The hotel scene in Miami sizzles like no other city. With an impressive roster of glittering clubs, trendy restaurants, and award-winning spas, Miami’s hotels are much more than a place to rest your head at night. Here’s our ranking of the top 10 hippest hotels in Miami.
1. The Miami Beach EDITION
The Miami Beach EDITION (pictured at top) opened in November 2014 inside the historic, long defunct Seville Hotel. At 294-rooms, inclusive of 28 spacious, next-level luxurious bungalows, the hotel boasts a lavish oceanfront yard with two pools and the Tropicale Bar, as well as a tranquil, otherworldly spa. On the nightlife side, Basement has proven to be a hotspot with Discobox (inspired by EDITION collaborator Ian Schraeger’s iconic Studio 54) for late night dancing, as well as a small iceskating rink and four-lane bowling alley. Celebrated Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten presides over Matador Room for eclectic fine dining inspired by Spain, featuring dishes as varied as Florida black grouper tacos to spinach pizza with manchego. The more casual Market offers a variety of counters with options ranging from raw bar to pasta to pastries. 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-257-4500; editionhotels.com/miami-beach.
The brainchild of Argentinian hotelier and developer Alan Faena, the Faena hotel burst onto the scene at the start of 2016 with creative direction by visionary filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning wife and collaborator Catharine Martin. They’ve created a high-flying, dreamlike hotel bathed in red, gold and animal print, and adorned in contemporary art. Once you’ve glided through the gilded Cathedral lobby with utopian, neo-Baroque murals by Spanish artist Juan Gatti, the sight of a woolly mammoth skeleton dipped in gold on the pool deck catches your eye. The artwork is one of two pieces in the hotel by modern master Damien Hirst. Faena is home to two of the most ambitious restaurant openings of the year with Los Fuegos by asado grillmaster Francis Mallman, as well as Pao by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Qui. For cocktails, Living Room is a sophisticated den anchored by a sculptural “mindful” chandelier where lounge singers perform in the evening. Downstairs, Saxony Bar has a secret, speakeasy vibe next to the Faena Theater, which hosts a sexy cabaret on weekend evenings. 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-8800; faena.com
3. Fontainebleau Miami Beach
With a nod to the glamorous, high-flying heyday of its original 1954 incarnation, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach is just as opulent and flashy today. From the lobby’s massive golden Ai Weiwei chandeliers seemingly dripping from the heavens to the “stairway to nowhere” designed explicitly for grand entrances, the Fontainebleau begs to be ogled. Its megaclub LIV routinely draws hordes of scantily clad clubgoers with marquee DJs, like Calvin Harris, Steve Angello, and Tiesto. With longtime fine dining strongholds, like Hakkasan and Scarpetta, Chef Michael Mina is keeping things fresh with subterranean lounge Michael Mina 74 and the expertly executed Stripsteak (in the former Gotham Steak space). 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2000; fontainebleau.com.
4. Gale South Beach
With a nod to old school glamour that permeates South Beach’s Art Deco District, the Gale Hotel South Beach is a hip hideaway for cocktail aficionados. Its plush Regent Cocktail Club draws a mélange of Miami scenesters sipping classic cocktails made with precision by some of the city’s most talented mixologists. When it’s time to kick it up a notch and hit the dance floor, they head to the subterranean lounge Rec Room. To start the night, Dolce Italian dishes up sumptuous Italian fare in a setting to match. The Gale also boasts a rooftop bar and pool, and a prime Collins Avenue address. 1690 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-673-1019; galehotel.com.
5. The Standard Spa Miami Beach
There are definitely perks to membership at The Standard Spa Miami Beach. With its idyllic Venetian Island location and dazzling views of Biscayne Bay from its dockside restaurant and pool, it’s a retreat at the junction of trendy and zen. These perks also come with a hotel stay, a spa treatment, or a $150 day pass on the weekends ($75 during the week). The spa offers a variety of wellness classes and workshops, as well as a hydrotherapy playground with a massive hamam, while Lido restaurant offers healthy eats and incredible views. 40 Island Ave., South Beach; 305-673-1717; standardhotels.com/spa-miami-beach.
6. Soho Beach House
Another member’s only retreat, accessible with a stay at the hotel or by dining at its open-to-the-public Italian restaurant Cecconi’s, Soho Beach House is notorious for its celebrity-splashed soirees. Its long, narrow pool is lined with cushy lounges and a tiki-style bar at the rear of the property, near the ocean. Members and hotel guests also enjoy access to a rooftop pool and Mexican restaurant, a backyrad tiki bar and Greek restaurant and private parties and movie screenings. It’s a playground for the fashionable and creative set on the weekends. 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-507-7900; sohobeachhouse.com.
7. EAST, Miami
Miami is home to the first US outpost of the Hong Kong-based EAST luxury hotel brand. Anchoring the forthcoming Brickell City Centre, EAST, Miami opened in May 2016 with the Uruguayan parilla restaurant Quinto La Huella and the soaring rooftop bar Sugar. Designed by Arquitectonica with interiors by LA’s Studio Collective and New York’s Clodagh Design, the hotel is a modernist tower with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of the Brickell skyline. Between the buzzy dining and nightlife offerings and the added attraction of Brickell City Centre’s shops, it’s without a doubt the hottest new addition to the neighborhood. 788 Brickell Plaza, Brickell; 305-712-7000; east-miami.com
8. SLS Hotel South Beach
The masterminds behind sbe Entertainment Group, along with architect Philippe Starck, have translated their brand of Beverly Hills luxury with a touch of whimsy to their South Beach outpost on Collins Ave. With The Bazaar by José Andrés’ inventive menu of Spanish tapas veering towards molecular gastronomy, underneath an enormous white seashell-encrusted chandelier, and Katsuya serving mouth-watering sushi, the SLS hits all the hip dining marks. It’s also home to Hyde Beach with pool parties by day and a sexy vibe at night in an indoor/outdoor, kitschy surf shack-inspired space. And yes—there is a giant silver “rubber” ducky presiding over it all in the center of the pool deck. 1701 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-674-1701; slshotels.com/southbeach.
9. Mandarin Oriental
The novelty and luxury of this island retreat on Brickell Key, just across a bridge from downtown’s hustle and bustle, makes the Mandarin Oriental a favorite destination hotel. Offering unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay, a private beach club, and the fabulous waterfront outdoor lounge, it’s popular amongst a post-work and weekend crowd. La Mar by Gaston Acurio, serving sumptuous Peruvian fare, keeps diners coming back. It also boasts a Forbes Five Star Asian-inspired spa for serious relaxation. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-913-8288; mandarinoriental.com/miami.
Somethings never go out of style. In South Beach, the Delano is one of them. Responsible for ushering in the boutique hotel trend and South Beach’s resurgence in the ‘90s, today its surreal lobby still draws a scene. Draped in white curtains with eclectic furniture, a pool table and the chic Rose Bar, you can’t go wrong by starting your night here. The Alice and Wonderland-inspired poolscape is just as iconic with its zero entry edge and café table in the shallow end. Reserve a table on the patio at Italian restaurant Bianca for a prime view. Subterranean FDR delivers as an intimate club that keeps revelers dancing til dawn and Sundays are reserved for pool parties at Delano Beach Club. 1685 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-672-200; delano-hotel.com
Shayne Benowitz is the Travel Editor at Miami.com. Sign up for her newsletter at ShayneBenowitz.com.