Miami Beach, Florida, teems with excessively priced upscale accommodations, but a small handful of motels and boutique hotels in the area provide useful amenities, services and vacation specials at affordable prices. These properties are close to Miami Beach's shops, restaurants, nightlife, major roadways like I-95 and, of course, the ocean.
The Clay Hotel
The Clay Hotel is within walking distance of historic Española Way's many stores and art galleries, as well as nightclub venues like the Mansion. The three-story property, which first opened its doors in 1925, famously hosted Al Capone's gambling ring in the 1930s and has been the location for many films and television shows since. Guests enjoy valet parking, laundry facilities, a common outdoor patio with Wi-Fi access, and safety deposit boxes at the 24-hour front desk. Multilingual staff is available to assist out-of-towners with securing tickets for local shows and tours. Nearby eateries include Barton G's, Big Pink and Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant. Each of the 120 budget-friendly guest rooms is individually decorated and features climate controls, ceiling fans, mini-fridges and satellite TVs. If you're on a tight budget, opt for the property's hostel, with male and female dorms that sleep up to 12 people.
San Juan Hotel
The art deco-themed San Juan Hotel is nestled in the heart of South Beach across the street from the famous Delano and Sagamore hotels, and just a short walk to pristine white sand beaches. Guests are invited to relax on lounge chairs around the outdoor swimming pool, and the concierge will arrange tours of the city or set up tee times at the Miami Beach Golf Club just a half mile away. Night owls ask the front-desk staff about free passes to popular local hot spots like Nikki Beach and Opium. No parking is available on-site, although a valet service is available for a daily surcharge. Dining options include a dozen restaurants within a mile, including Yuca, Nobu and Prime 112. Tastefully appointed guest rooms offer one queen or two double beds, cable TV and a kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave. Roll-away beds are available on request.
Days Inn Miami Beach/South Beach
The Wyndham-owned Days Inn Miami Beach/South Beach provides easy access to attractions like the Bass Art Museum, the Bridge Theater and the Holocaust Memorial. The property features a large outdoor swimming pool, concierge desk, car rental service and parking lot for cars only -- no trucks or buses. Business travelers utilize fax and copy services along with free high-speed wireless Internet access. A buffet breakfast is available each morning for a small fee, while lunch and dinner spots like Tantra Restaurant and Lounge, and China Grill are just minutes away. All guest units are non-smoking and are furnished with pillow-top mattresses. No pets are allowed. Government travelers, seniors and AAA members are eligible for special discounts.
International Inn Underbay
The International Inn Underbay is near the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve as well as a wealth of recreational activities such as boating, fishing, jet-skiing, parasailing and beach volleyball. The front office is open 24 hours a day, and a complimentary airport shuttle service runs to and from Miami International. All guests have free car parking and boat docking. Facilities include an outdoor pool, sundeck and game room. The desk staff helps vacationers navigate the area, from local points of interest like Jungle Island and the Normandy Shores Golf Course to restaurants like Tamarind Thai and The Crab House. Each of the 71 spacious guest rooms are outfitted with ultra-plush queen-sized beds, cable TVs with HBO, and free local calling; executive suites have kitchens. Smoking and non-smoking rooms are available. Business travelers should also inquire about specially discounted corporate rates.