hand, at the adults-only Tranquility Pool.
Are you in South Beach? Or is it Shanghai? Hard to tell at The Setai, an exceedingly stylish beachfront resort with teak floors, lacquer furniture, and bronze and dark stone accents. Either way, you won't care. Most of the resort’s sophisticated 135 suites—they’re all suites—occupy a blue-glass skyscraper, although a few are in an adjoining heritage Art Deco building, AKA the circa 1937 Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel. All feature Duxiana beds, black granite baths, and Acqua di Parma amenities, and suites in the new tower have jacuzzi tubs as well. For relaxation, there’s an indulgent spa with treatments from Paris-based Thémaé, but the real attraction are the three-in-a-row infinity pools which are maintained at a precise 75, 80, and 90 degrees, respectively.
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
From its exclusive location on Brickell Key, a small island of luxury condos just offshore from Brickell and Downtown, Mandarin Oriental, Miami gives guests a commanding view over the city’s glassy skyline and Biscayne Bay. Take it all in—with a Pisco sour and ceviche in hand—from the terrace at La Mar by Gastón Acurio, the hotel’s buzzy restaurant from the popular Peruvian chef. Away from the tourist crowds of South Beach, the Mandarin has traded Art Deco design for the brand’s signature Asian touches, and the hotel’s 326 rooms have a decidedly urban feel. But fear not, beach-lovers: this is Miami, after all. The hotel’s plush tri-level spa opens onto a rounded pool deck where steps lead down to a 20,000-square-foot man-made, private swath of sand.
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