Luxury Miami-Area Hotels

by Tricia Chaves
Miami Beach sunsets are world-renowned.

Miami Beach sunsets are world-renowned.

Miami Beach Sunset image by Wimbledon from

Whether you are looking to pamper yourself with an exciting tropical getaway or a relaxing beach escape, Miami won’t disappoint. The area’s lodging takes luxury to new levels. You can stay where the stars do or just feel like a celebrity by experiencing the best in guest service, culinary skill and interior design.

Lounging by the Pool

The 23,000-square foot pool at the Biltmore Hotel was voted the best in Miami by Fodor’s for its tranquil cabanas and an adjoining gourmet restaurant and bar. The 276-suite Mediterranean-style Biltmore was but in 1926 and is a National Historic Landmark. The property’s beckoning 300-foot copper tower, a replica of the Giralda bell tower in Seville, Spain, can be seen from a distance anywhere in the exclusive Coral Gables neighborhood. Spacious interiors have a vibrant, European-inspired decor and are outfitted with plush feather beds dressed in Egyptian cotton linens. Amenities include a challenging 18-hole Donald Ross golf course, 10 tennis courts, health club, sauna and full-service spa. The resort’s four restaurants offer afternoon tea and a champagne Sunday brunch.

Getting Away From It All

The Fisher Island Hotel and Resort is just seven miles from the Miami International Airport, but you’ll feel worlds away on the property’s private island. Just off Miami Beach, guests can access the resort using a 24-hour private boat, ferry or helicopter service only. The 216-acre resort houses 45 villas and beach cottages scattered for privacy with access to beaches, a golf club, tennis center and spa. The resort is just moments from the vibrant South Beach area with views of the Miami skyline. The hotel has a restaurant that serves international cuisine daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Celebrity Spotting

The Shore Club is the ideal locale in South Beach for hipsters who seek top-notch accommodations and the excitement of a star-studded party scene. The hotel’s four bars arranged among tropical gardens attract regulars such as singers Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and actor Matthew McConaughey. The hotel’s exterior is landscaped with labyrinthine gardens with secret passageways leading to outdoor "rooms." Lodging choices include 309 guest rooms, 70 suites, seven duplex bungalows, a triplex penthouse and a private beach house on the oceanfront.

Ultimate Exclusivity

The Villa by Barton G. is the former 19,000 square-foot Miami Beach mansion of Gianni Versace on Ocean Drive. The designer’s home was renovated into 10 custom, luxurious guest suites. Opulently decorated suites are furnished with a king- or double-king-sized bed, Italian marble bathroom, a separate sitting area and a balcony or patio. The hotel’s restaurant serves continental-style breakfast and lunch poolside or by room service. Daily tea is served in the villa’s mosaic gardens. Guests receive service from a personal British-trained butler and a Kindle e-reader, which is loaded with the daily newspaper each morning. Guests can treat themselves with specialty BartonG. bath products and a full-service salon and spa.

About the Author

I was editor of the newspaper in college & on the yearbook staff in high school. I'm learning to speak Brazilian Portuguese.

Photo Credits

  • Miami Beach Sunset image by Wimbledon from