clock menu more-arrow no yes

And Now, The 38 Essential Miami/South Florida Hotels

View as Map

Welcome to the first-ever edition of Curbed's Hotel 38 map, your answer to the question, "Where should I stay in Miami?" We've combined reader and expert recommendations to compile the following map of Miami's, and really all of South Florida's, 38 most essential hotels, in no particular order. These hostelries run the gamut from the affordable-if-you're-the-heir-to-a-greek-shipping-fortune, to the affordable-if-you're-just-moderately-well-off. We're working on the affordable-if-you're-broke segment, but in this city of leisure, that's a bit tough. We've got very, very hot hotels, more boutique-ish places, business hotels, historic hotels, and a few oddball surprises. But what the Curbed Miami 38 Essential Miami/South Florida Hotels Map does not include is new hotels. They have to be at least a year old, although most are probably much older. These 38 essentials are the reliable, gold standard of the Miami hotel scene that by now have proved their keep.

For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite isn't included, wouldn't it just be more productive to tip us for next time? If you don't mind, please let us know exactly what you think (be nice, we're sensitive) in the comments, or sent it over to the tipline, here.


· Hotels Week 2013 coverage [Curbed Miami]

Read More

1. The Fontainebleau

Copy Link
4441 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140
(305) 538-2000
Visit Website

The most famous, and perhaps most notorious, of Miami hotels, the Fontainebleau has played host to everyone from royalty to mobsters, and was even featured prominently in the James Bond classic Goldfinger. The Fontainebleau is the greatest work of iconic Miami Beach midcentury resort architect Morris Lapidus, whose masterful design still shines through despite a more recent billion dollar renovation.

2. The Eden Roc

Copy Link
4525 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140
(305) 531-0000
Visit Website
[Photo via Curbed Miami Flickr Pool/Phillip Pessar]

3. The Mayfair

Copy Link
3000 Florida Ave
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
(305) 441-0000
Visit Website

Originally called Mayfair House when it was designed in the 1980s by iconic Miami architect Kenneth Treister, the Mayfair is distinctly unique and also extremely localized to its Coconut Grove environment. Intricate carved-wood, tile, and metal details are evocative of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, but faintly art nouveau-esque, in a way that Wright's architecture never was, . The urban hotel is centered around two atria with elaborate interior gardens and fountains, and it has a rooftop pool.

4. The Biltmore Hotel

Copy Link
1200 Anastasia Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 445-1926

This grand, towering 1920s Mediterranean Revival Biltmore Hotel is probably one of the greatest hotels ever designed by Schultze & Weaver, architects of the Waldorf=Astoria in New York. The hotel sits on the edge of the Riviera Golf Course, and features the country’s largest hotel pool (once the largest pool in the world) where Johnny Weissmuller was a swimming instructor prior to staring as Tarzan in Hollywood.

5. Albion Hotel

Copy Link
1650 James Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 913-1000
Visit Website

A midcentury hotel designed by ingenious midcentury modernist Igor Polevitzky, the Albion was restored and boutiqued during South Beach’s revival by hotelier and art collector Don Rubell, brother of Studio 54 creator Steve Rubell. The albion's pool, on the second floor, plays an exhibitionist game with the courtyard below it through portholes cut into the pool's wall.

6. The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

Copy Link
40 Island Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 673-1717
Visit Website

The Miami Beach incarnation of Andre Balazs’ chain of ‘Standards’, The Standard Spa took over the midcentury ‘Lido Spa’ on Belle Isle, within walking distance of the heart of South Beach but still quietly removed from it all. The exhibitionistic ethos of the Standard brand is carried out here with very public bathtubs on the guest room terraces, which are separated from the hotel’s public walkways by nothing more than breezy white curtains. The Standard has a very relazing and un-South-Beach-like bayfront pool.

7. The Raleigh

Copy Link
1775 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 534-6300
Visit Website

The Raleigh was Andre Balazs’ first Miami Beach hotel, which he extensively restored to its original art deco glory. The hotel’s incredible, sinuously curved pool was famously designed for Esther Williams, who swam there. During the renovation, Balazs raised the pool’s water level, flooding the sunken terrace around it to create a shallow moat, and turned the former diving board into a waterfall. It’s now owned by sbe Group, who also owns the new and much hyped SLS across the street, so watch out.

