Miami is well known for its diverse population and culture, wild nightlife, Art Deco architecture and, of course, its white sand beaches. The beaches of Miami offer a range of hotels to suit the Miami Beach visitor, from the trendy and modern South Beach resorts and spas to the restored war-era grand hotels to more budget-friendly beachfront accommodations.
This modern Art Deco-style South Beach hotel is located directly on the beach. Opened in the mid-90s, the Delano is one of those ultra-fashionable and sophisticated luxury hotels that helped revive South Beach and turn it into the trendy area it is today. The Delano's beach area offers complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas and water toy rentals. The beach is steps away from the large pool, which features a cabana bar and poolside dining and regularly hosts celebrity guests. The Delano may appeal to travelers looking for an exclusive and private vacation experience as well as those interested in people-watching amid a fashionable crowd. Inside, the Delano features a stark white minimalist style, from the lobby to the luxury suites that offer city or ocean views. Three restaurants and two bars offer numerous dining options, from a classic seafood restaurant to a French-style brasserie. The Delano is designed for the Miami traveler who cares about being seen and traveling in style, whether enjoying cocktails or lounging on the beach.
The Raleigh proves that South Beach luxury does not have to come in an ultra-modern package. Built in 1940, the restored Art Deco-style hotel is situated directly on Miami Beach. Steps away from the private beach is the original shell-shaped pool where Esther Williams used to swim, looking just as new now as it did then. Rooms and suites imitate 1940s style with modern comforts in mind. The Oasis, a poolside lounge area, features large private cabanas and a poolside bar, the location of a well-known weekly Sunday night South Beach party. Complimentary retro-style striped lounge chairs dot the beach. The Raleigh also features a martini bar, cafe and fine-dining restaurant. Included in Conde Nast Traveller's Gold List for 2010, the Raleigh may appeal to those wishing to escape the buzz of South Beach's trendy social scene for something a little more private but no less luxurious.
The Standard, a boutique hotel and spa on a secluded beachfront property, offers many of the luxurious amenities characteristic of South Beach hotels with a slightly lower price tag and a lot less attitude. From the still pool that from a distance seems to blend into the ocean, to the communal spa featuring Turkish baths, to the outdoor soaking tubs, the Standard is far from the high-energy South Beach crowd and seeks to maintain a low-stress, friendly atmosphere. The hotel insists on a "holistic approach" to decor, with white fabric and blond wood dominating the interior design and encouraging serenity. The staff are welcoming, and the overall inclusive atmosphere is emphasized by the spa's philosophy on the benefits of communal bathing. The Standard may appeal to couples looking for a romantic spa weekend who still wish to socialize, or for adult groups of friends seeking a relaxing getaway.
Miami Beach Resort & Spa
There are many budget hotels located near Miami Beach but very few options for the budget traveler right on the waterfront. Miami Beach Resort & Spa offers a more affordable beachfront option, with rooms starting at $79 per night (as of 2010). Rooms are clean and simple, and the location allows the resort to feature a wide range of beachfront sports and activities, including beach volleyball, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, kayaking and deep sea fishing. There are three on-site restaurants, as well as nearby dining and nightlife. The Miami Beach Resort & Spa may appeal to families looking both to enjoy the beach and to keep the kids entertained with water sports, or groups of friends of any age wishing to experience the South Beach area without paying South Beach prices. The resort also hosts weddings and corporate events.
- Miami Beach Sunset image by Wimbledon from Fotolia.com