Speaking of massive snowstorms bearing down on the east coast of the U.S., sunny, warm Miami is the red hot center of a serious hotel building boom. If you haven’t been here in a few years you might not even recognize the once sleepy and seedy area just north of South Beach, where much of the new construction and hotel re-branding is taking place. Where there were once big, generic and slightly worn hotels you now have outposts of some of the most exciting new brands like the 1 Hotel South Beach, Joie de Vivre’s Hall Hotel and Marriott’s AC brand. You’ll find new hotels throughout Miami. Here are a dozen new hotels we love.
1 Hotel South Beach: The 1 Hotel South Beach has been living up to its hype and has been garnering a lot of favorable press and attention among hotel critics and guests alike. This oceanfront resort (completely rebuilt from the Gansevoort) boasts huge, light-drenched rooms and an eco-consciousness baked into its DNA, with hemp-blend mattresses, a fleet of electric Teslas at your disposal, wooden keys, kayaking and stargazing activities, and no bottled water (only refillable carafes). Only thing missing is a spa, which is on its way.
AC Hotel South Beach: Targeting millennials, the sleek and modern AC Hotel represents Marriott’s European brand, and this new venture opening in mid-beach is their first to open in the U.S. Dressed in neutral colors and across the street from the beach (with some incredible ocean view rooms) and a rooftop pool, this hotel has invented the business-beach style that only Marriott could pull off.
The Edition Miami Beach: The Edition is like nothing you’ve seen before from Marriott. The creation of Studio 54 pioneer Ian Schrager in partnership with the lodging giant, the hotel is on Collins Avenue, on the largest piece of beachfront property in the city. It’s huge, with nearly 300 rooms, suites, bungalows, an outdoor movie theater, bowling alley, ice-skating rink, fitness center, nightclub, marketplace, and a dining room helmed by Jean-Georges. The rooms are impressive as well, with LCD TVs, gourmet minibars, Le Labo soaps, and private balconies with unobstructed ocean views. This is one of the most special and elaborate new additions to South Beach.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach: The Faena hotel brand is bringing an Argentine bravado to Miami Beach. This chic luxury hotel, with rooms designed by Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin, is part of a huge, new complex in trendy mid-beach. With an official opening this past December, the Feana is creating a tectonic shift in the mid-beach neighborhood — a whole district complete with an original Versailles tower and one of Miami’s hottest new dinner theater clubs, El Tucan, in its basement.
Carillon Hotel & Spa: On the north end of Miami Beach, just below Surfside, the Carillon has returned to its original roots, after ending its relationship with Canyon Ranch, whose name it carried for a number of years. They intend to retain all of the Canyon Ranch people and services, just not the name, so it should continue to be a good choice for those who want an expansive beachfront experience and world-class spa.
Metropolitan by Como: America’s first COMO hotel has opened in Miami Beach, bringing its unique brand of understated luxury to this high-wattage destination. A fusion of modern edge and Art Deco elegance, designed in tones of gray and seafoam green, the 74-room hotel is perfect for those who want to be near the action, but come home to a peaceful refuge of sophistication and style. With a beach-front pool, intimate spa and rooftop hydrotherapy pool, the Metropolitan is a low-profile oasis of relaxation and pampering service.
East Miami: In Hong Kong, the hotel known as The Upper House, from the Swire group, is among the best we’ve ever experienced: sleek, modern, and luxurious, with breath-taking skyline views, Eastern hospitality and innovative design. Now the East has come to Miami with a new historic hotel in Brickell. Bookable through Preferred, Swire’s first hotel in the U.S. will begin taking reservations for May 1.
The Hall Hotel: This boutique in South Beach with a wild, bohemian-surfer-cool feel, new from Joie de Vivre, is intimate, cozy, and sets the tone for a perfect beach getaway. There’s a cocktail bar, a great restaurant, Sunny’s, helmed by a Top Chef alum, free WiFi, skateboard and bike rentals, and a private beach area. The rooms are small but colorful, popping with shabby-chic beach style, and tons of fun.
Hotel Croydon: This stylish, seven-story hotel is new to trendy mid-beach, and has quickly become a favorite. With just 104 rooms, designed in earthy, masculine tones, that are spacious and sunny with small hints of stately class. We love the C.O. Bigelow bath products, the on-site restaurant, the handsome, classic bar, and its proximity to the beach.
Hyatt Centric South Beach: Hyatt Centric is the new boutique concept by the hotel giant, with a little more color and a little lesser price-tag aimed at the younger traveler. The Exhale spa and yoga studio are welcomed additions, and the Deck Sixteen Bar is buzzy and full of young, pretty boys. The rooms themselves are spacious and design-focused; great for business travelers and young professionals looking for fast WiFi.
The Thompson Miami Beach: Thompson brings their signature, sophisticated style to mid-beach with their $82 million dollar renovation of three former apartment towers. With modern-‘50s-glam-deco rooms designed by Martin Brudnizki and a an exceptional food and beverage operation that starts with James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein’s Seagrape, this is Miami Beach with all its glamour and none of its pretension.
The Redbury South Beach: Music video director-turned-hotel-curator Matthew Rolston opened the first Redbury in Hollywood, and now his Miami edition has added chic 1920s Art Deco style, celebs, and glamour to the already-glitzy corner of Collins and 18h. The hotel has 69 rooms, vintage bars, original art, and some throw-back hipster record players. We loved the 12,000-square-foot rooftop where the sceney restaurant, Cleo, (also borrowed from Hollywood) serves up Mediterranean cuisine. The hotel is partners with the SLS and The Raleigh, so your room key will grant you access to their beaches and fitness centers as well.
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Photos: Top: South Beach by Aurimas via Flickr Creative Commons; Middle right: courtesy 1 Hotel South Beach; Middle left: courtesy Faena Hotel Miami Beach; Bottom: courtesy Hotely Croydon.