8. The Delano

Copy Link
1685 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 672-2000
Visit Website

Named after FDR, the Roosevelts kept a suite at the art deco Delano for their trips to Florida in the good old days. Originally designed by B. Robert Swartburg, the hotel’s deco styling is more provocative than most, with sharp angles, and a towering verticality. It was one of the earliest and most successful of the hotels to be redone during South Beach’s revival, when Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager hired interior designer Philippe Starck to gut the entire lobby floor and install flowing white curtains to capture the breezes. Although not the most historically sensitive of renovations, they created a magical space that is unmatched among Miami Beach hotel lobbies to this day. Also magical: the heavy iron garden furniture that Starck put in the shallow end of the pool decades ago is still there.

9. The Setai

Copy Link
2001 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 520-6000
Visit Website

The subject of a Kim Kardashian freak out (she wanted the penthouse suite at the Setai, and nothing else would do) the Setai has nonetheless proved its staying power and become one of South Beach’s most well known hotels, and contains some of its most expensive real estate. Originally an art deco hotel from the 1930s, an oceanfront tower was added in the aughts, adding hotel rooms and condominium apartments with contemporary, asian inspired interiors.

10. W South Beach

Copy Link
2201 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 938-3000
Visit Website

One of South Beach’s hottest hotels, the W is admittedly of-the-moment, but has been called the Starwood brand’s signature W, and stands out with its spectacular lobby, leading restaurants, and popularity with celebrities and creative types alike. Even starchitect Zaha Hadid purchased a double unit in the residential portion of the building, which she lives in a part of every year.

11. The Breakers

Copy Link
1 South County Road
Palm Beach, FL 33480

Another Schultze & Weaver-designed hotel, The Breakers has been entertaining Palm Beach high society since 1896 when a wooden predecessor to the current building was opened as the Palm Beach Inn by railroad tycoon and Florida pioneer Henry M. Flagler. The hotel adopted its current name when guests began requesting rooms “over by the breakers”, officially becoming The Breakers in 1901. It burned down twice, in 1904 and the 1925, the second time being replaced by its current edifice, modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome.

12. Doral Golf Resort

Copy Link
4400 Northwest 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178

It’s glory days of golf championships and Tiger Woods have faded a bit, but a $250 million renovation funded by new owner Donald Trump, a man on a quest to “give back to golf,” promises to make the courses harder and bring the entire resort back to the good old days. The jungle/water park-like pool area is a testament to how kick ass this place must have been in the 80s, or whatever decade the Donald came here as a kid with his mom & pops.

13. InterContinental Miami

Copy Link
100 Chopin Plaza
Miami, FL 33131

The grand dame of Downtown Miami hotels, the InterContinental, dripping in marble has gone through a recent renovation. Along with new guest rooms, and a successful new restaurant, the hotel has dressed up its facade with huge display screens above the front entrance and thousands of LED lights that often show a rather regrettable animations of a dancing lady in overtly suggestive poses.

14. The Shore Club

Copy Link
1901 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Another Morgans Hotel, the Shore Club was one of Ian Schrager’s first forays into Miami Beach back when Mr. Schrager was still sailing the Morgans ship. You can see

15. Mondrian South Beach

Copy Link
1100 West Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Mondrian is the last, and most recent of the Miami Beach hotels under the Morgans flag. This time Morgans went bayside, converting a midcentury apartment building into a chic and spacious hotel. It has elements that seem to be signature to a Morgans Miami Beach property, like the white lobby, and new elements adding a bit of surprise, like the floating head on the wall, and a heavy black staircase that totally underlines the sheer whiteness of the white.

16. The King & Grove Tides

Copy Link
1220 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

King & Grove’s first Miami Beach hotel, the Tides is in the heart of the historic art deco district, right on Ocean Drive. What makes it stand out is its height, taller than everything around it, and the panache of the hip hotel chain, which brought the Tides to even higher heights of Tidesness.

17. The Sagamore

Copy Link
1671 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Renowned for its art collection, the Sagamore’s owners - the Taplins - have been filling the hotel with art since opening it in the early South Beach revival.

