Miami Hotels Near the Cruise Pier

by Wendy K. Leigh

Cruise ships operating in the city of Miami ease into Biscayne Bay near the downtown area, docking at terminals D and E on the pier. Airline counters are located in each terminal to ease the transition from flying to floating, but many passengers prefer to take advantage of an opportunity to stay overnight in one of American's most vibrant cities. Dozens of hotels are located within 3 miles of the cruise pier, most offering shuttle service to the Port Boulevard entrance.

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Location

The Port of Miami pier juts out into Biscayne Bay, attached to the mainland by a causeway that feeds into Biscayne Boulevard. Hotels are scattered all along this road as it runs along the waterfront. This is considered downtown Miami, with concentrations of hotels in popular areas like the Bayside Marketplace and the Brickell Keys. Hotels south of the port are in the central business and financial district, while ones north are generally considered to be in the art and design districts. The Miami International Airport is about 7 miles from the port area.

Bayside Marketplace

The Bayside Marketplace is one of the most favored gathering spots in all of downtown, with at least 120 shops, cafes and galleries overlooking the bay. Lodging here falls closest to the cruise docks, with several within half a mile of the pier. The Continental Downtown Bayside Hotel is adjacent to the Bayside Marketplace and a couple of blocks from the American Airlines Arena, a frequented sports and concert venue. The Intercontinental Hotel is located next to Bayfront Park and looks directly over Biscayne Bay, with dining at its popular Indigo restaurant. The Holiday Inn is across the street from the marketplace and only 300 yards from the Port Boulevard entrance.

North Bayshore Drive

North of the port entrance, near the Omni Mall, several upscale hotels are perched on North Bayshore Drive on or near the bay, at the intersection of the Miami Arts and Design Districts. The Marriott Biscayne Bay, the Doubletree Grand Hotel, and the Opera Suites and Marina Hotel are all on this street, with sweeping views of the bay, about a five minute drive from the cruise ship terminals.

Brickell

Brickell is a prestigious downtown neighborhood near the point where the mouth of the Miami River converges with the Biscayne Bay, just south of the Port of Miami. The Viceroy Hotel is the central point of a three-tower building called the Icon Brickell, set on 10 urban acres with two parks and a huge outdoor fireplace. The Brickell Key, a triangular island at the mouth of the Miami River, is home to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, with its own prestigious Beach Club and five-star holistic spa.

Boutique Hotels

Boutique hotels in the downtown area tend to be sophisticated and contemporary in design, including the Tempo Miami on Biscayne Boulevard and the Hotel Urbano in the Brickell Avenue Business District. Along the Miami River lies the Epic Hotel, with its own private marina, and the Miami River Inn, a historic bed-and-breakfast property.

About the Author

Wendy K. Leigh is a travel writer and photojournalist from Seattle. She is the Editor of Islands America, a travel website for visiting islands within the United States. She also writes about home design, food and historical architecture. Leigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington.

Photo Credits

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