There are about as many hotels in the Magic City as there are ventanitas for Cuban coffee, but how exactly do you decide where to stay in Miami? In a city as replete with accommodations as this one, you’ll have to consider a few things. A solo traveler may want to check into a hostel to increase the odds of meeting people and saving a few bucks. Couples looking to rekindle their passion could look into romantic boutiques or adults-only resorts (preferably one with a spa). Families generally need something that makes everyone in their group happy – and maybe even something with childcare. 

Then of course you’ll need to figure out the best neighborhood to stay in to maximize your vacation experience. Should you stay in Miami or South Beach (because hopefully you know they’re not the same thing)? Your wallet will heavily dictate your final choices. Luckily, Miami is the kind of place where you can find everything from high-end luxury suites to shoestring budget motels where you pay by the hour. Here, we give you a variety of options on where to lay your head at night in Miami, catering to a variety of tastes and budgets.

Hotel room at The Balfour Hotel in Miami, Florida
The Balfour is the place to be in South Beach © The Balfour Hotel

The Balfour Hotel

Best for couples looking for low-key romance
Price rating: $$

There’s a seemingly endless number of places to stay in Miami on the beach, but if you’re seeking something slightly off the beaten path, we recommend this charming boutique. Situated In the SoFi (south of fifth) section of South Beach, The Balfour is ideal for couples wanting to spend time between the sea and the sheets. Hospitality is the name of the game here, but also privacy – and all at a reasonable cost. A modest pool and rooftop, a worthy on-site restaurant and proximity to the beach (where chairs and umbrellas await, included in your hotel fees) make this a gem worth visiting.

Freehand Miami

Most budget-friendly and best for solo travelers
Price rating: $

For solo travelers hoping to meet interesting people along the way, Freehand in Mid-Beach is where it’s at. This popular hostel boasts a number of amenities – like a pool, garden area and complimentary bikes – as well as proximity to the beach (just one block away). It’s also home to the award-winning cocktail bar Broken Shaker, the perfect place for running into locals and tourists alike. And if you don’t end up making friends with your temporary roommates, the staff at Freehand also curate regular events and social activities. More of an introvert? You’re always welcome to book a private room and go about your day.

View from across the street of the famous Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL at night
The Biltmore is one of Miami's ritziest resorts © gregobagel / Getty Images

The Biltmore

Best resort for history buffs
Price rating: $$$

Few hotels are as rooted in Miami’s history as The Biltmore in Coral Gables. Not to be confused with the Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate, this hotel was built by George Merrick and hotelier John McEntee Bowman back in 1926. Once noted as Miami’s tallest building, the hotel has hosted many notable celebs, from Judy Garland and Bing Crosby to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Al Capone. It also once served as an Army Air Forces hospital in World War II. Nowadays, it’s one of the area’s ritziest resorts, boasting an 18-hole golf course, top-notch tennis courts, an impressive spa and salon, one of the largest pools in the country and weekly history tours of the property.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne

Best hotel for beach-loving families
Price rating: $$$

For some, a trip to Miami is meant for spending as much time on the sand as possible. When your goal is r-n-r with the family, consider a stay at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne. This beachfront luxury resort is home to the Ritz Kids program, which offers rotating activities for kiddos 5 through 12. With magic shows, arts & crafts, poolside games and more, your littles will be thoroughly entertained all day long while you’re free to enjoy the spa and adult pool. And if that’s not enough, you can book a complimentary photo session with the photography concierge to capture your family in their best light.

Hotel room at Mayfair House Hotel and Garden in Miami, Florida
Book a room at Mayfair House Hotel & Garden © Will Pryce

Mayfair House Hotel & Garden

Best for a more local experience
Price rating: $$

If you’re looking for a wholly different Miami experience, a stay at the Mayfair House Hotel & Garden in the heart of Coconut Grove should be on your radar. This Michelin Key hotel opened in 1985 and was originally designed by architect Kenneth Treister. Nearly 40 years later, however, the Mayfair House Hotel & Garden is experiencing a renaissance. With its vibrant in-room color schemes, positively delightful details like typewriters and clawfoot bathtubs, spa, rooftop pool and quirky rum bar, tourists and locals alike have taken notice. The lush, tropical atrium from its heyday remains, of course, as does its proximity to plenty of local gems like Vizcaya Villa, Peacock Park, Fairchild Botanic Garden, Books and Books, Panther Coffee and yes, even a Flanigans

Wall mural on the Arlo Hotel in Wynwood, Miami
The Arlo easily fits into Wynwood, Miami's reputable arts district © Arlo Hotels

Arlo Wynwood

Best for art lovers
Price rating: $$

While the Arlo is part of a smaller chain of hotels, it’s also the first one to find a home in Wynwood, Miami’s reputable arts district. From the moment you arrive, you’re greeted by larger-than-life murals by Hoxxoh and the MILAGROS Collective. Chic and comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool and an on-site restaurant with one of the city’s newest and hottest cocktail bars also await. But proximity is the main draw here. Whether you want to explore the street art scene at the nearby Wynwood Walls, get your boogie on at 70’s themed speakeasy Club NDA or take home some local art at the Wynwood Shop, it’s all within walking distance. Bonus: guests enjoy complimentary admission to the nearby Museum of Graffiti!

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