18. Ritz Carlton South Beach

Copy Link
1 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Two midcentury hotels, the Di Lido and one other, were merged and restored to create the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. A modest entry on the ocean end of Lincoln Road leads to a grand lobby in classic Miami Beach glamour.

19. The Loews Miami Beach

Copy Link
1601 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

The largest hotel in South Beach, and the only one built from scratch during the South Beach revival (except for the hotel’s annex, the historic St. Moritz), the Lowes is a large convention hotel that evokes the area’s art deco roots. It comes complete with an impressively large pool, a grand breezeway leading through the property and an oceanfront ballroom.

20. Mandarin-Oriental

Copy Link
500 Brickell Key Drive
Miami, FL 33131

The Mandarin’s rankings are as near to perfect as they get (it has like a million diamonds, or stars, or whatever), and has been a signal of Brickell’s apotheosis as a luxury urban destination - along with contemporaries the Conrad and the Four Seasons, since it was built.

21. The Boca Raton Resort & Club

Copy Link
Camino Real Road
Boca Raton, FL 33433

A classic spanish edifice by the great architect Addison Mizner, the Boca Raton Club was originally planned as the center of the entire Boca Raton development. Now a Waldorf Astoria, the expansive resort stretches to both sides of Lake Boca Raton, with a shuttle boat running between the main resort/golf courses and the beach club.

22. The Viceroy

Copy Link
485 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131

A symbol of pre-Great Recession decadence brought to the center of urban Miami, the Viceroy’s lavish interiors include a rooftop nightclub and pool up on the 50th floor. Also pooltastic: the long, long infinity pool on the amenity deck that looks like it's falling over the side of the building.

23. The Betsy

Copy Link
1440 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Named for Betsy Ross, the Betsy is a federal-style hotel in the middle of art deco South Beach. Back to its original glory in a somewhat recent renovation, the Betsy is also a supporter of local cultural events.

24. The Four Seasons

Copy Link
1435 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131

Located in the tallest building south of Manhattan, the Four Seasons does the classic contemporary thing really, really well in a soaring vertical hotel. Up on the amenity deck, somehow they managed to build a forest of Palm Trees inside one of the Four Season's pools.

25. The Conrad

Copy Link
1395 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131

Another relic of the high times just before the Great Recession, inside the Espirito Santo Plaza, the Conrad is soaringly vertical, like the Four Seasons, but geared more towards the business traveler. In any case, the atrium, which begins on level 25 and goes wayyy higher, will give you vertigo. The unimpressive pool is a reminder that you came for a work conference and not to frolic in the South Florida sun.

26. The Epic

Copy Link
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131

Right on the mouth of the Miami River, the Epic is a luxury chain hotel that does the ‘business boutique’ thing rather well.

27. Hotel Biba

Copy Link
320 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

A small, funky boutique hotel in the center of West Palm Beach, the hotel is an early 20th century building on the National Register of Historic Places decorated in shockingly bright hues of orange and pink. Set in gardens, it has lots of contemporary art, and is a major contrast to the over-coiffed hotels across Lake Worth in Palm Beach proper.

28. The Anglers Boutique Resort

Copy Link
660 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Two 1920s Mediterranean Revival buildings, entirely renovated and flanked with contemporary infill additions in the center of South Beach, the Anglers has a startling variety of room types for its modest size. Stay at the top of its narrow tower for views across South Beach, or on the ground level, where your room might come with a little private garden, or even a hot tub.

29. The Brazilian Court Hotel

Copy Link
301 Australian Avenue
Riviera Beach, FL 33404

All the super-refined Palm Beach living without the pomp and circumstance of the Breakers.

30. The Miami River Inn

Copy Link
118 Southwest South River Drive
Miami, FL 33130

Originally built as workers housing for the no-longer-in-existance Royal Palm Hotel, literally the hotel that built Miami, the Miami River Inn has become a hameau of escapist beauty that can easily stand on its own, deceptively right in the middle of Downtown Miami.

31. Hyatt Regency Pier 66

Copy Link
3201 Southeast 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Many think this tower hotel with its flying saucer roof was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright because of its resemblance to his Price Tower, but it wasn’t. It was by a follower of Wright, and was likely a riff on one of his designs.

32. Lords South Beach Hotel

Copy Link
1120 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

In an old hotel in the heart of South Beach, Lords is gay and classy but it is most definitely not a gay guesthouse. Clothes are not optional, and there aren’t any suspiciously large steam rooms in the back. Instead, bar’s walls are laid in gold tile and a life size statue of a polar bear in the lobby holds a beach ball.

33. Acqualina Resort & Spa

Copy Link
17874 Collins Avenue
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Very popular with Russian oligarchs, Acqualina is huge, and full of pasty pale people straight out of Siberia who expect excellent service and very strong sunscreen. It also receives excellent ratings from Conde Nast and those people who give hotels diamonds.

34. The Shelborne

Copy Link
1801 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Owned by two cousins whose family has been in Miami Beach for almost as long as their was a Miami Beach, the Shelborne - designed by two of Miami’s iconic architects, Morris Lapidus and Igor Polevitzky - is midcentury Miamian on the outside, and contempofabulous on the inside. Having just undergone a major, and very expensive renovation, a few of the rooms are still a bit icky (they had served as condos) so it’s about to go under the knife again, for another big budget overhaul.

35. Casa Morada

Copy Link
136 Madeira Road
Islamorada, FL 33036

Founded by two former Morgans Hotels execs with lengthy resumes, Casa Morada is kind of like the Delano's ultra chilled out little brother. Sure, he may not grow up to be a neurosurgeon, but he's got sand in his shoes, a cool salty breeze in his hair, and a fat trust fund. (which one needs to afford a room at the casa)

36. The Sheraton Yankee Clipper

Copy Link
1140 Seabreeze Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Wedged in to a narrow site on a stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach where A1A peels away from the ocean, the Yankee Clipper takes advantage of its wedge-shaped spit of land creating a modernist mashup of 'Flatiron Building of Fort Lauderdale Beach' and, well, a Yankee Clipper Ship. The whole hotel, in fact, is a modernist abstraction of a clipper ship peeling through the ocean.

37. The Riverside Hotel

Copy Link
620 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
[Photo via iamlasolas.com]

38. The Royal Palms Resort & Spa

Copy Link
717 Breakers Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Why yes, that man next to you did drop his towel! He's in the buff you say? Well, naturally. The best of the many gay guesthouses of Fort Lauderdale Beach, leave your clothes in the car and nobody will notice at the Royal Palms. The combination of a high end boutique hotel with the heat of South Florida and the easy-breazy sexual freedom of Fort Lauderdale’s gay scene can get you in to trouble if you don’t watch out. Plus, apparently instead of a house car they have a house yacht. Love boat?

Loading comments...

1. The Fontainebleau

4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

The most famous, and perhaps most notorious, of Miami hotels, the Fontainebleau has played host to everyone from royalty to mobsters, and was even featured prominently in the James Bond classic Goldfinger. The Fontainebleau is the greatest work of iconic Miami Beach midcentury resort architect Morris Lapidus, whose masterful design still shines through despite a more recent billion dollar renovation.

4441 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140

2. The Eden Roc

4525 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140
[Photo via Curbed Miami Flickr Pool/Phillip Pessar]
4525 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140

3. The Mayfair

3000 Florida Ave, Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Originally called Mayfair House when it was designed in the 1980s by iconic Miami architect Kenneth Treister, the Mayfair is distinctly unique and also extremely localized to its Coconut Grove environment. Intricate carved-wood, tile, and metal details are evocative of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, but faintly art nouveau-esque, in a way that Wright's architecture never was, . The urban hotel is centered around two atria with elaborate interior gardens and fountains, and it has a rooftop pool.

3000 Florida Ave
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

4. The Biltmore Hotel

1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

This grand, towering 1920s Mediterranean Revival Biltmore Hotel is probably one of the greatest hotels ever designed by Schultze & Weaver, architects of the Waldorf=Astoria in New York. The hotel sits on the edge of the Riviera Golf Course, and features the country’s largest hotel pool (once the largest pool in the world) where Johnny Weissmuller was a swimming instructor prior to staring as Tarzan in Hollywood.

1200 Anastasia Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134

5. Albion Hotel

1650 James Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

A midcentury hotel designed by ingenious midcentury modernist Igor Polevitzky, the Albion was restored and boutiqued during South Beach’s revival by hotelier and art collector Don Rubell, brother of Studio 54 creator Steve Rubell. The albion's pool, on the second floor, plays an exhibitionist game with the courtyard below it through portholes cut into the pool's wall.

1650 James Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

6. The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

40 Island Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Miami Beach incarnation of Andre Balazs’ chain of ‘Standards’, The Standard Spa took over the midcentury ‘Lido Spa’ on Belle Isle, within walking distance of the heart of South Beach but still quietly removed from it all. The exhibitionistic ethos of the Standard brand is carried out here with very public bathtubs on the guest room terraces, which are separated from the hotel’s public walkways by nothing more than breezy white curtains. The Standard has a very relazing and un-South-Beach-like bayfront pool.

40 Island Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

7. The Raleigh

1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Raleigh was Andre Balazs’ first Miami Beach hotel, which he extensively restored to its original art deco glory. The hotel’s incredible, sinuously curved pool was famously designed for Esther Williams, who swam there. During the renovation, Balazs raised the pool’s water level, flooding the sunken terrace around it to create a shallow moat, and turned the former diving board into a waterfall. It’s now owned by sbe Group, who also owns the new and much hyped SLS across the street, so watch out.

1775 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

8. The Delano

1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Named after FDR, the Roosevelts kept a suite at the art deco Delano for their trips to Florida in the good old days. Originally designed by B. Robert Swartburg, the hotel’s deco styling is more provocative than most, with sharp angles, and a towering verticality. It was one of the earliest and most successful of the hotels to be redone during South Beach’s revival, when Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager hired interior designer Philippe Starck to gut the entire lobby floor and install flowing white curtains to capture the breezes. Although not the most historically sensitive of renovations, they created a magical space that is unmatched among Miami Beach hotel lobbies to this day. Also magical: the heavy iron garden furniture that Starck put in the shallow end of the pool decades ago is still there.

1685 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

9. The Setai

2001 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The subject of a Kim Kardashian freak out (she wanted the penthouse suite at the Setai, and nothing else would do) the Setai has nonetheless proved its staying power and become one of South Beach’s most well known hotels, and contains some of its most expensive real estate. Originally an art deco hotel from the 1930s, an oceanfront tower was added in the aughts, adding hotel rooms and condominium apartments with contemporary, asian inspired interiors.

2001 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

10. W South Beach

2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

One of South Beach’s hottest hotels, the W is admittedly of-the-moment, but has been called the Starwood brand’s signature W, and stands out with its spectacular lobby, leading restaurants, and popularity with celebrities and creative types alike. Even starchitect Zaha Hadid purchased a double unit in the residential portion of the building, which she lives in a part of every year.

2201 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

11. The Breakers

1 South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480

Another Schultze & Weaver-designed hotel, The Breakers has been entertaining Palm Beach high society since 1896 when a wooden predecessor to the current building was opened as the Palm Beach Inn by railroad tycoon and Florida pioneer Henry M. Flagler. The hotel adopted its current name when guests began requesting rooms “over by the breakers”, officially becoming The Breakers in 1901. It burned down twice, in 1904 and the 1925, the second time being replaced by its current edifice, modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome.

1 South County Road
Palm Beach, FL 33480

12. Doral Golf Resort

4400 Northwest 87th Avenue, Miami, FL 33178

It’s glory days of golf championships and Tiger Woods have faded a bit, but a $250 million renovation funded by new owner Donald Trump, a man on a quest to “give back to golf,” promises to make the courses harder and bring the entire resort back to the good old days. The jungle/water park-like pool area is a testament to how kick ass this place must have been in the 80s, or whatever decade the Donald came here as a kid with his mom & pops.

4400 Northwest 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178

13. InterContinental Miami

100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131

The grand dame of Downtown Miami hotels, the InterContinental, dripping in marble has gone through a recent renovation. Along with new guest rooms, and a successful new restaurant, the hotel has dressed up its facade with huge display screens above the front entrance and thousands of LED lights that often show a rather regrettable animations of a dancing lady in overtly suggestive poses.

100 Chopin Plaza
Miami, FL 33131

14. The Shore Club

1901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Another Morgans Hotel, the Shore Club was one of Ian Schrager’s first forays into Miami Beach back when Mr. Schrager was still sailing the Morgans ship. You can see

1901 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

15. Mondrian South Beach

1100 West Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Mondrian is the last, and most recent of the Miami Beach hotels under the Morgans flag. This time Morgans went bayside, converting a midcentury apartment building into a chic and spacious hotel. It has elements that seem to be signature to a Morgans Miami Beach property, like the white lobby, and new elements adding a bit of surprise, like the floating head on the wall, and a heavy black staircase that totally underlines the sheer whiteness of the white.

1100 West Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

16. The King & Grove Tides

1220 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139

King & Grove’s first Miami Beach hotel, the Tides is in the heart of the historic art deco district, right on Ocean Drive. What makes it stand out is its height, taller than everything around it, and the panache of the hip hotel chain, which brought the Tides to even higher heights of Tidesness.

1220 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

17. The Sagamore

1671 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Renowned for its art collection, the Sagamore’s owners - the Taplins - have been filling the hotel with art since opening it in the early South Beach revival.

1671 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

18. Ritz Carlton South Beach

1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Two midcentury hotels, the Di Lido and one other, were merged and restored to create the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. A modest entry on the ocean end of Lincoln Road leads to a grand lobby in classic Miami Beach glamour.

1 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

19. The Loews Miami Beach

1601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The largest hotel in South Beach, and the only one built from scratch during the South Beach revival (except for the hotel’s annex, the historic St. Moritz), the Lowes is a large convention hotel that evokes the area’s art deco roots. It comes complete with an impressively large pool, a grand breezeway leading through the property and an oceanfront ballroom.

1601 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

20. Mandarin-Oriental

500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131

The Mandarin’s rankings are as near to perfect as they get (it has like a million diamonds, or stars, or whatever), and has been a signal of Brickell’s apotheosis as a luxury urban destination - along with contemporaries the Conrad and the Four Seasons, since it was built.

500 Brickell Key Drive
Miami, FL 33131

21. The Boca Raton Resort & Club

Camino Real Road, Boca Raton, FL 33433

A classic spanish edifice by the great architect Addison Mizner, the Boca Raton Club was originally planned as the center of the entire Boca Raton development. Now a Waldorf Astoria, the expansive resort stretches to both sides of Lake Boca Raton, with a shuttle boat running between the main resort/golf courses and the beach club.

Camino Real Road
Boca Raton, FL 33433

22. The Viceroy

485 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131

A symbol of pre-Great Recession decadence brought to the center of urban Miami, the Viceroy’s lavish interiors include a rooftop nightclub and pool up on the 50th floor. Also pooltastic: the long, long infinity pool on the amenity deck that looks like it's falling over the side of the building.

485 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131

23. The Betsy

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Named for Betsy Ross, the Betsy is a federal-style hotel in the middle of art deco South Beach. Back to its original glory in a somewhat recent renovation, the Betsy is also a supporter of local cultural events.

1440 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

24. The Four Seasons

1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131

Located in the tallest building south of Manhattan, the Four Seasons does the classic contemporary thing really, really well in a soaring vertical hotel. Up on the amenity deck, somehow they managed to build a forest of Palm Trees inside one of the Four Season's pools.

1435 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131

25. The Conrad

1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131

Another relic of the high times just before the Great Recession, inside the Espirito Santo Plaza, the Conrad is soaringly vertical, like the Four Seasons, but geared more towards the business traveler. In any case, the atrium, which begins on level 25 and goes wayyy higher, will give you vertigo. The unimpressive pool is a reminder that you came for a work conference and not to frolic in the South Florida sun.

1395 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131

26. The Epic

270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami, FL 33131

Right on the mouth of the Miami River, the Epic is a luxury chain hotel that does the ‘business boutique’ thing rather well.

270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131

27. Hotel Biba

320 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33405

A small, funky boutique hotel in the center of West Palm Beach, the hotel is an early 20th century building on the National Register of Historic Places decorated in shockingly bright hues of orange and pink. Set in gardens, it has lots of contemporary art, and is a major contrast to the over-coiffed hotels across Lake Worth in Palm Beach proper.

320 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

28. The Anglers Boutique Resort

660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Two 1920s Mediterranean Revival buildings, entirely renovated and flanked with contemporary infill additions in the center of South Beach, the Anglers has a startling variety of room types for its modest size. Stay at the top of its narrow tower for views across South Beach, or on the ground level, where your room might come with a little private garden, or even a hot tub.

660 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

29. The Brazilian Court Hotel

301 Australian Avenue, Riviera Beach, FL 33404

All the super-refined Palm Beach living without the pomp and circumstance of the Breakers.

301 Australian Avenue
Riviera Beach, FL 33404

30. The Miami River Inn

118 Southwest South River Drive, Miami, FL 33130

Originally built as workers housing for the no-longer-in-existance Royal Palm Hotel, literally the hotel that built Miami, the Miami River Inn has become a hameau of escapist beauty that can easily stand on its own, deceptively right in the middle of Downtown Miami.

118 Southwest South River Drive
Miami, FL 33130

31. Hyatt Regency Pier 66

3201 Southeast 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Many think this tower hotel with its flying saucer roof was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright because of its resemblance to his Price Tower, but it wasn’t. It was by a follower of Wright, and was likely a riff on one of his designs.

3201 Southeast 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

32. Lords South Beach Hotel

1120 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

In an old hotel in the heart of South Beach, Lords is gay and classy but it is most definitely not a gay guesthouse. Clothes are not optional, and there aren’t any suspiciously large steam rooms in the back. Instead, bar’s walls are laid in gold tile and a life size statue of a polar bear in the lobby holds a beach ball.

1120 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

33. Acqualina Resort & Spa

17874 Collins Avenue, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Very popular with Russian oligarchs, Acqualina is huge, and full of pasty pale people straight out of Siberia who expect excellent service and very strong sunscreen. It also receives excellent ratings from Conde Nast and those people who give hotels diamonds.

17874 Collins Avenue
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

34. The Shelborne

1801 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Owned by two cousins whose family has been in Miami Beach for almost as long as their was a Miami Beach, the Shelborne - designed by two of Miami’s iconic architects, Morris Lapidus and Igor Polevitzky - is midcentury Miamian on the outside, and contempofabulous on the inside. Having just undergone a major, and very expensive renovation, a few of the rooms are still a bit icky (they had served as condos) so it’s about to go under the knife again, for another big budget overhaul.

1801 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

35. Casa Morada

136 Madeira Road, Islamorada, FL 33036

Founded by two former Morgans Hotels execs with lengthy resumes, Casa Morada is kind of like the Delano's ultra chilled out little brother. Sure, he may not grow up to be a neurosurgeon, but he's got sand in his shoes, a cool salty breeze in his hair, and a fat trust fund. (which one needs to afford a room at the casa)

136 Madeira Road
Islamorada, FL 33036

36. The Sheraton Yankee Clipper

1140 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Wedged in to a narrow site on a stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach where A1A peels away from the ocean, the Yankee Clipper takes advantage of its wedge-shaped spit of land creating a modernist mashup of 'Flatiron Building of Fort Lauderdale Beach' and, well, a Yankee Clipper Ship. The whole hotel, in fact, is a modernist abstraction of a clipper ship peeling through the ocean.

1140 Seabreeze Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

37. The Riverside Hotel

620 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
[Photo via iamlasolas.com]
620 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

38. The Royal Palms Resort & Spa

717 Breakers Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Why yes, that man next to you did drop his towel! He's in the buff you say? Well, naturally. The best of the many gay guesthouses of Fort Lauderdale Beach, leave your clothes in the car and nobody will notice at the Royal Palms. The combination of a high end boutique hotel with the heat of South Florida and the easy-breazy sexual freedom of Fort Lauderdale’s gay scene can get you in to trouble if you don’t watch out. Plus, apparently instead of a house car they have a house yacht. Love boat?

717 Breakers Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304